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It is a common misconception that ‘either you have it or you don’t’. In other words, either you are good at math or you are not. You are talented at one sport but not at another. You are a follower and not a leader etc.
Here’s something that most people do not know!
There is no scientific proof that, even if one excels as a young person, that ‘talent’ is an indicator of whether or not you can become an expert. Sure, if you are 5’2” male, it may be difficult to play basketball at a high level (but not impossible!). All things considered, YOU are capable of much more than you think regardless if you have ‘talent’ or not. There’s one thing you can start doing now that will help you to be world-class in what’s important to you: Deliberate Practice. Anders Ericsson has spent decades researching this very topic and has written an entire book on deliberate practice, Peak.
Here are the most important take aways that you can implement now:
1.) Find an Expert:
Choose a mentor, a coach, or even YouTube! Find a way to understand the best way to do what you want to do. Ideally, this would be a someone who could watch you, and then make suggestions on how to improve. This can get expensive, so YouTube or some other online (free) learning platform is an alternate option.
2.) Create Mental Representations:
Mental what? These are just ‘pictures’ that we hold in our mind. For example, if I say the word ‘cat’, you will likely think of a small, furry, four-legged animal. You have an image in your mind or a mental representation of a cat! Whether you are a swimmer looking to drop time or an engineer trying to develop a code, you will need to know how an expert does what you want to do. Then you will need to create a mental representation of how to do it.
Practice the mental representations, get input from an expert (or self monitor if need be), make adjustments, repeat. Here’s an example. You swim the 100 free-style, and the most important thing you can do to drop time is to pull more water. Go back to step 1 (grab an expert), create a mental representation of how this expert would pull water, practice, get corrected/make the correction yourself, practice again, repeat. You get the idea.
Whether you want to improve in a sport, at work or any other endeavor, deliberate practice is a tool that can help you to take a big step towards that big dream!
Here’s to you being amazing!
Please do share if you found this helpful, and keep your eyes open for "Mental Toughness Mastery" which is my new monthly livecast coming out in the next couple of weeks! I am SO excited to share this with you, and you will be the first to know once it is launched!
Please schedule a FREE 15-minute consult with me if I can provide any more information on Mental Toughness strategies or help you evaluate if 1:1 coaching is a fit for you.
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