One of the challenges that many performers face is their relationship with expectations. I've found that expectations of winning can lead to a sense of pressure and tension, especially when the game isn't going your way. If you do end up winning, the emotion tends to be one of relief, rather than joy. Holding high expectations also increases the chances of disappointment, frustration, and entitlement.
Here are some suggestions for changing your relationship with expectations:
1. Change the expectations you hold. If you expect parts of the performance to go well, and other parts to be challenging, you'll be more likely to experience productive emotions and unsurprised when things go badly.
2. Use the equation Mood = Reality - Expectations (M = R - E). You can't change reality, but you can adjust your expectations. Lowering them can lead to greater freedom, flexibility, and adaptability.
3. Hold high standards, and low expectations. Standards are far more controllable than expectations, and they facilitate a present-moment focus.
4. Anticipate instead of expecting. When you anticipate, you're excited about the possibilities, rather than trying to control a preconceived outcome.