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December 24, 2021

Practice Does Not Make Perfect

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Let’s talk about one of the most common expressions we’ve all heard at some point that is actually patently false. It’s the old saying “Practice makes perfect.”

Can you think of the last time you practiced something and you became perfect at it? Yea, me neither. We shouldn’t use perfection as the object to pursue if it’s unattainable. If that’s the case, then what did happen the last time you practiced something? Did you get better at it? Practice does not make perfect, it makes improvement. 

There’s a larger commentary here on society’s expectations which unfortunately have trickled into our own. It’s the idea that we need to do everything right and if we don’t then it’s not worth doing. But logically we know that there’s a process, and steps to developing anything. So instead of associating the reps we put in, the practice, with the promise of success at the end, let’s attach it to the pursuit of trying and improving.

This is so much easier said than done, I’ve had a tough time embracing it in my own life, but have found 2 things really help. First is practice alongside someone else, both for the accountability of it, but also for the evaluation. Someone else can see improvement in areas that you don’t. Then second is to set short-term goals and progress checks that help illuminate that you’ve reached certain milestones.

The #1 piece of advice for goal setting is to start small for this exact reason - Practice makes improvement, not perfect.

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