How ‘Deliberate Practice’ Can Help You and Your Anxious Child

There’s a key to getting ahead in life, whether it’s for you at your job or your anxious child when it comes to just about anything. That key is something called “deliberate practice.”

As The Wall Street Journal explains, deliberate practice involves going beyond what you already know how to do by pushing yourself to improve your skills. Before you spring this on your anxious kid, or even yourself, it’s wise to take heed of a few factors.

For the least painful results, deliberate practice should be aimed at fortifying something that you already know how to do, such as your mastery of editing photos or your anxious child’s skill at the French horn. If you opt for something you or your kid neither enjoys nor is good at, you may simply kick anxiety levels even higher.

And then there are a few caveats from the WSJ: 

  • Deliberate practice involves a firm goal that is a bit beyond your current skill level but not so far beyond that it’s unattainable.
  • Deliberate practice involves feedback. Otherwise you may not realize you’ve reached your targeted level – or not – and will not receive any construction criticism that can tell you how to get there.
  • Deliberate practice is not pretty. It’s uncomfortable going out of your comfort zone, but it’s the only way you’ll grow. 

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