Perfect Practice – How often in the sport of tennis for example do two people play against one another that have the same knowledge about their sport, have similar talent levels, and have a great team of coaches behind them, but one athlete comes out and completely takes over the match and completely outplays the other. This is a common occurrence not only in sports but in every aspect of life, and it comes down to one thing… how well you have prepared. Perfect practice means taking all that valuable information and applying it to the situations that are currently affecting you negatively in your life. For example when I learned about the importance of breathing and how it affected my body and my anxiety levels, I only practiced proper breathing from time to time and with half hearted attempts, but that’s not what perfect practice is, perfect practice is when you add high amounts of QUALITY as well as TIME to the new habit you’re trying to instill onto yourself.
Persistence – Perfect Practice is nothing without the persistence needed to keep you on the right path. Think of persistence as the fuel for perfect practice, it’s like building a muscle, and becoming persistent daily in order to achieve the goal of full recovery from panic and anxiety lies in your ability to accept setbacks, and look at recovery as a LONG term plan. Andy was a 24 year old young man that I worked with that was able to conquer his phobias and fears of his lingering symptoms of anxiety. It took months after suffering for years, and he told me after that when he went a few days without a full blown panic attack or his usual sensations of anxiety, and all of a sudden when he experienced what he feared most again he automatically started to question his ability to fully recover, and he also lost much self esteem in himself. I’ve studied many people in the past who have overcome GAD and panic disorder, as well as many of the successful people that we look up to around the world in their own fields and a common trait that they all share is persistence fueled by recognizing that setbacks and ‘failures’ WILL happen, and is part of the experience of achieving what we set out to accomplish. Recognize that a long term approach is necessary.
Patience – “Patience and time do more than strength and passion.” Patience is a quality I still struggle with very much these days even after I’ve been able to completely stop my consistent cycle of panic and anxiety. Sometimes I growl and huff and puff a car in front of me doesn’t move fast enough when a traffic light turns green. Needless to say, patience does not come easily to most of us and due to the fast paced world we currently live in and the demands that are placed upon us from many different angles, it’s probably harder now to be patient than historically it has ever been. The benefits of developing into a patient person is not only a fantastic tool to have in your arsenal in overcoming an anxiety disorder, it will carry on into many other aspects of your life when you are free from the debilitating levels of anxiety you are currently experiencing.
The benefits of developing the 4 p’s in your life will also carry onto becoming a better natural decision maker, you become armed with the abilities to see the pros and cons in the situation and make a productive decision rather then a quick decision that you may regret later. It helps develop compassion because you become a more understanding person towards others when you yourself are patient. Finally it helps you to understand and appreciate the process of growth, Rome wasn’t build in a day, and anything worthwhile takes time and effort to achieve.