What mindset gives us the best horn performance? This is something debated in various ways for a long time. I decided to do a brief survey on Twitter, and got the following results:
Personally, I feel my best performances come out of optimism and trusting myself, but I can see how words do not mean exactly the same thing to everyone. You can feel confident because of the same reasons you would feel optimistic; your chops feel good, you are well prepared, etc. You could also trust yourself (thinking “inner game” trust), and that feeling of trust would be a form of confidence as well.
Fearlessness could be viewed as being an advanced version of confidence. As such, I can see why it might lag a bit in the survey results; it lacks some of the tie-ins to the other answers. Optimism or trust can translate into confidence easily, but might not translate into fearlessness.
The survey does give at least a bit of an insight to ponder and points to a larger topic. Do we think the same as players of other instruments? Might be worth some further study.