I have several friends who struggle to get motivated to go to the gym. The stares, the feeling like they do not belong, the fact that they do not have the slightest clue where to begin, and a host of other excuses that keep them from doing it.

I will admit, that as with any new venture, there is a level of anxiety that comes along with that first step. Like your first day at school, or your first day at a new job, joining a gym freaks a lot of people out, for many of the same reasons. There are intimidating situations all around us, every day, yet some people just seem to have no qualms about anything. What makes them tick?

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”

Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice

Successful people in any walk of life, did not suddenly become masters of their universe by a stroke of luck. They too had to overcome that initial fear or intimidation and press on with what they truly wanted to achieve. It was never smooth sailing; mistakes were a part of the process; failures were a regular occurrence, yet they pressed on.

What are some of the things they all have in common?

  1. A strong desire to learn.
  2. They have a mentor, and they listen to sound advice.
  3. They take personal responsibility for their own development.
  4. They refuse to be intimidated by others.
  5. They act as though they belong.
  6. They will constantly try new approaches to those repeated failures.
  7. They strive to continually improve at what they do.
  8. They surround themselves with talented and experienced people.
  9. They do not listen to their doubters.
  10. They believe in what they want to achieve… and they make it happen.

Life is full of intimidating encounters, and for many people, they give in to that pressure and deny themselves what could turn out to be very fulfilling adventures. That fear that others will see your flaws and call you out, is your own ego giving you a good old whipping. Let me be the first to tell you; Stop caring about what other people think. Remember that through all of this, you are learning to cope with and overcome your personal limitations. Do not give consent to intimidation. The battle was won the moment you decided to turn up.

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June 2021
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