Beliefs, Behaviours and Birdies
Henry Ford said, “It doesn’t matter whether you believe you can or whether you believe you can’t, either way you will be right.” This statement sums up the natural law called the Law of Belief, which states that whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality. You do not believe what you see. You see what you have already chosen to believe.
If you don’t believe you can be a good golfer, you are right. But don’t share your limiting beliefs especially with golfers like Senior, Frank Culpepper of Lexington, Senior, Art Baird of Clovis, New Mexico and teenager, Darren Grey of Durham, England, who all believed they can play golf at a competitive level.
All three have experienced the thrill of hitting at least one hole in one and Frank aced two. All three believe their games were continuing to improve.
They all had very positive mental attitudes and played a number of other sports at competitive levels and all three have low handicaps despite the fact each has only one arm and played without the use of an artificial limb.
When the Lexington Herald-Leader asked Frank about it, he replied, “Amputee? Yes, but Handicapped? No.”
Some people’s limiting self-belief is they have a good logical reason they cannot play par golf, however if anyone in the world is in a similar or worse condition and shoots par golf then there is no reason you cannot do so as well. If you can visualize it, if you have the desire and are willing to pay the price then you too can do almost anything you set your mind to.
The problem is it is easier to adopt the belief we cannot do something than it is to exert the effort required to do it. But how do you change your limiting beliefs? How do you motivate yourself? How do you control your mind and emotions?
You know you have the mechanical skills to play better, you have made exceptional shots in the past, birdied holes, hit the big drives, and sunk the long putts but you can’t or rather, believe you can’t do it consistently.
Hypnosis cannot improve your mechanical skills but it will help you play at the top of your physical ability by simply changing your expectations.
Bob called one day to say that he played daily and could birdie every hole on his home course. He entered several senior tournaments a year but consistently ended up second or third. He told me he was tired of being a bridesmaid. On occasions when he was leading in the back nine, his forearms would tighten and a few bad shots would place him back where he subconsciously thought he belonged and Bob’s belief prevented him from achieving the results he consciously desired.
If you could control your emotions, focus and mental game, how much better would you play? Could improve by just 3%? Three percent of par in a tournament is 9 strokes! The difference between first and tenth place is usually less than 3% and the only thing often separating the players is the belief they hold about their ability.
The problem in controlling or changing core beliefs is the little gatekeeper who sits on our shoulder. You know the voice that whispers the truth in accordance with these deep-seated beliefs. Occasionally we even affirm these truths to others, “I always slice my drives,” or “I choke when ever I drive over water” we announce as we step up to the ball and behold our mind and body team up to make sure that we are not disappointed.
The Law of Visualization states that the images you dwell upon affect your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Whatever you visualize clearly and emotionally will eventually materialize in your world. This partly explains the success of Jack Nicklaus who stated that “Every shot I make, I make first in my mind.”
In a hypnotic state we are able to visualize better while our critical thinking (the gatekeeper) is suspended thus allowing new suggestions to be easily accepted. By learning to enter this state quickly and easily, you will be able to take control of your mental game.
You can believe that you have peaked and look forward to a deteriorating game or you can join the spirit of Art, Frank and Darren in the belief that your game is getting even better. Either way you will be right.
Layton Park C.Ht.
Founder of the Canadian Hypnosis Institute based in Kelowna and author of business books including, “Decide What You Want … Then Get Out of Your Way”, and “Beliefs, Behaviours and Birdies”
Check out my latest book – Get Out of Your Way