How to Face the Gym With Confidence
This is a guest article was contributed by Luke Strauss.
Exercise is one of the best things we can do for our health. It keeps our bodies fit and our brains anxiety-free, so that we can face the day ahead feeling confident and clear-headed. Unfortunately, for some of us, the very prospect of going to the gym fills us with anxiety — a feeling known as gymtimidation.
But we have good news — gymtimidation doesn’t have to control you. By understanding where it comes from and developing the self-confidence to overcome it, gym anxiety will quickly become an afterthought.
Why Going to the Gym Can Be Uncomfortable
Nobody looks their best at the gym — after all, it’s a place to exert your body and test its limits. We sweat, we make funny faces, and we move our bodies in ways they don’t usually move. As soon as we become aware of ourselves doing these things, regardless of how natural they are, we often become self-conscious and uncomfortable.
It doesn’t help when we’re surrounded by people we perceive to be fit. We naturally compare ourselves to them and worry about how our progress stacks up against theirs, and we may even think of ourselves as “the fattest person in the gym.”
Needless to say, gym anxiety is natural and understandable. But that doesn’t mean it has to control us.
How Confidence Makes It Easy to Work Out in Public
What’s the solution? It’s pretty simple, really — confidence! Without confidence, we readily believe those voices in our heads telling us that we’re clueless, out of shape, and deserving of others’ judgment.
When we believe, deep down, that we are beautiful and worthy of taking up space at the gym, then the rest of the world melts away. Self-love is powerful, especially in the face of insecurity.
That said, confidence doesn’t come to us overnight. It takes hard work and commitment. Next, we’ll discuss some strategies for developing confidence so that you can feel like you own the gym.
Confidence Tips for Inside and Outside the Gym
While they may not target low confidence at its core, there are some hacks for feeling more confident and comfortable at the gym. These include:
- Practicing exercises by yourself before visiting a public facility
- Listening to an upbeat playlist that keeps you focused on your workout routine
- Bringing a friend with you to the gym so you feel less awkward
- Pushing yourself to go consistently until you get to know gym staff and the equipment
The above tips will make a trip to the gym feel far less scary. However, there’s an even more sustainable way to approach gymtimidation — working on a deep sense of confidence and self-love. Here are some additional tips to cultivate confidence that spills into all areas of life:
- Visit a mental health professional. Therapy is an excellent way to slow down, understand and work with what’s happened in your past, and develop a resilient sense of self with the help of a professional. Over time, you’ll inevitably grow as a person.
- Go on a solo adventure. Being alone can be challenging. By pushing yourself to explore a new place on your own, you’ll quickly realize what you’re capable of. Tiny tasks like going to the gym will start to feel like a breeze.
- Become aware of your negative thoughts. Through meditation and practice, you can slow down your thoughts and notice them. By confronting your negative thoughts head-on, you can work with them and improve your self-image.
- Reconstruct how you see others’ judgment. If someone gives you a judgmental look at the gym, who cares? They aren’t qualified to judge you. A stranger’s criticism is just an uninformed opinion and should mean far less to you than the opinions of the people in your life who truly know and love you.
Hopefully, the above advice has helped you realize that gymtimidation doesn’t have to rule you. By taking some time to work on yourself, you can crush it with ease. For more insights on how to step through the doors of the gym with a confident smile on your face, see the infographic below, courtesy of Tommy John.
About the author: Luke Strauss
Luke is a content creator at Siege Media. His passion for digital marketing and creative writing has led him to cover topics within a variety of industries, from business and cybersecurity to lifestyle. When he’s not writing he enjoys making music, traveling, and spending time with his friends and family.
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