Break times over kiddos. Starting with Burning Crusade there is a routine I go through in getting ready to raid. The whole process is an evolution into this new version of the game.
Phase 1: Leveling
To thine own self be true- Shakespeare
This is your chance to really turn your mind off. Most likely you are soloing it. Maybe you have a leveling buddy. Your gear is crappy. You eagerly accept greens that are better than your epics you personally lifted from some of the hardest beings in Azeroth just a few weeks prior. You have new toys to play with and some of your old toys are different. You will die a lot. You will get lost. You will get frustrated by a few quests. You will probably also grow to irrationally hate a given zone. Probably the ones that have quests that frustrated you. At some point you ding max level and off you are to phase two.
Phase 2: Instances
Hell is other people. – Satre
Now you are max level and looking to step up your game. This means relearning how to play with others. Something you may not have been doing for a few weeks or maybe months depending on how fast you typically level. Just like in phase one you are learning about new abilities, but this time you are learning about what your friends or strangers can do. You will learn again what your favorite tank or healer can do, and probably find new things that DPS does to break your CC. If you are even trying to CC.
Phase 3: Heroics
Adversity is the first path to truth. ~Lord Byron
After you run regular instances for a while you step up your game and hope to find folks who have stepped up theirs. You tighten your rotations, you finally have to start worrying about gear with enchants and gems. You study up on theorycraft to see what major changes have happened in your class since the lasttime you raided. And most of all you practice. Practice how to be the best you can be.
Phase 4: Raids
We acquire the strength we have overcome. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Raids are where you end up again. Here is the thing though, we raid not because it is easy, we do it because it is hard. When you step into a raid wearing the blues you got from heroics and maybe a purple or two from rep, you know that it will not be easy. You can’t expect to come in and kill everything. For that just go run last expansion’s raids. You will feel like a god. A huge part of raiding, for me and many others, is that rush you get from downing a boss for the first time. Cheers go out on vent. It clearly wasn’t a given that it would happen. But to get that thrill you have to accept that there will be challenges. Some are just you learning your class, or how your team works. Some will be getting gear to make it easier. But the biggest challenge is remembering to keep the right attitude. Gear improves with time, skill comes with practice, but a positive attitude starts this moment with one simple thought: I will succeed.