I've been there...you want to try the newest class at your gym or use that "first class free" at the hottest new barre studio close by BUT you're intimidated. In your mind every girl will basically be super models/ballerinas with Olympic strength. You won't have the right outfit as the members will be strutting around in the latest Lulu. You have visions of shaking legs while everyone looks at you with pity since they have perfect form and clearly defined muscles. You are held back by your insecurities. I hear this from new students and potential new students weekly. It's my mission to help you be more confident in your current body so you can then take it to the next level and reach your goals!
Here's the reality of stepping into a new class and out of your comfort zone that I've found as a student AND as an instructor:
1: It's hard for EVERYONE. Classes are designed to be challenging, even for the fitness pro. I also have a motto that if you think it's easy...then you're doing it wrong. Slightly evil but true. In Barre a standing thigh series will make even the strongest quad muscles shake and a Pilates ab series of 5 will leave your muscles exhausted no matter how many times you perform it.
2: Nobody is looking at you. People go to class to challenge themselves and this requires a certain amount of concentration. If your mind wanders and you gaze around the room, the veteran knows they will lose their place and compromise their form. Again, nobody is looking at you judging your level. Refer to #1...classes are difficult for everyone so each person focuses on themselves especially if there's a mirror ;).
3: Everyone was a beginner at some point. I can clearly remember my first Pilates class and as I've written before, I hated it. I totally sucked. BUT I stuck with it and was easily able to measure my progress. The first time you try anything chances are you're not going to be great at it and that's OK. Accept that any new fitness regime is a process. Your body will change. You'll get stronger AND more accustomed to the pain hehe.
4: This is about YOU and only you. So what the girl next to you has an adorable outfit and you're in a baggy T shirt from college. Maybe she even has perfect push ups and you're struggling on your knees. You can make "perfect push ups" your goal but don't let that intimidate you. Instead use it as inspiration and a way to help measure improvement. Your workout is about YOU and your progress. This is your time, your money and most importantly your body. Focus on the positive things you see in the mirror and know that you will get stronger, more flexible and closer to your goal.
5: Go for it! Don't hold yourself back for one more second. Go, jump in, challenge yourself to try something new. Maybe it's a dance class, or a climbing gym, or maybe its speaking in front of a large group at work...whatever the fear-based story you've built up in your mind...it's not real. Just go for it, you'll be happy you did.
Side note: I often have to take my own advice. I'm not sure 100% confidence is something we will ever achieve but we can master conquering fears that hold us back and always work to improve.