Despite being a regular gym goer, I always notice something interesting when I try out a new gym or someone new (who is also clearly a lifter) starts at my gym. All of those hardcore gym rats who, in theory, are exactly like me because they come to the weight area and lift things up and put them down, still look at me as an oddity. I’m a fairly petite girl wandering into a new gym with a lot of meatheads (and no, I don’t mean that offensively. By definition I’m also a meathead), and I’m not walking over to the cardio machines. Quite the opposite. I almost run for the weights. Oh, the looks I get are almost laughable.
This does two things to me. One, it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. Two, it makes me push myself even harder! I know I’m being watched while I go through my usual work out. This is usually neither negative nor positive feedback, but it’s always clear that I’m something new and exotic that doesn’t appear very often in most gyms (but is starting to increase which I’m happy to say!). The awkwardness I feel during these times isn’t fleeting, but it’s something I have learned to embrace and deal with each time I try a new gym. And each time I go I put up more weight and get stronger and healthier. Instead of avoiding the tough situations, I work through them and come out a better person at the end.
These experiences have provided me with some very important insight. In order to be successful and continue to thrive in even the worst situations, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Nothing will ever be perfect and you will often find yourself in situations where you’d rather turn and run back to your safe spot. However, you must ignore those feelings and embrace the change. You have to show that it doesn’t matter what is thrown your way, you can work through it. You have to step outside your little box that makes you feel save and climb that ladder to success! Once you can do that, you can do anything.
So, the next time you want to try something you’ve never done before, go for it. Or if your friends invite you out to have a food you’ve never eaten before, give it a shot. Take little steps to build up your ability to handle uncomfortable situations. This is definitely a time when practice makes perfect and baby steps will help push you along the way. In the end, you’ll find out you’ve just built up your own self-confidence and overall inner strength. That’ll come handy in any situation you’re put in!