I just finished reading an article, The “F” Word, by “Mad Man” Tony Ment. Part of me relates to this article and part of me does not relate. In fact, as I read the article I found myself conflicted about the content. It got me thinking about how we inspire other people and what that means.
When people compliment your physique, they don't do so lightly. Generally speaking they have taken the time to look around and have decided that your physique is the one they want to emulate. Tony seems to take offense at the thought that someone could possibly look as good as he does. I see it just slightly different than Tony. While it can come off as though people are of the belief that they can easily do what you've done just by asking some questions, it is more likely that they are completely impressed by what they see. More likely than not, they understand how hard it is to get where you are. It is our job to let them know how hard it is, but that they can do it if they have the desire.
People take time to get up the guts to come and talk to a perfect strange that they admire. As someone who loves the sport of bodybuilding, I feel it is our job to encourage others to love this sport as well. Yes, they are probably naive, possibly even stupid, but they look up to you and that should mean something to you. Let them know how hard you work. Let them know that the road isn't easy and that many people fail when attempting to travel that road. If that is what scares them, so be it. Just make sure YOU are not what scares them.
We inspire others by being humble and accepting their compliments. We inspire others by being an example they can strive to be like. Make sure that if you are confronted with a similar situation that you remember these points. Don't scare them off, but inspire them to greatness instead.