• Kylie van Gelder

Improve Any Skill by Doing This One Thing

Updated: Mar 8

Are you up for the challenge?


Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash


Everyone has something they want to get better at. It could be something big or small. It could even be life changing. Regardless of what it is, the only way to improve a skill is to practice.

That’s it.

If you want to be a better writer, football player, dancer, artist, musician, reader, parent, driver, whatever, you have to practice.

“You practice and you get better. It’s very simple.“— Philip Glass

Even Michael Jordan had to practice hard to become the world’s best basketball player. Why? Well, because he was initially demoted from his high school varsity team. His talent wasn’t yet the natural he became known for.

While most would have given up, he didn’t.

He worked his butt off training. He used his failure to make the team as fuel to drive through his exhaustion. He worked out, got bigger and practiced the hell out of his game.

The difference between those who practice and those who don’t is the willingness to put in the work.

The challenge

No matter what it is, if you have a desire to get better at it, you have to work hard for it. This becomes the number one challenge for most people.

Many people want it to just happen. You can spot them sometimes. They’re the complainers. The I’m-not-good-at-anything people.

Everyone has a skill. They simply aren’t up for the challenge of putting in the work to get better.

I know, I was like this for a long time too. I was stuck and unhappy. I’d wake up in the morning hoping to magically be a better writer and life coach. Not surprisingly, I wasn’t when I woke up. I had to learn to put in the damn work. I’m still working on it.

“Practice makes perfect. After a long time practicing, our work will become natural, skillful, swift and steady.”— Bruce Lee

You must earn the skills you want to develop. Blood, sweat and, in my case, many tears.

Often it will suck, especially if it’s completely different to your current routine of not practicing at all.

There’s no quick and easy way about it either. For some, practicing may take a few months before improvements are seen. For most of us, however, it will take a year or more to really improve our skill set.

Not only that, you have to be open to feedback from others (eek) and willing to dig deeper into your own shit that might be making you afraid to practice (double eek).

Once you’ve progressed to a certain level of practice, you’ll reap the rewards. You’ll see the progress and you’ll realize you had to go through all the shifts that came with practicing — the falls, bumps and bruises — to get to the place of being better.

“I found in life, the more you practice the better you get. If you want something enough and work hard to get it, your chances of success are great.” — Ted Williams

 

There’s no way around it. If you want to get better at something, you have to practice the skill you wish to develop. This also means working through what’s stopping you from practicing in the first place. You have to want it bad enough to put in the work before soaking up the reward.

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