I went to the gym for the first time in years yesterday. And I really enjoyed it.
I have had a certain view of "the gym" for a while. It contains huge gym bro's, me generally not fitting in and being looked down upon by these superior creations. But that wasn't the case at all.
Yes, there were some hench people at the gym. That's a given. But in London at least, people don't really care what you're doing. You go in, do your set and leave. Nobody's judging you because you're lifting an empty barbell (which I was, as I'm following the Couch to 5k of the gym, the StrongLifts 5x5 program).
I did get chatting to one of the guys there, who was also there for the first time, and exchanged numbers and a couple of friends of mine go that gym too, so will see them from time to time.
But what yesterday made me realise is how often I project a world that simply doesn't exist. I take my fears and let them run around in my head with paintbrushes until the picture is far from the reality and I'm captive within my own construction. It's madness.
One of my favourite quotes that I try to live my life by, is from Nelson Mandela:
"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears."
This is a key building block of life. We can either go through our lives letting our decisions be influenced by fear, fear of failure, fear of being shown up, fear of being rejected, or we can live a life that reflects our hopes, knowing all the while this life we live isn't perfect and challenges will come, but that we can overcome challenges and will come through hard times and live our best life whilst we're at it.
The book and film Yes Man have been huge inspirations to me in showing how much of life is down to perspective and our actions. Things that seem fixed often aren't so. We've got far more power than we think.
As with all of us, there are other areas of my life where fear rears its head. I'm trying my best to be conscious in these times and listen to my hopes, not my fears.