Welcome back part 2! So hopefully the previous blogs helped you in planning your strategy.
The third and yet another important part is your attitude towards your performance. It’s a long heard story that we don’t see the results suddenly. It takes time, and don't think it’s just you who faces this hurdle as even a very good programmer went through this.
Now I’d tell you what should be your attitude towards performance. See the main thing you should focus on is not your rating, it is your rank in any particular contest. You just need to compare your previous ranks to see the progress. When you consistently get a rank above a particular range, you seem to have attained a level that any day you’d get a better rank than this. You set a level that you have to get a rank better than this, this is how you make progress.
If you see graphs of some good programmers on cf, you’d see a lot of downs. Downs might vary in duration and size, but the effect is the same, mental state is the same. You must be saying that you wish you had no downs. But hear me, downs are the main story behind your struggle and mental state. Downs are really important for you to grow as a programmer. Downs do make you feel bad and also demotivate you but your progress and success are defined by the downs you had, and how much did you grow. You might have experienced that you are learning new stuff but your ratings are going down from the past few contests and you are just struggling with yourself and thinking that you are useless. Trust me, it has happened to me too. The only difference is I never get demotivated. Even if I lose some rating, I remain calm and wait for my hard work to show the results. Hard work takes time to show the results. I’ll tell you the reason why I don’t get demotivated.
There are two things that you should keep in mind -
Your performance in the contests
What are you capable of doing in a contest
Capability actually includes up-solving, about which we’ll talk next time. You know performance is often based on luck. An unlucky day might get you -100 on your rating. But that shouldn’t matter, if you are capable, then you’d easily get back your rating. After every contest, if you have underperformed, you should see what you are capable of, and what problems you would have solved easily on a normal day. What rank you would have got in that contest if you weren’t unlucky, that is the main thing that motivates me. What if my day was good, I would have easily got a +50 on my rating or so. So I am capable of getting a higher rating and I would get it someday.