The Buddhist and Stephen Covey agree. “To know and not do, is really not to know.” In other words, when learning something new, never underestimate the importance of doing it.

For example, if your favorite tennis player told you her secret to hitting a slice backhand, could you do it consistently? Not likely. The same applies as we learn new concepts and behaviors. Yet, we tend to think that if we hear something and understand it intellectually, we can do it.

As a result, we resist practicing, especially if the discrete how-to steps sound simple. But, to get it right, we have to turn understanding into committed practice. We have to give ourselves time to rehearse, to embody the new, to physically feel what it’s like to do that thing, before we’re in the hot seat or the spotlight.

To enjoy better outcomes as you grow, and take on new challenges that call on new skills, invest time in practicing “doing” what you think you understand how to do.