Recover Quickly & Shake Off Negative Thoughts: Mental Game Moment

April 16, 2014

April’s Theme is Peak Sports Performance

How can you recover quickly and shake off negative thoughts, in order to perform well in your golf game? When you consider that you have about 60,000 thoughts each day, most of which you had yesterday (and most of them negative), it may sound like an impossible task. That is because people don’t really know any different, even if they have the best intentions. Why is that? Why can’t you hit one bad shot and just shake it off, instead of berating yourself with negative thoughts about the kind of golfer you are, or wondering what you should have done differently? When you begin to understand more about the mind, you will see that most of your thoughts are limiting you and hampering your ability to just ‘shake it off’.

Chances are, that you habitually think in a certain way. You probably respond the same to certain situations each time they come up, or to certain things people say. Although you may want to make a change, you limit your own abilities by the way you think about yourself, other people and your circumstances. Even if you continually believe a problem exists or something is wrong, whether or not there really is a problem, those thoughts can hold you back.

I’d like to offer you the following self suggestion, which you could also call an affirmation. It gives you an example of how you can shift your mind away from your usual perceptions or thoughts about certain situations, and provides some instruction or guidance to help you think in a more positive, unlimited way. The suggestion is: “I recover quickly and shake off any negative thoughts, present in each moment.”

This suggestion applies primarily for golfers and sporting clay shooters, which are the largest groups of athletes within my work. If you golf or shoot, you know what it’s like to not recover, or to not recover quickly. It means that if you miss a shot or get a bogey, double bogey or even a few bogeys on the last several holes, you just can’t seem to get over it or move beyond it and get back to a present focus. As a shooter, maybe you missed birds at the last several stations and you are so bothered by it, that you really struggle to shoot well on the next ones. That is not recovering quickly. That is holding on to something and letting it continue to frustrate you and keep you from the present moment, which will obviously decrease your performance on the next shot, hole or experience – whatever that may be.

In your day-to-day life, see how quickly you recover from situations that don’t go the way you would have liked them to go, as a means of gauging your ability to shake things off. How long do you hold on to resentments or anger and frustration? Take a look at this because that habit is really a way of life and you carry it over into your sport. So as you work on improving your sport performance, ideally, you should include a goal to recover quickly and shake off any negative thoughts in whatever situations you may face.

Let’s put it another way: If you perceive your last experience in a negative way and you carry it over into your next shot, hole or station, it is 100% guaranteed that you will muck-up that next moment. So you have to start recognizing your negative, limiting-type thoughts and learn to shake them off. Replace them with more positive, uplifting types of thoughts. This may sound easy or silly or overly simplified, and it actually is a simple concept. But it can be very difficult to apply, because of the habit most people naturally carry around in their thinking. So if you find it difficult to recover quickly and shake off negative thoughts, please know that I am here for you. I have a process I take people through where I spoon-feed them, one step at a time, to break off those old cycles and patterns of thinking. I am more than happy to help you with this, and I have helped numerous athletes improve their performance with this suggestion – so I know that it works.

If you are someone who feels that you are ready and interested in making a positive change, then I feel like the information I give you here should really help you do it. You just have to be determined and decide it’s time to see things differently, think differently and shift your perceptions. You need to believe you can do well rather than building up evidence that you cannot. So first, you must believe you can recover quickly and shake off negative thoughts. As in sports and in life, it all starts with a belief.

Next, let’s move on to the last part of the suggestion: “present in each moment.” As I’ve stated above, if you are still upset or frustrated about something that happened to you earlier, and you bring that into your next experience, you will muck it up. That happens because your thoughts are taking you out of that new present moment. In order to be present in each moment, you must let the past go, or just ‘shake it off’. Again, it sounds simple enough, but it can be tough to accomplish. Do not feel bad if you need help with this. Many people do, and many people have improved their performances as a result.

As you begin to realize that your thoughts take you out of each moment, you can then begin to train your mind to focus on the present. You can change this bad habit of your conscious, analytical mind, just like you can house train a new puppy. If you think about it, a puppy that runs free in your house and gets up on any furniture it wants to, chews whatever it wants to and pees wherever it wants to, will continue doing it if nobody teaches it otherwise. You cannot get mad at it if it has never been trained. That is how your conscious ego mind is. It is peeing all over the place and mucking up your experiences, by taking you in a lot of different places besides what is truly happening in each new moment. It prevents you from recognizing and accepting the reality of the present, which ends up decreasing your performance.

Again, the new behavior or way of handling a situation that usually causes negative thoughts is to shake off the past and let it go. Let it go, let it go, let it go! Let it go as many times as you need to. It could be 100 times in three minutes; it does not matter. Just let it go. Be aware of the negative thoughts, let them go and replace them with positive, more unlimited thoughts. You want to be out there with more of a positive attitude and expectation of having fun and enjoying yourself. You can get there if you enable your mind to recover quickly and shake off those negative thoughts.

Go to work on this! This is a big one. It is extremely important, not only in your sport but also in your life. For more information on this and other topics, please check out my product page and look for sports performance products, which are packed with suggestions, hypnosis and mental training. To start improving your performance today, begin saying this suggestion and really believe it to be true: “I recover quickly and shake off any negative thoughts, present in each moment.” Thanks for reading. InJoy your day!

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