The path of learning anything can be divided into three steps.
Repeat the steps and learn the rules.
Once the basic forms are mastered, try innovations
Discard the forms. You are the master and can be as creative as you want.
The same principle applies across any practice. It is important be clear and honest with yourself about where you stand.
Having the right partner, or coach, can guide you through the learning process and help you progress faster than you could ever do by yourself.
Shuhari on Wikipedia: