Make it POP! The Power of Practice


Lena loves music. She hopes to join a community orchestra. How will Lena manifest her goals? 

Successful people believe in the power of practice. If you want to be successful in anything, you must invest in your abilities with practice. What is practice? Let's discuss…

Practice is the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it (Google Dictionary). In other words, practice is actually 'doing' an activity. There is a direct relationship between practice and confidence.  

“Practice won’t make you perfect, but it will make you better.” Mark Sanborn.


Deliberate Practice

Deliberate practice is practicing with an expectation of a result. For an example, if your goal is to become a better public speaker, then seek opportunities to speak in front of groups whenever you can.  You are deliberately developing a skill by constantly doing with the goal of perfecting a craft.  

Here are some practice tools:

·    Set aside time to practice – practice is an action verb.  Only thinking about doing something without actually performing it is not enough. Practice may seem like a waste of time, but it is worth it. Recently, I was on a project team. My team was tasked to present our project to a group. Several people on the team only wanted to practice once or twice even though we were rough around the edges.  Eventually, our team realized we needed to spend more time on the project in order to have a positive result.  Practice as much time as needed to make it POP!


·       Know thyself - write down your strengths and weaknessesBe honest with yourself. Research how to turn your weaknesses into strengths. Work with a life coach or therapist if needed. Read books on the topic.  We all have aspects of our lives we can make better.  Invest in yourself.


·       Be patient change does not happen overnight. We may not realize it but everything we do on a regular basis is a form of practice.  We are experts at whatever actions we repeat, which include unhealthy habits.  Therefore, it will take time to undo what we have perfected.  Per Yoda in Star Wars, "You must unlearn what you have learned."

 ·    Consider the unexpected - everything is not under our control. Things happen. Life happens. Still be confident in the midst of unexpected events. We can only control our response to what happens. Last year, I attended a poetry reading. One particular poet was very positive at the beginning of their poem.  Things went well until the microphone stopped working. Then a loud firetruck drove by. Unfortunately, someone in the audience played some loud music.  Slowly, I saw the confident poet shrink and could not finish the poem. We can plan and practice, but things can still happen to throw us off.  Include the possibility that things can go wrong and make adjustments. Frustration is a real emotion, but it is detrimental to stay in this space for an extended period of time. Be like water and go with the flow.

·    Visualize the End at the Beginning - practice is investing time in ourselves. The return on investment is a successful outcome. Visualize how you want your ending to be at the beginning. Feel the mood that you want to be in at the end before beginning. Use your imagination. Do this as many times as you need to feel comfortable. Be prepared for success. Tell yourself, "This will go fine." This technique can be used daily. Stephen R. Covey said in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "Begin with the end in mind. Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen."

Lena will have a seat in a community orchestra if she is willing to practice.  Shakespeare's statement, "To Be Or Not to be",  alludes to the power of practice.  First, be whatever we want to become. Write your goals down in plain words. I prefer actually using pencil and paper. Visualize your success before it happens. Believe you have already received it. Look in the mirror and tell yourself, "Congratulations on a job well done!"  Success is a mindset. It takes time, focus, energy and effort.  Claim it as yours!    


Practice Picture:

"To be or Not to Be" William Shakespeare's Hamlet. 

Practice defined-
      Stephen R. Covey - Begin with the end in mind. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

      Yoda, Star Wars. The Empire Strikes Back. "You must unlearn what you have learned". George Lucas.
      Mark Sanborn -
      Deliberate Practice - James Clear -
      Goddard, Neville. Feeling is the Secret.

      How do you practice?