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The fear of practice

The single most avoidable mistake in speaking:
Skipping practice out of fear of making mistakes.

It breaks my heart every time I see someone avoid practice because they feel they aren’t perfect yet. They want to get perfect before practice (perhaps due to a nagging fear of embarrassment from making a mistake, even when the public isn’t watching.)

… and then they run out of time.

What a mistake!

Practice is that safe space where you can make an error without the consequence.

In a way, it’s the whole point of practice:
to learn about the errors so you can fix or avoid them.

The way to do this is not to play it safe in practice.
(Really, no one cares whether you’re flawless in practice.)

Instead, expose yourself to as many different scenarios as possible.

Those you prepared for.
But also those you didn’t prepare for.
Especially those.

Almost inevitably, you’re going to make a mistake or two.

How awesome is that?
Now you know and can prepare for it.

The beauty of practice is that you can take risks, but without the risk.

Make that error.
Learn from it.
Improve.
Repeat.

Playing it safe in practice is great way to fail when it counts.

How do you approach practice?

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Picture of Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz