No-nonsense pt JAMES SMITH reveals struggles with anxiety

No-nonsense pt JAMES SMITH reveals struggles with anxiety


No-nonsense personal trainer James Smith, 31, reveals his struggles with anxiety and fear of rejection – as he shares his advice for living a ‘happier’ life despite the chaos of 2020

  •  James Smith reveals what he does to combat anxiety and fear of rejection
  •  He shares tips on how to become successful and its not by sticking to a bad job
  •  The 31-year-old also reveals how he feels about missing Christmas in the UK

Online fitness coach James Smith has revealed how he combats anxiety with the help of his friends and life approach

The ‘no-nonsense’ personal trainer who became famous after ‘taking on the fitness industry’ has revealed he still suffers from anxiety and fear of rejection despite ‘living his best life in Bondi’ and running a successful online fitness academy.

But James Smith, author of ‘best seller’ Not a Diet Book and newly released Not a Life Coach is following his own advice – concentrating on what he can control, his business, happiness and personal drive.

Sitting down with Daily Mail Australia he revealed how grueling the launch of his second book has been – but wouldn’t change a thing.

‘A lot of people are working in jobs they are not passionate about, selling things they don’t like. They do a great job doing something they hate but don’t believe they can do something they love well,’ he said.

Pictured here with his friend Lucy Lord – one of the close circle of people the PT confides in

James Smith currently lives in Bondi and loves nothing more than going for a swim at the beach 

‘I love what I do and never take a sick day. Even when I wake up with a hangover.’

This wasn’t always the case, the 31-year-old once thought the only way to ‘make it in the world’ was to put on a suit every day and work his way up the corporate ladder.

But then he realised there is ‘no point getting to the top of the wrong ladder’ and decided to do something he loved instead. 

So he switched his suit for a pair of shorts and became a personal trainer.

When that started to get boring he packed up his life and ended up in Australia, where he would later find huge professional success and friends who feel like family.

These friends include his business manager, fellow personal trainer Diren Kartal and baker Lucy Lord, and are the key to helping sooth his anxiety.

‘A lot of the time they just feed my own advice back to me but that doesn’t matter,’ he said. 

These friends along with his parents are the people he feels he needs to ‘make proud’ which helps him work harder each day and ignore provocative comments from people who are just aiming to bring him down. 


Despite his success James Smith has revealed he still has a fear of rejection and anxiety – but he has armed himself and his readers with tools to help.

This list includes some of the things the well-know PT does to improve his anxiety.

 1 – Confide in friends – ‘Whether it is what shirt I should wear on a date or something really big – I can always tell a friend,’ he said.

2 – Relax – James like to go for a ‘dip in the sea’ most days. 

3 – Have hobbies – He likes to practice Jiu Jitzu and says the sport changed his life in many ways.

 4 – Make sure your environment is right – whether it be your work, home or social environment. the wrong environment inhibit’s personal growth.

5 –  Build a life you love – The biggest message in the book is this, get rid of bad relationships and jobs you hate to allow yourself to thrive and be happy.

He still has a fear of rejection and says it will always be there. He said he still feels it for example when he wants to ask for a woman’s number.

But instead of feeding the fear he says he foccusses on making a small circle proud. ‘if they are happy with what I am doing then I am happy, there’s no limit to it as I can never make them too proud.’ 

Every new challenge is faced using advice he has collected over the years and published in his new book.

Right now the most pressing concern is James’ inability to leave Australia without being locked out. 

He can’t even return home to see his parents for Christmas because he would be unable to return for his book tour until border restrictions ease or he is granted permanent residency. 

Despite not being able to go home to see his family this Christmas the 31-year-old has decided to focus on thing he can control

‘I just want to live here, Australia is the nucleus to my happy life, and I have never been anywhere that feels the same to me.’


 One important thing to realise is that there is a difference between pleasure and happiness. It’s about instant versus long-term gratification – understanding that happiness is a perspective, an attitude and can be accomplished with a certain mindset. When you have that perspective, you can go after real wealth, and it’s better than simply just being rich. Pleasure can be nights out, expensive things, designer clothes and holidays. By no means is this a bad thing – I mean if you ever buy something from Gucci, the effort that goes into the wrapping alone is sometimes worth the cost!

But you don’t need pleasure. Sure, it helps, but you need to remain aware that it’s a black hole that consumes all in its path. 

And as a black hole would increase in mass through absorbing whatever comes its way, it would, in theory, then develop a stronger gravitational pull over time. This is not intended to out you off the pursuit of pleasure, just give you an understanding of how I view it. 

You can elicit satiety in many areas of life, but pleasure is one to be aware and wary of. If you seek happiness from pleasure with gambling, drug use and partying, you may lose sight of what really makes you happy and end up depressed, hungover and broke because of it.

From ‘Not a life Coach’ by James Smith. Page 174 – The pleasure black hole. 


The personal trainer says the visa situation has left him feeling like he is in limbo because if he can’t live here he has to find somewhere he can live and thrive. 

‘I think if I got permanent residency I would be kicking myself,’ he said.

 ‘I just want to live here, Australia is the nucleus to my happy life, and I have never been anywhere that feels the same to me.’   

James has had to reshuffle his book tour to put Australian dates ahead of the UK shows and hopes once he leaves his permanent residency application will be approved. 

The personal trainer says the visa situation has left him feeling like he is in limbo because if he can’t live here he has to find somewhere he can live and thrive

The Brit will have to leave Australia in March and hopes to be approved for permanent residency

He is set to hit the stage for his new book – Diren will likely make appearances at the shows

Leaving the country will be his next leap of faith – in the meantime he will have a summer Christmas in Bondi where he can ‘swim in the sea’, ‘skateboard down the hill’ and spend quality time with his mates.

The online coach still appears to live the simple life despite his success, concentrating on his hobbies and friends.

He still rides the skateboard he bought before he got his ‘blue tick’ and works from the same local cafe where he started his business and wrote both of his books.  

And because he ‘can’t help it’ he still reads the comments on posts online but has found the negative ones no longer effect him too much – instead he looks forward to the ones thanking him for his advice. 

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