Changing careers can be scary: my fear of failure

While I have no reason to truly believe that I won’t accomplish my fitness-related career goals, I am definitely still afraid of failing. It’s why I didn’t, up until recently, tell many people that I wanted to become a personal trainer. I have this underlying fear that somehow it won’t work out, even though I’m going to do everything I can to succeed.

I am generally a confident person and usually find a way to excel in whatever I do but this goal is different for me. It’s so far outside my comfort zone. If you told me a year ago that I’d want to become a personal trainer, I honestly would have laughed in your face. It’s amazing what a year can do!

I didn’t grow up in the fitness world at all, unlike many personal trainers. After around 8 or 9 years old, I shied away from sports, bike riding, and generally any cardio because I struggled with asthma. While my inhaler helped, it wasn’t enough to make me feel confident in physical activity as a child.

Honestly, I still struggle with it sometimes. I take my inhaler before any type of physical activity and sometimes I still have breathing/chest pain issues. Particularly challenging activities for me are hiking uphill, biking uphill, running or any high cardio workout. And once I start having issues, I can’t continue the activity. It doesn’t just go away immediately, even with my inhaler.

I’ve found ways to manage though. I hike trails with less elevation change and only with people who are patient with breaks. I have an E-bike that I absolutely love because the electric assist helps on the hills when I need it. I use an elliptical and rowing machine for cardio instead of running, as they’re easier on my lungs. And I choose more strength-based exercise/activities when I can. It’s all about finding what physical activities you enjoy the most that are within your limits.

All this to say, I’m a work in progress. I am still on a fitness journey myself and while I know I’ll be able to study and learn the educational material to become a personal trainer, I worry that I won’t be physically fit enough to “play the part”. I still struggle with some exercises and I have plenty of room for improvement, which makes me hesitant about how others will perceive me in a personal training environment. 

I am also trying to become a personal trainer during IVF (i.e. injecting myself with hormones that mess with my body) and while hopefully becoming pregnant. It really is not ideal timing… but there is never a perfect time to start anything. You just have to take that first step and get moving. These are my insecurities and I’m putting them out here for all to see. We all have them but we can choose to not let our insecurities deter us. We can choose courage over fear.

One thing that I try to focus on is that many of my insecurities may actually be relatable to potential clients that I’ll be working with. I hope to be an accessible, judgment-free and non-intimidating trainer who can meet clients where they’re at. 

Many people seek out personal training because they need help with accountability, they want to get stronger, they want to reverse or prevent medical issues and maybe they even want to get into a healthier weight range. I am right there with these people. I am on my own journey (after cancer, during IVF and with asthma) while hopefully helping others along the way. We all have our own reasons for trying to prioritize our health and we are not alone. All it takes is that first step and a little guidance along the way! 

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