The Envy Trap

Commercial gyms come in all shapes and sizes.  There’s the premium health clubs, budget gyms, local leisure centres, large chains, independent boutique gyms and many other variations.  Some are large, some are small, some have strict rules for trainers, some are more relaxed. They all have advantages and disadvantages related to running your business.

If Only…

I’ve spoken to coaches in small gyms who think they should maybe move to a bigger one so there are more potential clients and coaches in big gyms who think there’s too much competition and they should consider moving to a smaller one.  I’ve heard from people who think being in a budget gym means the members won’t be able to afford training and others in similar gyms who see it as an opportunity because the members are having to pay out less to start with.  I’ve had conversations with trainers who look at the strict rules they are presented with and feel they would do better if only they were allowed more freedom.  In all these cases there is a focus on what is wrong with the current situation rather than the opportunities presented.

It’s not just commercial gyms.  Similar things happen with mobile trainers and those in private facilities wishing they had the membership base of commercial gym trainers and commercial gym trainers wishing they had the freedom of mobile trainers or the access to kit private facility trainers have.  Non facility owners dream of the freedom of owning their own place and facility owners dream of the reduced responsibilities and lower costs they used to have and think that non facility owners have it easy.

As humans we are amazing at looking at the positives of another person’s situation and ignoring the negatives.  We are the kings and queens of “if only”. Great at selectively choosing our “evidence” and do a brilliant job of creating echo chambers to make ourselves feel good.  We ignore the fact we are often basing our opinions on a highlight reel and compare that to our frustrations with our own set up.  Of course we are all special individuals but life is rarely as unfair as we can make it out to be.  The answer is in reframing the situation, looking for the positives and being honest with ourselves.

The Solution

In truth the trainers who are most successful are the ones who focus on what they can do rather than what they can’t.  The ones who take the approaches that will work for them from LTB and other sources and apply them, whilst ignoring the ones that aren’t appropriate for them and their situation.  These trainers recognise that the differences of situation don’t equate to superiority or inferiority.  They can appreciate the work that goes on behind the public highlights for others and identify the positives of their situation. The focus is on what they can do and what they can control.  They spend time working on their development and increasing their skills and they recognise when they are using a situation as an excuse for avoidance or procrastination.

These are all things that anyone can do!

Next time you find yourself thinking “if only” or “it’s alright for them” pause and remember there are probably others thinking the same about you.  There are undoubtedly others with a successful business in a situation just like yours.  There may be a good reason to make a change but decisions like that are best made after critically appraising all the evidence.  Question your assumptions and ensure you are prepared for the different challenges the new situation will bring. Look at the advantages you have and see any challenges as opportunities to learn and develop yourself.

The grass is very rarely greener on the other side and, if it is, there’s a good chance that you are missing out on the large amount of maintenance that is going on behind the scenes to keep it that way.