It’s been a while… go figure! But as we approach our 1 year anniversary of AMFstudio, I felt like I wanted to let you in my head and talk about something that I’ve struggled with for a long time– worrying about what other people think.
Now I know you’re all probably thinking either one of two things…
- Duh. We all do.
- Don’t ever care what people think of you!
I feel there’s really no in between with this. You either worry about it, or you just go for it.
Well, I’m sure as a lot of you know… I’m in the “worry” category. And have been since as long as I can remember. My mom tells the story about how I cried in Sunday School when I was probably 5 because I forgot what number I was after being counted off. Not like “broke down and cried”, just got really nervous that I didn’t know what to do and everyone else did. In high school sports I constantly worried about making a mistake and not being “perfect”. In college I would always make sure I knew exactly where I needed to be, what I needed, and usually brought more to class “just in case”.
So how in the world did I decide to open my own fitness studio? Trust me… I was beyond worried. I knew that I had “something” different to offer… but were people going to be open to different? Would people judge that I had pink in my logo? ( In my head: They’re going to think it’s just an “easy place that girls workout”.) Would people judge because we only have a max of 12 pound weights? Because we use 3 pound weights? Because we have a class called “dance cardio”? Because we don’t have any heavy weights/kettlebells/pull up bars/boxing bags etc.?
Yes- this was all happening in my head.
Even once we opened I was constantly feeling like I was “justifying” my style. Which as a new business owner, you definitely should make sure that your clients are happy and understand what your mission is… but I felt like I was doing it more so out of nervousness. My style and values are leaps and bounds different then anything offered in the area. And most all of the people who were coming to try it out were coming from one of those very different styles… more heavy weight, go ’til you puke, bootcamp style OR simply just yoga/Pilates. And here I am with this totally different approach. Not only is my workout style different, my overall “healthy lifestyle” philosophy is different. I am a believer in changing habits by eating well and working out daily. No quick fixes, no products, no promises for drastic weight loss unless you truly work your @$$ off for it. I knew that was also going to make some people second guess trying it out. Everyone wants the quick fix options, and my approach is the “take your time, change your habits and work hard” option. People don’t like to hear that when they have another person telling them “you’ll drop x pounds in just 1 week by taking this supplement, drinking this, eating this, doing this exercise- blahblah”. I don’t believe in 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 3 months, 1 year. I believe in changing your LIFEstyle.
After about the first month, when people had signed up for packages and were continuing to come and sign up I started to feel a lot better. I knew that I was no where to what I wanted to be, but I felt like I had a good start. I still felt the need to justify, but was getting better.
Fast forward a few more months- we’ve got waitlists for classes. That’s when it hit me. I had stopped being “nervous” and began totally “owning” what I do. Not that I didn’t believe in it from the get go- I was just hesitant as to what everyone else thought of it, and nervous about being tagged as the “girly workout place”.
At this point- I knew that my different was a good different. I needed to fully embrace that. I had to get over the fact that yes, there would be people who might come and try it out and not love it, or people who wouldn’t even come try it because of whatever reason… but that was okay! It just wasn’t their style. And I was done trying to see if I needed to adjust my style to accommodate those few who didn’t love it.
Now, do I still have my moments where I still want to please everyone. Yes… all.the.time (that’s just me). BUT, I have learned that I need to fully embrace being “me” in the role of a fitness professional. Being my crazy energetic, high pony tail, blonde, dancing, hopping, heart on my sleeve, caring, loving, product free, work hard, pure SELF. Is that different? Yes. Is it the “best” combo for a business owner? Probably not. Are there going to be people who don’t love it? YES. But that’s me.
Point of the story– Always stay true to your style, your morals, and your overall self. If you have something that’s different, don’t be afraid to put it out there. Yes, it’s hard and it always has the potential to fail. But being scared to be different and scared to fail is not the way to go. Try it, own it, live it, breathe it. Always stay true to yourself and rock being “you”.
So now my last shout out- to every single one of you who have supported me in this journey and have let me be myself and do what I love. Thank you. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for trying something different. Without you, I wouldn’t be here.