Are you trying to overcome the fear of working out? Everybody has to start somewhere. Everybody makes the decision at some point to change something about themselves and they want to start a workout program. If this is where you are at, then I have news for you: everybody has been at this point and overcoming the fear of working out is important and doable.

Being afraid to work out is easily one of the most least admitted but most widely experienced reason why people don’t ever start or why they quit a workout program. Working out doesn’t have to be intimidating and can actually be fun! It doesn’t have to be torture and it can actually be something that you look forward to!

Ground Zero

Let’s take a minute to list a few reasons that people want to start working out:

  • weight loss
  • to look better
  • to feel stronger
  • better health
  • stress reduction
  • to love yourself a little more

This list is incomplete and continues for a mile. Everybody who sticks to a workout program had to not only realize the reason they had for starting but to visualize that they wanted to go somewhere.

Movement, in technical terms, is a change in location from point A to point B. What you want to achieve by working out is point B. Point A, on the other hand, is a little more tricky. So the first thing you need to do to start a workout program is to accept that you are at the point where you start. Where you finish will be different and it can be anywhere you decide it to be and it will often NOT be where you initially decided it to be.

Embrace the Journey

Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.
Eckhart von Hochheim 

One of the reasons people quit a workout program is that they don’t want to go through the emotional torture of going to the gym and being faced with examples of what they are not. They see people lifting a ton of weights and feel silly lifting only a little bit. They see people with amazing bodies and then feel even more confronted with their own inadequacies. It’s ok if you feel this, because everybody has this feeling. You are not alone.

Confidence comes from repetition. When practicing acrobatics, I am often put into a position where I have to do something that scares me. After about 10 or 30 times of doing it, the fear begins to subside and the trick becomes easier. Life is similar. The more you make a habit of working out and stick to it, the easier it becomes. The fears that you had on your first day will no longer be relevant or even present.

Be Victorious and Celebrate

We will often set a goal that is lofty. Humans can see the horizon and strive for it, that’s why we’re special. However, we need to also make sure that the path is also filled with moments of achievement that we can recognize and appreciate. When I learn a new trick, it often takes about 2-3 weeks of physical conditioning as well as 2-3 weeks of skill learning. That ends up being 4-6 weeks of waiting for IT to happen. That can be a long time and I can be pretty impatient with myself. So what I make sure I do is to monitor my progress and acknowledge when I grow. When I start and can only hold a position for about 3 seconds one time, I understand and accept where I am starting from. When a week goes by and I can hold the pose for 5 seconds and can recover for a second or third time, I acknowledge to myself that I have made progress and say it out loud… then I go see a movie. Set goals as lofty as you wish, but always be sure to acknowledge that you are making progress towards those goals.

Working out and overcoming fear is never easy to break into and it takes dedication to stick with it, but everybody struggles to start and the more you do it the easier it becomes. Keep your eye on the prize and enjoy the ride!

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for this article! I am 19 and I have had a fear of working out for about 4 years. Prior to that I was a cheerleader, played soccer, and trained for track and field. Entering high school I joined the marching band at school as a dance girl/ color guard. My sophomore year I quit and then found myself not being too fond of sports and rigorous activities. I gained weight and my social status reduced and I became more of a loner, instead of the social butterfly that I am. Now, I am going on my sophomore year of college and have a healthy relationship with my high school sweetheart and I want to be the young lady that he met a few years ago. I am confident in the person I am but I could never truly seem to understand my reasons for being afraid to work out. He is healthy and fit and I am 260 pounds (You wouldn’t know it if you saw me). I do not simply want to rely on my dwindling confidence, but I want to be more comfortable with my health and outer appearance. I love me and I want to look and feel better. Once again thank you for such an intriguing article!

    Summer Barber


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