The Fear of Success December 20 2017
Deep to my core, I have always been bothered by what people think of me. I highly dislike being judged and I continue to work on letting go of what people think of me. As I've gotten older, I've tried to remind myself that not everyone will like me or things I do and that's okay! I continue to encourage myself to do things that may make me feel uncomfortable (putting myself out there!) for the sake of staying true to myself. It can be hard to feel vulnerable!
This has been a real struggle within my business. Especially when I shifted to including online training to my services. And even more so when I focused on embodying body positive concepts and incorporating those ideals within my training, marketing, everyday life, etc. How do I market and showcase what I do without being overwhelmed by how people might view me or question how I operate my business?
A while ago, one of my fears came true. I was out with my husband--running errands or something--when I got a Facebook notification that someone posted on my business page. YAY, I thought. I was running a few sponsored ads, so I was hoping it was continued [positive] feedback from a post that introduced me to people who newly 'liked' my page.
I pulled up the comment and my heart SANK. Oh, no. It was an extremely negative post. It stabbed me. It tied my stomach in knots. The post challenged what I do (or rather don't do) as a personal trainer as well as my involvement and connection to the body positive movement. It made me question if I have skin thick enough to deal with this sort of opinion about me and my beliefs as an individual and a working piece of the fitness industry. I immediately took a screenshot, then hid the post and blocked the user. I thought the screenshot might come in handy as a learning moment if I gave myself some time to review the words. Perhaps I'll challenge those words on another day. Perhaps I'll discover that the toxicity of the comment isn't worth my energy.
I was also relieved to have my husband's input from that exact moment. He made me realize that this person was not worth the time and effort to challenge on my Facebook page. In fact, he noted that some of the arguments within the post did not even make sense, so it was best to just hid it and move on. Block the user. Let it go. Keep doing the good work.
Experiencing this sort of feedback made me realize a few things.
First, I know who I am and what I do. I am proud of this! And I realize my perspective might not be for everyone. That's okay. But I find it important to be who I am and offer a place in the fitness industry for individuals who are often overseen or told they aren't good enough. I know my scope of practice and I refuse to sell clients any products/services that do not reflect my current knowledge. I do not offer counseling as I am not a counselor. I do not offer meal plans as I am not a registered dietitian. I am not going to pretend to be an expert that I am not --- even if a large percentage of personal trainers bend these rules.
Second, I must be doing something right (specifically in regards to spreading the good vibes as a body positive advocate) if I now have 'haters' against a movement that is trying to be empowering, inclusive, and approachable. Cheers to me! I realized that I'm standing out in a way I haven't yet during my career. I hope I can continue to reach people who need to hear my voice and connect with individuals who need the services that I offer.
I think this sort of concept can play out with other areas of our lives, too. It's easy to not put in the effort of doing something due to the fear that we will fail (or succeed in my specific case mentioned). It can be easier for me to not put myself out there because then I won't have any sort of backlash on the way I run my business or who I am as a trainer. However, I'm limiting my success and potential! I'm putting a cap on prospective accomplishments and inhibiting my ability to help others.
Growth comes from what makes us feel uncomfortable. Be vulnerable. Put yourself out there. Do the things that might feel a little scary. Do what it takes for you to be successful. You only fail when you stop trying.
Carry on with confidence.