Habits

Mastery of Siege starts with mastery of self!

"Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character"

- Vince Lombardi

Introduction

Buying running shoes won’t make us marathon runners by itself. Similarly getting high-end gaming PC or professional accessories will not turn us into PRO players instantaneously.
 
What separates exceptional players is not the ability to do extraordinary things. 
Sure, when checking youtube highlights of your favorite player, you will see crazy plays. But those plays are not the reason they are successful in this game.
What separates successful players is doing basic things in an extraordinary way, thousands of times.
 
We all form habits, even while playing Rainbow Six Siege. 
Habits are decisions and actions performed every day. Due to a high number of repetitions, those actions and decisions become automated and eventually do not require conscious effort to be triggered at all.
Routines are an essential aspect of our life, and Rainbow Six Siege is not an exception. They free up mental capacity to focus on more cognitively demanding actions.
 
Habits can be categorized in multiple ways. As the focus of this guide is to establish a state of mind worthy of a champion, I would like to focus on classifying them to winning and losing ones.
From impact perspective winning habits combine into a set of actions that let you grow as a player or a team, thus increasing your odds for winning matches.
Losing habits hinder improvement and often are the main reason we are where we are, whether we like it or not.
 
Understand: Losing is a habit, and so is winning.
Therefore, let’s work together to instill your playstyle in Rainbow Six Siege permanently with winning habits. Shall we?
You may expect an article focused on creating habits related to mechanical skills. In this case, I recommend visiting our guide dedicated to skills. It touches the major functional skills required to become a solid Rainbow Six Siege player.
 
In this guide, I will try to show you areas related to your character that become base for reaching maximum potential and fulfillment.
 
I will focus on the following aspects of building strong habits and character:
 
  1. Relaxation, exercise, and sleep
  2. Seeing difficulty as an opportunity

Ownership

The first step you will need to make is taking full ownership of your actions. Yes, I am talking about taking responsibility.
Ownership means taking responsibility for your actions and the consequences of those actions.
As simple as this theory is, execution is challenging.
 
It is easy to take responsibility for success. Hell, how often we see people taking credit for the accomplishments of others?
However, the key to improvement is accountability for mistakes. Not a natural trait to develop as it makes us vulnerable, especially to attacks of others.
Nothing worthwhile is easy to attain. 
How to take responsibility?
There are multiple steps to be taken. Here’s a list of basics:
  • Accept mistakes
    You are not the first, nor the last players in Siege who makes a mistake. Accept the fact that you will continue to make mistakes. This doesn’t mean that you should let them slide, though. Repeating the same mistakes are not going to take you to that next level you want so badly.

  • Stop making excuses
    When you make a mistake, try to say “Sorry, I messed up” rather than performing mental gymnastics searching for an external reason.
    Stop looking at other players’ ping, rank, crouch-spamming, game design, and Ubisoft. Instead, focus on your actions leading to mistake.

    I once had this dude on discord who would occasionally join and make a drama about every death.
    You would not believe the shit he came up with to avoid looking at himself. Sometimes I wondered if he didn’t focus more during the round on preparing excuses than on the round itself.
    I bumped into him a few months later. Needless to say, he was making the same mistakes and created the same unpleasant aura as he did in the past.

    Don’t be that guy!

  • Stop blaming others
    Similarly, do not blame teammates for your death or losing the round. People despise playing with folks who accuse them, especially without valid argument.

    Examples:
    a) You died from a flank. You expected your teammate to cover it, but he didn’t.
    Instead of jumping on your teammate for not covering flank, think what you could do differently to avoid such a situation.
    Did you communicate expectations with a teammate? Maybe you could put claymore to prevent flank? Or perhaps you could have left drone behind and ask a dead teammate to watch it for you?
    b) Your teammate did not clutch the round despite the advantage.
    It could be tempting to tell a teammate that he fked up or what could he do to prevent it.
    I would suggest focussing on the reason why you were not in a position to clutch the round yourself. How could you avoid dying earlier in the round and prevent a clutch situation from occurring?

 
Benefits of ownership
Ownership is an integral aspect of building strong character. This applies to Rainbow Six Siege just as much as to other areas of your life.
 
Not owning up may seem like a better solution at the moment, but gains are only short term. In the long run, you will benefit more from admitting “my bad” than covering it up with an excuse.
Over time you will gain self-respect and respect of others.
I believe that you won’t be able to gain the respect of others until you own your mistakes.
 
As you gain the ability to hold yourself accountable, you will be able to see your errors and areas for improvement.
How would you expect to see those components of growth if you are not looking at yourself, to begin with?
 
What taking responsibility will do for you, in the long run, is being able to:
  • evaluate your skill accurately
  • notice mistakes and habits that hold you back
Without accountability, there is no self-awareness and real self-confidence.

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is an ability to introspect, which leads to an understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, and character traits.
With that knowledge available, an individual can exploit strengths and learn to cope with weaknesses.
 
It is essentially one of the first steps in creating your own life and mastering skills you desire to improve.
Basically where you will go in life is mostly depending on deciding where you will focus your energy, attention, emotions, and behaviors.
How to gain self-awareness?
I would separate gaining self-awareness into: private and public.
 
