The Fear of Getting Started

How to Overcome the Fear of Getting Started

They say that the hardest step of any journey is the first one, and when it comes to fitness and exercise, that saying rings truer than ever.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to drop those last few stubborn pounds you’ve been holding since the Holidays three years ago, to improve your fitness levels slightly, or to transform your body and get bigger and jacked beyond belief, the hardest part of any new regime is getting started.

The fear of getting started, or ‘Neophobia’ as it is technically known, is a fear of trying new things. For some people, this fear can be minor and will simply hold them back for a while until they decide enough is enough. For others however, this fear is irrational, persistent, and debilitating.

Starting any new fitness and/or exercise regime for example, can be highly daunting because it’s something we fear failing, it’s something new, and it’s something that requires hard work.

While it’s perfectly normal to fear getting started, the good news is that there are things we can do to overcome these fears and emotions.

These include the following.

Accept Your Fears

One of the main reasons why so many people fear getting started is due to the fact that they allow the fear to take over.

If you’re thinking about starting a new fitness regime, it can be daunting thinking about going to the gym, exercising, and doing activities and exercises which are completely new to you. Rather than suppressing this fear, and ultimately allowing it to overwhelm you, you should instead accept it.

Acknowledge your fear, acknowledge what’s making you scared and accept the fact that you feel that way. Then, go ahead and focus on overcoming it. Now you can concentrate your efforts on overcoming your fears, which in this instance, is starting a new exercise regime or fitness journey.

Begin Small and Gradual

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of setting new fitness goals and embarking on a new fitness journey, a great way to ease the emotional pressure you’ve placed upon yourself, is to begin small.

If you have barely any running experience but ultimately want to run a 10K, the last thing you should do is start training for one of the world’s hardest marathons. Instead, you should set yourself small goals, and break these down into smaller goals still.

Ultimately your goal is to run a 10K, but to help get you there quicker, you should set yourself the goal of running just 1K. Once you’ve ran 1K, you can then go with 1.5k – 2K – 3K etc.

Start small and work your way up, regardless of what you’re training for, or what you’re looking to get from your new fitness regime.

Be Realistic with Your Expectations

Another useful tip for overcoming the fear of getting started is to ensure you’re realistic with your expectations.

If you want to build muscle and burn fat for example, don’t expect to build the physique of a prime Arnold Schwarzenegger in a matter of months, or anytime for that matter. You can’t expect to build a world-class physique with limited knowledge and experience, not to mention a lack of “special” supplements, personal trainers, quality foods, genetics, etc.

What you should expect, however, is to drop a few pounds of fat and gain a few pounds of muscle over the course of several months. Just focus on making each workout more productive than the last, and don’t expect perfection, or mind-blowing results, especially in a short amount of time.