Do it for yourself.
I originally posted this to Facebook, but I think its worth covering again in more detail.
If you attach your self-worth purely on how others think you look - you will never be satisfied.
I think it becomes increasingly important now that every man, woman and child in the gym says they are competing in physique/bodybuilding competitions.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people compete for the personal challenge and to satisfy their competitive nature. All the credit to them - its a really hard goal to accomplish.
However, I do think a lot of people do it because they want to be ‘The guy/girl that competes’. These people are pretty easy to identify, because they will tell you all about it when you don’t even ask. I have honestly seen someone say "You are probably wondering why I have this dark tan on, its because I'm prepping (preparing) for a shoot" to a complete (and very confused) stranger. The mental and physical strain of competing can often leave these people worse off, both psychologically and in terms of health. The way shows are judged can come down to subjectivity which can make it difficult to attach a placing with the hard work and dedication that goes into it.
Attaching your training to your self worth is also a common issue with people starting out at the gym. They worry that they will be judged by those in the gym that have more experience. Sadly, this can be enough to stop people going to the gym. More often than not, most people pay little attention to others when training. Doing it for yourself will give you that nudge to get in the gym and fight any insecurities.
Im not saying that insecurities have an easy fix - I do care about how I look and a even more about how I perform - but that's my thing. Ultimately, my wife/friends/family do not care about my body fat %, how much I bench, size of my biceps or if I have abs. They are the only people who’s opinion I care about, so why go out of my way/desire to impress strangers who care even less?
Narcism is never a good look - too many have a false perception of themselves and think that others genuinely give a monkeys about how they look with a shirt off. This often comes at the expense of creating an unintended effect of being really cringy! I have seen people break, both physically and mentally, in the attempt to impress others - it just isn’t worth it.
Complements can motivate, but they shouldn’t be the purpose.
Do it for yourself and let training and nutrition be one of many tools to make YOU happy.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is to focus on how you perform in the gym rather than how you look in the gym. If you aim to get fitter and stronger every session, over time you will look and feel fitter and stronger. Our fat loss clients work towards pull-ups, deadlifts and squats and the weight drops off as a bi-product. Focus on how you will feel when you lose that fat, build that muscle, lift that load. It’s enough to inspire you to take it to the next step.