I've always been under the impression that the only way to get better at something is by the loyal commitment to trying, trying, and trying again. Perhaps this stems from "Emily ballet student aged 5", and is so deeply engrained into my bunhead system that I can't see it any other way. Or maybe this is just common knowledge for anyone on the path of development.
"Practice makes perfect", is how the expression goes and it's the mantra that has encouraged me to pirouette and pirouette until I (someday) get it right. This goes for anything: playing your favourite song on the piano, or nailing your latte art, or getting past that level on Candycrush. Progress only comes with a consistency and a commitment.
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” - Zig Ziglar
A major factor of repetition's benefits is linked to one's brain, specifically the memory. With the pursuit of a repeated action, there may be a gradual increase in the speed and confidence in how we react each time. By already the second time we repeat something, that initial fear of trying something unfamiliar disappears and we become one step closer to your goal. We're a little bit less of an amateur and we now have experience.
We also react heavily on a sensory level. For instance, the muscle memory or implicit memory begins to kick in. We repeat the action until it becomes second nature and in our skin. We learn how to do something wrong so that we never do it again in that wrong way and, in effect, are then on the track to doing something in the right way.
However, where do we find this energy that drives us to repeat? Even the thought alone of doing something over and over again is exhausting. We have a tendency to get bored when things get repetitive, and sometimes that boredom gets the better of us and we just give up. What is it that keeps us going?
Perhaps it's the end result that we have in mind? That reward that we know will come from dedication. The idea of an achievement is enough to pull us through, even when we feel the most like forfeiting.
But then when is it too much? When do we tell ourselves to stop? When do we take a rest, pat ourselves on the back, and try again the next day? It's worth remembering that we are only capable of so much progress in a certain amount of time. We need to know that progress shouldn't be treated like a race. Everyone has their one pace and it's valuable to take things one day at a time. Find the balance of being kind to yourself as a hard worker while still holding onto that ambition.