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Over the past year, I've started playing a competitive miniatures wargame, and it has had a huge impact on my emotional growth - something I definitely wasn't expecting!

I've noticed myself becoming more open to criticism, more comfortable with failure as a learning process...
I've learned how transformative it can be to not only accept that someone is smarter and more knowledgeable than me, but to embrace it, and to position myself to absorb their criticism, take in their wisdom, and reconsider my own instincts in light of theirs.
I spend serious energy preparing for matches, studying and weighing every possible interaction. I use all of my brain power, and I get crushed. But I've learned to ask "So, do you want to tell me the mistakes you saw me making throughout that game?" Which means I learn quicker.
I'm starting to become comfortable with the idea that an eventual victory is made all the more meaningful by the long string of defeats that precede it.

The longer the training montage, the more dramatic the transformation.
I've always been really uncomfortable and embarrassed about the idea of failure, and so quit things unless I'm immediately good at them. This is a turnaround!

Now I'm doing a thing where I fail constantly and then have men explain to me exactly how and why I failed. Challenging!
I've also learned a bunch of critical patience and emotional regulation skills. A lot of the time, success is a matter of staying cool and collected until the moment when action will be most effective. I'm learning not to bite prematurely.

These skills feel broadly applicable.
Anyways, I'm super surprised and fascinated to be discovering the extent to which this game has been good for my emotional development.

Humility, receptivity, patience, accepting losses, recognizing the difference between risk mitigation and risk aversion, tempering my ego.
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Keep Current with Avery Alder, Buried Without Ceremony

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