I hear it all the time, “I’m worried what other people think about me in the gym.” I’ll talk to guys who have never deadlifted before, and when I ask why they don’t start, the answer is always the same. “I’m going to get judged for doing such a light weight.” This goes for girls too! I can’t tell you how many times I hear a girl say that she is scared to lift weights because she is worried she’ll be judged. None of these are valid excuses for giving up. At the end of the day, you have to realize that you’re doing this for yourself. You aren’t waking up early before school/work to hit the gym for anyone but yourself.
That internal desire to become stronger and better every day is a must if you want to really make a change. You aren’t competing with the biggest guy in the gym, you’re competing with yourself. Each day is an opportunity to get bigger, stronger, and better your overall health. As much as we worry over people judging us, chances are that they’re too focused on their own workout to even notice us. If not, then that’s their problem. Don’t worry about being judged, or what anyone else thinks. You’re not trying to impress them; you’re just trying to be better than you were yesterday.
That’s the thing about working out. It’s not a competition like most sporting events. You don’t have a coach telling you that you have to get up and go to practice. Instead, you have to set an alarm and actually listen to it. You have to convince yourself every day to go after it and hit the gym. You don’t have a team depending on you as motivation. Instead, you are forced to create an internal desire to better yourself. You have to want it. There is no opposing team to compete against. Your only opponent is yourself. However, just like a sports competition, your opponent will try everything to beat you. You will be tired. You will crave junk food. You will have days where you simply do not want to go to the gym. The hard part is that it’s not as simple as a competition. Beating an opponent is simple to understand. It makes sense.
Conquering yourself on the other hand, it extremely difficult. It’s not easy to force yourself to go to the gym when your muscles are screaming for relief, still sore from your last workout. It’s tough to skip dessert and eat right; sweets always taste good. Most of all, it’s hard to beat yourself mentally. Conquering your self-doubt is a daunting task for all of us, but it’s a necessary step to achieving greatness. It takes a lot of mental strength to keep grinding when you feel like you’re not seeing results. It takes just as much to keep working and not be content after you finally do start to see results. Truthfully conquering your own mind is one of the hardest battles you will ever fight, but it will be worth it. I can tell you that it will not be easy; but I can promise you that it will be worth it.
Personally, I respect anyone who has the guts to step foot in a gym. It’s not easy to continue to push yourself through the sweat and pain, day-in and day-out. It doesn’t matter if you’re overweight, weak, small, or anything else. Everyone has to start somewhere. The same guys that you’re admiring in your gym likely started out just like you. A lot of them got into working out because they were unhappy with their bodies, and probably respect you for trying to make a change. Whether it’s to gain muscle or to lose weight, don’t let intimidation stop you from achieving your goals. Anyone who has the mental fortitude to keep getting under that bar and putting it all on the line deserves the utmost respect.
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