“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions.” Marcus Aurelius 161-180 AD
As you have heard for years, “if you think you can or can’t, you are sure to be right” … our thoughts control the code written to follow if you will. As a golfer, how often have you stood over a putt having the thought of missing the putt and then going on to miss the putt. As a human being there is only one thing you can control, your mind. What happens outside of your mind is not in your control. If the weather is bad, or the putting greens are in bad shape, the best thing you can do is choose to accept the conditions then execute the shot and accept the results. Simple.
Simple, is not so simple. We are conditioned to allow outside influences to dictate our thoughts. Often this is done over many years of creating excuses, you make an excuse for why something happened to you or it could have started off as innocently as saying you caught a bad break or were unlucky. Over time this thinking becomes conditioned to have reactions, anger, intolerance or frustration, “why does that always happen to me”.. reactions influence your thoughts, thoughts influence actions. The great athletes accept the bad breaks, unlucky bounces, as well as the great breaks and lucky or fortunate bounces. Why are they more accepting? Having spent many hours talking and working with some of the best athletes in the world, it becomes clear their mindset is different than the “average” athlete or the weekend warrior. First, their preparation for the arena of competition is completely different from an amateur. The greats have conditioned their thinking to be accepting of things they can control and what things they can not control. They can control the effort put into learning, developing their technical and physical skills, they approach their development with a growth mindset. Taking all scenarios that come their way as learning opportunities, not failure. The best learn that it takes all 5 Elements of Success to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, in our society today, failure is looked down on, it is not acceptable, therefore it is bad. Youth are conditioned to think learning is to be easy, no suffering, no pain and failing at a task means you are broken or no good. These thoughts of being broken or need fixing, influence the preparation phases for young athletes. As an athlete you may assume something is wrong if you practice for a short period or take a “lesson” and it doesn’t immediately work or bear fruit. You may not believe the information from your coach/instructor, thinking this is not working and continue searching how to be fixed.
Your thoughts matter. If you want to be great, first accept what you can control: Your mind and your thoughts. This will have a great impact on how you approach coaching, practice, play and accepting outcomes. Your thoughts matter, color with beautiful thoughts, create your masterpiece with a growth mindset!
Enjoy Your Journey!