Why Haters Are Not My Motivators
Fitness gurus tell us we should be training to “stick it to our haters”.
You know, those people who say s**t like this:
“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 feeling better than proving your doubters wrong.
If your cousin Jill has always made sly little digs about your size and you rock up to your next family event four dress sizes smaller, you should take great pleasure in instructing her how to f**k all the way off or perhaps even just kill her judgmental glare with a smile…
But today I want to go deeper than this.
You see, haters are not my motivators. Nor should they be yours.
This type of motivation is fleeting and often isn’t enough to drive real change when someone is starting a quest to get fit.
That’s mainly because 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 before, 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.
So once a client has got past the first push to start training, the best way to ensure success is to set some brand new goals they’d like to achieve this year.
If you’re doing this as you read this post, it’s important to know that these goals 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 good thing.
Sitting down and thinking “What do I actually want?” is 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.
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 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.
You’ll start looking for other sources of motivation. Personally, I draw motivation from the likes of Sylvester Stallone, and people who’ve achieved great things by overcoming the odds.
Life is just more fun when positive motivation is used rather than negative, 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…
The reason studies show intrinsic motivation to be a major factor is because impressive transformations take time.
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 weak-a** motherf**kers who buckle the moment they realize they can’t control you.
They thrive on your attention.
When they see it’s not going to happen, they either disappear quietly into the night or they change their tune and try to become your best friend.
I’ve seen this happen many times.
It’s a satisfying feeling, but you’ve just lost your sole source of motivation overnight.
So set your own goals instead. Make this all about you.
F**k everyone else.
Be so focused on achieving them 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.
I often wear the slogan “Outwork Everyone” on my training gear.
This stems from a similar experience to that which I speak about 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**.
“Outwork Everyone” does not mean compete against everyone else in the gym and try to be the biggest, strongest, fastest, etc.
That would be egotistical nonsense, and I believe ego is the enemy of success.
It means taking control of your own f**king destiny.
Nobody has any idea how hard you are prepared to work to reach your goals. 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,
- Teixeira, P. J., et al. Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: A systematic review. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. (2012)