It’s great to be friendly with other people at the gym — to do your part to create a welcoming, encouraging atmosphere. I’ve written about this in the past, and it really is the people who make your gymgoing experience special. Just because you’re friendly, however, doesn’t mean you’re confident at the gym. Even the tiniest insecurities can bubble up to the surface each time you walk through the entrance.
Do you compare yourself to women at the gym?
- “Wow, that girl is squatting twice as much as I can.”
- “Does my belly look like that too? I wonder what she ate before her workout…”
- “She could be deadlifting more. What a wimp!”
Critiquing and comparing other women is so deeply ingrained in my thinking habits. It’s automatic. I’m not proud of it, but I am working on it.
And at the gym, that’s when things can get really toxic. You can’t hide much in today’s exercise fashions. And there are pockets of time when it’s easy to glance at what others are doing.
But this isn’t just limited to the other ladies at the gym. I wish it was, but…
The men can get in your head too:
- “Yikes, that was a lot of pull-ups. I bet he thinks my attempt at pull-ups is laughable. Maybe I’ll skip those today.”
- “Yes, I’m only squatting the bar and that dude at the rack next to me has a bunch of plates on his bar. Is he judging me? He can just get over it.”
- “Is that trainer impressed by all the girly pushups I just did? Cuz that was a whole lot of girly pushups. He should be impressed.”
My list of insecurities is endless, but you’d never know it. I have mastered the confident strut across the weight room floor, I know what I’m doing (for the most part) and my form is decent. I hold my head high and my shoulders back.
But during those rest moments between sets or when I’m zoning out on a cardio machine, little thoughts creep in to tear me down.
It’s not worth it.
It’s a waste of time and energy, and it’s chipping away at my overall outlook on life. I could be using this time each day in much more productive ways.
So this week I’m going to make an effort to stop myself when those automatic thoughts begin to form. I hope that by beginning this habit at the gym, it will trickle over into the rest of my day. There is really no need to be so judgey and competitive in life. It’s ridiculous.
Most of all, I believe that a rising tide lifts all boats when it comes to wellness, so it’s time for me to walk the talk. I’m going to be more confident at the gym. Are you with me?
To be more confident at the gym, remember why you’re there:
You want to feel better and to improve yourself. This is about your body, and your body alone. You’re doing a good thing for your own self. This is your “Me Time!”
Let others do their thing. They are there for the same reasons you are. Just let them be.
Celebrate your successes, no matter how small. Recognize your progress.
Don’t forget that we’re all pretty great (and fortunate) just for showing up and being at the gym.
What do you think?
- Do you compare yourself to others at the gym?
- How do you combat those inner critical voices?