When I was growing up my first teacher, who I loved so dearly, helped me grow not only as a player, but also as person. I wish I could remember how she would address the problems I had and how she would help me to understand what I was doing. I always felt that she was bringing something out of me rather than making me into a cookie cutter person. I felt encouraged and safe to make mistakes, as long as I learned from them. I felt like I had the reigns, but that I was being lead in the right direction.
In many ways, being able to do something is more about having the right mind set than anything else. I'm really guilty of unconsciously and (consciously!) thinking in negative patterns, its only when I wake up enough to question my beliefs that I can stop the wheel from turning. The problem that I've faced, is that the negative patterns create negative actions, which creates negative experience, which then creates evidence that my negative mind set was correct. Its like a weird equation. For example, you can really psych yourself out in the wrong way before a performance and walk on stage with your nerves wayyyy over active, to the point where you're too nervous to perform at all, perform badly and then believe that performing is not only scary but that you will mess up. Whereas, if you would psych yourself out in a way that would allow you to relax, to feel confident, to feel inspired, you would walk on stage a completely different person, probably have a different experience and consequently enjoy playing and expect to have a positive experience. We are creatively interpreting the world around us, and we can be "existing" in a heaven or hell. Its a clique now, but I feel that its just something that we all, especially as performers can relate to. Its truly a mind game.