Private introspection can be achieved by first defining yourself as a player. Introspection is applicable at any stage of your experience with Siege. Even new players can do so based on their character traits.
I have covered this topic in more detail in the “definition” chapter of the Mindset guide.
 
Another step that we all should continuously take is by asking yourself the following questions after matches:
  • What went good?
  • What went wrong?
  • What should I do better next time?
 
Now, for the public part of increasing self-awareness I would recommend asking teammates for feedback.
Before doing so, remember that the objective is an improvement. Do not be shocked or offended by constructive criticism. Do not expect praise.
Praises are not what you are looking for, but rather actionable criticism that will make you better!
Benefits of self-awareness
You can’t fix what you can’t see.
Main advantages you will gain from introspection are:
  • ability to see what you need to improve to get better
  • focusing on the right things
Example:
You may be focusing on improving your ability to peek correctly. Not realizing that peeking requires only minor improvements as it’s your strong point already. Instead, you may recognize that poor communication is the primary source of your loses and needs the most attention for most significant gains in Rainbow Six Siege.
 
Switching focus to a public feedback perspective.
Being entirely objective about yourself is very difficult (if possible at all). 
Quote from Les Brown describes it exceptionally well for me “You can’t see the picture if you’re in the frame.” 
We have a distorted view of ourselves. Our ego may prevent us from seeing an obvious and simple issue that can be exposed by getting feedback from people not impacted emotionally by it.
 

Self-Confidence

Confidence is knowledge about your strengths and value you provide to your team.

Confidence is often mistakenly considered as arrogance. I find it fitting first to differentiate those two behaviors so that we can avoid prejudice towards confidence early on.
 
Arrogance comes from feeling superiority over others. In other words, the arrogant person depends on comparison with other people. You know you’re dealing with an arrogant person when they make someone feel stupid/inferior to reassure their position.
Such a feeling can be quickly shattered, then turned into frustration and anger.
 
Confidence, on the other hand, comes from within. 
Real confidence is not based on comparisons to others, but rather on a feeling of self-worth. You know you’re playing with a confident player who tries to make the team win without putting others down.
Of course, it does not mean that a confident person is not looking for external affirmation. Some confident people will, and some won’t. 
How to gain self-confidence?
I believe that confidence comes from combining previously discussed ownership and self-awareness, with deliberate training
If you own up your mistakes and weaknesses, evaluate yourself honestly as a player and then work to improve on key areas – eventually, you will reach high self-confidence.
 
Here are a couple of practical tips on improving confidence:
  • Improve things you don’t like in yourself
    If there’s an area in your game style that keeps bothering you, then the best way to avoid it impacting your self-confidence is to improve on it.
  • Play with confident teammates
    Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence,” said Vincent Lombardi.
    Do not surround yourself with people who do not believe in themselves. Odds are they do not believe in a team’s success and you, as well.
    Being around confident people will help you feel confident.
  • Keep calm
    Calmness and confidence often go hand-in-hand. Trying to stay calm even under stressful situations will likely boost your confidence.
Benefits of self-confidence
Confidence will benefit the player in various areas, but probably the most crucial is the ability to act in high-pressure situations.
Such situations can be participation in the tournament, adversity in high stake match, or clutch situation. 
Confident players tend to remain calm and collected in such situations, while others become overly emotional.
 
Additionally, a player who does not rely on superiority versus enemies will find it easier to remain confident when facing a worthy opponent.

Self-discipline

Self-discipline can be explained in multiple ways, but the primary meaning of it for me is a person’s ability to make decisions that are harder at the moment, but with positive long term effects.

Quote, I probably dig the most in recent years is “Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life” by Jerzy Gregorek
 
It feels to me that we live in times where choosing long term positive outcomes versus instant gratification is considered as restricting yourself. Almost like taking away pleasures of life.
 
Bullshit!
I used to be like that. I tended to choose immediate gain versus the future. Pleasure oriented attitude did not bring me lasting satisfaction, nor improvements I wanted. 
How to gain self-discipline?
Well, that greatly depends on your goals and motivations. Therefore, I will let you discover your exact actions needed for creating this critical habit.
 
What I would like to highlight is that the strength of your persistence in creating discipline may depend on the type of motivation you have. 
Motivation can be split into two main categories: Extrinsic or Intrinsic.
 
Extrinsic motivation means being driven by external desires, such as fame, money, or praises. 
An example of such could be a motivation to get better to reach Diamond so that people will admire you.
 
Intrinsic motivation means that reward is personal, internal.
An example of internal motivation is striving towards being a better player today than you were yesterday. 
 

Both motivations can work, and neither is bad. However, intrinsic one tends to last longer and does not cause burnout as much as extrinsic.

Here are a few methods that helped me with building self-discipline:
  • Start small
    Make small changes at the beginning and then expand on them, instead of huge commitments that are easy to fall and hard to maintain.

