Self awareness is like a muscle. A muscle we spend working out everyday, and if you skip days it will deteriorate.
How do I become more self aware in game? To be honest, there’s no one answer that fits all, but I can tell you that it is damn important.
If you aren’t dedicating some portion of your day on “improving” your self awareness you are not going to see progress. Self awareness is like a muscle. A muscle we spend working out everyday, and if you skip days it will deteriorate. To see even incremental progress, you have to be extremely consistent; but the payoff for doing so is huge. Not only it will help your in game awareness, it will also improve your focus, sharpen your attention and it will make you more relaxed and present; which is also beneficial for your everyday life.
Not giving your mind the needed attention is the same as if you keep smoking and not willing to quit. You have to deal with the consequences. In terms of poker, it creates poor in game self awareness. You can argue self awareness is one of the major causes for everything, both positive and negative.
When we want to change, we want to change in a manner where a habit will be built.
Often people try to optimize and maximize the results.They read books about tilting in order to tilt less. They learn about focus in order to grind longer sessions. They change their nutrition and start analyzing spots to be more balanced, calm and focused throughout their poker sessions. What they are not realizing is this only scratches the surface. By not paying attention to total self awareness they are not getting to the root cause and eventually they wonder why it’s hard to change permanently.
Sometimes people will see small successes here and there, but then they fall back into old habits. After a month of hustle, hard work and determination they ask themselves “What is going on with me?” . At times, they are more focused, tilt less and are decisive, deploying their A-Game. However, they need to put in a lot of effort in order to reach that level and this isn’t really permanent.
When we want to change, we want to change in a manner where a habit will be built. A habit is supposed to make it effortless, more natural.
Our subconscious mind is auto-piloting in these situations and we don’t need to focus on things like “Now I have to be focused”
Of course, sometimes it is still hard. You might still hit rock bottom. You will still suffer downswings and moments of doubt, but if you have developed your self-awareness “muscle” you will have a better perspective. You will be able to stand up again with more confidence and ease than before. You will be able to detect your leaks and sticking points much clearer. You are not bullshiting or deluding yourself. Last but not least you will come back stronger and have learnt from it.
When a habit is built our subconscious mind takes over. Our subconscious mind is auto-piloting in these situations and we don’t need to focus on things like “Now I have to be focused” “Now I have to be more calm and relaxed”. We train and practice in order to reach a level where it becomes second nature; where being more relaxed, calm, decisive and focused is a normal state. Not stressing and forcing ourselves into these states is how we play our best poker.
Without self awareness you will never be able to apply a high level of calmness, focus, balance, decisiveness or any other important ability that defines a great poker player.
The problem is, most people don’t give their self awareness the attention it needs. This is an ability which is enormously important. I would even argue more important than any other skill. Without self awareness you will never be able to apply a high level of calmness, focus, balance, decisiveness or any other important ability that defines a great poker player. That’s not even mentioning attributes like attitudes such as dedication, persistence, discipline, hustle and patience.
First and foremost you must able to self-assess where you are now. You have to acknowledge what you are good at and where you suck. Without self awareness there is NO chance of getting to the root cause of your problems, and then finding out where you are right now in order to evolve to consistent improvement.
Even if you try to improve, it is like a missile launched without a target. Cruising around left and right, up and down, and at some point falling down. Without self awareness you are lacking perspective and self honesty.
Whatever you tackle in life, your job, your business and career, it will bring the same benefits as it does in poker
A high level of self awareness also makes your studying and willingness to improve much more effective and efficient. You will learn faster and you will spot leaks and weaknesses quicker. The change is permanent. Future habits will be built faster. You will detect tilt much sooner. Even if you tilt, you will be able to deploy your A game much easier.
Last but not least, and to be honest this is more important, a high level of self awareness will benefit your everyday life. Whatever you tackle in life, your job, your business and career, it will bring the same benefits as it does in poker. Exactly the same. Even in your relationships it will teach you how to be more present in the moment, how to be more relaxed and calm in arguments. An overall hack for your life so to speak.
I know I told you that there’s no one answer on how to be more self aware. I am saying this because I am not a self help guru, but of course, there are methods you can use. First and foremost meditation. Why meditation is still so underrated, what you have to consider, why it is so important, why improvement is not everything and much more will be covered in the next article.