How To Not Feel Self-Conscious At The Gym

The Beginner's Guide To Not Feeling Self-Conscious At The Gym

The leading cause behind laziness as to why people won't workout.

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My dad always told me if you can't get your point across in one sentence, there's no point in telling the story. So here's your one sentence summary — WHO THE HELL CARES?

OK, I get it. It seems like a lot of people care about what you're doing in the gym. If you're a girl, you think every single guy in the place is staring at you and you're comparing yourself to other women in the gym. If you're a guy, you think you have to look your smoothest at all times and try to be bigger and better and other guys. Right?

These are the thoughts that fuel our self-consciousness and I'm here to tell you that this couldn't be further from the truth.

Self-consciousness stems from the insecurities we have with ourselves: maybe we have a slight pudge, we can't lift a lot of weight, we're slow on the treadmill, etc. Then, when we're put into a place like a gym where most people aren't comfortable, we begin over-analyzing our environments and ourselves. Therefore, these insecurities that we have with ourselves become the first things we THINK people see in us. This couldn't be further from reality.

Let's put ourselves through the worst case scenario — your greatest insecurity is the first thing people notice about you. So what? From experience, people observe that for a few seconds, then go on about their days. If they don't, whose problem is that? They are wasting their time being infatuated with whatever it is they see about you.

But this worst case scenario is only a scenario one out 1,000 times. The other 999 times, we're just in our own heads.

The reality of the situation is that most people who go to the gym are there to work on themselves, not to try to change other people. Trust me, they are looking at themselves exponentially more than they are looking at you, and you have to keep this at the forefront of your mind the minute you walk into the gym.

Going off of people focusing on themselves, that's what YOU need to do as a person. You don't lose 20 pounds or pack on a few inches of muscle by obsessing over other people. Seriously, when you workout, find a mirror to do your lifts and cardio in front of. Look yourself in the eyes and have a conversation with yourself about what you're doing. You need to be in your own head in a good way, focusing all of your attention just on what you're doing. Forget other people, forget your surroundings, and lock yourself in your gym time.

Keeping the focus on yourself is the most important thing you must make a habit: nobody was born with a fantastic, toned body and a glorious muscle pump. The best models, bodybuilders, and athletes all started as beginners in the gym, and we must remember to walk in our own shoes instead of fitting in someone else's.

Finally, remember that making a game plan for your gym time is the single most effective way to go about working out. Even the most veteran lifters will get caught off guard not following a plan and stand there feeling dumb in the gym, even though they know exactly how to do everything. Having a game plan will increase your focus tenfold on getting the work done, meaning you won't get distracted and let your mind start wandering on things like self-consciousness. If you don't know what you're doing, ask someone. Seriously. That person will be humbled that you asked them, so you'll be making them feel better on top of making friends with them.

Bonus tips: make a feel-good gym playlist and lose yourself (in the music, the moment, you own it...). Also, working out with a friend who is on the same level as you are in the gym is the best way to push yourself and eliminate self-consciousness. My friend Shane and I started working out as skinny teenage guys and we always pushed each other to new limits, holding each other accountable along the way and hyping up one another to keep after the hustle.

So, go get your grind on and remember, focus on yourself first and foremost. The thing you are imagining in your head is definitely not reality, so grow your thick skin and stop giving a damn because you are in the gym to work on YOU!

Cover Image Credit:

Austin Goodwin

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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The Relaxing Physical Activity For The Person Who Loves Competition

How rock climbing changed my view on what it means to challenge yourself.

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I recently went rock climbing with my friends and walked away excited, proud, and craving more. In high school, I participated in competitive activities like tennis or tryouts to make the band. While I love these activities and don't see them leaving my life anytime soon, rock climbing changed my perspective on what accomplishment can feel like.

In sports, especially when competing in tournaments or for a spot, the fun of the game can be overshadowed by not-too-friendly competitors. It makes sense because everyone is fighting to win and prove that they deserve to be on the team. However, the relationship between everyone becomes more invested in maintaining a position than having fun and creating a family. Don't get me wrong, I love this highly-competitive arena, but rock climbing was the first time I had done something where I did not feel the need to compete with those around me.

One of my best friends coaxed me into going to a place about an hour away from my home. I was nervous to climb in front of others since it was my first time in years, however, my friend assured me it would be fine. It turns out she was 100% correct! We went with two other girls who were both very experienced and belayed us up and down walls. They were extremely supportive, and my best friend and I found ourselves attempting to defeat walls we never would have dreamed of climbing alone.

Climbing can definitely be competitive, but when surrounded by the right people, it gives you a chance to grow. It taught me that my biggest competition is with myself. My nervousness to embarrass myself in front of others was holding me back. When I truly started feeling comfortable, the main competitor was the wall. I found myself feeling like I was on a team that did not need to compete with each other but wanted everyone to succeed at their own rates. It was a great experience to feel fully supported and encouraged without the side order of having to constantly maintain rank.

I would recommend rock climbing to any overly competitive person like myself! It helps you challenge your own boundaries instead of other's and will help you to reflect on what it means to challenge yourself, mind and body, and how you work to overcome obstacles.

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