Fear can significantly impact motivation. Let’s face it, when we start a fitness journey, there is fear involved. We fear failure, are hesitant because we don’t want to embarrass ourselves (like at the gym) and fear the unknown. The fear factor is powerful which is why it’s important to take the measures necessary to prevent it from affecting your motivation. Here’s how to do it.
Control Your Imagination
Losing control of your imagination can affect your motivation because your mind runs wild. Once you’re wrapped up in fear and anxiety, the sources that drive you take a backseat. Reverse this by harnessing the energy you’re devoting to your imagination and put it into your workouts. Clear your mind and focus on performance. Many find it helpful to focus on their counting to distract their mind while others meditate before workouts to get in the correct headspace. There is such a thing as the mind-muscle connection.
Get Over Your Fear of Failure
Failure is not that serious. In fact, it is inevitable. There will be times when you don’t get through that last set or come up short on your run. Those that fear failure are often hyper-focused on the big picture rather than achieving a goal step by step. Every achievement is composed of a plethora of successes and failures. Conquer that fear by reframing your fitness goals, visualize possible obstacles and welcome that feeling of fear. Getting acquainted with that feeling will assist in overcoming it by teaching the body to trigger its natural calm response instead of responding with that overwhelming feeling of stress.
Put Things in Perspective
The most common fitness fears are fear of change, fear of inability and fear of injury. Take a moment to put those fears into perspective and you will discover that there really isn’t anything to fear. First, let’s talk change. People usually don’t like change because it takes away from the comfort they have established. Getting fit and staying motivated not only involves a change in schedule but requires accepting a different lifestyle. A gradual introduction will make change less impactful and allow you to gain momentum as you go. As for inability, of course, you are not going to be able to perform at an advanced level at the very start. Do you think powerlifters came out of a box benching 300 lbs.? Of course not. They worked up to that point. Now let’s talk injury. Injury can happen but is an exercise related injury worth the worry? Yeah, if you sustain an injury it will hurt but the word to focus on here is if. As long as you warm up, stretch and practice proper form and technique, the risk of injury reduces dramatically. The key is caution, not fear. Work within your abilities as well as your limitations and you will be fine.