I’m going to share a story about a comment one person made to me a few months ago. It totally 💩 all over any confidence I was building back up at the time, so much so it had me questioning whether or not I should even be a personal trainer anymore.
At the time, I was the strongest and fittest I had EVER been. Smashing PB’s left and right. Lifting HEAVY ass weight around. Trained for a boxing match and won. Back playing football and killing it. Passed my level 4 strength and conditioning course. Injury free. Dating a hot girl. Winning. Confidence was good. And for someone who has ALWAYS been riddled with self doubt and not feeling good enough and always been body-conscious, this was a good time.
Then one day I’m having a conversation with an “acquaintance” who is NOT a PT or anything remotely to do with health and fitness. After discussing my current fitness levels and training the conversation ended with their comment, “Still… if I was going to get a personal trainer it would be someone skinnier than you”. BOOM. Ever felt like a massive turd dropped from the sky and smushed you into the ground. That was it right there!
Here are some things I know:
- being “skinny” is not what I want to be
- Being “skinny” or super lean has zero reflection on the quality of a personal trainer (or person). I have known bikini competitors who were absolute shite PTs and amazing PTs who carry a bit of fluff.
- Being the most lean has no reflection on your mobility, speed, power and strength. The strongest women I know carry a little extra weight and they’re f*cking badass
- This person is an idiot and doesn’t know anything about health and fitness
- Client results and retention shows I am good at my job
- I shouldn’t let one persons uneducated opinion affect me
- My mama loves me exactly how I am, so fuck you 😂
Knowing all these things I STILL felt like absolute shit. It bothered me SO much. I thought, “well if she thinks that, how many other people think that?” “What’s the point in trying to be a successful PT if I’m not “skinny enough” for what people want?” “If that’s what people are basing their trainers off, I either need to get lean as fuck NOW, or just give up”. So I gave up. I’ve tried the whole get super lean and obsess over calories thing and pop out a few abs, but it just isn’t how I want to spend my life. I would rather be a happy fluffy bunny than a miserable pencil. I’ve been both so I know when I’m happiest.
After someone makes a comment that hurts you, it feels like nothing anybody else says makes a difference. You can have 50 people tell you you’re a great personal trainer and fine the way you are, but that one person seems to taint all of that. I’m well aware that it is my responsibility to decide how I react to these things and what I take on board, but it is hard to shrug some of it off.
I’m sure everyone in every industry at some point feels inadequate or has had someone make remarks about them that make them question their ability and feel not good enough. Barrack Obama got loads of shit when he ran for president, people laughed at Einstein’s ideas, Nelson Mandela went to prison and Posh Spice was called a shit singer, and they all did alright. They stuck to what they wanted, what they believed in and no matter what people said they stuck up their middle finger and did it anyway.
Self-doubt is definitely the most crippling reason as to why we give up on things. Not feeling good enough. Which, supported by remarks from other people just amplifies the feeling! Even as a kid I remember not wanting to go to football trials as I felt not good enough. Didn’t want to go to the next level in gymnastics because I felt not good enough. Didn’t pursue my doctorate in Physical Therapy as I didn’t feel smart enough. And now this with personal training. I’m kind of fucking sick of it. I don’t want to sit and wonder what COULD have happened had I been more confident in myself.
So while there may be people who like to try and make others feel like shit (to hide their own insecurities) it’s up to the rest of us to know we ARE good enough, to not let other people dictate how we feel and just prove the dickheads (and sometimes ourselves) wrong… It’s just really really hard to do.
I follow all these inspiration accounts and like all the posts about self-love and confidence and “being enough” etc etc etc but how do we actually go about really, truly believing it all?
Honestly, I’m not entirely sure and I’m definitely no self-love guru. But here’s what I’m thinking;
PRACTICE being the confident person you want to be. More “I can” less “I can’t” (super cheesy but true) fake it to start with if you have to. 🧀
CHALLENGE yourself to do new things that are realistically achievable, (not, become a world class opera singer and best friends with Susan Boyle by next weekend) Set yourself up for a win! 🥇
EDUCATE yourself in every way possible. Knowledge is power people.📚
EXPERIENCES, it takes going through situations to grow as a person. To learn from mistakes. To understand yourself better, how you operate and how to respond next time. 🤔
SURROUND yourself with good people, who are positive, honest, kind and supportive 👨👩👧👦
BE NICE to people. And animals. And yourself. ❤️
It takes a lot of time (and lots of ups and downs) to build confidence and really believe in yourself, but we absolutely should not let one daft cunt knock us 10 steps backwards on the path we worked our asses off to build. Let your happiness be the middle finger in their faces🖕🏼