... when you prepare as best you can, bring all you've got and convince yourself that what you're showing up with is more than enough. If you tell yourself you're going to rock it (whatever it is), there's a good chance you will. Or maybe you won't... but at least the process won't be so painful. In fact, it's likely to be pretty awesome.
In a previous life, I spent lots of time and spun lots of wheels trying to make things perfect. I'd study until I'd memorized every fact and anticipated every possible question. I'd revise until I was sure that, having channeled my editor, I answered every one of her/his questions - in the first draft. (Impossible! And I lost much sleep doing it. Better to follow the advice of Anne Lamott: "Shitty first drafts.") I didn't miss classes or rehearsals. I'd taken all of the notes, even recorded lectures. (Um... yup. I was that girl. In grad school at least.) I knew all of the choreography - and helped other peeps with the spacing. When the test began, the draft was submitted, the curtain opened, I pretty much knew how things would go down.
Anymore, this just isn't an option. I don't have 14 hours a day to work. I skip dance classes because I'm sick - because for the second time this season, the stomach bug has circled through my home. My time is no longer 100% my own, so I often have no choice but to wing "it" (whatever it is). And this often puts me outside of my comfort zone. Thing is, I'm getting cozier out there in the unknown... having had quite a few chances recently to learn that a little prep goes a long way when you combine it with the right perspective. It's forced growth - and I'm grateful for it.
About a year ago, I reported a big feature on fear - and overcoming it - and one of the experts I interviewed suggested something something that really stuck: when you start to feel the physical sensations of "nervousness," relabel them as "excitement." I pulled out this trick twice this week and it worked. For real. The result: less fear, more fun. Fab.