Why Haters Are Not My Motivators

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Fitness gurus tell us we should be training to “stick it to our haters”.

You know, those people who say s**t like this:

“So you’re gonna start going to the gym? YOU?…”

“You’ll never lose weight. I’ll give it two weeks…”

We all have them.

And I do agree that using those words as motivation is a great way to get started in the gym, but this morning I want to give you a completely different take.

First, though, I’ll say this:

Don’t. Get. Me. Wrong.

There’s no better feeling than ramming your doubters’ words down their throats.

If your cousin Jill has always made sly little digs about your weight, and you rock up to your next family event 4 dress sizes smaller with an a** that could crack walnuts, you should take great pleasure in instructing her to “f**k all the way off”, or perhaps even just kill her judgmental glare with a smile…

… priceless!

But today I want to go deeper than this.

You see, aside from that one moment of glory, this isn’t really the best way to get yourself in top shape.

Haters are not my motivators. Nor should they be yours.

haters are not my motivatos

This type of motivation is fleeting and often isn’t enough to drive real change when someone is starting a quest to get fit.

We can’t stay angry long enough.

Think about it. The nasty remarks you’re receiving here probably aren’t new. You’ve likely had people to prove wrong your entire life.

And hey, you’ve probably been p**sed off about those comments the whole time, right?

So why now? What’s different?

If we’re gonna do this, we need something more.

And these were the exact findings of a 2012 systematic review study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, where researchers concluded that once short-term adaptations to a lifestyle change have subsided, intrinsic motivation takes over. (1)

Intrinsic motivation: The motivation to engage in a behavior arises from within the individual because they find it satisfying.

Simply put, you gotta do it for you.

So once a client has got the initial motivation to start training, the best way to ensure success is to lay out some brand new goals they’d like to achieve this year.

If you’re laying out your goals as as you read this post, it’s important to know that these targets should be about making you happy, nobody else.

This is the first step towards making your training about you, not them.

And that’s a really, really good thing.

Sitting down and thinking “What do I actually want?” is way harder than it sounds, so take your time with it.

But get it done nonetheless.

The benefits of doing this are twofold.

First, it builds your confidence.

The moment you start training to achieve something for you, nobody else, something very important happens – you realize you’re capable of much more than you previously thought.

I’ve seen this happen plenty of times!

Clients often mention that they’re able to push out a few extra reps in the gym, train a little bit harder than usual, when they’re with me. The truth is that extra ability was within them the entire time. They just channeled it through me.

Setting those small goals and regularly hitting them is the best way to instill confidence that you can do this.

Maybe you’ve never had self-confidence before because of “haters”, so this will be a wonderful feeling.

Because as your confidence grows, the words of others will mean less and less.

They lose the power they once had over you.

Instead of being motivated by nastiness, you’ll realize how pointless they are. Instead, you’ll start looking for other sources of motivation; positive sources. Personally, I draw motivation from the likes of Sylvester Stallone, and people who’ve achieved great things by overcoming the odds.

Life is a lot more fun when positive motivation is the driver.

It just takes a little while to get there.

And that new confidence will ring through in all others areas of your life, too. You’ll place much less weight on the opinions of negative a**holes who don’t really matter, because you feel more in control of your own destiny than ever before.

Which brings me to the second point…

how to prove your doubters wrong

The reason studies show intrinsic motivation is a major factor in body transformations is because impressive results take time.

Like I said, we can’t stay angry all the time.

And, likewise, you won’t always have “haters” to drive you to the next level.

In my experience, people who mock others and put them down are among the most weak-a** motherf**kers you’ll ever meet. They’ll buckle the minute they realize they can’t control you.

They thrive on that sense of power you’ve been giving them.

When they see it’s not going to happen anymore, they either disappear quietly into the night, or they change their tune and try to become your best f**king friend.

I’ve seen this happen with lots of my clients, and in my own life/career.

It’s a satisfying feeling, but if their negativity was all that was keeping you going, then you’ve just lost your sole source of motivation.

So set your own goals instead. Make this all about you.

F**k everyone else.

Be so focused on doing this for yourself, that you don’t even notice them in the background.

As an added bonus, they’ll hate the irrelevance you’ve placed upon their once powerful opinion.

outwork everyone

I often wear the slogan “Outwork Everyone” on my training gear.

This stems from a similar experience to what I spoke of above.

I was written off a lot in my early years.

This slogan became my comeback.

Kinda like that moment you know is coming in a Sylvester Stallone film, where someone pushes too far and he gives them the “it’s on now” face before whupping all kinds of a**.

haters are not my motivators

“Outwork Everyone” does not mean competing against everyone else in the gym or trying to be the biggest, strongest, fastest, etc.

That would be egotistical nonsense. Ego is the enemy of success.

No, it means taking control of your own f**king destiny.

Nobody has any idea how hard you are prepared to work to reach your goal, but you. They don’t get to tell you what you can or cannot do, because you hold the reigns on your journey.

Sometimes we just need a little kick up the a** to realize that.

I’ll leave you with my favorite quote.

You possess within you an iron will.

One which will not bend, and will not break.

It is waiting for your attention.

– Warrior.

Until next time,

Russ Howe PTI


  1. Teixeira, P. J., et al. Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: A systematic review. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. (2012)

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