According to the Collins English Dictionary, practice is defined, amongst other things, as:
1. Repetition or exercise of an activity in order to achieve mastery and fluency
2. The condition of having mastery of a skill or activity through repetition (esp. in the phrases in practice, out of practice)
So in order to improve at anything, to get better, to become a master of our craft, we have to practice. They say that “practice makes perfect” ~ but what happens if it doesn’t?
There has been a long standing debate on whether “talent” is born or whether it is nurtured. My personal opinion is that it lies somewhere in the middle!
You can be born with a greater aptitude for something than another person - some people are born with better coordination than I was; some people have a natural creative or artistic flare which I definitely do not have. But does that mean I could never develop those skills? No.
If I have a focus, talk to someone who is already an expert, get some advice, make a plan AND (here’s the key) put in the practice, I would be able to master the basics. Over time I would refine my skills and abilities and eventually I may also be seen as “talented” in my chosen area.
The key things for you to recognise are:
- No one starts out a master of their craft. It takes time and it takes work
- It's what you practice in private, that you will be rewarded for in public
Let’s consider Michael Phelps, the USA competitive olympic swimmer. He started swimming at the age of 7 and won 6 Gold Medals at the 2004 Summer Olympics (and many more since!).
We saw Michael Phelps, aged 24 at the time, win the 100m Butterfly in Athens 2004 in 51.25secs!!! (Olympic record)
With an average of 28.5 hours practice per week over 17 years, that totals 25,168 hours of swimming and dry training practice that he completed, swimming over 35,000 miles distance.
All that practice, all that focus, all the early mornings and late nights, the dedication to training, to nutrition, to become a master in swimming. We didn’t see any of that. We only saw 51.25secs!!!
While I am not saying all of us are training to be Olympic athletes, my point is you can if you want to. You can actually achieve anything you set your mind to. But have no doubt, it will take work, it will take hours, weeks, months, maybe years of practice, and you will need to be consistent. But you can achieve anything if you persevere!
I am always ready to support you in reaching your goals, but what matters most right now is that you are focused on the consistency of your practice and putting in the work. To truly master something new or to continue to make progress, you have to practice.
I am here, as always, if you need some help! I’m ready to chat 😊