Just because you think it, it doesn’t mean it’s true. The things we think about ourselves are just thoughts, they are not truths, or facts. If you make the mistake of believing the things that you say about yourself are facts, you can find yourself stuck in an identity that will guide your behavior in ways not helpful to your performance. For example, I played with someone recently, who after missing a short putt, declared, “I’m the worst putter in the world!”. This refrain, in various iterations, continued throughout the round. Now, it might seem fairly innocent to pound away at yourself when you don’t live up to your expectations, but there are significant consequences. It was clear that my playing partner did not think very highly of his ability to putt and I have no doubt that the identity he created for himself as “The Worst Putter in the World ” contributed to why he struggled so much on the greens. If you are someone who is really tough on themselves in your practice sessions or on the course, start challenging the negative self-statements, judgments, and criticisms you make. Otherwise, you will start to believe they are true and don’t be surprised if you start to act the part.
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