The Mental Keys - Free Golf Tips

Fear of Repeating Past Failures

This tip is my response to the two questions below from a fellow golfer.

1) Within the chapter on fear - it seems you missed the fact that often fear is based on previous experienced situations - not just on an "event that has not yet occurred". I understand and use your concepts, but how do you utilize this when faced with insurmountable circumstances that occur regularly. (I know I can't beat this player because they shoot 5 8- shots better or I can't control my drive enough to keep it out of the woods)??

2) I use your statement "I am always positive... etc. I wonder how/where competence plays in this? Don't you need competence somewhere in this equation? I understand this puts you in the right 'frame of mind' but ultimately much of success is also built on ability. Mental capacity can only get one so far.

This is my response to his questions: The FACT that you lose to a golfer who is 5 to 8 shots better than you and you can't control your drive enough to keep it out of the woods are only PAST FACTS. However, they are feedback you can learn from. You will keep experiencing these facts until you improve the process. The only reason you have fear is because you are concerned about your past experiences repeating as FUTURE OUTCOMES, which are very predictable unless you improve the process. Part of the process is to play in the present, acknowledge your past probability of success and work on improving your present probability of success.

You have fear about your past repeating itself. Why have fear, when it is a FACT that you will continue to repeat the past unless you do something to improve the process? Either have the golfer who is 5 to 8 shots better than you, give you 6 or 7 less strokes when you play to make the game competitive or improve your ability to play better. Your FEAR of the FUTURE OUTCOME being a repeat of your past experience is a denial of your lack of ability in the present. Stop having fear and resign yourself to losing. The only alternatives are: get better by improving the process or ask to be given less strokes to increase your probability of success (winning).

As for hitting into the woods, either resign yourself to hitting into the woods or improve the process. Why fear a low probability of success, which is a predetermined fact unless you improve the process? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results ūüôā Focus on improving your mechanics and playing without fear, which will increase your probability of success. Read my mental tip "Half Full or Half Empty."

As for my statement about being positive, it is "I am always truthful, positive and helping others." You are focusing on being positive and forgetting about being true to yourself and helping yourself by improving the process. Your opponent is helping you by exposing your weaknesses, which you are trying to think away without doing the work to get better.

By acknowledging your true probability of success, you will eliminate your fear because you will be true to yourself and your present abilities. Then, you can start playing without FEAR. Work on improving both your mechanics and especially the mental process of playing in the present without fear.

Why fear the past repeating itself, when you can only live in the present and control the process? After all, the outcome is only a by-product of the process, which is totally in your control. If you want to keep from going into the woods and beat your opponent, get rid of your fear of repeating your past and improve the process.

First you work and then you get paid.

Keep polishing your wheel,

Michael Anthony

If you have not read The Mental Keys to Improve Your Golf or listened to my audio Using The Mental To Polish The Wheel, your mental game will benefit greatly by seeing the whole picture instead of just pieces contained in these mental tips.  Click to Lower Your Score

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