What is your greatest fear on the golf course? Honestly mine is a short putt. Probably because I put a lot of effort in to get it there and I don’t want it to be in vain. Or maybe because it should go in so when it doesn’t, its difficult to digest.
Many people fear the tee shot, especial when others are watching. It perhaps defines their golfing abilities with translates into self worth. Or the dreaded bunker shot. A lot of that fear comes from lack of practice in that position and thus little confidence. We allow inexperience to justify the doubt, thus trumping the amazing possibilities.
There are plenty of opportunities to be afraid on the golf course. But then we have to ask ourselves, Why?
Why do we fear a chance to learn, grow and improve? Why do we fear imperfection when that is all that truly exists? Why do we allow the fearful thoughts and emotions to be dominant and take control?
To be honest, there are a million reasons why and unfortunately that state of being has become a thriving mental program and continues to get smarter, tricker and gain more control.
The fear will always exist so the first thing we need to do is accept it. We can get to know it, but in most situations it is not our friend, especially on the golf course. We just let it be, and as we continue to breath and stay present we gain distance from that fear. As we continue to ask ourselves this very important question we regain our power and our control.
WHAT AM I AFRAID OF?
Have you ever asked yourself this question? Either on or off the golf course. Or do you allow the fear to exist and try to battle it, to no avail? Fear is a power emotion. It's able to change our brain chemistry, heart rate, breathing rate. It affects our mood, muscle tension, organ functions. We give it so much power, in spite of it being merely thoughts and emotions. It’s not even real. So instead of trying to fight it, we need to simply not engage with it.
Fear could be of a water hazard, a bunker or even eyes look toward us during a golf shot. It's based around a need for self preservation. To hold on the our fabricated identities. We find by asking that question that there really is nothing to be afraid of. All that exists are programmed thoughts, intended to protect us, but actually harming us. Sabertooth tigers do not roam the golf course so fear is no longer needed as a survival emotion.
What if we stop trying to protect our self identity, it's not needed for survival, and instead just enjoy, everything. What if we experience fear with a little distance, allowing it to exist but not giving it power to control our thoughts, feelings and actions. All we have to do is ask that simple question.
WHAT AM I AFRAID OF?
Acknowledge it, relax into it and let it go. Being fearful is never ever worth your prosperity, your sanity and your happiness.
So ask yourself this question the next time you tee it up and a group of people are watching or you have to hit over a water hazard. WHAT AM I AFRAID OF? Answer it honestly and let it go. Smile to yourself, because no matter what, you are alive, playing a game you love and learning while doing it. Your shot might be great or it might be bad, who cares. At least it was more free, relaxed and enjoyable.