Lifting weights changed my life. I had always been an overweight kid and once I lifted that first dumbbell at the age of 13, my whole world changed. The idea that I can change the way I look by lifting this dumbbell a repeated amount of times in many different ways using different parts of my body was amazing to me! It was the first glimpse that I had of years of personal growth (not just physical) to come. Here are 6 of the lessons that changed my life and I hope that it will help you on your journey to becoming the best version of yourself!
1. Love the Process
To kick things off I want to start with the lesson that I didn’t learn until I saw results but had I known this beforehand, I would’ve seen the fruits of my labor much faster. Getting into this, I had begun to follow others’ workouts mindlessly. At a certain point I felt I was just going through the motions day after day and seeing no results. I had not come up with a system that fit me best.
Remember: the goal is where you are going and the system is what’s going to get you there
So focus on the system. Implement rituals and habits that are sustainable and consistent with your lifestyle. You must love going to the gym to see the best results. Once you implement a system, you will notice an excitement to achieve the goal for that day, whatever that goal may be.
2. You are STRONGER than you think!
This is something that I quickly found out when I first entered the world of weightlifting. It came to me as a surprise actually. Initially, I was lifting much less than what was possible for me. Little did I know that all I had to do was push myself just a bit harder to attempt the heavier weight. It wasn’t until a friend pushed me that I surprised myself with the strength at my disposal. Suddenly, I was pushing more weight than I thought possible. I was astonished!
Many times, we stay complacent with our current situation not knowing there’s a whole world of possibilities to be explored and all it takes is to simply take the first step and try. I know that it’ll feel as if you are travelling in uncharted territory and you’d much rather stay in comfort and certainty but what if that ONE decision to reach for something greater turns out to be the most important decision of your life.
Take a moment: How much are you holding back?
3. PAIN is necessary
When I first began to lift weights, I didn’t like the pain that came from pushing weight. Much later, I began to love the pain because I understood that it was a requirement in order for me to become stronger. Prior to learning this fact, I couldn’t fully accept that anything worth having comes at a price: pain and hard work.
Whenever we seek to improve our situation, pain is inevitable. It is a byproduct of change and it is a part of the process. Learn to love the process. I always think of it as my body deconstructing itself in order to build something better and stronger. Anytime you venture to achieve something, realize that the pain has to be there. It is absolutely necessary for change and simply acknowledging this fact will help you push through it.
What you want more than anything will come to you with a price: Blood, Sweat, and Tears
In the case of weightlifting, this phrase can be taken as literal but rest assured than in any high achievement you strive for, dues must be paid, whether it be in the form of time, effort, willpower, and incessant amount of belief in yourself.
4. Patience, grasshopper…
Probably one of the hardest lessons I had to learn simply because I wasn’t a patient person at all. What I didn’t understand at the time is that the results WILL come. I came in with so much eagerness. So much that I fell off the wagon a couple times. What got me through this was pushing through this period of not seeing results. I removed myself from the future outcome and began to focus on the present. My focus began to shift, my main concern was no longer “when am I going to get that ripped body,” it was “I’m going to make this workout better than the last.”
To implement this into your life, think to yourself:
What is the BIG PICTURE? What am I trying to achieve?
I guarantee you, once you begin to see things in the long term your actions begin to change in such a way that you will see more durable results in your endeavors.
5. Failure makes you BETTER
I would always get completely devastated when I started lifting and my form would be completely wrong. Little did I understand that when acquiring a new skill, one will inevitable fail many times, repeatedly. The reason being is that our brains are so smart that they are trying every possible way to do that one thing in such a way that it fits you best. I just didn’t fully comprehend that it was completely normal to suck at something new. The problem was unrealistic expectations.
When we begin to start a new skill, we come in with the false assumption, that we will be good, or even decent at something we have NEVER tried before. Completely illogical, right? Yet it is a fallacy that we keep to protect our egos.
Understand that doing something completely wrong is normal when you first start and that’s when you make the most progress towards becoming better because ultimately we learn much more from our failures than from our victories. So begin to change your perspective on failure and see it as something positive. You can even take it as far as failing faster because that’s when you truly start to see the results.
Think of these failures as the moat around your castle that separates you from everybody else. Sooner than not, this mentality will leave with an above average skill set that could potentially be second to none!
6. CONSISTENCY is key
This was something that I sort of understood but not to its full extent. It wasn’t until I started putting off the gym for periods of time thathours into lifting weights that I began to realize that my muscles wouldn’t always stay like this no matter how many hours I put in. I had to keep lifting to keep the figure I worked so hard for.
In life, we have certain skills that we work on, but we don’t actually follow through and keep working on them. It brought me to the conclusion that in acquiring any skill, there is a period of immersion in which you push past your comfort zone, fail repeatedly, and practice meticulously.. Then there’s the period of maintenance in which you keep the skill in practice but don’t necessarily strive for the next level of achievement.
But you NEVER stop!