editor's choice edition 10

Craving Acknowledgement But Feeling Like a Fraud: by Stef Garside

It’s a well-known stereotype that we fitness folk like to receive praise and have our ego’s stroked, in fact, I’d go a step further and say it’s part of “the human condition.” I hope I speak for us all when I say: we like to know when we’ve done well and receive recognition for doing so. Many of us are competitive enough to want to be ranked highly against our peers. 

So as a Fitness Coach, the chance to win an award was an opportunity I relished, but as an ex-serving soldier, I don’t suffer fools gladly.

After deleting many emails, inviting me to an awards ceremony; one day a friend excitedly explained she’d been nominated and had won an award. I recognised the name straight away and decided to respond to the earlier invites and witness her receiving her award. On making contact, I was offered the opportunity to be put forward for an award myself. I had to submit proof of why I deserved to win, and the whole process felt a bit self-indulgent.

After (almost) enough time to forget about it, I received a phone call that sounded like we were building up to commiseration’s, which I was fine with. So when, to my shock, I was advised of my success, I nearly fell over and awaited the “catch.”

The catch came in the form of the offer to purchase advertising space and memorabilia ranging from £149 – £2999. I decided to go for the free offering of an official press release and a listing in the digital publication.

Now I sound pessimistic – or realistic, depending on your outlook on this. Even my husband said, “How can you be the North England Fitness Professional of the year 2020/21?” I agree I’m no pop star in the fitness industry, but it did have a nice ring to it. My friend, on the other hand, bought the trophy and framed certificate. I decided to brag to a few people about my award and popped the banner onto my email footer (feeling a
bit of a fraud in doing so).

Now, much further down the line, there are a few questions I ask myself:

Who am I to dismiss a friend’s award because of my own pessimism and limiting beliefs?
If I really think I’m not “worthy,” why did I ever put my name in the hat?
Do my customers question my deservingness of such an accolade?

Ultimately – does any of this matter?

The reward for me has always been receiving the unexpected text from a client, ecstatic that the beautiful dress that’s been gathering dust in the wardrobe finally fits; the lady who gets a better night’s sleep because she’s strengthened her pelvic floor and doesn’t have trips to the loo through the night; and the lady who reached her goal of having the confidence and fitness levels to race her 8 year old up the hill outside their house. 

Stef Garside headshot scaled

Fit Ease



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