    I used to make big plans – I will work on this page for 8 hours a day, six days a week. That lasted a few days after which I simply ran out of energy and needed a break, which was taking away my momentum.

  • Don’t skip twice in a row
    Whatever the goal is, you will inevitably have a day, match, or situation where you do not show up.  Do not allow yourself to make it a habit by not sticking to your small goals repeatedly!

  • Track progress
    From all self-improvement aspects, this was probably the hardest one to implement for me. At the same time, it was a habit that made a massive impact on my consistency in maintaining discipline.
    Regardless of the goal, you need consistency in your improvement. Note every day or match when you perform action taking you closer to your goal. After a while, you will have a streak that you will be extremely motivated to continue. Additionally, marking little victories gives you instant gratification that helps retaining willpower and motivation over an extended period.
Benefits of self-discipline
By fulfilling promises you made to yourself, you will build inner strength of character, which in turn will help you:
  • respect yourself
  • be less vulnerable
  • improve the relationship with others
  • increase your chances of success

Relax, exercise and sleep

I know you want to play Rainbow Six Siege as much as you can and git gud fast.
 
However, without taking care of those three components, you won’t remain consistent over an extended period, nor will it be a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.
 
Sleep is the time during which your body and mind regenerate energy. Lack of proper sleep slows down your ability to process experiences and memories. 
Relaxation relates to activities that allow your mind to re-focus. Playing Rainbow Six Siege drains a lot of mental energy as you process a lot of information and make tons of little decisions. 
Exercises may seem irrelevant to improvement in a computer game. However, physical activities are not only good for our bodies. They are also an important part of our mental health and happiness. 
How to sustain energy?
Let’s discuss each aspect separately:
  • Sleep
    Set up a schedule to ensure 6-8 hours of undisturbed sleep. How long you need precisely depends on the individual.
    Have half an hour before sleep without a screen. Especially, do not fall asleep with the TV or monitor on. If you currently do, try a few nights without it. You will be surprised by the amount of additional energy you get from this simple change!
  • Relaxation
    Plan other activities during the day to break your sessions and give your mind time and space to re-focus.
    When the inevitable moment comes that you are not focused, do not push it. Take a break, have a nap, go out, and have a walk. Exhaustion is not going to help.
    Having additional interests that are not related to computer games can be extremely beneficial, as well!
  • Exercise
    Have a daily goal of minimum physical activity.
    Start small, depending on what you currently do.
    If you do not exercise at all then perhaps set a goal of a 15-minute walk outside, or maybe make one push up. Choose an activity that you are capable of performing and will do regularly.
Benefits of sustaining energy
Keeping your body in good condition by valuing above activities will:
  • increase speed of your growth as a player
  • prevent burnout and depression
  • increase self-confidence
  • ensure good momentum over an extended time

See difficulty as opportunity

When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade.
 
We all have problems. We all feel frustration from our poor performance in a match and disappointment of defeats.
Players you admire whether its ESL player, well-known YouTuber or your favorite streamer, they all face difficulties you face. 
 
What’s the difference then? 
 
Successful people tend to see such situations as opportunities to their growth rather than an unmovable object on their way.
The opposite is also true: unsuccessful people tend to see problems in opportunities.
 
To which group of people do you belong?
How to see opportunities?
The main tip for seeing opportunities where most people don’t in Siege is this:
Focus on how experience can help you be better in the future?
 
Whether you want to:
  • reach Platinum rank
  • become professional Rainbow Six Siege player
  • content creator

you will face adversity.

Adversity can come in different shapes and colors, such as:
  • Perhaps your callouts are not good enough
  • You may be in a team that does not utilize your playstyle well
  • You may not have the necessary knowledge about starting a new youtube channel
Those can be quite problems.
Or perhaps those are opportunities disguised as an obstacle?
 
How an opportunity-driven person would approach those scenarios:
  • You could improve on the reason why your callouts are not up to Platinum rank par. Whether its lack of knowledge about rooms names or providing unclear information
  • You may try to improve other playstyles to see if you can expand your skill and become a more adept player, or change a team for better synergy
  • You can find a lack of knowledge as an opportunity to learn new areas and skills.
    Study what makes famous content creators successful, participate in courses and watch videos describing steps needed to start your channel
Benefits of opportunity seeking
Problem driven people are not the ones who usually solve problems for the obvious reason – they do not focus on that.
 
The main advantage of seeing adversity this way is being able to overcome it and focus on the grand goal rather than being stopped by minor setbacks.
It will also help you focus on your growth rather than the current situation and perhaps help you handle your own emotions.

Summary

  • Take responsibility for your own actions
  • Stop blaming others and make excuses
  • Introspect yourself to understand strengths and areas of improvement. Review your plays!
  • Confidence = ownership + self-awareness x deliberate practice
  • Be able to make decisions that will benefit you on long run and bring you closer to your goal. Instant gratification is enemy of your progress.
  • Make small changes and focus on consistency over time.
  • Keep your body happy and your mind will learn faster. Not to mention feeling good about yourself by doing so!
  • Don’t let minor missteps to stop you from going for goal. In every problem there is an opportunity for personal growth

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