Warning: This post contains moments of tough love.
Why do you practice?
To move up in your section? To reach higher than your personal best? To increase your ability to connect with an audience?
Up means improvement and success. Just take a look at my Google image search for "success":
In practicing and learning, those "up" moments are brilliant. They encourage us, console us, validate us.
Sure, the "down" moments sting, but it's the prolonged periods of parallel motion that are truly devastating. It hurts to work and feel no progress, it hurts when dedication doesn't seem to matter, and it hurts to watch others improve while you're stuck on cruise control. Plateaus are the worst.
So now I offer you three "UP"s as options to take until you reach your next "up".
To conclude: I had a teacher once who equated the process of practicing and improving over the long-term to climbing a mountain - it is only at the end of your climb that you realize how high you've reached.
In the meantime, though, remind yourself what you can do. Tell yourself you're awesome, because you are to someone (even if not yourself).
Some plateaus can be just plain beautiful.