Did you know that positive and consistent self-talk can lead you to success?
There is evidence[i] showing that the identity you choose for yourself will eventually translate into your behavior and actions. Talking about that, I recently introduced to you the notion of visualization.
Positives affirmations represent another excellent way to condition yourself to act successfully. The concept is quite simple: you create a list with affirmational mantras and repeat them aloud once a day to make sure your brain gets unconsciously accustomed to them. Without noticing it, you will end up behaving the way you programmed and progressively building your path to success.
You can use this technique for almost everything in life and I’m sure chess is not an exception. These are 3 factors you can work on to strengthen your will power.
Process of chess success
For some of you who have followed my journey, I’ve already repeated this several times. Stop blocking your progression by setting objectives for yourself that seem so far away they will create often more frustration because of the expected outcome.
The key is to focus on a weekly process you will put in place to ensure your chess growth. Here is a step by step plan to start with.
As an example, here are 3 of my personal habits (they are non-chess related for now as it is part of my experiment):
- I drink 50cl of water every morning when I wake up
- I work out 1 hour a day during the workweek
- I follow consciously my morning routine to prepare at best my day
Your process of chess improvement is without any doubt a good start. To push yourself even further, you must convince yourself it will bear fruits. Believing in your chess success will not only give you confidence over the board, but also approach the psychological battle with an advantage.
Personally, I rely on chess quotes to make sure I will play for the win and never give up along the way. Simply search for chess quotes on google and find what suits you the most. These are 3 of my favorites:
- Be a threat every time you sit down at the board – Ken Smith
- To win against me, you must beat me three times: in the opening, the middlegame and the endgame -Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine
- No one ever won a game by resigning – Savielly Tartakower
Now that you are ready to fight, the last part is to mute any factors that could create drawbacks during the game.
This can often be the fear of being ridiculous when other people start to look at your board. Another classic stressful situation is when you face a stronger player and you are afraid of being crushed.
The emotion of fear is actually sparked off each time there is a considered danger in some context or another. If this survival mechanism is a useful aid in case of physical danger, it is certainly not the case for a self-perceived fear. This sort of fear doesn’t need to hold you back, simply accept it and face it.
Studies indicate that we can conquer fears by continual exposure to them. So keep playing and get mentally prepared with adequate quotes:
- All that matters on the chessboard is good moves – Bobby Fischer
- Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less – Marie Curie
- Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out – Benjamin Franklin
I personally think practicing optimism—rather than focusing on negative thoughts—does have the power to make you feel better on a daily basis.
The power of incorporating positive affirmations in your life can definitely change the way you view situations. I strongly suggest you take 10 minutes every day to read aloud your own affirmations. You can also record yourself and listen to your voice every time you feel the need.
Plus, when you say the affirmations, feel the emotion you associate with them to make the process even more effective.
For some of you interested in using the technique in other areas of your life, you can use these 5 steps to create your affirmations:
- What you really want: ideal vision for yourself and your life in each area.
- Why you want it.
- Who you are committed to being to create it : be clear on who you need to be.
- What commitments are necessary to achieve your goals: which actions do you have to take on a consistent basis?
- Add inspirational quotes: each time you read one which inspires you,write it down and reread it constantly
Are you mentally ready now? Have a good game!