What do you expect your performance to look like over time? Many of us hope for something like this:
Unfortunately, that is not reality. In his excellent book Mastery, George Leonard suggests that the path to mastery looks like this:
Not exactly what most of us hope for. Certainly not what most of us are patient and trusting enough to stick with when we are stuck on another plateau.
Yet this is the only path to mastery of any skill: gradual improvements followed by periods of seeming stagnation (sometimes even declines as we learn new skills/techniques necessary for improvement) prior to an outward expression of learning. The outward expression is the key phrase there. Certainly learning and improvement are happening the entire time we are on the plateau. But because we do not get the rewards (both internal and external) of improvements in performance, we tend to despise the plateau and get frustrated.
Trust involves learning to love the plateau. Knowing that this is the time you are preparing yourself for another little breakthrough in performance. Even more that that, it is your time with your performance. No distractions from the joys (and sometimes burdens) and attention that come with increased performance. Reconnect with your passion and inspiration for your performance. Know that another improvement is inevitably coming if you stick with it. Know that others will drop out while they are on the plateau.
Trust the mastery process. Trust yourself. Love the plateau.