It is an undeniable fact that mental and emotional focus is needed for you to succeed in poker. Besides, you need to have a strong mental game, especially if you want longevity in poker. Meaning, in order for you to grow as a player, you have to be able to self-criticize, but not to the point of self-shaming. Many poker pro players are exceedingly harsh and critical of themselves. This mindset may help to achieve short-term goals. But in the long-term, it puts you in an unhealthy mindset and weakens your chances of sustained excellence as a player.
So, how can you avoid the unhealthy mindset that torments most poker players? Here are the 3 things to remember when you play at an online casino like fun88 or even at land-based casinos.
You can be critical and harsh of yourself without being too mean
Experienced poker pros even go on tilt sometimes, and this is often the reason for them to become upset at themselves for making a mistake. Numerous poker players are extremely critical of themselves, thinking this can motivate them to become a good player. Being extremely self-critical can be a motivation to improve yourself in the short-term. However, it is an unsustainable mindset in the long run.
You can be critical and harsh of yourself without being too mean. Keep in mind that it is important to keep a healthy mindset toward self-criticism in playing. Don’t be too hard on yourself while playing, because your mistakes may even become worse.
Language is powerful
Remember this: there is a big difference between admitting a mistake and shaming yourself for a mistake. Your language and the way you talk to yourself is a powerful tool. Don’t use the word ‘I’ when self-critiquing.
For instance, instead of saying, ‘I really messed that game up. I shouldn’t have…,’ say, ‘Maybe, it’s not just my day. The hand combination was…’
The first sentence is a toxic language because it creates a feedback loop that you are what is wrong, that you are the mistake. Though self-criticism is an essential part of poker improvement, it’s more important not to self-shame while doing so.
Awareness can lead to a change in process and thinking
As a poker player, you have to learn to recognize that you are shaming yourself when you’ve made a mistake in a game. You can do that by identifying the language you use to talk to yourself.
The awareness to recognize toxic, extremely harsh language toward yourself is one of the most vital aspects of healthy self-criticism. Self-shaming when making a poker mistake can become a compulsive behavior, a vicious cycle of tilts, and substandard play.
When you finally learn to recognize self-shaming, you can also learn to forgive yourself and start moving on. If you keep on shaming yourself in the middle of your game and are unable to forgive yourself for making a mistake, chances are your play can become worse and worse.