Why practice makes perfect is the wrong advice

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Mistakes and errors

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

What you should be practicing.

Do you think that if you keep practicing you will get better at what you want to improve? There are 2 reasons why this does not work.

1. We tend to practice what we like to do.

We enjoy doing the things we do well. It is human nature to keep practicing the things you are good at over and over trying to improve your game.

What many an Olympic contender or professional athlete knows is that victories are not won by constantly practicing only the things you are good at. Certainly, you need to continue to practice your strengths a little to keep them up to par but there is something more important to practice.

To improve your game, practice the things you are poor at. The consistently successful people find the things that they do poorly and work on improving them. A small amount of improvement in a flaw will result in a significant improvement in your overall performance.

Are there things you don’t do well and therefore avoid? Anything you feel you are not good at should be an opportunity to improve your overall game. Work on your weaknesses to build more strength.

2. You will not improve if you practice doing things incorrectly.

This is where we can be our own worst enemies. We tend to know what we do well and as we saw in point one above, we practice those things repeatedly. What we fail to recognize are the things we are doing that are not up to par.

Highly successful people frequently have a coach or adviser that can spot the areas that need improvement and get you motivated to work on those areas.

Even the best at things frequently have flaws that they never notice. One of the worst things you can do is to repeatedly practice doing something incorrectly. If you don’t get advice from others who know how it should be done you are at risk to continue practicing your mistakes until they become an integral part of the way you do things.

So if you want to take your game to the next level, whether that game is business, your recovery or your relationships, you need to listen to advice from people who can help you improve and you need to be willing to tackle the things you do not do correctly. This way you can spot your flaws and work to improve the things that are not up to par.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

5 thoughts on “Why practice makes perfect is the wrong advice

  1. Pingback: Why the B student is happier – good enough is often better | counselorssoapbox

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