the relationship you have with other people; how you see other people
and what other people are saying to you.
"Character can not be developed in peace and quiet. Only through
experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision be
cleared, ambition insured, and success achieved."
Few people would mind losing a match or a tournament if they had played
their best ever. It isn't losing that is the issue; it is the blow to your
self-esteem in losing to someone you think you should beat, or by playing
below your expectations. The results of golf can be destructive to your
pride and dignity. Failing to win or never making a par seems to suggest a
weakness or flaw in character. When, in fact making mistakes and losing
are part of the learning experience of the game.
When a fellow player comments on how well you are playing, do you:
- Think you are playing "over your head" and become afraid you can't keep
the good round going
- Get angry because you think he is using "gamesmanship"
- Hope no one would notice
- Try harder to play better to meet his expectation of you.
Or do you;
- Accept his statement as the truth as you know it
- Appreciate his compliment
- Know that you are a good player and are having a good day
- Know that it is his perception and it doesn't change what you believe.
Your self-esteem is about having a good opinion of yourself. The first set
of answers indicate self-talk going on in the player's head that indicates
his self-esteem is shaky.
RELATIONSHIP WITH SELF
Your self-esteem is influenced by the conversations going on in your head.
What do you say to yourself inside your head? What do you really think of
yourself deep down inside? How do you talk to yourself on the golf course?
What mental hazards to you create that get in your way?
When you shoot a good score, most people think it should boost your
self-esteem. In fact, you could have lots of low scores and still tell
yourself in your head that you aren't good enough. You keep remembering
the missed shots, or tournaments you should have won, but didn't.
RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS
If you tend to put a lot of pressure on yourself to win, ask yourself what
would happen if you didn't win. What do you lose besides the match? Do
you feel badly that you have let your partner/team down?
If your answer is yes, then you need to look at where you get your
This is your game and the first responsibility is to yourself. You are not
responsible for anyone else. This could mean that you are dependent on how
others feel about how you play. If you are embarrassed by your play, then
you are allowing those watching you to determine your self-worth. This is
different from being disappointed or frustrated with your play.
RELATIONSHIP WITH OUTSIDE WORLD
It is important to realize that everything you do on the golf course is for
your benefit and enjoyment. When you decide to let go of the pressure by
trying too hard to please others, and let go of the compulsion to win, you
can begin to enjoy playing. When you enjoy doing something, chances are
you will probably do it very well. When you enjoy yourself, and play well
sometimes, it enhances your feelings of accomplishment and self-worth.
Your self-image is how you visualize yourself whereas self-esteem is how
you talk to yourself inside your mind. The second set of answers are
indicative of a person who views himself as balanced whether he is having a
good or bad day.
The first step in developing a good self-image for golf is take personal
responsibility to adopt the following attitudes:
- Believe and visualize your ability to play the game well.
- Believe and see yourself improving.
- Think positively and see yourself building on your positive efforts.
You are not responsible for what other people think of you. You are only
responsible for what you think of yourself. You never become what other
people think of you. You only become what you think, which is it's own
great reward. As you think, so shall you become.
What makes a winner?
Confidence in yourself, your ability and enthusiasm for what you are doing.
The following are ways to strengthen your self-esteem and self-image:
ACT AS IF IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FAIL
You can do this by developing your own self-image as a successful golfer.
Write down a description of the kind of golfer that you want to be. Begin
to act and feel as if you are that golfer. Don't do anything that would be
in conflict with that image. In developing your own self-image, use your
God-given talents and gifts to do the best you can. Accept your
limitations and mistakes with grace and forgiveness. This will allow you
to determine your authentic self and to feel good about yourself.
WINNERS SEE WHAT THEY WANT TO HAPPEN;
LOSERS SEE WHAT THEY FEAR MIGHT HAPPEN.
Confident golfers see clear pictures in their heads of themselves
executing the shot perfectly. They have a clear self-image (picture). The
golfers who doubt, have anxiety or fears and do not have clear pictures as
a result. When a belief about yourself enters your mind and forms a
picture, it becomes the truth for you. It doesn't matter whether it is
true or not. Your performance on the golf course is influenced by the way
you see yourself. Make sure that all of your pictures are positive and
To enhance your self-worth. write down and then repeat the following every
day for 3 weeks. As you do, use your imagination to select images that will
allow you to become emotionally involved in your "movie in your mind" to
portray your increasing self-image.
"I am improving every day as a consistent golfer. I am more self-confident
and self-assured every day. I am enjoying using my abilities to develop my
potential. I am responsible for my feelings, and let others be responsible
for their own feelings. My self-esteem grows every day. I feel empowered
with a strong sense of desire to do my best."
"Imagination is everything; it is the preview of life's coming attractions."