Sometimes You Have To Quit To Succeed
When you’re beating your head against a wall, it may just be time to quit. After all, repetitive head-wall collisions are not very productive, nor comfortable.
This is true with anything in life. Whether you are struggling with a design you’re creating, a stitch technique, figuring out a pattern or raising your children. In order to think and see clearly, sometimes removing ourselves from a stressful situation is the proper course of action.
In order to come back afresh after a break.
It might seem counter-productive when the pressure is on, but this technique can help resolve all sorts of situations where things aren’t going the way we want or need them to. Even when we’re doing everything right. Temporarily walking away can help us return with a different view and sometimes even go so far as to help us reboot.
As a pianist, I have often used the technique of “walk-away” for a couple of days when I had trouble with a piece of music I was working on. Sometimes you practice and practice and yet there’s still a part that just isn’t coming out right. And that’s when it’s really important to switch gears and work smarter, not just harder.
When increased practice and working harder don’t produce the desired results, the answer more often than not is to step completely away from the music for a day or two. And miraculously, when you come back – voilà – everything falls into place and you can suddenly play the music. It’s an interesting phenomenon, but it works.
There are some important reasons to use this technique in music. When working harder isn’t making it better, you risk planting seeds you don’t want. Your practice begins to ingrain the habits of the wrong notes, and then mistakes start becoming part of your muscle memory and performance. “Practice makes perfect.” But practice can also make mistakes permanent. Additionally, frustration can “poison” the music and the end performance and result.
The same is true for our hobbies and art, when I’m struggling with a crochet design or even the times when we’re dealing with difficult people or situations. Sometimes you have to pull yourself out of the forest and go visit the coast in order to come back and see the trees again.
Julia M. Chambers
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