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Getting over the fear of being judged

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I workout at home. I live in a building and i use someone elses gym. Im planning on working out in a fitness studio. I and i guess many gym newbies have this fear of being judged. Any tips of overcoming this fear? Would just getting in there and doing it be the only solution??

I feel that EVERYONE goes through that.

Remember everyone starts somewhere. Most people will be more concentrated on their own workout than the people around them. The fittest people tend to be the most welcoming and friendly as odd as it may seem.

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It might also help to read a few articles on the 'Spotlight Effect' - we all tend to think we're the centre of the world and others are paying much more attention to us than they actually are.

 Level 4 Human Adventurer / Level 4 Scout, couch to 5k graduate, six time marathon finisher.



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On 3/31/2018 at 3:20 AM, siddhant1991 said:

Would just getting in there and doing it be the only solution??

At the end of the day...yes.


Kinda like getting into a pool. You can put your foot, in, then your calves, but at some point, that sensitive part is going to get wet and its gonna be cold. Best bet is to jump in...then you're wet already and don't care.


I had an issue with it at first. I was "too outta shape" to go to the gym. So I started out at home, and finally got to the point where my equipment didn't handle what I needed.


Now I go to the gym 3x/week and I really miss it if I don't get there. The staff have started to recognize/mess/comment about me being there...I've become a regular.


Other than the "regulars" that I see there (which our conversations last about a "whats up"/"how ya doin") the only real conversation is "You using this?" or "HELP!" 


I'd recommend going in the morning (like pre-work crowd), it seems those of us that HAFTA be outta the gym by 730-745 don't bulshit around that much. I've seen more jabbering/visiting/socializing on random later mornings (e.g. when I've got a day off).



On 4/1/2018 at 11:08 AM, Rostov said:

It might also help to read a few articles on the 'Spotlight Effect'

It's also called egocentrism and is perfectly normal part of human development that we never really completely grow out of. I'm so busy thinking about that you're thinking about that I don't have time to realize that YOU are too busy thinking about what I'm thinking about you to realize that neither one of us is thinking about the other person at all!


Wow...that made my brain hurt a little.


Just go, if it's too much, create a short hierarchy of fears related to it. 


For example:

1) drive past gym

2) sit in gym parking lot for 5 min

3) go touch the door

4) go into gym, walk around a leave

5) go to gym and work out

6) waffles

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Getting life in order is a challenge worth doing.


Happiness is the journey, not the destination (took me forever to learn that)

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A few suggestions that helped me:

  1. I love my headphones.  Music or podcasts keep my mind in my own headspace and my mind off of what others may be seeing/thinking. 
  2. When you go in, look at the class schedule and figure out when classes AREN'T happening.  Go during those times so there aren't as many people around.  People working out are in their own heads as well.  People who are coming, going, or hanging around were the ones I was always worried about.  This usually means very early in the morning, midday while everyone else is at work, or late at night (ie: just before closing).
  3. When you do go in, try just 20 minutes.  Do stuff that you are REALLY comfortable and familiar with so you're not as self-conscious about what you're doing.  The more you go, the more confidence you build (it's really just another muscle.)

Another fun game: try to match a song with each exercise.  My iPod decided to get super epic one day and started playing 2001: A Space Odyssey while I was doing deadlifts.  It was hilarious in my head and I almost laughed out loud.

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Yes, just get in there and do it.


I would offer that perhaps, as a gym newbie, the subconcious thought process goes something like this:

  1. Gym people go to gymns
  2. I'm not a gym person because I don't go to the gym
  3. I don't go the gym because I'm not a gym person.
  4. GOTO2

As you go, you'll get more comfortable.

"If you would improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." - Epictetus

"You just gotta listen to your body, unless it's saying anything about stopping, pain, your joints, or needing water."

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i very much felt this way when i started lifting in the free weights area. i second the headphones idea and when I'm feeling super don't pay attention to me I wear a ball cap. and remember you're AT the gym, you're already ahead of everybody at home! a

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People at the gym judging you is super rare. People are there to better themselves, and most of the time, they're trying to encourage the other people in their lives to come along and be gym newbies too. They aren't going to judge you for being a gym newbie too.


That being said, I have had experience with judgement in the gym. The positive note about it is, every time it's happened, the people they've been talking too have put them in their place.


My recommendation therefore is: have a plan, research your movements beforehand so you don't have to ask for help, get in, put your head down, and do the work. Before long, you'll be a regular, and people will be worried that you might be judging them.

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Unless, you are like a buddy of mine--and truly do not care what people think--this is normal.


I can remember the first time I went to a gym--thought that I was going to fall on my face and embarrass myself.


I guess I did O.K. though because I made it through


Eventually, after I got more comfortable, I realized the big thing.


Everyone was so focused on themselves--that they could care less about me.


And I am sure, it is the same in every gym--everywhere else.


Just go in there, and do you thing--as hard as it may be to do that--and you will be fine.

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