Trusting Your Abilities

We've all had nightmares where we sleep through a final exam, or forget to show up to a meeting, or even choke in front of an auditorium full of people.  But how many times has the nightmare ACTUALLY played out in your life? In the video below, you can see world-renowned pianist, Maria Joao Pires, live through this exact scenario.

Ms. Pires showed up to a performance having practiced and prepared for the wrong Mozart concerto. She realizes her mistake when the orchestra hits the first note and she has to decide what to do.

Watch how she copes; it's stunning.

Also pay attention to the demeanor of the conductor.

Can you imagine such pressure?  Clearly she knew the piece from her countless hours of experience, but to remember what to play at a moment's notice, to bounce back after the utter surprise about the piece, is flat-out inspiring.

She only had two choices - bail out completely, or jump in. The conductor was calm and confident that she would "do well," and his gentle encouragement seemed to be all she needed.

I could feel her not breathing. I could see her debate her options. But, when the pause happened and all eyes were on her, she trusted in her skills and played.

When surprises happen, if you're like I am, it's tempting to waste time figuring out the "why" when what I really need to do is to jump into "what's next." I need to trust in my abilities and get moving.

How well do you handle surprises?