Three confidence busters that ruin your performance

Being confident in yourself and in your gaming skills is crucial for being a consistent winner. A lot of times esports players reach out to me with ‘low confidence issues’ but when asked, they can’t really tell why they experience this negative effect. So, in this brief text I will introduce three of the most common confidence busters that I’ve worked on with professional esports players.

Over-analyzing and self-criticizing

Even though over-analyzing could have some beneficial effects on performance in some cases, most of the time this way of thinking would have more negative than positive impact on your confidence. Often, when you over-analyze you exaggerate the possibility to fail. Failure is something most people don’t want to experience and in esports it could be a really stressful and disappointing event. To avoid doing so, you never even try which could easily lead to self-doubt. Combined, self-doubt and over-analyzing could turn into self-criticism and self-trash talking, and we all know how these influence your confidence.

Comparing yourself to others

When talking about esports, constantly comparing yourself to others is probably one of the most common ways of thinking amongst players. This is not a surprise given the fact that everything esports players do on practice or official games is recorded and could be used as a tool to compare one’s performance with others’. Comparing yourself to others is a powerful thought process which influences the way you evaluate yourself and your skills and accomplishments. It also strongly regulates your emotional state and self-judgement. All these aspects regulate your self-confidence which also determines your performance if you allow it to. However, it’s really important to note that often comparing yourself to others would give you an unrealistic picture of your current form and achievements. In most cases this unrealistic comparison leads to negative effects, especially if you are constantly comparing yourself with a lot of stronger teams or players.

Setting unrealistic expectations

Setting unrealistically high expectations is another common behavior amongst players in esports. Similar to any other human behavior it’s a complex process with different origins with different people. Realistic expectations are strictly related to effective goal-setting and a high sense of self-awareness. However, esports environment is extremely demanding and competitive. This constant pressure when combined with the need to compare to others, could take advantage over the most organized and self-aware players. This is why unrealistic expectations occur natural when you don’t adjust your goals to your current situation and the actual level of your skills and possibilities.

Of course, these three ‘confidence busters’ are not the only ones that could impact your confidence negatively. Often, they are accompanied by a lot of individual differences such as personality traits, core beliefs etc. But if you’ve ever experienced low levels of confidence it’s highly likely that you had at least one of those ‘busters’ behind and like many others probably you didn’t even realize it. Hopefully after being introduced to them you would be more mindful and careful about them when they occur.

If you struggle with some of these or other ‘confidence busters’ feel free to message me at, and we could figure out a way for you to overcome these mental barriers and build a strong and consistent confidence that would help you feel better and be more successful at your game.

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About George
George Atanasov is a mental performance consultant, currently working in professional esports. He has experience consulting elite athletes and esports players. If you want to improve your mental game sign up for a free initial session with him by messaging at

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