I was working with a golfer in Sweden on his mental game. He had a habit of being very critical of himself while playing. If he played a “bad shot,” he would really punish and berate himself. So we discussed the results of that and if it was helping him play better golf—and he agreed that it wasn’t. So we had a look at a different way that he could relate with and communicate with himself. I taught him the following 5 steps to help him improve his performance and relationship with himself.
- Be aware of the two selves, and remember that you are communicating with both your own and others’ unconscious doing mind all of the time.
- There are no good or bad performances; it’s all feedback.
- Trust, practice acceptance, and encourage yourself and others until it becomes a habit.
- Provide the unconscious mind with visual instructions to support it in achieving what you want to achieve. See it the way you want it to happen.
- Ask yourself great questions. “What is the opportunity in this situation?” The question will drive the answer and focus. The better the question, the better the result.
“The development of inner skills is required, but it is interesting to note that if, while learning tennis, you begin to learn how to focus your attention and how to trust in yourself, you have learned something far more valuable than how to hit a forceful backhand.” – Timothy Gallwey
He put them into practice in the following way. When he shot a so called bad shot, instead of berating himself, he would look at the opportunity in his next shot and how he could perform to his best. He would encourage himself and say, “Come on, you can do it. You have done this a million times,” and his self-talk was much better, compared to beating himself up or talking negatively to himself. This player ended up taking a number of shots off his handicap and performing much better, just from that simple intervention.
How can you use the 5 steps to improve performance and relationships with your self, people, and family, now and in the future? Take the time to reflect on this and then implement it for better results.
An excerpt from The Evolutionary Leader – 5 steps to dramatically develop people and performance by Timothy Carroll.
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