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Archived Newsletters - Self-Esteem:

Newsletter June 1, 2000
Vol. I, Edition 7

Dear Golf Enthusiast,

PMI is pleased to provide this free electronic newsletter, Mental Coaching for Golf to give you information for balancing your mind-body-spirit so you can play golf effortlessly, free from distractions, trusting your swing, confident, focused, and enjoying the game more!

Thanks for subscribing. With your subscription you will receive tips and insightful information at the beginning of each month to help you develop a winner's mentality for your golf game by balancing your mental, physical and spiritual bodies.

This month's topic is about developing both a good self-image and self-esteem for the golf course. Your self-image and self-esteem are determined by:

  1. the relationship you have with yourself; how you see yourself and what you are thinking and saying about yourself.
  2. 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."
    --Helen Keller

    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.

    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.

    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 satisfaction. 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.

    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:

    1. Believe and visualize your ability to play the game well.
    2. Believe and see yourself improving.
    3. 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:

    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.


    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 empowering.

    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."
    ---Albert Einstein


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