Here’s how to get stuck, easy as 1-2-3:
- You realize your current routine isn’t giving you the results you want, so you go out searching for a solution.
- Finally, you find an exercise or program that looks like it should work. But then the burden of something new becomes too much and you stop.
- Instead of trying a new solution, you fall back on old habits and routines. And nothing changes.
It’s wise to be skeptical of new things that make big promises, of course. (The fitness industry is especially full of dubious claims.) But if you’re still hesitating after you’ve found a solution that you believe will work, then it’s not wise skepticism holding you back.
If your current training isn’t giving you the capabilities you want, or if it’s leaving you busted up and injured, then you probably need to change your training.
And if a certain fear is keeping you from making the changes you need to make, then it’s time to do something about it.
We’ve seen thousands of clients overcome their fears in order to learn fun, challenging new skills, and to teach their bodies the capabilities they’ve always wanted. Here are five of the most common fears people have before starting a GMB program, along with our best advice from helping thousands of clients overcome them.
1. Fear of Change
Getting out of old habits and establishing new ones in your lifestyle is very difficult and stressful.
You’re used to doing things a certain way, and inertia is one of the hardest things to overcome. For many people, that can manifest as a fear of change.
Even if you’re not where you want to be right now in your training, there’s comfort in knowing what to expect because you’ve been doing it for so long. It seems less scary to stick with what you know, than to make a change.
Maybe you’ve made some progress with the way you’ve been doing things, just not as much as you’d like (or not the kind of progress you need). If you change your approach, won’t you lose those gains?
This is a very normal and understandable concern, but if it’s time to make a change, this fear won’t do you any favors.
How to Beat this Fear
One of the scariest aspects of change is that it feels overwhelming to suddenly change the way you’ve been doing things. And indeed, many people fall into the trap of making big, sweeping changes, all at once.
Of course that’s overwhelming and scary, and probably feels impossible!
You’re used to doing things a certain way, and it takes a long time for changes to really take root. Instead of trying to completely change your training regimen overnight, start with small changes to your routine.
Even something as simple as adding some locomotive work in to your warm-up can be a great way to ease yourself in to a new approach to training. You don’t need to completely abandon the things you’ve been doing for a long time.
Small adjustments in your routine and what you do are helpful. This can help you “sneak” change into your routine, and build up to big changes more easily.
Another thing many people are fearful of when changing their approach to training is the possibility of “losing gains.” To combat this fear, we advocate a periodization approach to training. With this approach, you’ll cycle through your goals over time, so that you hold on to the skills and attributes you’ve gained, while building new ones.
2. Fear of Failure
Failure – of any kind – is a scary thing, and if you’ve been less than successful in the past, it’s natural to be apprehensive about trying something new.
When it comes to training, failure can come in many forms.
Maybe you’ve had a difficult time following through on programs in the past, so you’re afraid you won’t be able to now, especially with a self-directed program like the ones we offer.
Or maybe you have restrictions or weaknesses in your body that keep you from feeling like you’re free to move the way you want to. You might even have seen some of our videos on Facebook, of our clients and trainers using our training approach, and thought, “There’s no way my body can do these sorts of things.”
Failure with training can simply mean the approaches you’ve tried haven’t worked the way you wanted them to.
No matter what your particular experiences have been, it’s more than reasonable to be afraid of failure. Your past attempts have given you reason to be concerned.
With that said, fear of failure is only going to keep you from making the progress you want.
How to Beat this Fear
Removing expectations is key for combatting this particular fear.
When you go into a new program or training approach expecting a certain result by a certain date (or, on the flip side, expecting things to go as they’ve gone in the past), you’re limiting how much you can really get out of the program.
Plus, that fear can be reinforced if you don’t get the results you’re expecting.
I know that removing all expectations is a tall order, but when we’re talking about incorporating unusual locomotive patterns into your practice, it’s especially important to keep an open mind.
Another strategy that will help you is to think of each training session as a clean slate, and forget about any other training sessions that week.
- Had a rough training session a few days ago? Forget about it. Your only goal is to make it through today.
- Already worrying about tomorrow’s training session? Tomorrow doesn’t exist right now. Just make today’s session count.
Reframe “failure” as an opportunity to learn and improve. In the words of Samuel Beckett, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
3. Fear of Looking Dumb
This is a very normal fear, and one I think most people feel at one point or another.
- Someone who’s totally new to exercise will likely feel self-conscious about whether he’s using the machines in the gym correctly.
- And a seasoned exerciser who’s decided it’s time for a change might feel like she looks “weird” doing movements in the gym that no one else around her is doing.
