This isn’t some bah humbug post but for many people this is a hard time of year and I wanted to share some of my experiences to maybe in some way help or change your outlook.
I got into the fitness Industry because of my own self esteem issues. I started training in a gym when I was about 14 to try and change the way I felt about myself and at the time the way others thought of me.
Wasn’t really much more complicated than that.
There was no intent to ‘get swole’ or ‘get shredded’, to be quite honest, back then I had no idea what either of those adjectives meant.
A lot of the nonsense I hear in this industry reminds me of a lot of things I learned growing up.
People latch onto something someone else, even a complete stranger has that is inferior or they perceive inferior to themselves and they then use it to pull them down.
All to often it’s the way someone looks, if they’re fat, thin, muscular whatever, if it’s something as an individual they can perhaps use at that particular time to feel better about themselves they may well do that. That depends largely though on how they feel about themselves at that particular time.
If they feel good, likelihood is they’ll just crack on with their own life.
You know. That moment you want to pick on a complete stranger, making a snide comment to the people you’re with. Making a comment online or even to someone’s face. Something relating to their appearance or such like.
Bullying is like dieting.
Like a lot of foods make you feel better about yourself in the moment but like crap after (if you have an ounce of conscience).
You keep eating these foods that give you that momentary boost until your self esteem gets knocked. Society and certain people deem the way you look to be an opportunity to make themselves feel better about themselves. You see what happens…..it’s circular.
You feel like crap because people pull you down. You then do things to momentarily make you feel better. In doing so you open yourself up to more opportunistic bullying.
Thing is you can’t win.
I wish when I was 9 years old I grasped all this. Instead it took me a good 6-7 years after that. The hardest times of my life when I constantly questioned who I was and if I actually belonged anywhere.
People want to make themselves feel better. A lot of the time this is at the cost of someone else.
People don’t understand ‘different’ therefore they use it as a tool to justify their own choices.
Wanting to be different is a choice and we, as an industry are there to help people to make the right choices for themselves. Not to force our view on how someone ‘should look’ but how they want to look. In amongst that we need to help them balance the things they use to make themselves feel better short term with those that have longevity. To give them control of their choices and understand the long and short term implications.
Just like that cake you eat when you’re alone, it may make you feel better in the moment but long term the impact is detrimental if that behaviour then becomes habitual.
That snide remark or bullying of someone that makes you feel better in the moment.
Please question why you’re doing it.
Do you really need to pull someone down to feel better about yourself? Or by addressing your behaviours and knowing you don’t need to drag other humans down to get ahead in life, will that make you feel better long term.
Doing something wrong to create temporal alleviation of your problems isn’t a solution.
Making a nasty remark on some social media thread about the way someone looks or trying to pull something positive someone’s done apart. To remark on someone ‘looking better before’ after clearly working their arse off to look different. To pull some grammatical error out of a perfectly understandable and eloquent piece of writing.
I have a thing about human behaviour. It fascinates me. I was subject to some of the worst of it growing up. If I believed all they said, instead of eventual figuring out why they did it I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I’d be all of those adjectives they used to describe me growing up. I’d be a failure, I’d still be depressed and still be questioning my own existence on a daily basis.
As they say. Someone says things enough times about you, you start to believe it.
They’re saying it because of their own issues not yours. Take comfort in that. Feel sorry for them and whatever they’re going through and get on with your own awesome life.
Hell, you may in some cases be able to help them.
A lot of what you think about yourself, especially the negative is implanted by people. People who will amount to nothing in life because pulling people down is a flawed long term model for success in life.
Be good, be positive and understand everyone has good and bad days but try to make better choices.