As we go through school, we are introduced to a lesson, we learn the lesson, we are tested on the lesson, and then we move on. We were not taught value in going back to repeat or revisit a lesson multiple times in order to integrate it more completely. In fact, when someone needs more time to understand, this may be judged and even viewed as a problem. But, it doesn’t stop in school.

In work environments, we may be given initial training on the skills and methods, but then we are expected to move on and not need time to go back, revisit, relearn, or revise. In therapy, clients participate in learning a skill, practice the skill, use the skill a time or two, and then move on with their lives while expecting the skill to later save the day when the need arises. However, they often can’t remember the skill or exactly how to use it in the moment of need. Then, when asked, they report that the skill was ineffective. In coaching yoga teachers, the suggestion to revisit a manual from a previous training and see what skills may have been forgotten often opens up a new perspective and a deeper integration of the skills.

One of the things this year has shown me is the power of repetition. Not only through practicing skills over and over so that they become automated, but also in going back and revisiting books I have previously read, notes from trainings I have previously taken, and coursework I have previously gone through. I have experienced mindset shifts, new perspectives, and new ways of functioning in my life this year upon completing coursework for the fourth time.

In a culture that can reinforce expectations of being great at something the first time we try it and being able to do more with fewer resources, it is no surprise that many people feel ‘not good enough’ in some way. It seems that the story we are taught to tell ourselves is that there is no time to repeat things and that we have been there/done that, so there is no value in doing it again. Novelty is valued over repetition, however mastery comes from repetition.

We know that using an affirmation or a more helpful thought once does not create a shift in our thinking patterns; we must replay the new thought over and over. The same applies with our behaviors and our emotions. If we want to experience shifts in our cognitive, emotional, and behavioral patterns, we must ready ourselves to repeat, reiterate, and refine. And then to go through the process again. And again. Working to unwind patterns that we may have been stuck in for years of our lives will take time and we must expect that repetition will be a part of the process. Repeating a lesson in no way means that we have failed; it means that we are moving toward mastering the lesson.

Take some time to revisit coursework, lessons, books, notes, etc. to experience the learning again and perhaps to see things in a new and deeper way.

I will be doing the same right along with you.

Chat again soon,


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