Guest Author - Terri Johansen
Develop confidence at the gym and you will enjoy your workouts more. Do you feel out of place in your exercise class or in the gym? Do you feel that others are stronger, better looking, or more experienced than you? Do you think you are too old or too young to fit in? It is important to understand that no one is exactly like you. Each person is working within their own abilities and capabilities. You are not alone. We all struggle with self-esteem and confidence issues just keep your attention on being healthy and you will soon begin to see great fitness results.
You are perfect, just the way you are. There are all shapes, sizes, ages, and genders at the gym. It is natural to compare yourself to other people. The next time you think everyone in the room is looking at you tell yourself ďpeople are too busy with their own workouts to pay attention to me.Ē Itís true; you fit in because you are one of a variety of individuals.
Your self confidence at the gym will improve. You wonít feel clumsy. The equipment will not be foreign to you. You will begin to recognize people who work out at the same time as you and they will recognize you. You will smile at each other and you will feel better, like you are beginning to belong.
Comparing yourself to others takes too much energy. Redirect that energy into your workouts. Redirection is focusing on what you are doing. Follow your breath in yoga class. Pay attention to your form when you are lifting weights on the machines or free weights. When you are walking on the treadmill be aware of how fast you are going and maintaining a steady pace. These are examples of focusing, and focusing takes your mind off of comparison.
You are always becoming stronger and healthier. As you workout consistently you will see changes in your body and attitude. You will find you are able to do things you couldnít do six months ago. Perhaps you can ride the recumbent bike for 40 minutes when you could only do 10 minutes at the start. Or maybe you are able to finish that 1 hour aerobics class with a smile, when at first you could barely last for 30 minutes. Your staying power will give you confidence in your ability.
Give yourself a pat on the back for having discipline. Discipline isnít easy but you show up regularly. You can come up with a million reasons for not going to class. But you have set your goals and tracked your progress. Your confidence is boosted and you feel proud of yourself for sticking to your commitment.
Try new exercises and equipment. You may feel uncomfortable at first but you will soon discover that you enjoy the change and the challenge. You may even have fun.
Use your workout as a time for reflection. Make this a special time for yourself, a time for contemplation. Replace your negative self-talk. Comparing yourself to others is only a mistaken measurement and wastes your time on unreasonable thoughts. Choose positive, inspirational thoughts, and be kind and encouraging to yourself.
Make New Friends. Developing new friendships is a proven way of making you feel good about yourself. You know you have something good to offer people so donít wait for them to come to you. Take a chance and start up a conversation. You will find your confidence soaring as you experience feelings of self-worth. An added benefit can be that your new friends will join you in setting goals and reinforcing your commitment to a healthier way of life.
Your new attitude can help promote confidence in ways outside of the gym.
You find yourself making small changes in your daily life. Exercising is giving you the confidence to develop healthier lifestyle choices. The self-assurance you are developing may help you change negative or harmful behaviors.
Hopefully something here will speak to you and you will begin to develop confidence at the gym. Go with it, run with it. Make it your own!
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