It is amazing to see young kids at the driving range. They grab a club, whirl it around, balance it upright on the tip of their finger like a basketball, and then take a swing that seems effortless and natural. I have yet to see a new adult golfer display such confidence and ease. As adults, many of us have lost a lot of our physical intuitiveness. We are afraid of making fools of ourselves, and we have a difficult time accepting that we aren’t instantly good at whatever we try.
Golfing requires a surprising amount of strength and stamina. You need to attack the hole. This is where the old saying, “It can’t go in if it can’t get there,” comes into play. You have to strike with precision to make accurate contact with the ball and you have to go for the shot aggressively. It is better to be just past your target than fall short of it.
Many recreational golfers adopt a “swing lightly” mentality, meaning they do not put a lot of “umpf” into the ball. They do so because they have found that they can hit the ball squarely more frequently if they do not swing through with as much clubhead speed. Therefore, they simply lose the will to be aggressive and progressive in honing their physical skills. They lose their edge and choose to play it safe rather than pushing past their barrier in order to become a better golfer.
I am sure you can see where this one is going. Since our first nine holes are about “self”—self-improvement, self-esteem, and all those things—it is important to be aggressive about building your “self” up.
Here are some typical “swing lightly” thoughts:
Do you tell yourself that you aren’t good enough, smart enough, or strong enough?
Do you fill in the blanks with assumptions and turn yourself into an emotional mess?
Are you obsessed with every little detail about yourself?
If so, you are setting up roadblocks that you need to knock down aggressively.
Let me give you some specific work examples:
The Complacent,” Swing Lightly,” Thought Process:
I think they will overlook me for the promotion.
Maybe my credentials were not good enough,
maybe my review was not positive,
or maybe I am too nervous.
Maybe I don’t want the promotion after all.
What? Have you done this? Have you talked yourself right out of something for no real reason?
Don’t start second-guessing yourself. It is self-defeating and deflating. And, hey, if you are going to start filling in the blanks with assumptions—assume the positive!
The Aggressive, “Barrier-breaking” Thought Process:
I am excited about this possibility of promotion.
They must be taking a good look at my credentials, and I know that my performance reviews have been great.
I feel confident.
I have a lot to offer and I am up for the challenge.
It is so important to stick to the facts and not assume. Strip out emotion and watch how much easier it is to be objective and get to the root of things. Have you ever really sat and thought about how negative thoughts manage to creep into your mind? Have you ever really thought about why you let it happen in the first place?