Fitness Journal: Working Out the Self-Doubt

Your level of fitness correlates directly to the amount of mental energy you put into it -it’s a top-down approach. If you aren’t mentally fit, then you aren’t physically fit. Just because you have a hammer, it doesn’t make you a carpenter.

Having a purpose to your fitness journey aside from the physical benefits keeps you motivated and intrigued by what’s next.

Every workout I do has an intention, and hopefullyin the end, something important is learned. Very few of my workouts are exceptional, some are average, and most are rough, but each one has the power to change my mind.

Here’s the latest footstep in my journey to be fit…

Workout: Working Out the Self-Doubt

How Did I Feel Before the Workout?

After yesterday’s extreme workout that quieted my logical brain, my pent-up emotional brain has now taken the spotlight. I woke up today with a touchy feeling of self-doubt. Negative thoughts of “Am I good enough?”,”I’m under-appreciated.”, and “Does anyone at work really care about what I do?” sprung into my mind. I really dislike having these thoughts, and I blame nobody but myself for them, however, they must be addressed.

Physically, I am still feeling the effects of yesterday’s super hike. My hips, glutes, and knees are barking, but in the right way. I’m not injured, and the pain is evenly distributed. That aside, today’s “Friday we lift” workout should be an interesting adventure!

What Was My Intention?

My intention for today’s is simply to understand why I feel so unappreciated and to understand this self-doubt. Am I once again seeking validation? What am I doing wrong? What changes can I do to give more value to others?

What Workout Did I Do?

  • Bike: Rode 10 minutes on the bike as a warm-up.
  • Weights: Full body weight circuit.
  • Abs: Various ab moves on the mat.

How Did I Feel After the Workout?

I’ve got the shakes! While I didn’t push it today, my body responded well to the weights. My legs were not in as bad a shape as I thought they would be after such a long hike.

What Did I Learn?

A little story. I was doing some shoulder presses, and as I was 8 reps into my first set, my mind quickly convinced me that I couldn’t do it anymore, it was too heavy. As I tried to do that 9th rep, there was no way my arms were going to lift it. It was almost as if the switch to my shoulder muscles switch to the “OFF” position. My mind said no, and my arms fell suit. I had to decrease the weight to finish the set.

I learned at that moment that if I convince myself that I’m not something, my world will bend itself to support up that belief. My need to be appreciated stems from my need to be validated. If I’m not validated, then I believe that I’m not good enough. I know this is a common problem among many adults, we’re not good enough. We’re playing small.

If you go about your life believing that you’re not good enough, not validated, and not appreciated, then you will never feel worthy enough to perform to be appreciated, validated, and ultimately good enough. You’ll just do a little bit below enough. You’ll drop the weight and do what you can do, which is never enough.

The world gives you what you ask for, and not what you believe that you deserve.

The Story Behind This

Fitness means much more than toned muscles, physical strength and endurance. Building an intimate connection between your mind and body is the true definition of fitness. Life can be tough on you sometimes, and it is only made tougher if that connection is missing.

Self-doubt is the anchor that keeps ships from sailing.


I spent many years trying to recover from the the fallout of childhood sexual trauma. My mind was continually trying to disconnect from a body that didn’t feel my own. It wasn’t until I discovered exercise that I was able rebuild that connection and become someone whole and worth living for. Every workout is just another chance to get a little closer to who I really am.

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