Practice with Intent
If you want to improve at doing something, you practice. Practice makes perfect, after all.
However, you also need to practice with intent. Repeating the same mistakes, the same movements, will not necessarily help you develop or file away imperfections.
5 tips to help you practice with intent:
- Ask someone to film you doing what you want to get better at. Seeing yourself speak on stage will give you insight into how you appear and move on stage. Watching yourself play tennis will give you clues as to why you’re struggling with that backhand.
- Ask someone you trust for very specific feedback, for example how something you said came across and why. By being specific in your question you can receive feedback around the things that you want to improve.
- Give yourself time. Time to fail, try again, give up, swear to never attempt this even once more and then try afresh anyway. Time to be a beginner. Time to make mistakes and not have to be geat from start at what you’re trying to learn (because who can be great right from the start, anyway?)
- Find a coach or a mentor to use as a sounding board or inspiration for what you want to achieve. You probably have someone in your network that knows more about what you want to learn than you do – start there. How did they learn? What advice do they offer? What improvements can they see you making and how?
- Choose to see constructive criticism as a gift. Ask the bearer of this gift to explain their point of view so that you understand and then make a very concious choice as to whether or not this feels relevant for you. It may help you, in which case keep it. It may not feel significant at all or touch upon something that you have no wish to change, in which case you throw it away. And last but not least – remember that not everyone will like what you do, but that is not necessarily a reason for you to stop doing it. Sometimes you need to change and sometimes you need to keep doing your own thing.