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Get Your Head in the Game

by Randy Barber October 5, 2017

“Way to go, dumb ass!”

“Can’t you make a simple shot from 10 feet off the green?!”

“You suck!”

This is what my inner congress of voices was yelling at me during a game of golf. I had just hit my fourth shot across the green. When the ball finally stopped rolling, it ended up way farther away from the hole than before! I was pissed.

When I was lining up this doozy of a shot, my inner dialogue was much calmer. In fact, I was telling myself not to be anxious. I knew that the shot was a delicate one and would require a bit of finesse.

I had successfully executed the same type of shot earlier that day, so you would think I’d have been able to visualize it working out. And you would think my self-talk would have been laser focused on what I wanted to do. Not so, my friends. Instead, I told myself what not to do; I told myself not to rush the swing.

So what did I do? I blasted the ball away from me.

I was so irate that I quit caring what score I got on the hole. I didn’t take the time to line up any of the putts on the green, and I hardly paid any attention to how hard I was hitting them. Five strokes later, I finally got the ball in the hole.

The guys I was golfing with could tell from the look on my face that I was really angry. That’s when one of them, Peter, looked me right in the eyes, smiled and said, “It’s only a game.”

I played in (and won) a tournament with this same group of guys last April. I remember reminding them on multiple occasions to shift their thoughts from what may be going wrong to what outcome they’d like to achieve instead. Somehow, during this game, I totally lost that perspective.

Peter said exactly what I needed to hear. Those four words instantly helped me shift my perspective. For the rest of the game, I stopped thinking about what I didn’t want and focused on what I really wanted: to have fun. I didn’t end up with a great score, but what really matters is that I had a good time!

I believe I will remember this lesson every time I play golf in the future, and I’ve shared it many times with people I have coached and mentored.

What do you do when things don’t go your way? Do you get pissed off, or do you remind yourself of what really matters? Rising above the crappy things that happen is a muscle you can build. It’s something we work on diligently with all our clients.

If you struggle to recover from aggravating situations, coaching can help you with that. Click here to learn more about Frame of Mind Coaching by taking our assessment and experiencing a coaching call with one of our certified coaches.

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