Deliberate practice is a technique used to achieve optimal performance. It was popularized by K. Anders Ericsson, who showed that what makes someone great, or an expert, is not talent, but rather expert-level practice — deliberate practice.
Deliberate practice involves gaining new skills and expertise by focusing on tasks beyond your current level of competence and comfort. It requires taking baby steps and continuously repeating them until they become second nature. And it relies on lots and lots of practice.
Just like personal growth.
What if we could view every interaction with someone as practice?
As an opportunity to refine our capacity for kindness and compassion. As a way to perfect this skill of reaching beyond ourselves.
The key word here is deliberate — it’s about being deliberate in our thoughts and actions, about the way we move through and interact with this world and others.
below are tips on how to use deliberate practice for growth;
Every Interaction is an Opportunity to Grow
This is a game changer. I’ve started to view every interaction as a ‘test’ — an opportunity to either reach beyond myself, or not — and it makes a difference. Just try it.
Be Ready for the Test
Before I enter a difficult interaction, i.e. a conversation I know may lead to anger, I tell myself to ‘Be ready for the test”. It’s not magic, but it does help me view this interaction as an opportunity.
During difficult situations (with a partner, colleagues, etc.) I tell myself to breathe before speaking. To take my time, to pause. Again, very far from magic, but it helps.
After difficult interactions I assess how ‘well’ I did. Was I as kind as I could have been? Did I help the other person feel seen and understood?
This stuff is hard as hell. Most of the time I fail miserably. But sometimes I don’t. And when I manage to ‘reach beyond myself’ — I celebrate this victory. And it feels good, and it gives me the confidence to try even harder next time.
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Culled from: Medium.