I tried something weird and wonderful tonight.
I decided to try to focus my attention during the show on finding things for which to be grateful. It got a bit ridiculous at the end, I was just writing down anything I saw whether I was actually grateful for it or not. For instance, I wrote that I was grateful for sweat, split notes and the crown of thorns and nails.
It was like I was trying on gratitude for size, seeing if it fit, seeing how it sounded, seeing if it helped me play any better. I was trying to shift my attention away from that which was not helpful. Thoughts that I cannot rid myself of, thoughts that will not leave me alone.
I was trying to distract myself from perfectionism. I am not sure if it worked, or if it was worth the effort in the end. It was fun and it made me play a bit freer I think. My playing was a bit wayward at times, and probably made a few more splats that I would have liked and splatted things that I have never splat before. Some bits were more brash and carefree.
My overall focus was wayward and sloppy, but the show did seem to be over very fast. I felt good until the very end when the perfectionism started yelling at me again. And then the wash of shame at the end of the show, and on the way home feeling a bit depressed.
The revelation tonight was that not only do I have to learn to watch perfectionism pop up again and again, like I used to watch anxiety feelings, I feel like I have to learn to watch the 'wash of shame' come and go in waves following the perfectionism. Do they go hand in glove?
I am just sick of thinking about this stuff day after day. I am worried I am overthinking. Am I raking over the coals continuously with no fruitful conclusion?
Is it possible that all of this ACT for performance anxiety was just a pile of bullshit and I am a fraud?