Being patient has always been one of the things I struggle with. I guess it’s normal to be impatient. I involuntarily learned how to be patient when I started my BodyBuilding journey. I went to the gym with an idea of how I wanted to look. I would always see female bodybuilders in the gym with ripped abs and very toned bodies. I would get depressed even though I started only a few weeks ago. To make it worse, I had a scale, a huge mirror, and a tape measure so I was looking at myself, checking my weight and measuring myself every day. It was horrible.
All of that changed when I saw a bodybuilder’s progress over the course of nine years. That day reinforced that success doesn’t happen overnight and that it was too soon to complain. I started taking one day at a time and tried to enjoy the journey. I looked at the big goal which was to enter the bodybuilding competition then broke that big goal into smaller daily goals. It eventually didn’t seem as depressing. I even end up inspiring others due to my consistency. After two weeks I started seeing progress, after four weeks others started seeing results. That’s when I learned the importance of having patience.
What does it mean to be patient?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delays, problems or suffering without being annoyed or anxious. You have to be able to tolerate delays in success when on your fitness journey. Don’t think of it as a huge goal that when you get to that date you will completely stop what you are doing. Do it daily in small pieces so it can become apart of your daily routine. Do it until it becomes second nature.
The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit. – Molière
You will see better results when you do it consistently over a long period.
How Do you know when you are Impatient?
You are enjoying your workout in the gym and you’re ready to use the leg press machine. You go over to use the machine only to find someone using it and taking breaks to use his phone. You decide to use another machine to give him some time to finish up. Fifteen minutes after you come back, and he hasn’t even moved an inch. You feel your body getting tense, you get cross, anxiety starts building up and you suddenly yell at the person to get his butt of the machine because he is wasting your time.
Does that sound familiar? That my friend is called being impatient. Being impatient can get the best of us sometimes and not only destroy the relationship you have with the person you had the dispute with but it can also cause physical harm to your body.
Impatience can cause you to get angry. Anger is like drinking poison and hoping that your enemy will die. I didn’t say that, but it really makes sense if you think about it. You are getting worked up over nothing. Upset because you are not seeing results as fast as you want or blaming your trainer. You are the one that will have all the increased stress levels, disappointed, possible depression and emotional pain.
Consider having patience as delayed gratification. It is needed. You will be less frustrated.
The Benefits of Being Patient
- Being patient allows you to think better. There were so many occasions where I wasn’t able to think properly because I couldn’t wait for the workout to be over. Rushing my workout almost caused me to hurt myself. Patience also makes you assess situations and increase your chances of making logical and smart decisions.
- It helps you reduce stress levels and makes you happier. When you exercise patience, you don’t get overwhelmed, stressed or angry easily.
- Patience helps you to be more understanding and have compassion. This doesn’t only apply to Bodybuilding but to all aspects of your life.
- It helps you to understand and appreciate the growth process.
You being impatient can cause people to see you as very arrogant or insensitive. If you were to run someone of a machine in the gym, they might see you in a bad light.
Impatience doesn’t only affect you inside and out but it affects others around you and the perception they have of you. You will be impatient when placed in certain situations, but you just have to know how to control it.
How to Develop Patience
It’s important to get out of the impatient mindset as quickly as possible when you feel it. Trust me, it will cause more harm than good. I have been struggling with this for a long time as I’m a very impatient person. When I want something, it’s normally right now.
I have learned that you can’t always get what you want when you want it. I have also learned that some things are better off not rushed. You will end up appreciating it more because you were patient and enjoyed the journey of waiting for it.
Try these strategies that I’ve used to help control my emotions so I can focus on being more patient. You are human so don’t except that you will learn to be patient on the first try. Bookmark this page or write the tips on an index card so that can practice them daily.
- Meditate. I try to meditate every day for at least 10 minutes. That’s the first thing I do in the morning. Doing this at the beginning of my day, helps me to have a calm spirit throughout the day than if I were to jump out of bed and hop on the computer. Things slow down and you are not in such a mental rush. This also helps throughout the day when I feel anxious or feel I’m getting impatient. I stop doing what I’m working on, close my eyes for a minute, take a deep breath then open my eyes. This helps to relax your body, reduce your heart rate and emotionally distance you from the situation.
- Force yourself to slow down. Force yourself to speak slowly, move slowly and eat slowly. I’m always in a rush. I’m either trying to meet a deadline or trying not to be late for an event. Since I started meditating, it has helped me to slow down a bit. When I exercise at a moderate pace and keep my form, I feel that I get more out of my workout than when I try to rush it. It will also appear that you are calm by “acting” patient.
- If your impatience cause you to react in anger to others, use anger management techniques to calm down. Check out this article on how to control your anger.
- Give people your full attention and patiently plan your response. Practice to be empathetic and an active listener. Give the people the time to talk and then take the time to answer. Don’t rush conversations. You might think these things are simple but these are the little things that when practiced, becomes a habit can cause us to rush everything in all aspects of our lives. Start with making small changes then gradually, you will see great results.
- You being impatient won’t necessarily get others to move faster. It just causes more stress for you and for them which cause a stressful environment. Remind yourself that you being impatient sometimes makes the situation worse.
- Some people are impatient because they are perfectionists. They get stressed and impatient when they can’t get things as perfect as they think it should be. Sometimes being a perfectionist can increase your stress levels and make you unproductive.
Many of us have triggers that make us impatient. Once you experience symptoms of it, your next step is to identify what is causing you to be impatient. If you can’t identify what caused the impatience, try to remember the last time you were impatient and what caused it. You can then try to see if there is a pattern.
Bodybuilding is one of those fields that requires patience for you to see exponential growth. This is not something you do overnight and see results. This is not something where you go to the gym five hours today and don’t show up until the same time next month. You have to make it part of your daily routine and as a small part of your day. It is more sustainable that way and you will enjoy one hour more than if you were to do five. This is the ninth article in the “How to Be a BodyBuilder” series. In the next article, I will be wrapping up with “Confidence”.