Now I must admit I have mustered these words before but rarely to anyone else when it comes to me being able to learn something or physically do something. There are things I would say I cannot do only because I do not have the tools, knowledge and skills to do them; an example would be that I would defer on doing a brain operation or flying a fighter jet (well at least for real, for sure a simulator!) You get the drift.
Maybe I am the optimist that believes anything is possible with time, knowledge and a lot of failure, but I would also tell you that there is more research in the field of neuroscience that may align with this too. Here is why I believe it, I have seen it!
What am I getting at? Here it is. I am tired of hearing golfers say, “I can’t get it!” when they are making changes to their swing or golf game and not producing the consistency or scores they are looking for. Then when faced with the work that is necessary for improvements, they scream and pout that they “can’t” get it. Well, I call BS! Maybe you are not willing to put the right work in, maybe you are not willing to look in the mirror at the real problem/s, and truthfully you may not know where to begin. “Can’t” will not get anything done! As a matter of fact, “can’t” is confusing to the brain. The brain doesn’t understand, (talk about getting frustrated!), and this may be why you may feel like throwing out your golf clubs at times!
The neuroscience behind doing something is favorably on your side. You see, if you can conceive an idea and allow your brain to enable the body’s system to do the things it needs to do to carry out the actions, like produce a quality golf swing or play golf, it will do it to its best ability. Are there limitations? Yes, and no. It depends on how you define limitations because regardless of what we may think is a limitation we can ultimately overcome them with enough time. You see, I know someone who had a traumatic experience that disabled them, or what doctors regarded as crippling them. Doctors sentenced her to life without movement, auditory function, executive functions, and basically told her she would be bound to a bed or wheelchair with little to no ability to communicate. Talk about wanting to give up! Well, that is half the story. When you give yourself the message “I can,” it changes things. If you give yourself the message, “I will do something” it changes things. When you demand more from yourself than others think possible, it changes things! I saw this person go from a high functioning adult to a drooling, “crippled” vegetable (according to doctors) to someone who learned the alphabet, to read, to speak, to crawl, to walk, to jog, to drive, to do art, who lived another forty years when given a death sentence of a year or two! So, when you say you “can’t” learn how to play better golf or improve your golf swing because you thought learning is easy! BS! Change your messaging to yourself. Here are a couple great messages to yourself that may help in the times of despair: I am better than I was, I am not where I want to be, but I am improving daily or I didn’t play as well as I would like but I learned some good lessons today.
What neuroscientists are learning is our neurological and physiological systems will learn to adapt to survive and even thrive in many cases. So, the next time you are struggling in your practice session, or on the course making improvements, saying “I can’t get this” is not the way to get it done. Instead, give yourself the message that learning is supposed to be a struggle, if it isn’t, I am probably not pushing myself to learn or to become better. Easy is a red flag for no progress!
I Can’t! REALLY!!!
ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY!