I went to the gym at my office for the first time yesterday. We were a dozen or so when I got there. Not too sure where to start, I went straight to the elliptical machine - a machine I've used in the past in other gyms. Shy to try new machines I was not familiar with I limited myself to what I knew. I didn't want to take a chance and try a new machine because people were around and would see that I didn't know what I was doing. Why did I limit myself like this? I had paid my membership like everyone else and I was in my right to use whatever piece of equipment just like anyone else.
I've always put a lot of thought and focus on what others might think of me. If I don't think I will succeed at something I probably won't do it. I have a huge fear of judgement. The result is that I've pretty much lived an average life and have rarely taken risks. But is this the life I want to be living?
At first running was a safe activity for me. I could do it alone when no one was there to judge me. But I want to do more now. I want to take risks and do things that others might judge me on. I want to live my life fully and not hold back!
"Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire." (Dale Carnegie)
This blog and the Montreal-NYC challenge is a part of that. I want to share my experiences, put it all out there and push myself to do things that will perhaps make me vulnerable to judgement. Writing and sharing all of this with cyberspace is scary, but it's part of the journey. You may judge me, think this is silly, criticize me, but for me it's part of the deal. Part of my learning experience.
A friend once told me that she was not willing to enroll in a fitness class because she wanted to lose weight before exposing herself and exercising in public. Unfortunately with this mindset she is likely to just perpetuate a vicious cycle. What would be the worst thing that could happen? Yeah people may judge, comments could be made (don't get me wrong I'm not minimizing the impact of this). But, what if we looked at the other possible outcomes? What if she started enjoying it? What if she discovered a passion, or simply a renewed energy to exercise and get fit? Isn't the benefit worth the risk?
What are you afraid of?
Where do you set limits for yourself?
What are you missing out on by not doing what you want to do?