I totally get what you mean. I am always afraid to start a game. And there are times I find myself playing a correspondence game, and clicking myself off of OGS so I don’t see if my opponent plays another move.
Then there are times where I just won’t start a live game because I’m afraid to lose the game.
Really all these fears are totally irrational, then again, I have chronic anxiety problems, so overthinking something is something I am prone to doing. On the one hand, it makes me explain things as fully as possible, and then, on the other hand, I overexplain everything… so you know… plus sides and negative sides I guess. (Light anxiety humor)
but the best thing for you and for I is this… before starting a live game… take a few moments, close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and exhale them slowly. Clear your mind of literally everything you can. Relax. Then, when you have done this, and before you open your eyes, make yourself the commitment that for as long as this game is going to be played, I am going to play my best. I will not distract myself, and I will play the best game I can.
Then take in one last breath, and start the game.
I feel too often we talk about improvement alone. And not enough od we talk about the mindset of the player while in the game, or before the game. I feel that it helps to be as mentally prepared and calm as possible.
Improvement will come from a place of calm as well. A place where you don’t allow you to lie to yourself, and to bring you down. Improvement will come when you have a clear mind so that you can rationalize things without the emotions of the game getting in the way. Because Go… is a fundamentally emotional game.
It’s a conversation, an attack on your group is a shout from the opponent. when your opponent defends they are denying you something you want, anger, disappointment, and depression are common emotions. But equally as bad for the player is, over-confidence, glee, and pride. All of these things can really get in the way of self-development I think.