[WIWIK Series] What I Wish I Knew…About The Work (Part 4) – Practice
As a child, I played piano for 6 years. Every week, I only practiced 15 minutes before going to my weekly lesson to look like I did some work. It worked fine for me.
However, when the annual concert came, I obviously couldn’t «just wing it» anymore and it felt like I had to start from scratch. Oops! I thought I was good, but all my confidence disappeared as I couldn’t get the results I wanted without having put in the work. Oh well.
I wish I learned then that gametime is not the time to start practicing. It is the time to use your practiced skills.
The same happens when managing your mind.
Periods of high anxiety are not the time to start meditating. You practice meditation in order to prepare for periods of high anxiety.
Right before getting on stage is not the time to start visualizing. You practice visualization so that you are able to raise your vibrations and get into a great mood right before getting on stage.
The idea of practice gives you space for error, tweaks, great days, bad days, and growth.
All of those things are feedback for you to learn, readjust, experience and get better.
Mistakes are not personal, they are feedback.
Nobody you look up to – literally no one – got to mastery without practice.
On a daily basis, how relieving is the idea that you don’t need to have it perfect?
How good is it to know that all the steps you are taking now, no matter how small or how seemingly disastrous, are all being put to use as part of a bigger vision?
As a recovering perfectionist, putting my worth on the line every time I was trying something, I didn’t understand how much mental power it took to aim for perfection as the first step.
When I understood the idea of practice – I started to give myself some grace.
That grace helped me to keep going, and only then could I get better.
After all, it was out there all that time: Practice makes perfect. Overthinking doesn’t.
What is WIWIK?
Introducing the WIWIK series: What I Wish I Knew
A series of short articles demystifying many of the misconceptions that you may have about what your personal development journey should look like and what is truly possible for you.
In a world where people mostly only talk about their success – let’s talk about the process.
Find all the WIWIK articles HERE.
I started learning music as an older student. I worked in groups and with a 1:1 teacher.
Not one of teacher ever told us what to practice or how to practice. What the end in mind was. How many repetitions were needed to break through into fluency so we could move to think about the music. How to become our own observer and correct our limitations in stance, breathing, embouchure, fingering and speed (woodwind).
If you’re putting in hours and effort practising the wrong thing all you can do is embed a limiting habit. And that takes hours to forever to be corrected.
Lots of people in the group situation could ‘do it by heart’. Could rattle through at great speed and note perfect. Technically ‘perfect’ yet not much feeling or ability to create.
If a teacher cannot instill the knowing of what to practice, how to, when to – and for how long before taking a break to let it sink into the body-mind – then they have yet to succeed as a teacher.
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