All of us who have played the game of golf have at one time or another allowed this game to make us feel like we are a failure, worthless, incompetent, or just plain suck. The game is one that never allows us to be perfect. We will always miss shots. We can always improve.
Since this is my last article of the year, I wanted to leave you with something I believe is very valuable. As I was researching different articles and current topics that might be relevant, this one stood out like a sore thumb.
Lexi Thompson posted this on Instagram on Thursday:
"The events of the past year and a half (on and off the golf course) have taken a tremendous toll on me both mentally and emotionally," the 23-year-old wrote. "I have not truly felt like myself for quite some time. I am therefore taking this time to recharge my mental batteries, and to focus on myself away from the game of professional golf."
As noted by Yahoo Sports, Thompson lost the ANA Inspiration in a playoff following a four-stroke penalty for incorrectly marking her ball. She also missed a two-foot putt at the CME Group Tour Championship that potentially cost her the tournament. She also has been helping in her mother's battle with cancer.
"Thank you all so much for your continued support," Thompson said. "I hope to see everyone soon as I plan to defend my title at the 2018 Indy Women in Tech Championship.” That event begins Aug. 16.
In my certification training for behavior, motivation and emotions, I learned that people can adapt their natural behavior style in different circumstances. Your natural behavior style is how you tend to communicate and how you are likely to interact with others. It is how you instinctively behave without thinking or working at it. It can be measured in a variety of situations and contexts. What happens if you adapt your behavior to your perception of how you think you need to act to become successful in different situations? This might cause stress over a long period of time because you are using behaviors that are not as comfortable or natural for you.
You are not being you. I know that we all need to adapt our behavior to some extent in certain situations, but if you are doing it to an extreme, BEWARE! You cannot be someone you are not.
What motivates you to action? What do you value and believe? Understanding motivation helps reveal your preferences and why you do what you do. If your behaviors and motivators are aligned, you will not only be happier, you will be more successful.
Many people have told me that I should be at a private country club teaching golf. I have tried that. I view being at a private club as being confined. I would have 400 bosses. I am a high D behavior style (competitive and driven) and I am motivated by being unique and different. I want to be my own boss. Therefore, I start every year at zero. If I don’t give a golf lesson, a keynote address, or conduct a corporate training event, I don’t make any money. Is that scary? Not for me. I see it as a challenge. I need to do a good job, or no one will inquire for my services.
One of the triggers that can create tension in golf and possibly even your life:
The Committee of They: All the people who tell you what you are doing wrong. Remember, every shot makes somebody happy. These people might not be on your team. They sometimes tend to criticize, condemn, and complain. Example: “You always miss it right on this hole.” Or, “Why don’t you keep your head down?”
I encourage you to pursue your "It" -- your potential, passion, and your purpose in life. There are three steps that need to be taken.
The Nail: Find your why. Why are you here? What do you want? Are you qualified to get "It" or do you need to learn something new?
The Mirror: Have the courage to look in the mirror. What are your strengths? Weaknesses? Possible barriers?
The Seed: Do something about "It." Plant a seed. Take a golf lesson. Read a book. Make a personal plan. Create a vision for your future.
Lexi, I am proud of you for recognizing when to take a break to gather your thoughts and emotions and find yourself and not allow circumstances to define who or what you are.
As Henry David Thoreau wrote, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and eventually go to the grave with the song still in them."
Maybe it is time to get off the nail, stop the pain, look in the mirror and do something about "It."
I DARE YOU!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow Cindy at https://cindymillerinc.com and on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.