When You’re Intimidated by Others.

“Only to the extent that one is unsure about who and what he does he need to prove himself to himself or others.”

-Timothy Gallwey
The Inner Game of Tennis

Feeling intimidated is common in groups. It’s something I’ve heard over the years as a coach and gym owner.

I’ve worked through the issue with people before. Here is how I handle it.

When you say to yourself “I feel intimidated” or “class is intimidating”…take it a step further.

Are you feeling intimidated because of someone who is trying to intimidate you?


Are you feeling that way because of the situation?
-The notions you believe about how this CrossFit thing (and most anything) must work.
-The social model of getting an A on your math test means your more valuable than a kid who gets a B or C.

No one has ever answered, “its a person trying to do it”.

It’s your model.

If you’re born pre-1990. I know you.

Athletes were heroes.
America spent millions to be the FIRST to the moon, not second.
High-Scoring athletes in highs school got scholarships.
Points mattered.

The points declare who is a winner and who is not…

In the Olympics.

In the CrossFit Games.

Not the 5:30 class at the gym.

No one will take home a medal for the best performance in thrusters.

No one came through the door as a beginner with the intention of “I’m gonna beat everyone else’s time!”

They came there to feel better and live happier lives.
I’m there to feel better and live a happier life.
You’re there for the same reasons.

We’re there to move well.
We’re there to leave feeling accomplished.
We’re there to set healthy examples for our children.
We’re there to share laughs and learn new things we didn’t know we could do before.

All of us feel intimidated yet none of us are trying to intimidate anyone.

It really is all in our heads.

“It is when competition is thus used as a means of creating a self-image
relative to others… then the ordinary fears and frustrations become greatly exaggerated.”

Let the competition be one where you push others to beat what they thought they could do.

Celebrate when your lifting partner beats your last push press by a 5lbs. Because without you, setting that bar and encouraging them to do more, it would never have happened.

The PR’s don’t set your value as a person. Don’t worry about setting a PR to prove yourself.

PR your motivation.


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