It’s freaking cold

When islanders say it’s cold, the rest of Canadians are laughing at us. But I felt so cold today that I practiced yoga with my wool socks.

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My staycation plans

To share my staycation plans that I have carried out for a week: 

1) go to a restaurant every day, or a friend’s house to eat a good meal :p 

2)exercise every day. So far play badminton,tennis, and practice yoga every 3 days 

3) watch a movie every day ( brainwashed by all the Star Wars episodes recently)

 4) get rid off at least one old thing per day or give it to someone who needs it more 

5) as usual practice piano and read every day

I don’t need to prove that I am perfect

Piano is something I really like since my childhood, and being not given a chance to learn it made it more precious dream to me. To compensate my childhood dream, I started learning it in my late 30s.

I am advancing to grade 2 within a year , and my piano teacher kept telling that I am talented. However, I kept making mistakes in during public concert, as my hands were quivering so much that I couldn’t control them well on stage.

Digging down the root why I had stage panics, I found the reason is that instead of trying the deliverying the beauty of music to the audience, I focused too much on myself to be perfect and mistakeless.

It’s a habit since my childhood to prove to everyone that I am perfect. Being the second born and a girl in my family (in China), hearing the story from my mom that she almost decided for an abortion once she knew my sex, I always wanted to prove that I am the best for my parents, and everyone else.

Deeply I am unsecured. I wanted my parents and everyone ‘s acceptance and liking me. Since grade one in my primary school, I constantly ranked Top 1 at my class. “Studying machine” was what my classmates called me. I didn’t  play as much as other kids. I only show my parents and teachers what they like to see in me. Thank god this madness of being nothing but Top 1 finally ended after I got my Ph.D. In electrical and computer engineering in Canada. All I can say about my major is that my father chose it, and I am not passionate about it . However, it provided me a ticket to Canada and a good job. 

Now back to my piano performaning, I wanted to be the best student (again!!!) , and this caused me a lot of unnecessary pressure. 

I read this article online and what inspired me the most is the point 5 and 6 below.

I am sharing the tips here with you, and please let me know if you have other suggestions. Thanks!

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7 Reasons to Stop Proving Yourself to Everyone Else

5. Life isn’t a race; you have nothing to prove.
Everyone wants to get to the top of the mountain first and shout, “Look at me! Look at me!” But the truth is, all your happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing, not while you’re sitting at the top. Enjoy the journey by paying attention to each step. Don’t rush through your life and miss it. Forget where everyone else is in relation to you. This isn’t a race. You get there a little at a time, not all at once.
Let go of the foolish need to prove yourself to everyone else, and you’ll free yourself to accomplish what matters most to you. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you don’t have to always be and do what everyone else is being and doing.
6. The path to all great things passes through failure.
You are an ever-changing work in progress. You don’t have to always be right, you just have to not be too worried about being wrong. Screwing up is part of the process. Looking like a fool sometimes is the only way forward. If you try too hard to impress everyone else with your “perfection,” you will stunt your growth. You will spend all your time looking a certain way, instead of living a certain way.
It’s impossible to live without failing sometimes, unless you live so cautiously that you aren’t really living at all – you’re merely existing. If you’re too afraid of failing in front of others, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful in your own eyes. You have to remember that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail or how messy your journey is, so long as you do not stop taking small steps forward. In the end, those who don’t care that failure is inevitable are the ones that reach their dreams. YOU can be one of them. 

How to deal with Stage Fright?

After my 2nd public piano performance , I realize that I definitely have stage fright. 

I practice a lot, and  worked really hard, but again, my hands started quivering on the stage, and I slipped during performing one of my repertoires

Here is what I try to do to control it. The tips are for public speaking, but as an experienced Toastmaster, I know these will work. Of course I will perform more in public to concer the fear:

https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder/treatment/conquering-stage-fright
Learning to improve your speaking or performance skills is good, but it’s generally not enough to substantially reduce your fear. You must address and revise any negative perceptions, beliefs, thoughts, images, and predictions related to public speaking or performing. And it’s often helpful to uncover the deeper fears related to being seen and heard by others, showing vulnerability, and being considered less than perfect. Learning to accept yourself and not feeling that you have to prove yourself to others is at the root of healing.

It is recommended that you learn skills to reduce and manage your fear and anxiety and not resort to using medication or natural products alone. It’s also critical to learn cognitive-behavioral methods to stop the cycle of avoiding fearful situations. Avoidance may give you immediate relief, but it reinforces your fear in the long run. 

Try these 10 tips to reduce your stage fright:

  1. Shift the focus from yourself and your fear to your true purpose—contributing something of value to your audience.
  2. Stop scaring yourself with thoughts about what might go wrong. Instead, focus your attention on thoughts and images that are calming and reassuring.
  3. Refuse to think thoughts that create self-doubt and low confidence.
  4. Practice ways to calm and relax your mind and body, such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, yoga, and meditation.
  5. Exercise, eat well, and practice other healthful lifestyle habits. Try to limit caffeine, sugar, and alcohol as much as possible.
  6. Visualize your success: Always focus on your strength and ability to handle challenging situations.
  7. Prepare your material in advance and read it aloud to hear your voice.
  8. Make connections with your audience: Smile and greet people, thinking of them as friends rather than enemies.
  9. Stand or sit in a self-assured, confident posture. Remain warm and open and make eye contact.
  10. Give up trying to be perfect and know that it is OK to make mistakes. Be natural, be yourself.

Please comment if you have more suggestions. Thanks!