Breaking Bad Thinking Habits in Golf

Developing a Positive Mindset For Greater Success

Does never mean forever?

In other terms, if you haven’t been able to accomplish a task, does it mean you will never be able to achieve that standard?

The word “never” tends to stop many golfers in their tracks.

Never is a negative mindset that sends a very powerful message to your brain that at no time in the past or in the future, under any circumstance, can this task be achieved.

The “never” mindset keeps you stuck at your current level of play and becomes a stumbling block that prevents you from advancing your game.

Examples of “never” statements that often block you from your potential as a golfer are:

  • “I never have cracked the Top-10.”
  • “I never play well on this course.”
  • “I never beat that golfer.”
  • “I never make 10-foot putts.”

As you see, not only do these negative statements send a strong negative message, but they also have a strong emotional component that reinforces the message.

Instead of never, the message should be “NOT YET…”

  • “I have not yet broken into the Top-10 but my game is improving.”
  • “I have not yet played well on this course but I am now more familiar with the course.”
  • “I have not yet beaten that golfer but today is a new opportunity.”
  • “I have not yet hit consistent 10-foot putts but my technique has really improved this year.”

“NOT YET” is a positive mindset that pulls your mind away from what has happened in the past to what can happen now.

This positive mindset also produces strong emotions that are motivating and performance-enhancing.

Imagine how much your game would improve if you just replaced “never” statements with the “not yet” mindset.

Forty-one year-old Chris Thompson has “not yet” realized his dream of earning his PGA Tour card but “never” is not even a thought in his mind.

Thompson has worked for the past 19 years to achieve his goal and his positive mindset has kept him focused on the opportunity and the challenge in front of him.

Still grinding, Thompson finished tied for 6th at the 2018 Wichita Open which keeps him in contention for earning his full card.

THOMPSON: “You work pretty hard at this for a certain amount of time. It’s just nice to see the success. I have seen a lot of people do it. A lot of people I played with in college have advanced [to the Tour], and I haven’t done it. That’s frustrating, but it is incredibly difficult and it’s supposed to be difficult. To achieve that at 41, I think would be a heck of an accomplishment.”

Thompson refuses to buy into the negative mindset of never being forever.

A positive mindset can help you strive for greater success.

Just because something hasn’t happened in the past doesn’t mean it won’t happen today or sometime in the near future.

Each step forward is another step in the process to achieve new standards.

Breaking Old Habits of Thinking

First, to achieve new levels of success, you need to change the old habit of never statements.

Overcoming “never” statements requires more than just changing the negative into a positive.

Overcoming “never” statements requires challenging the validity of the statement.

Is it actually true that I will NEVER achieve my objective?

If this statement is invalid, what do I need to do to achieve this new performance standard?

Check out “The Golfer’s Mental Edge” to help you break old habits of thinking…

Golfers Mental Edge

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