One of the big pain points golfers of all levels combat is shaky confidence. Do you ever feel like your confidence is high when you’re playing well, and low when you’re not? If yes, then you need to start taking steps to cultivate your golf confidence.
Confidence can’t be something that just happens as a result of your performance. It needs to be built and maintained so that it operates as a constant and not a variable in your game.
Some golfers take a backward approach when it comes to their confidence by waiting for their performance to prove to them why they should be confident.
Solid results do reinforce feelings of confidence but are not the source of it. Stop thinking of confidence as a feeling — commit to making confidence a choice in your game.
Because you can’t directly control every outcome, no matter how hard you try. What you can control is your approach to the process of performance. When you align your thoughts with your past success, the confidence you exude from within can work its way out into your swing. The more mindful you are of your successes, strengths and the valuable lessons learned through failure, the more confidence you will play with which will help you focus better, strategize better, and swing better.
Be Proactive About Building Your Confidence
Now that you know you can’t take your confidence for granted if you want it to work for you and not against you on the course, here are two action steps you can take to begin to stabilize it in your game.
Step #1 – Increase your self-awareness
You may not recognize your own debilitating thought patterns so start listening, especially after you experience a disappointing or frustrating moment on the range or the course. If your self-talk tends to be critical and centered around what you hope to avoid doing or repeating, rather than what you want to do, it will hold you back. Negativity is like a black hole that can rapidly drain your physical, mental and emotional energy during a round. When you allow your thoughts to shift from “I can” to “I can’t,” you start moving away from success. So stop giving into your Inner Critic.
Step #2 – Create positive self-fulfilling prophecies
Whatever you spend the most time thinking about will likely become your reality. This is what’s referred to as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your thoughts, whether positive or negative, are a driving force that shapes your emotions and your image of yourself. When you commit to tracking your wins, not your misses (or even a ratio of wins to misses), you’ll be able to step up to every shot with a confident belief in your ability to execute it well. And confident thoughts will help you swing freely and consistently. It’s that simple.
Once you’re aware of your thoughts then you’ll be in a position to manage them more effectively. And when you make a point of exclusively focusing on your successes, replaying them, and talking about them more than your failures, you’ll have a solid foundation to keep your confidence intact no matter what challenges the round throws your way.
Remember, confidence is a choice. You can believe in yourself, or not, but either way, your decision will impact your game.
Do you have questions about playing with more confidence? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!