Practice brings you face to face with how much work you still have to do.
It’s easy to fool ourselves when we’re just thinking about the task ahead—“oh, it won’t be that bad, I’ll just run through this speech/clean out this closet/revise this report.”
But once we dive in, we experience failure. The speech isn’t as complete as we thought; in fact, it trails off somewhere in the second paragraph. The closet that seemed like a 30 minute job has stuff way back in the back that we haven’t seen in years, and we have to make decisions about what to do with all of it. The report we promised to edit is long and needs massive revision.
But when you engage with the task in the spirit of deliberate practice, you know when you start that there is a lot of work ahead, and that’s how you’re going to learn. Practicing the speech out loud, on your feet, without your notes means you’re going to stumble, you’re going to forget what you thought you wanted to say, you’re going to see exactly how ill-prepared you are to stand in front of an audience.
And that’s good.