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Esports Tips: Redefine Failure

"What if I fail?" Probably a constant thought that comes to us when we are not confident or compose enough to execute a certain task, responsibility or action. This can affect how we want to proceed with our next course of action, be it esports or in general. Fear of failure is common in sports, and that includes esports too. It is even more evident if you are a professional athlete and winning is the goal. This can have significant impact in your performance including:

  • Performance anxiety

  • Avoidance behaviours

  • Emotional distress

  • Decreased confidence

  • Negative self-talk

All of these lead further away from achieving your goals. As such, here are some general tips and mind-hacks that can help you overcome the fear of failure.

1. Ask: "What is failure?"

Everybody has their own meaning of failure. This comes from personal experience and beliefs since young. To some, failure means you learn and move onto your next step. To the other half, failure means the end of the world and you are not able to progress anymore. Exploring what failure means to you can give you a new perspective of what it is and whether it is beneficial for you to have your own definition of failure.

2. Reframe failure

Once you have acknowledge what failure means to you (and in most cases, it has a negative connotation to it), you can explore how you can redefine failure. If failure means "end of the world for me", try to reframe it to "it's part of learning for my next step". Saying it once might not be enough, as such we have to constantly check-in and rewire our brains towards a more positive definition.

3. Reduce need to be perfect

Mistakes and lessons are bound to happen in performance. As such, it is not practical if we demand ourselves to have a perfect routine for everything. Perfectionism can caused athletes to be depressed and overwhelmed, which can cause you to give up more easily. Be able to embrace mistakes and failure.

4. Track progress and acknowledge success

It is human instinct that we are more sensitive to negative incidents like failure as we strive to "survive". Hence, we often ignore our achievements and victories as we progress. Recognizing these successes, even if they are small ones, are key to having a balanced mindset progressing. If we only see failure all the time, it would be very hard to motivate ourselves. Remember that success also help us learn what we did right and provide us a direction to move forward.

5. Social support is key

Humans are social beings. It is very important that we are able to seek validation from others on your progress. Talking to friends, team mates, family members, coaches or even a sports psychologist can help you redefine failures. Joining a gaming community or having a specific mentor can also benefit your journey. Be open about seeking support proactively.

Remember, everyone experiences fear of failure at some point. The key is to not let it hold you back from achieving your goals. With the right mindset and strategies, you can overcome your fear and become a successful esports player.

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