Friends, I am struggling! I’ve written here before about Olympic weightlifting, and how challenging it is. For the last couple of months, I’ve been working one-on-one with a coach to iron out some of my bad habits and improve my technique. He is incredibly patient as I make the same mistakes over and over again.
Yesterday, we spent an entire hour on one drill, breaking down the movement to get to the crux of my issue. He would demonstrate, it would make total sense, I would try, and it would be…wrong. Again. Then I would do it right! Twice! Then my old habit would kick up again, and I’d have to restart.
About halfway through this training session, the experience started to feel really familiar. A little later, I realized why, though usually I’m on the other side of the equation. What I was experiencing in the gym is exactly what happens when I am coaching a client, or directing an actor, who absolutely gets what I’m saying, and is trying their best to execute, but an old, less effective, pattern is dominating.
Whether you’re trying to lift more weight, perfect your free throw, or communicate effectively with a colleague, a key component to shifting that behavior—permanently—is getting in the reps. We can’t overcome our muscle memory, our years of the old habit, without intentionally cultivating and practicing a new one. And that is going to mean failing, trying again, and learning.
My hope my clients (and myself!) is that we start to feel the shift when the new habit really starts to take hold. That’s where the magic happens.