It is said that “practice makes a man perfect.” But do you know why?

Because a thought or action or anything needs to be repeated before it becomes sufficiently hard-wired into the brain. And what we mean by practice is basically the “repetition.”

You must have heard the story when a person was told to cut a tree in 7 hrs and what he did was strengthen his sword for 6 hrs continuously. Through this repetition and practice, his sword had now become sharp enough to cut that tree. That’s the power of repetition.

With repetition comes the habit. And this habit may make you or break you. That’s the reason repetition of constructive thoughts or beliefs or actions becomes important, along with the avoidance of bad habits. Be it any field whether education, health, money, personal or professional lives, without any doubt, the success or failure in those fields is the result of the repetition of our choices and our actions.

The Science behind Repetition

Cells that fire together, wire together.

The persistence or repetition of activity tends to induce lasting cellular changes that add to its stability. This can be further explained by the theory of “Hebbian Learning”. This theory explains some types of associative learning in which simultaneous activation of cells leads to an increase in synaptic strength. Indeed, this may explain why repeated thought or practice strengthens the hardwiring of neurons in the association areas of the various lobes of the brain.

Biologically this means that a dominant thought created through our willpower will stimulate new synaptic connections in our brain. Once these connections are made, repetition of the same thought (or action) will stimulate more corresponding connections. The more a thought is held, the easier it is for that thought to be remembered or activated.

For instance, think of learning a new skill such as dancing or boxing, or learning a new language. When you learn something new it takes several repetitions at various intervals for that particular thing to be mastered.

Until we have laid down a habit in neural networks and memory systems, we must willfully decide to repeat a new action again and again, even when it’s a struggle. And that repeatedly rewarded actions restructure the way information is stored in our brains.

We may not be aware, but, in order to be really good at something, we need to repeat it over and over again. In this way, our brain records the necessary pattern. And this makes mastering our tasks easier.

How does repetition affect performance?

Soccer legend David Beckham was once known for his amazing free kicks. Each time he stepped up to take one, the crowd was certain that the ball was going to land in the back of the net. Beckham didn’t become a master of free kicks overnight. He practiced over and over again. He didn’t practice until he got his free-kicks right, but until he couldn’t get them wrong. Even when he was scoring them, he ensured that he stayed consistent with his practice.

Related post: Consistency is the key.

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.

Muhammad Ali

You receive what you repeat. When you repeat the basics, you not only become the best in your skill; you also stay the best. The reason is that if you do something every single day, you’ll soon start doing it subconsciously.

You always need to repeat the basics. And there’s only one way to improve the basics, that is by repetition. Some things can be done faster, especially if you keep repeating the basics. Because that’s when we screw up most of the time. For example, you get stronger by lifting weights, not once but many times. You need to do it again and again. If you want to become an author, you need to keep writing, not once but on a repetition mode.

Without repetition, it is quite natural and easy to forget things. If you don’t do any action regularly or on a consistent basis, it’s natural that your flow will get lost and you need to re-start it from the very beginning. That’s how the brain works.

CONCLUSION

This “repetition is key” concept is the reason that repeating affirmations is so effective; why looking at your vision board over and over is so powerful; why hanging out with people matching your vibes is so important; why constant communication to nurture your relationships is essential and why being diligent about being grateful is so transformative.

Repeating the process every day gets you closer to your goals. You don’t become an expert only by doing something one time but by practicing it again and again. (unless you are an extraordinary talent). For example, if you are reading a book, after finishing it you still don’t know many of its concepts. and you probably could not teach what you learn after the first time. To become an expert, you need to read it repeatedly.

Know and accept that you never get anywhere by just reading it once. You will never become a master of your trade by just doing it once. Do it again and again because this repetition is powerful.

Repetition makes reputation.

 Elizabeth Arden


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