There’s the practice of technical skills that get better over time. With enough persistence and effort, you can become proficient at injections, inserting catheters, starting IVs and dressing wounds. Perfect techniques in your work and become an expert.
Difficult and more valuable is the practice of intentionally showing up every day and choosing to be empathetic, respectful and kind. The practice of gratitude. The practice of choosing what’s right over what’s comfortable and easy. The practice of seeing and solving problems, and doing what isn’t asked of you. The practice of helping people feel cared for. The practice of trying new things.
We’ve succumbed to the belief that the technical skills in our work matter the most, because that’s what gets taught, practiced and tested. What actually matters the most to the people we help is how we make them feel through the choices we make and the difficult practices we engage in.
We get better at being ourselves and make the greatest impact when we practice, not when we perfect.