When we refer to certain professions we call the business of it a practice. My friend's husband has a dental practice, I have a coaching practice, my brother practices law.

Within those parameters we might refer to the dentist as “excellent”, the coach as “supportive” and the lawyer—at least in my brother's case—as “ethical.”

“To be engaged in professionally” is one definition of practice in Merriam Webster's Dictionary. This is a person “doing.” The above descriptions, excellent, supportive, ethical; refer to the person “being.” What these two ideas have in common is what it takes to get there: practice.

We practice to get a degree, to sing on key, and to communicate well. In short we are working towards mastery. Who among those who have achieved mastery in any game would not agree that practice is vital but it must be married to supportive self talk and a willingness not to see setbacks as failure.

It has been said that we are “meaning making machines.” It has also been said that our self talk is the power- link to the results we see in our lives. So why make the little things that derail us mean we are bad, ineffective, stupid, etc? What results can that kind of mind chatter produce? Losing $1000 on an investment gone bad does not mean you are bad with money—unless that's what you choose as the meaning. Does this make sense?

In the past if I'd say, “I'm going to clean out that drawer in the bathroom this week” and I didn't do it my tendency was to beat myself up. “I never do things when I say I will.” Since I believe that I create results based on what I tell myself, it's no wonder the drawer remained full of product samples from my Barbie doll era.

Limit your little voice unless she has something positive to say.

A sure way to postpone mastery is to weaken your efforts with, “I'll try”. The old saying “if at first you don't succeed” etc. may be good advice but it comes with the flip side of succeed which is fail. Is it ok to fail in this win-win society? Sure it is if you think of it as a part of the process, not the end of the game.

Harv Eker refers to the work of getting to a goal as one of “correct and continue.” Each time you set out to hit a target or change a habit you either do or do not do it. Where's the try? If you get there, great, what's next? If you miss the target review what worked, what didn't, and what you can do better next time. Correct and continue. It's a practice.

When we try on a new idea—“I can be a millionaire” or “I can be healthy”—and we feel these to be possible we take steps towards that goal. What happens when we get distracted by life, by fear, by procrastination? These new feelings diminish the energy for achieving our goal and we start the negative self talk. We do the try/fail tango because we don't consider that every action or moment of inaction and reflection is part of the journey. That's all.

Was buying that cheap laptop a bad choice even though it's not what you'd hoped? No, it was just a choice based on the information you had. Does it mean you are not capable of making good decisions and you should quit right now? I'll let you answer that.

We are encouraged to practice our chosen professions to become proficient , even great. Some choose to practice being a better parent, spouse, team leader. The majority will have some form of spiritual practice which is essential to their well being. I would like to add another possibility; that to practice self love will enhance all of these.

Remember there really is no “try” as Yoda said, only “do or do not.” And both are only choices. Why one choice, to do, makes us good and the other bad should be recognized as self sabotage.
Try on the idea that we create our reality with our words.
Consider that we have much to learn about ourselves and it's mostly going to come by trial and error.
Stay aware that life is a gift, why squander it sitting out the game?
Take a moment to ponder the perfection you already are, regardless of what you choose to see. No doubt this will take some practice. Mastering this idea may mean you've achieved the greatest goal of all.

Author's Bio: 

Gregory Anne is a certified life coach who specializes in lifestyle issues and how these can change at midlife. Assisting clients to find what will work for them--as there is no one size fits all--is the focus of her teleseminars, (www.coachgac.com/tuneup.htm), group, and individual coaching.Go to www.livebettercoach.com for more information.Or stop by the Blog at: http://mscoach.typepad.com/coachingcafe/