Updated: Apr 16, 2022
Understanding over judgement in the training studio
Are you worried about joining a training studio because you feel judged when you’re working out? This is a common concern for many of us, especially at the beginning of our wellness journey. It’s also one of the reasons that I created a safe space here at Free2Be Wellness.
Did you know a FitRated survey found that 64% of women and 36% of men have avoided the gym due to anxiety or fear of judgement?
When I first started working out, I stuck to the elliptical. I was so scared to try any of the weight machines in fear of the eyes around me judging me that I was doing something wrong. You see it on social media all the time. People trying to figure it out, and end up being blasted all over instagram. I didn’t want to be that person. Once the elliptical felt mundane, I started venturing to the free weights (I would always wait until no one was there). That’s where Roger, the gym’s personal trainer, approached me. He had seen me at the gym and taken note that I never attempted any of the strength training equipment. He took some time with me, walked me through the universal weight machines, pointed out some exercise that he felt would be beneficial. The following day, he popped by the tread I was on (once again sticking to the familiar) and gave me a training plan. That single moment changed everything. Not only did he walk me through each exercise, he showed me proper form and what to do if I plateaued. I hadn’t asked for this plan, or even his help. But the fact that he showed up for me, gave me the confidence I needed to step out of my comfort zone.
The truth is, I’m not alone. I see it in my daughter, afraid to try different sports in fear of being laughed at or being called out. What if we changed the story to celebrate when we try something new? To celebrate our uniqueness. What if we supported each other in a way that strengthens our spirit? Instead of judgement, provide understanding and compassion to help the person grow and learn.
Feedback is a wonderful tool to shed light on our blind spots, and when training, it’s often necessary to ensure we’re performing exercises safely and effectively. The truth is that feedback is a critical tool to help us develop skill sets that build confidence and improve performance. When used correctly, feedback can help you step out of your comfort zone (and that’s where growth happens)! If used incorrectly, it can break trust, ignite judgements, and erode confidence.
Seek to Understand, Not to Judge
Instead of focusing on feedback, here at Free2Be we seek to understand. Seeking to understand means having conversations, not passing judgements. Imagine if that senior leader had said“Buket, tell me more about yourself. I’ve noticed some differences in the way we communicate. It may help me understand where you’re coming from?” Sounds and feels different doesn’t it?
We all come from different walks of life. We are unique in our own ways and that is what makes us so extraordinary. At Free2Be Wellness, we invite you to start your wellness journey in an environment that fosters diversity, empathy, understanding and belonging. Too often we hear that one negative comment or receive that feedback that can strip us of our confidence. We don’t let that happen here. We foster understanding and support you on your wellness journey, encouraging you to stick with it, because you are stronger than you know!
May your ‘ism’s empower you and may you forever live Free2Be.