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Cindy Miller: Winning the War Within

In my last column, I discussed how to find “IT”; your game. I mentioned that there are three components or steps that need to be taken to find “IT”. Those three items are; a nail, a mirror, and a seed.  My next three columns will include teaching you how to implement those steps and what you can do to ensure you are able to find your game.

The nail signifies pain.  How bad does it have to hurt to be willing to change?  We are motivated by one of two reasons.  To stop pain, or to seek reward. You may be looking to stop slicing your driver or you might want to win the club championship.  Either way, you need to be motivated enough to stick with the process. Those who are not, will tend to give up when the going gets tough, just like anything else in life.  I challenge you to stick with it this time.  You don’t know how much better you can become unless you try.

The first question that needs to be answered is, “Why?”  Why do you want to do this?  Allow me to share a little of my story.

I call myself Cindy from Silver Creek.  I am the ultimate underdog who was always told, “You aren’t good enough.”  I was walk-on at The University of Miami. Why was I a walk-on?  They told me I wasn’t good enough. My Dad told me if I didn’t get a scholarship after my first year, I couldn’t return because they couldn’t afford the yearly tuition.

I graduated the number one player on the team, was named All American my senior year, and we won two National Championships my junior and senior year.  I qualified to play on the LPGA Tour in my second attempt and lost my card after three years.  Why?  Because I wasn’t good enough.

You might say, “Cindy, you were one of the best players in the world.  Not many people qualify and play on the LPGA Tour.”  I would answer, “Yes, I know.  I was good enough to get there, but not good enough to stay.” Of the best players in the world, I was one of the worst.”

I married a PGA Tour player who has been named the second purest ball striker in the world.  Who was the number on ball striker?  Lee Trevino.  Allen Miller was number two.  Allen and I happen to be the only married couple in the world who have played on all four major tours.  The PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour, The PGA Tour Champions, and the Legends Tour of the LPGA.  Our expertise lies in playing the game of golf for a living.

Allen and I do corporate outings for companies and team building training.  We are certified behavior, motivation and emotional intelligence professionals.  I was in Phoenix at a certification training and was discussing a project with the owner of the company.  I told him he needed to develop a golf assessment.  I mentioned that my goal was to win a Legends Tour event.  I told him I was on a mission to prove to myself the dream I had as a seventeen year old to compete on the LPGA Tour wasn’t just a nightmare that would haunt me the rest of my life.

He said they were doing research on the subconscious mind and would love to use me as a lab rat.  He asked if I would be willing to allow them to use me.  I said, “Yes, of course!”  That afternoon they hooked me up to electrodes, sat me in front of a computer, while it displayed words across the screen.  Each word was on the screen for a millisecond. The machine was taking pictures of my brain in the background to see what my subconscious mind thought of each of the words.  Some of the words were; winning, trophies, money, pressure, pursue, protect, good enough, choke, try, and many more.                                                                                 BEFORE                         AFTER

The next day, the owner of the company met me with the results.  He said, “Cindy, you don’t believe you deserve to win.  If you see the picture of your brain here, this is what it looked like when we showed you the words.  All the red is a negative response to the words. Your subconscious mind is stopping you from reaching your potential.”  I was horrified.  I didn’t realize I was my own worst enemy.  My question to him was, “Can I change this?”  He said, “Yes, you can.  There are exercises that you can do to change your subconscious mind.”

I went home, did my exercises, and returned to be retested two months later.  The photo on the right is what the second scan looked like.  There was more green which meant I did not have as much of a negative response to the same words.

Why am I telling all of this? Why would I be willing to expose pictures of my subconscious mind to you? Because I know that I am not the only one who might be sabotaging themselves on the links or in their life.   Maybe you don’t believe you are good enough.  Or, maybe you were told you are not an athlete, or don’t have the ability to get better, be better, or play better.  Maybe you are trying to prove something to someone.  Maybe it’s time to find a solution.

You may not need to dig as deep as I did to find my “IT”, but I know for sure there are reasons behind your missed shots that have nothing to do with your golf swing.  Once we clear up your reasons, finding solutions comes easy.

It is imperative that you understand the why of your poor performance.  If you are willing to admit and reveal the truth, possibly even expose some elephants, improvement can almost be guaranteed.  What are you doing to sabotage your personal success?

Have you ever walked up to a tee shot and said, "Oh, I hate this hole.  I always hit my tee shot terrible here." If so, you are guilty of programming yourself for failure.  Or, maybe you hate hitting short chip shots.  Are you terrified you will either shank it, top it, or dig into the ground?  Again, preconceived thoughts that guarantee failure.

Your beliefs come from experiences.  Those experiences create attitudes which develop into actions. The more emotion you link to the experience, the larger the belief. What if your beliefs are not really the truth?  Maybe it is time to unlock your personal potential.  I DARE you to take another shot….  At “IT”.

Cindy Miller is a former LPGA Tour Player,  a current member of the Legends Tour of the LPGA, and a Golf Channel Academy Lead Coach. She is a Certified Behavior, Motivation, and Judgment Professional who is sought after as a speaker, coach, and corporate trainer. Reach out to her at  Follow Cindy on InstagramFacebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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