These days it is so common to feel intimidated in the gym because we live in a time where body image is put on a pedestal. People are very quick to judge a person purely based on their looks, so it is so easy to feel like you're constantly being judged — or even stared at — through your workout. I've talked with friends and acquaintances about their experiences in this setting and they said they tend to feel intimated because they are newer to the gym or they don't have a lot of experience with many of the machines. They fear they'll "look stupid" or get made fun of by others, especially those who do have a lot more experience with the equipment. I've heard those two reasonings many times, and each time I want to give the same advice.

If you are someone who has just started or is just now starting to workout do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone — I can promise you from experience that that is where the most change happens.

No one said it was going to be easy, but it will be so worth it. If you are unsure about what workouts to do or what workout will work certain muscle groups, use the web to get some of that info. If you are worried about what others think of you when you're working out, just remember that you are there for a reason and that is to better yourself and your overall health.

Put your headphones, focus on yourself, and do the damn thing because honestly, they are most likely more focused on their own workout as well.

If you fear you might "look stupid" trying something new in the gym like squatting or using new machines, just know that everyone else there has been in your shoes at one point. You can even ask a friend to tag along to make you feel more at ease. Even if these things end up happening, you just have to be strong enough to ignore that negativity.

Even though I was athletic in high school, when I graduated I cared about what other people thought in the gym and that put a pause on the results I was seeing. After a little less than two months, I started to branch out from cardio, slowly incorporating more machines, and eventually transitioning to the heavier weight lifting. Once I left my comfort zone, after 6 months of consistency in the gym and better eating I found myself down 34 pounds total. I then went on to help other people try to do the same by even bringing them to the gym with me.

It gets a lot easier when you start to care less and less of what others think about you.

The next time you go to the gym try something new and challenge yourself. You may surprise yourself. Everyone just needs that little push of encouragement sometimes in their life, so I hope reading this may have helped some of you. Even if these things end up happening, you just have to be strong enough to ignore that negativity. Push through and NEVER be embarrassed about doing what's best for you in this life, it's the only one you've got.