With the move to Nashville looming large in the next few weeks, I’ve been intensely wrestling with the fear that few people get to experience: I’m going to get to find out if I’m really good enough to do what I've dreamed of doing for a living since I was a kid.
With that fear has come thousands of questions. Will I be good enough? Are my playing abilities where they need to be? Can I compete in the crowded Nashville market? Will I ultimately be able to make a living doing what I love?
One of the byproducts of the tension has been performance anxiety at the piano. It happened last night- I was right in the middle of a session and completely choked. I tried everything I could think of to loosen up, and nothing worked. Pretty embarrassing moment for me.
Yesterday I was running into the same problem again. I was trying to cut a track for a friend’s single, and started having problems again. Trying to re-gain my focus, I looked down at my Nord keyboard. It suddenly struck me I was playing on a $4,000 keyboard.
I forget so often: I’m unbelievably lucky.
I’m moving to Nashville to pursue my career. I have a beautiful wife. I’ve got a great family. I’ve got two beautiful dogs. Like a rush of water, things I was thankful for came tumbling out. I took a deep breath, and pressed record. Nailed it in one take.
Why did being thankful help me relax? Perhaps it forced me to embrace the good things I have right now, and stop worrying about what I might not have in the future. Maybe it redirected my energy into focusing on the amazing way people have shown me that I have value not for what I do, but who I am.
I am thankful. Not for what might happen, or even for what has happened in the past, but for what I’ve been given right now. And as we transition to a new phase of our lives, I’m going to focus on embracing that every day.