On Mentality

A perk of finding a hobby in competitive games is that you have a chance to explore learning in a finite space. When you couple that with studying a field where a primary research topic is Artificial Intelligence and the study of “How to Learn,” the result is someone who obsesses over the process a lot.

For how much I end up thinking about it, I’m hilariously bad at it. I visualize what I need to do and follow through, but there’s a piece I’m missing. There’s a piece that I swear others naturally have that for the longest time, I couldn’t quite place for the longest time.

It’s called mentality

Combination of unhealthy ego, poor thinking, and inability to handle pressure has made it so that I can choke away huge advantages. I catch myself thinking a lot of negative things in competition which plays hugely into my overall performance. My last Melee tournament, I felt my mentality crumple under a myriad of emotions as I lost horrendously despite being up initially.

It happens in academics too. Often being overconfident has led to me shooting myself in the foot in numerous occasions. I’ve dropped the ball on some easy things which I still kick myself over. Whether it’s not prepping as much as I should or over prepping something I know I’m ready for, it’s a delicate act of balancing that is as important as the actual act of studying itself.

It’s hard to diagnose poor mentality. It’s even harder to correct. But like anything it’s a learning a process. Whether it’s taking deep breaths to calm the emotion or re-reading notes to build up some confidence, there are steps that can always be taken to fix the mental state. At this point, I can safely say I have a bag of tricks that can be used.

I just need to learn to apply them.