Golf, as in life, has many ups and downs. It is not meant to be perfect, it is a continuous adaptation of our environment, good and bad. As the saying goes, a good attitude can be as equally effective as aptitude. If you are willing to pick up a club to hit a golf ball and play the game, you can expect to fail a few times before announcing your great shot. The same goes for life, right? If you are willing to live a great life you must not be afraid to fail. We must be willing to accept failure, or the shame of hitting some bad shots, or making a mistake at work, equally.
We tend to judge ourselves based on the things we do, not for who we are. We will attach a certain amount of shame or embarrassment to failing at something that we are striving to be better at, and even tell ourselves that it doesn’t matter. ‘I wasn’t really trying’ or ‘I don’t care, anyway’ are easy outs often heard from those afraid to fail. How often have you found yourself saying that after something went wrong?
Golf can be a game unlike any other sport where we associate trying our best and failing as being “bad.” Yet in basketball, baseball, and other sports when your rate of failure is 50% or greater, we talk about how great those players are. Putting this in perspective even more, a baseball player that fails 70% is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame! Talk about failing forward! The greats of the game in golf realize that they are not going to hit every shot perfectly and do not wrap themselves with a cloak of shame after each failed shot or missed 4 footer. Rather, they accept that this is going to happen and understand that they will reap the benefits of equally positive breaks based on the fact that their positive efforts will create them. Attitude is powerful.
As we approach the bulk of our “playing” season in the northeast, don’t allow shame or embarrassment to get in the way of your improvement and joy for something you love. As you put your time into preparing to play your best, be sure to slow down and enjoy the steps it takes to get there. Remember golf is a continuous adaptation of the environment, good or bad. It is not a reflection on you as a person, but more a validation of your courage to put yourself out there to be better. Enjoy it!