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Newsletter February 2023

February is the shortest month on the calendar, and this one in 2023 is jam-packed with must-see sporting events. Leading the roster is the NFL Super Bowl LVII championship with the Philadelphia Eagles facing off against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, February 12th.  It is the world's highest watched TV program every year.

Beginning this week, The Winter Olympics Games run for 17 riveting days from February 4th through the 20th in Beijing, in the People's Republic of China. The Olympic constitution states, "The Divine Intent of the Olympic Games is for the Family of Humanity to set aside our differences and to come together in Peace as we attain our highest level of excellence."

On the PGA Tour, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am will take place this week at the Monterey Peninsula Shore Course, Spyglass Hill, and Pebble Beach Golf Links from Thursday, February 2nd through the 5th.

How can these world-class athletes make sure their performances peak when it matters most?

Athletes are victorious when they play with "heart"

"Heart" is the word we use in sports when an athlete competes totally laser-focused, supremely motivated, excited about performing and resilient against setbacks and failure. Playing with passion makes the game more fun. When a golfer is fully absorbed in the moment and enjoying the spirit of the game, they are "in the zone" playing way above their expectations.   

February is the month of love. February 14th is widely regarded as the day of expressing love. In addition to remembering that you love someone else, remember that loving yourself comes first.

The feeling of love comes from your heart. The feeling of hitting a perfect golf shot resonates in your heart. Discounting that feeling by judging the result keeps you in your thinking mind.

Love is a state of peace inside and out where you are focused in the moment. ove is the greatest emotion that brings us joy.

As humans we block out the awareness of the feeling of love by allowing negative thought patterns and fear-based actions to interfere with enjoying our lives and our golf games. Play from your heart instead of your brain as your heart has 5-6,000 times more energy than the brain.

Perhaps this year you can gift yourself by remembering through all the adversities how much you love to play golf. When you are in love with playing golf, you have lost yourself in the euphoric feeling, forgotten your ego and personality, and are one with that feeling of being in love.

Love the game for what it is --  a compelling game full of ups and downs, twists and turns, ecstasy and frustration. Love is a unique life force energy that motivates us. Love is the greatest emotion that brings us joy. Without the passion, it is just dedication. Without the love, it can feel like an all-consuming work effort.

Here are some reasons to love the game of golf:

  • Golf is a fun game to play.
  • Golf is a game played alone or with others.
  • Golf is a common social bond among all who play the game.
  • Golf is a game played outdoors in the beauty of nature.
  • Golf is a game that challenges you against the golf course and others.
  • Golf is a game that moves you into an inner state of focus.
  • Golf is played in a peaceful setting that can relax you.
  • Golf reinforces confidence in you and in your abilities.
  • Golf teaches you about yourself.
  • Golf is a game that pushes you mentally and emotionally.
  • Golf is a game of honor.
  • Golf is a sport that can be played for life.
  • Playing golf "in the zone" is the same blissful feeling as when a person is "in love."

What can you add to this list? What do you love about playing golf?

Let go of Self-Judgment

One of the mental keys for successful golf is to let go of self-judgment. When you think about how you are doing, or how to do it, you are judging yourself and your performance under the guise of helping your game. Any impulse to aggressively control your game will move you into these feelings of self-judgment.

When you judge yourself, you are likely to feel anxious, guilty, embarrassed or angry. These feelings will ultimately sabotage your golf game, lower your self-esteem, and keep you from being successful.

Judgment is the comparison between how something seems and how we think it should be. We would like to believe that we could hit every golf shot perfectly. And when we don't do that, we feel frustrated, embarrassed, and humiliated, and reject ourselves because we feel inadequate. And so, we pretend to be what we think we should be (the perfect golfer) by demeaning ourselves with words or physical actions of disgust. In other words, we pretend to be what we are not (perfect), because we are afraid someone else will notice that we are not what we pretend to be.

The way we judge ourselves is the strongest Judge there is. When we miss a shot in front of other people, we try to deny the mistake and take off the attention by covering it up with excuses and rationalizing why it happened. To be a champion golfer, you need to seek your own approval, not the approval of others.

To maintain our balance and composure it is necessary to look at the game of golf/life in a different perspective. We need to forgive ourselves for being human, for making mistakes. This is the answer to Judgment. It requires a change of attitude and a new belief system. Golf is management of imperfection. Each shot is a story. When it is over, you begin a new story. Instead of blaming yourself for your mistakes, learn from them so you won't repeat them. When we are "in the zone" and playing at our peak performance level we are not learning----- just enjoying the experience.

Become a magician! Use your thoughts and words and pictures to create the life and golf game that you desire. Let go of judgments that sabotage your game and put you into an internally self-created prison. Give yourself permission to enjoy the game of golf with its ups and downs, with its perfect shots and imperfect shots, with its humiliating situations and its joyous moments! Remember that golf is a game where an inch can make the difference between total disaster and absolute perfection! See the round in its entirety. Don't be trapped by a few mishits into judging your whole performance by them. Reinforce and enjoy the good shots.

Affirm your self-worth

Peak performing athletes rarely put themselves down. They talk to themselves positively about what they are attempting to create. They change any past negative messages that come up into positive empowering ones. This is a part of their mental training program. They repeat positive mental affirmations and training routines until they are wired into their brains, body and spirit and become a conditioned response.

You are your most important critic. Nothing is more critical than the opinion you have of yourself. What you say to yourself in your inner mind is the most important conversation you will ever have. You become confident by affirming yourself.

Keep doing your best. If you always do your best, there is no way the Judge within can find you guilty or blame you. When you give it your best effort, you learn to accept yourself. Practice, learn from your mistakes and look honestly at the results. This increases your awareness of your Self.

Focus on the good that you want to create in your golf game and better results will come to you. This is the Universal Law of "like attracts like." Be your own best coach. Encourage and treat yourself as well as you do the others in your foursome. Let go of all your unreal self-assessments in which you find yourself in any way inadequate that comes from never measuring up to being perfect. Accept and love yourself more than anyone ever loved you.

Golf is a game in which you must play your mistakes. Learn to forgive yourself for your imperfection of being human. Instead, congratulate yourself for what you did well during the round of golf. Gratitude is the answer to forgiveness. You probably made fewer mistakes than you thought.

Love yourself playing the game of golf more than you love the outcome. A change of heart changes everything.

Play "in the zone" With Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

Improve your golf game over the winter by listening to PMI self-hypnosis CDs/MP3s in the privacy of your own home. Order today at http://www.pmi4.com/cart

If you have a question, or need help with your mental game, email Joan at  pmi4@bellsouth.net or phone 828.707.5478 for a free consultation to learn about mental golf coaching in person, or world-wide by phone. Learn what is missing in your game so you can achieve the success you desire.



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Positive Mental Imagery
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Flat Rock, NC 28731
Email: pmi4@bellsouth.net