Positive Mental Imagery
 
 

Archived Newsletters - Fearless Golf:

Newsletter August 2002
Vol. III, Edition 9

Fearless Golf

by Joan King

Are you a golfer who relishes having to make a five-foot putt to win the deciding hole in a match against your buddies? Do you get excited about creating a soft flop shot over a bunker to a tightly tucked pin? Are you a golfer who loves to play in the last foursome of a tournament with the leaders?

If not, then it is time for you to develop a strategy to become mentally prepared so you will be in a positive state of mind on the golf course.

Babies are born with two fears; fear of falling and a fear of loud noises. All other fears you have created by your experience. Humans have wonderful imaginations and can conjure up all kinds of fearful situations. When you are controlled by your fears on the golf course, it is time to uncreate them. Fear is your teacher. Courage is your assignment. Confidence and self-respect are your lessons. Feed your fear and you starve your Spirit!

"Fear is our emotional response to misunderstandings that we have about the universe and about life itself."

Read the following statements and check the blanks that apply to your golf game indicating whether you have experienced it in the past, present, or both:

STATEMENT 1. I have a club(s) I do not like. PAST____ PRESENT____
2. There is a hole on my course I am afraid of playing. PAST____ PRESENT____
3. I tense up on tight, position golf courses, PAST____ PRESENT____
4. I feel anxious putting on fast, undulating greens. PAST____ PRESENT____
5. I tighten up playing with low handicappers. PAST____ PRESENT____
6. I get angry & frustrated when I score a big number. PAST____ PRESENT____
7. I am embarrassed when I don't shoot to my handicap. PAST____ PRESENT____
8. When playing well, I am afraid of losing my swing. PAST____ PRESENT____
9. After 3-putting a couple of holes, I am afraid of long putts. PAST____ PRESENT____
10. Hitting on the first tee makes me nervous. PAST____ PRESENT____
11. I tense up when I have to hit over water. PAST____ PRESENT____
12. I am afraid of missing short putts. PAST____ PRESENT____
13. In match play a better opponent intimidates me. PAST____ PRESENT____
14. The closer to the hole I get, the harder the shot is. PAST____ PRESENT____

Choosing to believe in these statements can create a fear. Life is full of choices. Most people fear making the wrong choice. To change a fear thought, feel the fear, and replace it by taking action to do the opposite. For example, if you have one club you think you can't hit well, imagine hitting it perfectly in your mind, and then use it on the golf course repeatedly until you regain your confidence. Change requires effort. It is much easier not to change, to stay in the fear. To overcome a fear you need to take a risk and make a choice to believe in success and prosperity.

Fear usually appears when you are in a situation similar to one where you experienced it before (like hitting over a water hazard). When you are fearful you may feel nervous, jittery, or jumpy. You may have trouble breathing. Holding on to a fear may lead you to the "what ifs"'--- thinking of everything that could go wrong. Then your focus is only on failure.

Most people don't take action more than 10% outside of their comfort zone, staying on the same track of sameness. Fear keeps us from changing/moving forward. The ultimate truth is that change is the only constant in the universe. To experience a fulfilling existence, our Spirit drives us to live a changing, challenging, and motivated and life.

The easiest way to keep these fear feelings out of our minds is to realize and to accept that we cannot know everything, and more importantly, we cannot really control "anything". In golf, as in life, we can only do the best we can with the knowledge we have at that time. We can choose to focus on distractions, trouble, past missed shots, lack of confidence, or we can choose to focus on the best that can happen in the present moment. What we focus and think about the most we will attract to come into our lives.

The strongest ways to prevent doubt and worry from coming into our thoughts is through continuous positive and reassuring self-talk (PMI Newsletter May 2002) and affirmations (PMI Newsletter August 2002). Remember the children's story about "The Little Engine that Could" that kept saying "I think I can, I think I can."