The movements we teach aren’t especially common, certainly not as common as lifting weights or using machines, or group classes such as aerobics and Zumba. So it’s normal to feel self-conscious about doing these types of movements in public.
You might be scared that people are judging you, or that someone might say something disparaging.
And while that’s a natural fear, it’s keeping you stuck.
How to Beat this Fear
The most important thing is to realize that, just like you’re not looking at anyone else and judging them, no one is looking at you either.
In this video, I talk in more detail about this particular fear, and how to combat it:
As I mention in the video, the other thing to keep in mind is that, if someone is looking at you, they’re more than likely just intrigued by what you’re doing.
We’ve had numerous clients tell us how people have come up to them and asked them what they’re doing because they’ve simply never seen anything like this before. This can provide an opportunity to meet new people and share some of what you’ve learned.
And if someone ever does say something mean to you, that person is just a jerk and an outlier. Worrying about that is simply not worth your time or energy, and it will only get in the way of your own progress.
4. Fear of Getting Hurt
If you’ve been injured in the past, it’s understandable if you’re scared to try something new with your training routine.
There’s a part of you that doesn’t trust this approach is safe because you’ve never tried it before, so how can you know for sure? You may have been hurt using mainstream approaches that are widely recommended, so stepping out of the box will be even scarier.
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may have been waylaid for a while before you could get back to doing what you want to be doing.
And, of course, that feeling you remember of being limited in your activities can make you cautious about training. But, while a healthy dose of cautiousness is wise, too much holds you back from doing what you want to do.
How to Beat this Fear
A common mistake people make is thinking that the past dictates the future. It doesn’t have to be this way. Just because you’ve been injured in the past, that does not mean you will be again.
Plus, if your past training did not fare well for you, it stands to reason that a different approach would yield different results.
Our approach to movement and training has helped countless clients not only overcome old injuries but also make their bodies more resilient so that future injuries are less likely, even when accidents happen.
5. Fear of Making the Wrong Choices
This is the classic “paralysis by analysis” phenomenon, and it’s so common.
You’re ready to make a change and you want to grow and improve, but you’re terrified that you’ll choose the wrong approach or start with the wrong program.
Maybe you’ve made choices in the past that didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to, and you’re afraid that’s going to happen again. That makes sense. With so many options out there, it can seem like the possibilities for wrong choices are endless.
You want to work with a program that will address your needs, and you’re scared to waste your time on things that won’t get you closer to your goals.
Of course, failing to take action out of fear means you won’t go anywhere at all.
How to Beat this Fear
This may sound impossible right now, but hear me out: Trust in the process.
Part of finding the right approach for you and your needs is making some “wrong” choices along the way. We often don’t know what we need until we discover what we don’t.
I’d argue that, unless a program actually hurts you, it’s not “wrong.”
It may not be what you need right now, but it helps you figure out what you should be looking for. And you must absolutely cultivate the mindset that every step you take moves you toward getting better in some way. Even if it seems that you aren’t moving forward at the moment, you are learning at each step of the way, and that leads you on the right path.
Of course, it’s always nice when you can find the best program for your needs without having to experience many “wrong” choices along the way. That’s why we have a handy program chooser to make sure you’re choosing a program that best fits what you’re looking for.
Plus, if you’re ever unsure about anything, or need help along the way (even if you’re not working with one of our programs), we’re happy to chime in.
Overcome Your Fears and Get Unstuck
Changing your training is daunting! There’s a lot of information to sort through, and a lot of social pressure around what “real fitness” or “proper training” look like.
But if your current training doesn’t make your body capable in the ways you want, you should make a change.
Many people let their fears limit them for their whole lives. But since you’re reading this, you’re looking to fight this. You’re seeking a new kind of training that will help you fix your pains, overcome your limitations, and expand what your body can do.
That’s why we created Elements. It’s a 7-week program that develops foundational strength, flexibility, and body control for better performance in any sport or activity, and better movement with less pain every day.
For most people, it doesn’t look or feel like anything they’ve ever tried before. So a lot of people are scared to start.
But the truth is in the results. And our clients tell us it works.
Elements clients report improved performance in all sorts of other activities, from martial arts to CrossFit. They tell us about nagging wrist or back pains that diminish and disappear. And they tell us of being able to do movements they could never do before.
Everyone has fears about trying something new. But that doesn’t mean you have to let those fears hold you back. Get unstuck with training that expands what your body can do.
Get Unstuck and Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back
With Elements, you’ll build a foundation of strength, flexibility, and control that will allow you to go wherever you want with your training.