The four essential steps you need to master to eliminate the self-doubt that can creep into your fitness journey.

Surround yourself with positive people

It’s said the five people you surround yourself with most will ultimately decide where you go with your life. You may have noticed when you are in a gym, that you see the people with the best physiques gravitate to like-minded people. The same can apply to the business world where successful people are surrounded by other successful people. Think about it: if you’re hanging out with people that are out of shape, lack ambition and motivation then you’re likely to be on the same path they are on. What’s worse is when you try and separate yourself from that lifestyle and those types of people, they will do what they can to detour you from your goals and try and hold you back. You will be met with negative comments as they try to feed doubt into your head, but don’t allow this. They see the changes you are making and that can incite fear in them that they too will have to make change to be accepted. If you want to be your best, surround yourself with the best.

We are all on the same path

Do not let yourself get intimidated by anyone else when you’re exercising. Realize that everyone there is trying to do the same thing – better himself or herself. The path to increase one’s performance and overall health can be harder for some than it is for others. This is a journey we all share, our destinations may be different, but we are on the same path to betterment. Whether you are a beginner or advanced, go in each day and do the best you can do and leave the intimidation factor at the door. Everyone starts at the beginning and nobody knows it all, so don’t let someone’s knowledge or their physical condition divert you from becoming a better you. If you are a beginner, look to the advanced for inspiration. Ask questions, get advice, request a periodic spot and continue to educate yourself. These people were once where you are at and got to where they are doing the same things.

Only you can say you can’t

Time and time again I hear people say someone told them that they couldn’t achieve something. Can’t is a word that needs to be eliminated from your vocabulary. Not only does it bring you down, but it also brings the people around you down. If you want something, go get it – period. The only person that can tell you that you can’t is you, and the best thing about that is you don’t have to listen. People that are incapable or just too lazy to do what it is that you’re trying to achieve will rebel and tell you that you can’t. They will make you doubt yourself, and make you think that your goals are not achievable, so you give up. Instead, use this negativity as fuel and prove these people and even yourself wrong. With each thing you achieve that you thought you previously couldn’t, you will gain confidence that you can in fact achieve whatever you want in life. If you did all the things you are capable of, you would astound yourself. So never let others judge you. By them telling you that you can’t, that is exactly what they are doing – judging you. Speak with your actions and show them and yourself your true capabilities. In the end your greatness will silence them all.

Lock in a purpose

When you have a game plan you have a much better chance of achieving what you want. If you go into a gym with no drive, purpose, or motivation, in most cases you will fail. The gym can become a scary place and you find yourself wandering around like a zombie with no specific destination. You do not see results so you start to doubt everything that you are doing and eventually quit. To be successful, and to eliminate this doubt, set goals and write them down. If you only have goals in your head, they can change day to day based on your energy level or your mood. When you write your goals they are concrete, you can hold them, and they are right in front of you rather than floating around in your head somewhere. As you achieve these goals check them off, they will be a reminder of your success and give you that drive you need to continue on your fitness journey. As you achieve your goals continue to set more. Set present, short-term, and long-term goals. If you’re only looking at the destination and don’t focus on the journey, the end goal will seem unattainable and you can become overwhelmed which is where doubt will emerge and take over. Take joy in your small victories. They build on one another until you reach your destination.