stream of unconsciousness
One of the most useful metaphors I learnt in sessions with my psychologist was the idea that once the river has made its path, it will keep running down that path. It is not likely that it will suddenly change it's course just because you want it to.
This metaphor was often in response to 'why do I keep on thinking this way when I have already worked out that this not a useful way to think?' She said that once a thought pattern has been established, it will play itself over and over. Your mind will repeatedly make the same connections, no matter how unhelpful they are.
Until you become mindful of that stream, and make it conscious.
Shine a light on it.
Forgive yourself as you did not chose to think this way. You learnt to think these things years ago.
Today I found myself thinking the way I used to when I was preparing for auditions in the past. Panicked, narrowly focussed, over practicing mindlessly. This is a very old familiar pattern.
It is useful in that I practice a lot and become physically strong. Develop strong 'chops'. Endurance.
The downside is that I don't think this sort of practice is mentally healthy or helpful to overcoming performance anxiety.
It's obsessive and neurotic, and I am practicing the patterns of anxious thought. 'I can't play this. It wasn't perfect. They are going to laugh. This is pointless'.
You've heard me play this song before.