I wrote in previous posts that we need to play according to our artistic judgement rather than our physical abilities to determine our dynamics for example.
Let's take this a bit further and see what makes us play the way we play.
When you perform a piece, you are always making decisions even you are not aware of it. You choose how short is "staccato", how loud is "forte", how fast is "allegro", how strong should the accents be etc... The rational part of your brain tells you what to do, the creative and intuitive part tells you how and how much. This is how you create your own interpretation of the music and truly become an artist by making your own choices. On the other hand, if only use the rational part of yourself to play, you'll just play the notes and end up with a boring performance where nothing happens.
The intuitive and creative part of your brain doesn't really work in terms of right vs wrong or good vs bad. It's more about "I like" vs "I don't like". So if you want to be more in touch with this part of you, you will need to suspend criticism and let your feelings and intuition take over.
You just have to come up with an interpretation that YOU feel is right at the moment even if it sounds completely random in the beginning. Don't criticize what you do, it's a work in process. Even if it's not the greatest idea, it will lead you to a better one and so on until something great comes up.
Composers and song writers work this way a lot. First, they let their imagination go wild a bit without trying to control it too much. After a while some interesting motives and ideas start showing up and they can add so meat around the bone. Same thing for jazz musicians when they improvise. They wouldn't be able to do it if they were shy about the melodies they come up with on stage. The more they do it, the more they get in touch with their creative side and the better they become at it.
If you want to play in a more creative and intuitive way, you will have to think like a composer or jazz musician and be in touch with the more instinctive part of yourself. Don't criticize what you do. Criticism will kill your creativity in the process. There is no wrong answer. Just do what you feel like doing. Take your foot of the break and let the music happen in you. Take time to create a great interpretation in your head first. Don't be afraid to go bold and crazy if you feel like it. It's in your head, you can do what you want! Then try to replicate this with your instrument. If you do that, you will become a true musician and artist no matter what your technical skills are.
I am associate principal horn of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the author of the progressive methods. I'm happy to share my experience as a horn player and teacher with you.