I remember the first time I tried lifting weights. I was a kid and my dad had some weights stored near my toys. I thought it looked fun. My sister and I asked my dad if we could try. Despite our objections, my dad removed the stacks of weight on each side of the barbell. He told us to start with just the bar. We rolled our eyes at his suggestion. Just the bar? Really? That sounded like baby stuff.
Well, to an experienced weight lifter, yes, just a bar is baby stuff. However, to two elementary school girls, it was not baby stuff. We were able to lift the bar...a couple times. A few lifts and we were done. Exhausted. Wiped. Compared to our dad, we were weak. We wondered how we could ever lift weights like him.
Ever been there? Realizing you're a lot weaker than you think? Thinking you'll never be able obtain a goal you desire?
I'll be honest, I still can't lift weight like my dad. Not even close. I can lift a lot more than just the bar though. How did that happen? Obviously more developed muscles don't hurt, but there were a few other steps:
1. Work. Becoming stronger requires endurance, perseverance, and sweat. A person can't just take a magic pill and be strong. It takes little steps of lifting more and more weight, eventually building up to large amounts of weight. Similarly, a person can't just snap his or her fingers and acquire emotional and mental strength. While this may not include literal sweating, it will likely include hours of challenging self-reflection and developing new habits.
2. Rest. Muscles need rest. To help muscles grow, a proper amount of rest is necessary. They can't heal without it. In the midst of mental and emotional growth, rest is also necessary. Without rest, there's only so far a person can go. Old habits and difficult processing don't take place where rest is absent.
3. Consistency. Lifting weights for a few weeks and then stopping doesn't work well for resistance training. It doesn't take long to have to start from scratch. Similarly, a lack of consistency with mental and emotional training means a lack of progress. Long term results requires consistency.
Mental and emotional strength is a lot like physical strength. It requires the same kind of resistance training. It takes work, rest, and consistency to build the kind of strength to obtain the goals we desire.
Why not start today? I bet there's a bar out there somewhere you can lift.