Being Better Than You Were Yesterday
The music business is very competitive. A little competitiveness is healthy. However, a lot of it can be harmful, because competition tends to interfere with personal enrichment. If you feel like you always have to be better than everybody else, you're setting the bar too high. How about just being better than you were yesterday? Don't compulsively compare yourself to other drummers. You're bound either to develop a false sense of grandeur or feel that your playing is totally inadequate. Both attitudes will interfere in your progress.
The more you feed your ego, the more you will probably falter. Perfectionism, for example, is a big problem with musicians. Somewhere along the way, some players learned that they had to play impeccably all the time. True, top pros rarely make egregious errors in public. But they also know how to cover up their mistakes. They know how to make great saves; their recoveries are usually seamless and undetectable.
Keep Your Goals Clear
Don't pursue perfection; pursue truth and excellence in music. Your drumming will have a lot more soul if you do this. Also, by doing this, your blunders will be naturally reduced. If you set your sights on perfection, you will probably do the opposite. Why? You will stumble because you're expecting the impossible. Perfectionism is unattainable. End of story.
On the other hand, your playing will improve when you learn to relax onstage, give it your all, and not fret relentlessly over mistakes. If your internal dialogue is on endless loop saying “Don't screw up … You can't screw up … Play perfectly … Impress the leader …,” guess what will probably happen? You'll bomb. Instead of trying to prove that you're the best drummer in town or the best drummer in the whole wide world, try just being better than you were yesterday. By doing this, you will shift your focus toward something concrete and attainable.