Acceptance. Its one of the first and BIGGEST barriers to entry when trying something new.
Whether its joining the local cross-fit gym, karate studio, or softball team. We want to feel like we belong to the community and can be welcomed warmly.
We all want to be accepted.
Its easy for us to shun the new guy. For whatever reason we feel protective, “whose this guy think he is walking in here trying to become one of us”.
I get it, sometimes you gotta pay your dues and show your worth before being accepted. But this frat mentality can be toxic and ultimately… its just not that serious. You have to remember that YOU were once that new guy or girl when you first started.
Not only does the new guy want to be apart of the community, they probably want to be like you.
For example. John watches MMA every weekend. He knows all the stats of his favorite fighters. He respects the hard work and guts that fighters posses, he wants to be like that more than anything. He even roots for the local fighters and buys their merchandise. He finally works up the guts to join the local MMA gym. He goes to his first class and guess what? He gets ignored and even worse, made fun of. John never went back.
Maybe John had the ability to become a great fighter. Maybe not. Regardless, he never had the chance because he wasn’t accepted.
New people bring new perspective. Maybe the new guy has a way of doing something that requires such a limited understanding that you, the expert, didn’t even consider. Simply being open and accepting can provide a new path of growth.
Around this time, early January, people are pursuing their newly set goals and trying out new things.
Commonly, going to the gym. Its the go to joke and complaint of steady gym rats. “These dang resolution-ers are in the way and crowding my gym”. Well guess what? Its not your gym and its not your place to be the deciding force of acceptance. Most likely these people quit after a couple weeks because they are self conscious and the gym rats make them feel uncomfortable. So every year they try again and repeat this resolution cycle. Do you really want to be that guy that causes that?
Flip side, I know there’s something to be said for being battle proven. Rising through the abuse and toughening up.
But at the same time,
Remember that accepting the guy can not only impact and improve yourself, but the community you assign to as well.
So at your Wednesday night yoga class, when the self-conscious new girl walks in looking down at the floor, smile at her and say “HI!”.
Be cool, don’t be a jerk.
Accept the new guy.