SUBCONSCIOUS SABOTAGE!! Do you talk yourself out of the best move?



So this past week after looking at my data and my performance with my coach, it is pretty clear that my tactical ability hasn't really improved; at least as demonstrated by my puzzle performance.


That said, I can definitely still tell that I'm playing a better game of chess than I was two months ago. So while I don't have empiric evidence of improvement per se, I can say I am definitely enjoying my games much more and feel like my playing is less "push and pray" than it was a few weeks ago.


So here is my performance on puzzles:



So you can see I'm pretty much plateaued at about 50% most of the time. However, I'm still plugging away at them and will continue to do so.


During my last coaching session, when presented with a puzzle, I was being told my instincts were on the right track; but I was always second-guessing myself.  And then I go down a rabbit hole and talk myself out of the best move.


Guess what... I do this off the chessboard too. In life, when I used to take exams pretty regularly in college, I was always talking myself out of my first instinct; and thus talking myself out of the right answer.


I was in higher education for over a decade (I have a few graduate degrees), and I never overcame this personal struggle. Right up to the very last examination I took for my last degree; I was still second-guessing myself.


It fascinates me that this struggle follows me into my chess game as well... and makes me wonder...


We know that teaching children chess at a young age improves their intellectual development. I wonder if learning to trust and explore your instincts is one of them?


What do you all think? Do you talk yourself out of the right answer, in life or on the chessboard? If so, what are your coping strategies? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below!

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