Working on your poker mindset can skyrocket your profits. “Given the tightening edges and advanced training tools available these days, chances are your next major breakthrough will not be a strategic one, it will be a mental one.” (Elliot Roe)
Here are some ways to level up your poker mindset:
1. Change your self-talk
Imagine this! You made a big mistake… What do you tell yourself? Do you say “You F*cking idiot! Why did you do that? Don’t you want to be a winning poker player??” Abuse and negativity never yields great results over the long term. Why do we do this to ourselves? If someone else fell down, we would run over and help them. If we want to be great poker players, shouldn’t we have to pick ourselves up instead of kicking ourselves down? We have empathy for others. Why not for ourselves?
Getting control over your negative thoughts is crucial for your poker success in the long term. Everybody makes mistakes and has bad days, but the important part is how you handle them. Positive self-talk brings the positive out of the negative to help you get through it and keep moving forward. Negative self-talk limits you, increases stress, and hurts your confidence. Make sure you pay close attention to your thoughts!
2. Read mindset books
One of the best ways to improve your mindset is to read poker mindset books, such as The Poker Mindset by Matthew Hilger, The Mental Game of Poker: Proven Strategies for Improving Tilt Control, Confidence, Motivation, Coping with Variance, and More by Barry Carter and Jared Tendler or The Mental Game of Poker 2: Proven Strategies for Improving Poker Skill, Increasing Mental Endurance, and Playing in the Zone Consistently by Barry Carter and Jared Tendler.
Through the last few years I managed to read over 100 psychology, motivational and self development books. Improving yourself will have a direct positive impact on your poker mindset. You can learn how to be self-aware, how to be more confident in your decisions, how to manage your time and priorities efficiently, how to set goals and reach your full potential. Personal development is a “process of self-education aimed at enhancing professional skills, quality of life, self-discipline, talent and potential”. Keep in mind that in order to succeed or improve in any area of your life, you need to actually DO something and implement what you’ve learned.
I created a short list of my favorite self development books that will improve your poker mindset:
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- The One Thing by Gary Keller
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
3. Learn from mindset experts
This is by far the fastest way to improve your mindset. Sometimes it feels expensive to spend money on private coaching or training programs, but the best investment you can make is in yourself.
A coach is a helpful guide who works with you through powerful coaching conversations and as a result, you will overcome your limiting barriers, finally succeeding in poker. Take for example world class athletes, they never achieved success alone, instead, they all have a coach or a mentor, who helped them, saw them strive, fail, struggle, progress and strategized the next actions together. This is exactly what a talented poker coach or mindset expert will do for you – unlock your full potential and work with you to create an action plan that will enable you to achieve your goals.
A poker coach or mindset expert has multiple roles: he unlocks your full potential, pushes you to follow your dreams, helps you overcome the obstacles, boosts your confidence, is a good accountability partner, acts as a motivator and helps you maximize your accomplishments. He’s job is to engage in powerful conversations with you and ask the right questions to create a breakthrough in your poker career.
4. Integrate powerful habits into your day
Most successful people and high achievers have a lot of powerful habits integrated into their day, like good morning routines, healthy eating or regular exercise. As Brian Tracy says, “Good habits are hard to form but easy to live with. Bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with.”
Some of the habits I recommend for well-being, growth and success are:
- Commit to a healthy lifestyle(enough sleep, regular exercise, healthy food)
- Practice mindfulness meditation
- Change your negative self-talk to a positive one
- Surround yourself with people that match your desired mindset
- Regularly jump out of your comfort zone
- Practice gratitude every day
- Have a “To Do” list
- Take responsibility for your life
- Read every day
- Make yourself your top priority
5. Jump out of your comfort zone
Fear is an essential and natural part of growth. The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is what will ultimately bring you success in any area of your life. To make the first step you need to be aware of what you are aiming to overcome(maybe fear of losing money at a higher limit), then make it a goal to avoid running away from this situation.
Be grateful for the challenging times, begin treating failure as a teacher. What lesson can you learn from this experience? What can you do better next time?
Remember to take baby steps, for example, do not jump from NL10 to NL50 directly, because you will probably become overwhelmed. Also be honest to yourself. It is a lot easier to confront what is holding you back, if you don’t make excuses, instead admit what the real obstacle is.
As a motivation to jump out of your comfort zone, make sure you identify what the benefits are! Usually the biggest rewards are found outside of your comfort zone!
6. Surround yourself with people that match your desired mindset
“You become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.” Jim Rohn
It’s important that you surround yourself with positive people that match your desired mindset, be it friends, family or colleagues. This people’s mindsets, and beliefs will become your own, as we as humans are like chameleons. Make sure you associate yourself with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you grow.
Thanks to social media, now you can easily follow your idols and mentors. Try to learn as much as you can from them, read and watch their content, and engage in conversations with them.
Note: Do you want to level up your poker mindset and play your A-Game more often? Check out Elliot Roe’s course: A-Game Poker Masterclass. Learn more now!