When we listen to a successful performance, the ideas and the intentions of the composer and the performer are clear and simple. Also, it looks like for the performer everything is so effortless while we understand the daily struggle behind the process of learning a piece. Ideally, when we perform, playing needs to become a form of expression, and the hard work or technique should not be the main focus.
Also, you don’t have to work too hard. The effort and the experience gained are spread between multiple practicing sessions, performance opportunities and lessons. What is important and will take you to the final destination, is compartmentalizing your work and accepting the fact that changes will happen gradually. Think of it: at every moment, there is a small change that you need to focus on.
Address just that. Do not feel overwhelmed by the size of the composition, the number of notes in it, or the final tempo. That’s not important yet. Even the most complex works break down into multiple shorter and simple pieces, that are organized in a graceful way. That understanding of structure, clarity and simplicity is our final goal. How to make things that are first difficult to comprehend, to sound clear and accessible? Step aside for a second, imagine how it should sound so it makes sense to you and take a deep breath. Allow yourself to play again without trying too hard and direct your energy to more creative tasks like listening, imagining and communicating.