While I still contend that having a hero is possibly the most important facet of learning an artform and battling plateaus, it needs to be understood that performance plateaus are a very common part of the learning curve.
However, first things first. Why compare and contrast yourself to the lazy person. This person isn't your hero are they? No? Good! Compare and contrast yourself to a hero worth emulating.
Here's some good basic psychology on how to get past this stage and reasons why plareaus happen:
If you can't get past a certain point, here's something to think about: 1) focus on technique
2) stay goal oriented
3) get immediate feedback on the performance. In other words, you need to practice deliberately to break through plateaus.
4)Get back to basics. Even when you’re advanced at something, delving back into the basics can actually give you fresh insights that help you progress even further.
5)Think long term. When we think short-term, we have a tendency to feel that plateaus are permanent.
But when we take the big picture view of things, we start to see plateaus as temporary way-stations that we’ll eventually get past with a bit of hard work.
To cultivate this attitude, reflect on a time where you felt you had reached the end of your development in some area, only to later bust through the plateau. If it was possible then, it’s possible now.
Russell A. Dewey, PhD, describes what happens with a typical learning curve.
With repetition of almost any motor task, learning occurs, and a person becomes more efficient or effective at carrying out a task. Progress in skill learning commonly follows an S-shaped curve, with some measure of skill on the Y axis and number of trials on the X-axis. Progress is slow at first, then a subject may experience a burst of learning that produces a rapid rise on the graph.
Why does an S-curve of growth eventually level off?
What people call a plateau may be a period of stability after a skill is learned as well as it can be learned. Most growth processes follow the same S-shaped curve as motor learning. In general, an S-shaped curve of growth levels off because stability is attained, a resource needed for growth is limited, or a ceiling of performance is reached.
What phases of learning a complex skill cause the "S-curve" pattern?
The S-shaped learning curve is most obvious when someone learns a highly complex task(like trumpet). The initial part of the curve rises slowly as a person becomes familiar with basic components of a skill. The steep ascending phase occurs when there is enough experience with rudiments or simple components to start "putting it all together." Rapid progress follows until the skill "hits a ceiling" or stabilizes at a high level.
Hope this helps