Play the Damn Note

I’ve watched my youngest daughter sit at the piano, finger starting to press down the correct key…but she can’t bring herself to play it. She stares at the music. She glances at the keyboard. In my head I find myself saying, “Play the damn note.” And I can almost hear the thought going through her head – “what if I’m wrong?”

I know that fear. It’s the paralysis that comes from perfectionism. I’ve lived more of my life than I care to admit in the same frozen state. Even now I struggle to let go and simply write a rough draft without making constant edits. The voice is there.

“Is there a better word?”

“Should I include that example?”

“Who’s going to care about this?”

It doesn’t really go away, but I’m learning to quiet the volume and play the damn note.