I just bought a gym membership and then immediately started to feel anxious. I don’t want to work out. I’m absolutely dreading going to the gym, but I really want to look better than I do. I hate it. What can I do? Help!
Let’s start with the bad news: the dread won’t go away. The dread is here to stay. It’s chilling. It’s setting up a tent inside the living room of your brain and getting cozy in there.
I’m like you. I don’t get the endorphin rush from working out that others do. I don’t know what that’s like. I’d imagine something like cocaine, only less messy and, if you have a gym membership, about equally as expensive.
So I think we both know what it’s like to think of the idea of moving your body a lot, getting sore muscles, and panting a lot, and wanting to die.
One solution is potentially finding a form of exercise you enjoy. Like if you enjoy playing basketball, or swimming, or tantrum yoga, it may be a good idea to focus in on that. Join a team, or a gym with a pool, or a gaggle of mentally stunted stretching-fanatics, get involved, and enjoy that.
Now of course, if your goal is to look a certain way, your exercise needs to be more targeted than that. Basketball won’t necessarily work your abs, swimming will give you big man shoulders, and as my fellow Angelenos can attest, yoga can make you really, really insufferable.
So if your goal is look more fuckable in specific ways, you may not get to enjoy the ideal exercise of choice.
And if you can’t, guess who is turning back and hanging out in your brain?
So here’s the only way to defeat that if you can’t find a way to enjoy exercising: Overwhelm the dread with pride.
If you hate working out, and you do it anyway, you should be really fucking proud of yourself. No one was forcing you to go through the hell of not instead sitting on a couch and watching shows about barbecue, and yet, there you are: pushing yourself, demonstrating a new level of self-discipline.
That is how you start a new version of yourself. You get good at doing what you hate.
Allow yourself to feel the pride that comes with this. Get really into yourself whenever you work out. Notice the slow progress your body is making, flex in the mirror like an idiot, and get fucking pumped on you. Notice the boner/ladyboner you get looking at your sexy ass.
If you don’t naturally feel the endorphins, trick yourself by feeling like a superhero for running half a mile, and then collapsing to the ground and feeling like you’re about to die. Congratulations. Now you’re a little bit more alive.
I want to quit my job. I’m miserable and underpaid. I find like one of my coworkers tolerable. But I have no idea what else I want to do. I feel completely clueless about it, and I feel like I have no idea what I’ll be doing in five years. I hate the feeling. What should I do?
Take a couple of days. Relax when you get home. In fact, wait until next Monday, so that you can really hit the ground running.
Hit the ground doing what? Finding your next career. You’re right to feel like you shouldn’t waste your life doing something you hate for your entire life, and you’re right to give a shit about this. Congrats! You’re not being a dumbass!
So let’s first attack why this will suck and how to get over it.
The reason we don’t pursue something outside of our current career is partly about fear, but also because (and this often gets highly overlooked) pursuing something else while holding down a full time job totally sucks. It’s terrible. It’s beyond exhausting and nobody ever wants to do it. Nobody can do it forever. It’s like trying to juggle while riding a bike uphill.
We work our asses off in this country, which is why when we get home from work, we mostly just want to collapse on a couch and die a little inside. This is why so much of what we like to watch on TV is people making barbecue and drunk ladies screaming at each other. We crave stupid escapes.
So confronting that need for something life altering isn’t only scary. Beyond that, your life is guaranteed to totally suck for a while.
So you need to be prepared to move beyond that. Prepare yourself to wake up every day for a while and think, “Fuuuuck,” and then accept that that is part of the territory of life for a while.
Work as you need to during the day, and then when you get home, go through the following process over the course of however many days you need. It’s okay if it takes you a long time to do it, as long as you consistently move forward.
Keep going, and keep pushing until you find a new path--even if you’re pushed back to the beginning of the path, just get on it and start walking. Walk through the shit-shower of your life to get to the other side.
I need help being more social. Like I can go out more, but then I don’t know what to do. How do I just start...talking to people? And making friends? lol
Oh boy. Uh, I may not be the person for this. I’ll give it a shot though.
There’s a couple of different tactics here. The one that encapsulates all of them is brutal, awkward, mindful trial and error. This involves just trying stuff, taking very conscious notes of what does and doesn’t work, and proceeding.
So you would go up to a variety of people and try all different kind of social tactics:
-Starting with small talk and slowly meandering toward more personal stuff
-Going straight into their daddy issues
-Seeking common interests
-Bringing up some off the wall shit to break the ice
-Breathing heavily right next to them until they ask if something is wrong with you
Point being, there are a lot of different ways to talk to people, and everybody is different, and everybody responds well to different forms of conversation. And of course, you’ll never be able to guess who responds to what.
So as you might have guessed, the annoying, but correct response to this question is the tried, true, and infuriating, “Just be yourself.”
But let’s break that down a little, because it is true that “yourself” might suck a little. It’s possible that your entire being is friend repellent.
So it’s important to ask yourself questions like, “What is it about me that doesn’t get through to people?” Is it that you suck at communicating your thoughts and feelings, and if so, how can you improve that? Is it that you’re fundamentally terrible and off-putting, and if so, how can you improve that? Is it that you don’t say anything at all, and if so….well that one’s pretty fixable.
Regardless, your first step is going out and talking to other people, and at first, it really is that simple. You try various forms of being yourself, and you find what you’re comfortable with. Once you find that, you stick with it until you can find people that will stick with you.
You’re going to get a lot of blank stares. Anyone who is truly themselves will get some amount of blank stares, and you being the awkward ass you are, will for sure get some. Know and accept that now so that you can really deal with it when it happens. Get over the fear of that, and you’re golden. You can keep trying and failing over and over until you find your people.
Alternatively to all of this, if you happen to have specific interests that include any kind of meetups, I hope it’s obvious to start with stuff like that. I sure hope you’re not at home thinking of how much you love LARPing and hate not having friends, and that you’re not putting two and two together. Don’t be a dumbass. Do what you can to find common interests, before you proceed with figuring out how to be yourself.
But mostly, take some time to find who the real you is around people, and keep fucking up at trying to bring that out in front of others until you succeed. Make your life insufferably awkward over and over and over until it’s not.
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