Life is a Practice

Have you ever taken a guitar lesson? Or maybe piano is your jam? Or maybe you have taken martial-arts or yoga. We have all elected to take a class of some kind in our lives to broaden our horizons or to expand our knowledge and talent base. It’s awesome that we live in a world where we can work to get good at things…I mean if we practice. I myself take yoga now and again and every time I leave class, I know that if I don’t get back into that room soon, the progress I made will all go in the shitter!

When I was in my early 20s I started taking piano. I even rented an upright and had it delivered to my apartment, which if you have never seen a piano delivered to a 2nd floor apartment, is no small feat! I was so excited about that piano and started taking weekly lessons with a teacher on Sundays…until it got hard, I mean real hard. So I stopped. That piano sat and mocked me daily for over a year until I had the men come and pick her up and get her outta my place. It’s much easier going DOWN the stairs with a piano by the way. Anywho, GUITAR is what I really want to learn I thought! I mean, I can carry that thing anywhere and take it to open mic nights and sing!! I can be an actual rock star! So I started taking lessons every week. I started building some callouses and even playing some simple songs. Then, in order to get really good and play some cool songs my fingers were required to “bar”. Getting my fingers to bar was incredibly hard. I mean, I don’t think my hands were made to get into those positions! So I stopped. Sigh…So this idea of getting good at stuff requires practice. I myself have quit multiple things because I was unwilling to practice anymore to get good at it. Now, I am not a slacker in all ways. I do have some discipline and determination when it comes to physical activity. I have gotten really good at Crossfit over the last four years doing pull-ups and Olympic lifting. And I have been taking dance for over 25 years which I now teach as a Zumba Instructor! I love doing physical activity. I even got quite good at running (for me anyway), and ran my first half marathon in March of this year. I am not as good at running now, in November…

So, this idea of practicing to get good at something does not stop with music, dance, martial-arts or any other extra-curricular activity. If it takes practice to get good at guitar, it must also mean it takes practice to master our thinking about ourselves! We all have ideas and beliefs about ourselves due to our up-bringing, our society and our personal history. Sometimes these beliefs about ourselves result in a poor self esteem or a limiting belief system that keeps us locked in our comfort zone. I once heard it said that you can never outperform your own self esteem. That’s no joke! So that said, we better get good at how we think about ourselves. We might never achieve all the grand plans we have for ourselves, let alone even allow ourselves to think about a grand plan, if we don’t up-level how we think about ourselves. We have to start trying on a new identity that is based in possibility, in potential, in our greatest vision of ourselves, not based on our past. And then, like a guitar, we have to keep picking up that new vision of ourselves everyday and practice being “The Woman Who…” or “The Man Who…” You get to finish that sentence. So who do you want to be? Decide. Then practice, practice, practice! We want to get good at thinking about ourselves in the grandest version of the greatest vision we ever had about who we can be! If it is true that we can never outperform our own self image then we have to practice picking up an image every day that reflects our greatness! Even if it is a greatness you cannot yet see in yourself!

As a Life Coach I help clients install new beliefs systems much like one would install a new Operating System into a computer. The difference is a computer does not reject the OS saying “This system is too good for me” or “I don’t think I can handle this new OS, I don’t have any experience with it.” Know what I mean friends? But we reject perfectly wonderful ideas about ourselves simply because we have never seen ourselves in this way before, or someone banged into our head that we are not good enough! Well, I am here to tell you that this is a practice. We practice being fabulous and wonderful and mindful, and up-leveled. We practice practice practice. And when we think we have got it…we practice some more.

Zig Ziglar once said, “People say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it every day.” So, we don’t just put down limiting beliefs one time and let them go forever. No. We put down those beliefs every day and sometimes every hour. It’s like practicing guitar. Getting good at how you think, so that the thoughts you have serve YOU in life, is a practice. Now get back into that yoga class, pick up that guitar, work hard for that black belt, AND remember to keep practicing setting down those limiting beliefs. This is what a wonderful life is all about. Practice makes perfectly, imperfect…so keep practicing!

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