It is extremely stressful to be something you are not.
And it’s even more stressful to pretend to be something you are not.
Your comfort and confidence in front of an audience is directly proportional to your willingness to be yourself.
So, don’t compare yourself to anybody else. Don’t try to play like anybody else. Don’t let anybody else define success for you. Above all, never sacrifice your ideals for a cheap reward.
To that end, stop worrying about perfection. Stop worrying about fame and fortune. Stop worrying about what others think of you.
Instead, start “worrying” about more important things…
- “Worry” about not being yourself.
- “Worry” about playing for the wrong reasons.
- “Worry” about not having fun.
And if you do, you will do more than overcome the jitters and feel better. Your conviction and humble confidence will take your playing to a whole new level. And your audience, no matter how grand or humble, will recognize and feel your integrity and authenticity.
In summary, allow your musical life to be an expression of your most deeply-held values and you can’t go wrong.