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The Power of Struggle in Practice.

How many times have you tried to learn a new skill, only to find it such a struggle that you’ve given up? I think we can all put our hands up to that one.

What if I told you that the very moment you appear to be struggling in your practice is when you are actually making progress. It certainly doesn’t feel like that at the time.  Struggle can feel an uncomfortable place to be.  

At that moment of struggle though, your brain is problem solving.  Trying to work out how to achieve your goal, and this is when LEARNING and PROGRESS takes place. This is deep practice.

Ace Your Mindset

This realisation that struggle can be a positive place to be, helps to bring a whole new mindset and structure to our practice.  Rather than getting disheartened when it feels hard, and giving up, why not dig in deep and keep going.  Realising that this is the moment that you are accelerating your learning.

Working on the edge of your ability aids progress. Some how getting it wrong, and trying again is what makes you better.  Think of a baby, trying to learn to stand. They fall down and try again, fall down and try again, and hence the pattern begins of mistakes and problem solving which eventually lead to success.

So, how should you practice? How much struggle should you be embracing?

Your brain (amazing as it is) likes dealing with information in chunks. Singing is a complex skill, and by breaking things down into smaller segments we are able to give it the focus required.

What do you want to achieve? Set your goal, and be realistic.  Work just beyond your current ability, so you are reaching, rather than thrashing around in the dark.  Guidance from a teacher can help you to understand the things you need to be doing to achieve your goal, but equally noticing what you hear and feel, and increasing your awareness is a part of the process. For practice to be beneficial it needs to be mindful, and have your full attention.

Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day.

Slowing things down allows you the time to accomplish new ways of doing things.  When we started to learn to  read and write, we were slower. As we became more skilled, we gradually sped up.  Why should it be any different with singing?  Speed will follow when you are ready for it.  

Celebrate the small successes

Have you ever heard the old saying ‘Practice Makes Perfect?’  I would encourage you instead to embrace the phrase ‘Practice Makes Progress’. 

Getting more skilled at something is a journey of small successes.  Each one takes you a step closer to your original goal. So, acknowledge and celebrate each one in the knowledge that THERE IS  POWER IN STRUGGLE.

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