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They Don’t Say It, but People Just Want to Have Some Self-Esteem

I’ll admit that I like to people-watch. Of course, I don’t gawk, but I notice what people do. I observe, if you will. This is especially the case when I notice a habit someone has. Even if they don’t realize it, I know there must be a reason for it.

Just walk into any busy gym, and you’ll notice a diversity of behavior. Some people spend most of their time stretching. Some come in every day just to do some casual cardio. Other people are seriously hitting the weights to build muscle or get stronger. You might see them with a notepad or smartphone, recording every detail of what they’re doing. Of course, there are always some socialites in the mix as well. You’ll find them talking to other people at least as much as they’re moving.

But to me, what’s more fascinating are the reasons. Over time, I’ve come to understand that, more than ambition or aspirations, it’s really our insecurities that compel us to exercise in the first place. We’re doing it either to cope with or avoid one of the following:

Feeling unattractive
Feeling undisciplined
Feeling old and over the hill
Feeling sickly
Feeling alone
Feeling puny
Feeling low-energy and listless
Feeling stressed and overwhelmed

And I believe there’s a theme that underlies all of those insecurities. Boil it down, and all of that coping and avoiding is really about increasing one thing: self-esteem. If you’re reading this and you exercise regularly, that includes you too. The bottom line is that you do it because you want to feel good, or at least better, about yourself.

In fact, people don’t say it, but they just want to have some self-esteem. And that’s a good thing because, if left to fester, insecurities can eat away at self-esteem and metastasize. Self-esteem, being neither quantifiable nor tangible, may seem like an abstraction, but it’s not. It’s as real as it gets because the outcomes it produces in your life are tangible. What you will and won’t do, and even what you will and won’t imagine for yourself, is tied to your self-esteem.

I truly believe our self-esteem matters, so we might as well do whatever we can to keep it high. It’s the real reason we work out, and working out really works.

Sayonara until next time.

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