A couple of years ago, successful poker pro Vanessa Kade was trying to break her way out of a frustrating downswing. Her confidence was low.
“Every time I got dealt aces or kings I would feel nauseous and immediately think to myself, “oh… here we go, this is where I lose all my chips,” and then I would,” she told PokerStars Blog.
Realizing her mindset was a problem, she made some changes. “The first thing I did was admit to myself I was not putting in the work that I could be, and doing so would probably relieve some feelings of helplessness.”
She hired a personal trainer. She changed her diet. And importantly, she changed the record in her head that constantly told her she was going to lose.
“I wrote on a notecard that I kept by my monitor a phrase Charlie Carrel once told me he uses: “I am lucky. I am skilful. I will win.”
Not long after that, she won the Sunday Million 15th Anniversary edition on PokerStars for $1.5 million.
What are “I am” statements?
Was it solely down to that notecard that Kade won one of the biggest prizes in online poker?
Of course not. But it proved important as a reminder that because she’d put in the work studying, she deserved whatever good things may come.
This is something that BBZ founder Jordan ‘bigbluffzinc’ Drummond has stressed in the past. “I study a lot and there’s a reason for it,” he said. “The biggest thing you can do when you’ve had a horrible day and you’re going through a downswing is to go to sleep. Wake up. Study for an hour or two. Then play your next session knowing that you’re better than you were yesterday when you lost.
“Today I am a stronger player than I was yesterday and for that reason, I deserve to win more often than I deserved to yesterday. [By studying], you’ve earned the peace of mind you get knowing you’re closer to the other side of the downswing.”
“I am” statements can be as simple as grabbing a pen and piece of paper and writing “I am [BLANK]” several times. Then all you have to do is look inward and be honest with yourself.
But they can also be much more in-depth, as this article will show.
Using “I am” statements to reflect on who you are, where you are, how you got there, and what you’d like to become can be very powerful for poker players. Such statements can be traced as far back as the Bible, in which Jesus offered eight statements to help others understand his identity.
In a recent BBZ Daily Seminar, BBZ Performance Coach Francois Hamel tried out an “I am” statement experiment with our students.
“The seminar is about exploration and is a self-awareness exercise,” he says. “What can you learn about yourself by answering a couple of questions and making statements?”
Take the time to reflect on who you are and what you do today.
“I am” statements for poker
Here’s a look at the “I am” statements that Hamel asks the Daily Seminar attendees to make.
Read through them and answer honestly as they pertain to your poker journey:
I am a: _______________
Write down what you identify as. Don’t worry if it sounds boring.
But really, I am a: _______________
Who and what are you really?
I am amazing at: _______________
Write down the first thing that comes to your mind.
I’ve devoted most of my time in poker to: _______________
Playing? Studying? Exploring? Questioning? Mastering? Helping? Teaching? Fixing? Leading? Sharing? Doing? Answer however you like.
When you work with me you can expect: _______________
This can be difficult for poker players as we tend to work alone. But try to think of the benefits that other humans receive when they partner with you.
You’ll probably be surprised and delighted by: _______________
This could be hidden talents or an unexpected approach to poker.
Poker matters to me because: _______________
Why are you interested in this crazy game? Think of what motivates you.
And I’m here to remind you that: _______________
When you think about poker, what’s the message or learning experience that you would like to remind other poker players of?
My question for you is: _______________
What do you secretly wonder about everyone you meet in poker? Is there a question that comes to mind? Something you’re dying to know?
To sum it up, I am: _______________
Now that you’ve thought about all of those statements and answers, is there a new word that sums up who you are?
Now that we’ve gone through all of the statements you can fill in, here’s an example of how one of Hamel’s students answered when it was put to them in the Daily Seminar.
I am a: student
But really, I am a: professional poker player
I am amazing at: solving problems
I’ve devoted most of my time in poker to: studying
When you work with me you can expect: honesty
You’ll probably be surprised and delighted by: my intuition
Poker matters to me because: it’s my passion. It aligns with the type of person I identify with. I enjoy challenging myself.
And I’m here to remind you that: winning at poker is a process. Trust the process. Work at the process.
My question for you is: how can playing poker bring value to others/society?
To sum it up, I am: more confident about my game and more honest about myself.
Try it for yourself.
Success is built on consistency. With BBZ Poker Daily Seminars, you can immediately add 9 hours of dedicated study to your weekly poker schedule along with complete access to prior seminars.
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