A THICK SKIN. Do you have one?

Recently an anonymous writer went onto Yelp and wrote a review for my business. Their review RIPPED ME APART. My fitness classes and personality were attacked on the internet. They called me names, harshly criticized my physical appearance, and belittled me in every way possible.

I dont expect everyone to come to my fitness classes and have a great time. Not everyone will like me or what I have to offer – and thats OK. There are a lot of other fitness professionals in the industry that can provide  a different spin on exercise and healthy living. I am always open to constructive criticism and feedback to improve myself or my business. But to be criticized in such a cruel way on the internet was upsetting. Im not perfect, nor do I expect myself to be. But I cant pretend that someone opening a yelp account just to TEAR ME DOWN didnt hurt. I am HUMAN after all. 

It is said that in-order to “survive” in the fitness industry you need a “thick skin”. This industry requires CONFIDENCE and falling prey to self doubt only hurts you and your goals. I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on what was said – trying not to let it get “under my skin”, trying to let it go instead. But its HARD. All I can do is commit to being my  best, to continually work on improving myself, to staying positive, and to always work on treating other people with kindness. The quote below contains a new personal goal, “Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world the best you have anyway.”

Do. Good. Anyway

“People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives. Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

People who really want help may attack you if you help them. Help them anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway.”

~Mother Teresa
Does a thick skin come easily to you? What are your tips for believing in yourself when others choose to knock you down?

19 Replies to “A THICK SKIN. Do you have one?”

    1. Kristine! THANK YOU sweetie. your words mean a lot – and i love that quote! Your blog is awesome – i cant even tell you how much I love reading it! We should get together and talk blogs sometime!

  1. Hard to believe someone would go online and attack you as an instructor – you are such an inspiration and great motivator, by far one of the best instructors I have seen in my life! Try to brush it off and like you say “do good anyway!” – good read!

  2. Caroline, you are so adorable and a great fitness instructor, it’s hard for me to believe that someone may actually do that!! Whatever this person said is reflective of who he/she is. So, I wouldn’t spend another second on it!

  3. Caroline, I can’t believe someone did that to you! You are hands down the best instructor I have ever had, and the inspiring things you say in class help motivate me all the time. I constantly get feedback that I need to develop thicker skin at work because I am “nice” (when did that become a bad trait?!) and it is frustrating. Keep doing what you are doing, you rock!

  4. I don’t take your classes but I’m a big fan of this blog and anyone generous enough to take the time you do to put out quality information in such an accessible manner deserves high praise, not to be torn down. Unfortunately the internet gives haters a megaphone; ignore them and just keep doing what you’re doing.

  5. Gee, Carolyn, I initially thought this post might be the answer to my physical fitness or lack thereof–that maybe I had “thick skin” and thus, could not help being…well, let’s just say, a little chubby! =)

    I attend your classes (not with the frequency I need to) and you are one of my favorite trainers because the positive energy you bring to class is infectious and inspiring.

    Everyone has an opinion. Some just need to learn how to express it in a respectful and responsible manner.

    1. you are too funny adonica! You are NOT chubby – and you always do a great job (and bring awesome energy to class!). I appreciate you and your kind words – THANK YOU!

  6. After almost a year living away from sf, I still miss you and your classes. You are a gorgeous, fantastic instructor. Im sure you know this, but i thought id say it anyway. Your commitment to continue learning in order to share that knowledge is obvious. You go above and beyond for those who attend your classes, and i plan to share that on yelp! thanks for the post- I agree it’s very hard to get past harsh criticism and this was inspiring.

    1. Elizabeth!! I MISS YOU! thank you for your wonderfully sweet words – they mean a lot. Hoping all is well in your world and hope we get to workout soon! xoxox

  7. Only thing I see coming out of that person’s hateful message is that you are 99.99% appreciated by those around you!

    You have been such and inspiration to me and everyone I have ever seen come out of one of your spin, core, or yoga classes. Your versatility, immense fitness knowledge and passion for your work are what make you, you! Don’t stop spreading the good word.

  8. It is so sad that person felt the need to do something so ugly to an amazing individual who has dedicated her life to helping others improve their own. I agree with everyone above, especially the 99.99% comment 🙂

    When someone knocks me down, I like to vent to positive people like Caroline who makes me do 1,000,000 burpees and then say something that I love about myself repeatedly 🙂

    Caroline – Please don’t ever change! You are awesome and powerful just that way you are! Thank you for being YOU!

    1. Coral it is people like YOU that make my job meaningful. THANK YOU for all your support and for being a part of my world. LOVE to YOU lady. xoxo

  9. Dearest Caroline, Not only are you an awesome, inspirational, extremely knowledgable LIFE COACH (yes, that’s what you are; not JUST a fitness coach), you are my personal mentor and hero, and I KNOW I’m not the only one that feels this way about you. If I could, I’d want to be around you all the time, to feed off of your beautiful energy. NO, I sure DO NOT have thick skin, and my confidence in any area of my life is low. My best advice to you (what I have started working on arduously these past few years), is that you cherish the people that love you as you are and keep them close, while you weed out those who bring nothing positive into your life. Being happy can take a little work, but FOR YOU, it comes natural, and it’s hugely because you are devoted to doing what you love and doing what you love includes LOVING PEOPLE!! Hey, and we love you for it!! Stay true to yourself and keeping doing good. Life is short! XOXO.

    1. Denise! WOW what a powerful and positive comment. THANK YOU for taking the time to make my day with your words of support and positive energy. I cant even begin to tell you how much I appreciate it. Thank you for being such a positive support and friend. Keep up the great work in Davis and keep shining. I know we will share a workout together soon!

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