Did my email anger you?
Did you feel threatened?
Did that bring up some old feelings?
Did you agree with the statement I made that Tiger Woods is not mentally tough and get a smug feeling?
Or did you have some other reaction? Either way, I hope you felt something from that.
I received a lot of hate responses after that email. Some people said that I’m an idiot. Others said I was racist. Others said I had no idea what it takes to make it on tour. (I find it fascinating what it takes to get people to feel…something…anything and then respond.)
I pulled those statements I made about Tiger from yesterday’s front page of our local paper and another article I read online. I didn’t even come up with them. I don’t normally make provocative statements but felt compelled to teach this way today.
…But this is not about me. This is about you.
I write this blog and the emails in order to teach you something about golf that maybe you’ve never heard elsewhere. But really, I’ve got a greater purpose for you in doing that. If you’ve followed me at all, you know that I think of golf as a metaphor for life. It’s almost like a religion. There are so many things to learn from playing this game that can be applied to the rest of your life. If you’ve read anything from me, you know that to be the case. You know you aren’t going to get mechanical swing instruction from me. I write about bigger things than that.
You know, I put out content all of the time and get no responses whatsoever. And then when I mention Tiger Woods, the emotions come out. Yes, yes, I could have said something about religion or politics to get a reaction but I thought I would stay within the bounds of golf since that’s what we are all doing here.
I sent that email out as it was…on purpose: to get a reaction from you for a powerful lesson and something I’ve been working on the last few years and that’s Emotional Mastery. A few years back, I became totally convinced that this is the key to opening the door to your golf (and life) potential and have been working on it ever since.
So why should you care about emotion and your golf game? Here’s why:
What is it that causes the yips? Emotion
Why does it seem that a 5 foot putt is sometimes harder to make than a 10 foot putt? Emotion
Why do we play well on the front nine and not on the back (or vice versa)? Emotion
Why is it that some golfers seem fired up and do very well when challenged? Emotion
Why is it that you play better on some courses and not on others? Some days and not others? Emotion
I could go on and on about that but you already know all of that. All pressure is emotion too!
When teaching about emotion, other mental game teachers would just write something like:
“You’ve got to manage your emotions”
“Don’t get too high or too low”
“Get in control of your emotions”
When have you ever heard from someone who can tell you HOW to do that?
I, on the other hand, am trying to show you something by experience. In order to do that, you have to actually FEEL something and not just intellectualize it.There are answers and there are solutions to the emotion problem.
When you become aware of and work with your emotions, LIFE and GOLF gets so much easier and you perform better
Here’s some questions you might want to ponder about yourself. You don’t have to answer the questions directly…just absorb it and let your mind go where it needs to go. The questions themselves will do the work for you and help you to take back control of your emotions. Take your time with each question and see where you need to go with it. I recommend you get yourself in that difficult emotion while doing this…remind my email again and get angry again if that helps.
In order to first make change, we have to aware of what needs to change.
If you got a strong negative reaction from my email:
1. How is it that you could allow a total stranger whom you’ve never met or seen in person cause you that emotion?
2. How does that happen on the course? In business, in your relationships?
3. Where does that emotion begin in your body. Try bringing up that emotion again and see where it starts. When you become aware of this, you will be able to nip those troubling emotions in the bud BEFORE they become a problem.
4. Ask yourself: “Why is it that some people would not have a strong reaction like I did” Follow that up with: “Is that difficult emotion USEFUL to me?
5. Do I want to be a victim of my emotions out on the course or master them?
6. When have I been offended before OFF the course and shrugged it off? How did I do that? Can I do that ON the course just the same?
Now, here’s the big kicker: 7. What is the belief I’m holding that is causing me to have a negative reaction.
I’m sure that the people who wrote to me expressing their anger and hate would say something like: “What he wrote made me so angry”
But how can I MAKE anyone angry? I can’t.
NOBODY or NOTHING outside of you can MAKE YOU EMOTIONAL
If you got NO EMOTIONAL REACTION from my statement, you want to ask yourself: “Do I allow myself to FEEL?” Can I get excited and passionate about golf…or anything?
Some golfers may be missing out on their potential because their true nature is a FEEL golfer yet they’ve shut that system down over the years. I’ve run into that many times working with male athletes.
Emotional Mastery isn’t just about dealing with difficult emotions. It’s also about creating the fun ones like joy, bliss, pure, flow, etc. All of those emotions and more are what golfers use to describe THE ZONE.
You might be thinking about now: “This is a bunch of garbage. This has nothing to do with golf or my life. All I need to do is work harder at my game, practice more and I’ll get better.
And I would have to ask you…”How is that belief useful to your game?”
Tiger’s got some work to do. That’s no secret. He can still develop a type of mental toughness that he doesn’t have right now. That’s also a fact.
My own personal opinion is that the game of golf would be so much better if he were back in contention every week and I want to see that. He brought excitement and passion into the game and it is sorely missed now.
The first step to mastering your emotions is allowing yourself to feel them.
The next step is to resolve the reason for the emotion and tell yourself that resolution WHILE IN THE EMOTION.
There’s more to this. I’ve developed a 7-step process to Master your emotions. I’ll tell you more later.
The next time you hear from me, I’ll be giving you some training from a real pro instructor….unlike me.
Greens and fairways,