In the scraps of time I have left before father ships me away home to be faced with the drudgery of homework and crying and violin and oh God is life really that dull. 

I got roped into a little badminton competition this weekend. The best way to describe it is as an Asian league of lots of sub groups of Asians who fight it out at the national sport of badminton (sadly maths doesn't count as a sport here in Scotland - more of a sickness). I kinda play the sport, well I do one session a week and that's it but I'm not really disabled and can hold a racket pretty well so I get drafted in. 

Our group has two teams, initially I start as the sub for the first team. I'm pretty damn happy, all I do is sit around and do my homework and watch people play sport real well. During a break I'm chatting to the second team who are failing quite badly, I bring up the fact I have nothing to do and could play for them. Mistake. I get drafted in as their singles player. 

Now all the teams are in this round robin and basically I'm pitted against people who play for Scotland - I barely play for my school.

What happens for the next few hours is probably a testament to my performance anxiety. 

I just jump into my brain, I lose all sense of the outside world and just get shut into my own world. Something that's not exactly ideal when I need to perform. I get it a lot when I'm meant to do a piano performance. I attended an international piano competition a year or so ago and that was probably the worst case I've ever had. It was a week long lead up and I refused to practise, when it got to the performance I just choked playing the worst I've ever played. 

I used to get it a lot with public speaking, or just speaking in front of my class or something but the common advice is pretty true, just keep doing it until eventually it becomes painless. 

I think another part of it is just improving your general confidence. I don't really think there is a proper definition for confidence but I remember someone once said it's about knowing that if something goes wrong you can cope.  I've been trying to cultivate it for a while, a year or so ago I didn't have much and compensated by becoming a cocky arse hole but I think it's coming through. 

I think a good example of this is aural exams. For any music grade you need to be able to sing a few passages back and do some sight singing. For years I just couldn't do it. I would be too focussed on myself and judging it. Now I think I'm more free, and it comes out a lot better. 

So there's the end of that treatise into something I had on my mind right now

Published by Kevin Li