And when we let go of expectations or our attachment to the results, the golf game becomes easier. There will be no room for doubt, fear or worry to develop and to grow. It takes both mental practice and determination to change old beliefs and patterns of thinking. Once we change these old habits, it is amazing how much more effortless life and our golf game can be! Listening to the PMI Fearless Golf CD or cassette tape will replace your fears with a new mental habit of confidence.

"Winners are those people who make a habit of doing the things losers are uncomfortable doing.: ----Ed Foreman

A Louis Harris poll showed that upwards of 50% of Americans experience their major failure in life as a sports failure. For golfers, these fears are expressed as:

1. Fear of Failure. Golfers are afraid to make mistakes in front of others fearing what they might be thinking about your performance. Fear of making mistakes also causes golfers to play tentatively or to "steer" the club.
2. Fear of Success. Unconsciously golfers can be afraid of success because it adds pressure to perform shooting lower scores. Most people are prepared to deal with failure and not for success, so we are more afraid of it.
3. Fear of Being Judged. From childhood we wanted our parents' and peers approval. Seeking this constant approval can keep golfers from their peak performances because they are continually judging themselves and others.
4. Fear of Embarrassment. Most people don't like to experience the feeling of public embarrassment (looking foolish) over making a mistake. Golfers need to forgive themselves for their errors and learn from them, and not be concerned with the opinions of the other golfers or what you think they might be thinking about you.
5. Fear of Rejection. Many golfers feel that others will reject them if they do not play well enough. Rejection of us personally does not mean we are not worthy, or skilled or desirable. It just means that a person or group of people views something differently than we do.
6. Fear of Losing. Some golfers can't stand to lose and become anxious and tense which interferes with their performance.
7. Fear of Not Being Perfect. When golfers want to win so badly they are afraid of making mistakes (not being perfect), their perfectionism interferes with playing up to their potential.
8. Fear of the Unknown. This is the greatest fear of all. Life is full of unknowns. When we keep our thoughts in the present moment, we don't allow the fear of anything that happened or heard about in the past to influence us. If we don't allow our thoughts to move into the future and imagine the "what ifs", we don't allow anxiousness. The "fears" that we thought might happen, more often than not, don't happen. If it does we are usually more prepared for it than when we were worried about its enormity.

"Fear of failure becomes fear of success for those who never try anything new." --Dr. Wayne Dyer

To over come these fears, adopt the following golf mental strategies:

  • Focus on the process of creating the shot. Let go of expectations.
  • Stay in the present. Don't let your mind wander into the past or future.
  • Give 100% to the preparation (preshot routine) of every shot.
  • Breathe and relax all fear thoughts out of your mind.
  • Practice tolerance. You will like yourself a lot more, and so will others.
  • Be brave. Courage is acting with fear, not without it.
  • Believe in your ability.
  • Focus on the reasons to succeed.
Successful people have fears, anxieties and doubts. Even though they feel insecure, they use their insecurity as a motivating factor to push themselves twice as hard.

Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody fails. Everybody takes his knocks, but the highly successful keep coming back. They stay in the game.

Entrain Your Heart & Brain for Peak Performance!

Copyright PMI 2002. All Rights Reserved.

*****
"Your CDs are awesome! After I listened to them I was so relaxed. They motivated me to play and practice more. And I have put up some low numbers!" --A.M., Student

"I am very happy with your CDs. I listen to one every night. My putting has probably had the greatest improvement. I just "know" how to hit it, and then watch it go in." --E.D.B., Controller

*****

Easily improve your golf game today by listening to PMI self-hypnosis tapes. You can order now at http://www.pmi4.com

If this monthly enewsletter has been helpful to you, please forward it to your friends so they can have more fun playing the game of golf while lowering their scores. You can download the previous PMI newsletter issues by logging on at www.pmi4.com

If you have a question or need help with your mental game, email Joan at Positive Mental Imagery, info@pmi4.com Also, please share with us how this website information has helped you improve your performance.

purchase



Positive Mental Imagery
128 Forest View Drive
Flat Rock, NC 28731
Phone: 828.696.2547
Email: pmi4@bellsouth.net