Practice Makes Expert

“We get good at what we practice.”

I learned this line from NLP Trainer Richard Bolstad and I love it. I also use it all of the time with my family and my clients.

This statement is both the essence of Richard as a person and NLP as a discipline with its pragmatic and life-affirming approach to change.

Practice makes . . . not perfect, but better.  And for many things we attempt at life, this is good enough.

If you haven’t practiced something, how can you expect to be an expert at it? 

Yet, this is exactly what we expect to do: we think that we should get something right 100% of the time and never fail even if it is the first, second or even third time we’ve ever done it.

We don’t expect children to learn to walk this way.

It takes hundreds, if not thousands, of falls and stumbles to become a proficient walker. If we were to scold them every time they fell, this would only slow their progress.

Yet, somehow as we get older we forget this fact and we condemn or berate ourselves for making a mistake. We beat ourselves up for falling back into old habits — which we have indeed practiced. 

It’s really no wonder that it’s so hard for us to learn new things, especially new ways of being in the world with both ourselves and others.

I’ve helped many people gently pick themselves back up again after a “fall.” If you’d like help with practicing new habits, get in touch.