Confidence is such a huge part of increasing, or peaking, your athletic performance. Whether you are on the golf course, the clay shooting course, the track, the field, building your confidence is key to a successful outcome. If you lack confidence when you step out onto the golf course, range or event, it does not matter how much you have practiced, memorized, repeated or played prior to that. If you go out with a negative mindset, down attitude, thought or belief, you will not perform well.
Your performance in golf or any sport can only be peaked through mastery. You need mastery of the actual mechanics, mental skills and mindsets (this includes building your confidence). You must also have mastery of presence, or the ability to know how to be fully present, and to know exactly what that feels like and how to create it in yourself. Lastly, you need to master inner peace. That does not mean you become so relaxed or at peace that you could care less. I say that because so many clients fear that if they are at peace or in a relaxed state of mind, it means they don’t care. I believe that is the biggest hurdle I have to help people overcome. Without inner peace, you will struggle to feel confident when you step out on the course.
Mastery of mechanics, mental skills, mindsets, presence and inner peace, all contribute to how confident you feel in golf. If you think things like: “I can’t do this,” or “Everybody else is better than me,” then you do not have your mind in the present moment. Right here, you can see a mindset issue and one of not being present, which both affect confidence. Many people need help in this area, which is why I continue to address confidence with different self suggestions or ways you can build it up; so don’t feel bad if you can relate to the examples I have given.
As I thought about ways to help you build your confidence, I decided to choose the following suggestion from my products. I am giving it to you in a ‘self-suggestion’ form, because you can say this to yourself over and over to create a new thought pattern. It is: “Confidence: I now feel it and experience it in life, and therefore easily in my sport, more and more each day.”
How do you feel and experience confidence in your life? The first step is to have the awareness of when you are not experiencing it. That is the caution flag or red flag being waved in the air, when you have cruddy feelings in your body and cruddy thoughts in your mind that make you not feel so good, your energy level decreases. That feeling is not meant to be there so you get used to it, or so you decide that is how you are and you just feel cruddy all the time. You can then become a victim of it. You can medicate to numb it. I believe those cruddy, down feelings are there to help motivate you to get out of them. If something feels cruddy, don’t stay in it. If you feel down or out or are being hard on yourself, don’t fester in it. You will not feel confident or perform well if you feel cruddy, so recognize that crud as a tool to motivate you to change.
How? First you have to recognize you’re in it. Recognize that you feel cruddy right now, or that your thought patterns are not very positive and you’re only focusing on what you think is wrong around you, wrong with you or your life. All of that pertains to having a lack of confidence. If you think down on yourself, you think you are incapable of making a particular shot and others are better than you; or maybe you think you shouldn’t even be there because you are not very good at your putting or shooting or whatever the case may be, then you will feel down rather than confident. So the critical first step is to see that it is happening.
Once you recognize you are not feeling confident because of those cruddy kinds of thoughts, then it is time to eliminate them. As you do, you have to replace them with something. That something could be purposefully looking for the good in your life or your performance. You can purposely look at the progress you have made over the months and years leading up to where you are today, or look at the skill sets you have and how your performance is greater in so many ways now than a year ago. You need to be able to look at your life in a way that you see the good in it. These are all ways of getting out of the crud that causes a lack of confidence, and building up your confidence to improve your sport performance.
You need to see those negative comments as ugly weeds growing in your garden that could otherwise be magnificent, and pull them out! Weed out the negative comments about yourself that you either speak out loud or roll around in your brain. Just weed them out of your mind. I say it matter-of-factly but it really is not easy. About 90% of the population has a habit of thinking and seeing the bad in themselves and everything going on around them. So the step-by-step may sound really quick and easy, but you have to be diligent and spend a lot of time on these steps for them to work in building your confidence.
Once you weed out the negative way of viewing yourself, what else are you going to think about? The analytical conscious mind wants to constantly chew on something, so you train it up to be in the present. I already said that one of the critical elements to ‘peaking your performance’ in sports is having a level of presence. So help your mind be present. Train your mind to exist in what truly is the current reality. Instead of dwelling on the ugly story in your head, try to focus on the true moment you are in right now. You have so much to be grateful for and so much you do well. Very little problem exists right now in this exact moment (usually). But your mind often takes you out of the exact moment and off into some imaginary storyline, which then creates a problem in how confident you feel in that moment. You need to bring yourself back into the present, which will then help your level of confidence improve.
Another tool you can use is to focus on the progress you have already made. Build your confidence in the areas in which you can truly see your progress. Build it up and experience feeling good about your progress. You will notice a cause and effect of having uplifted energy in your body when you do this. As you decrease and weed out the negative ways of viewing yourself, your energy, emotions and feelings in your body will increase to an energy and vibration level that feels really good. You actually feel better.
So as you train your mind to stop thinking and feeling negatively about yourself, your game or whatever you are down on, you will feel better. As you train your mind to be present and actually enjoy what is happening in the real moment going on around you, you feel better as well. When you train your mind to purposely build your confidence as you look at the progress you have made, you recognize your skill sets and the thousands of different parts of who you are, your energy will increase and you actually have a vibration shift in the cells of your body that help you feel better and better. People may not know their cells shift, but they label the feeling as happy, joyful or excited. That is much better than the other words used to describe the cruddy feelings, like being down, sad or unhappy. Hopefully you will really see how this process of building your confidence will elevate your mood and energy level (first hand), as you bring it into your sport and watch your performance improve.
Say the ‘self-suggestion’ over and over: “Confidence: I now feel it and experience it in life, and therefore easily in my sport, more and more each day.” Do it not just when you play golf or any other sport, because you can’t take one brain out and put another one in when you go on to your weekend performance or sporting event. You have one mind so you might as well gain mastery of your mental skills in everything in life, by working on it all day long. Once you do, then there is no trying hard on the weekend to be something you are not. You won’t get worn out from trying to focus on being present on the course, when you have been learning how to do it naturally every day. And once you have mastered some level of inner peace, then there is no trying hard to overcome a bogey, a missed shot or an error in your performance. Those things may happen, but you can remain calm, peaceful and confident, and go on to make even better shots the next time.
I really believe that confidence is one of the major arteries that affect everything in your life, and especially in your golf or sport performance. So start implementing this right now, today, so you can weed out the crud that keeps you down, and build up the confidence you need to peak your performance. Building confidence in yourself will build confidence in your game. If you need any additional help, I am here for you so please contact me. I wish you well as you work on improving your sport performance. Thanks for reading. InJoy, your day!