I was listening to a golf podcast the other day, but the message that was coming across I thought was very valid for everyone and not just something to think about on the golf course.
For those of you who play golf you know how much of a mental game it can be, and how mindset can significantly affect the outcome of your round. There are so many attributes that help you play golf well that can be transferable.
The podcast was talking about the power of negativity and how negative thoughts can affect the outcome - a classic is thinking as you hit a ball which has to travel near to water, don't hit it in the water, more often than not the ball ends up in the water.
They suggested that you make a tally of all the negative thoughts you have in a round and each time you play work on reducing the number. I love this idea and it is such a great thing to do during the day.
It is amazing how many times during the day we project negative thoughts both to ourselves and to situations around us. When we think in this negative way it can affect our mood, how we feel about our self, our confidence and our happiness. Once we start the negative thoughts these can lead
to a downward spiral, and at times it does feel as if there is no way back up and we get drowned in these thoughts which just exacerbates these thoughts.
Going back to the golf course , for those that do play ( and I am sure this is the same for most sports) once we start with those negative thoughts and feelings of doubt then our game will get worse but when we start to think positively , to think that we “can” rather than we “can´t” it can start an upward spiral. Notice how mood and the way you play changes by thinking positively. We are always looking for the bad, the cup half empty - when a shot doesn't land exactly where we want it, we forget that we are actually not Golf Pros ! We have a handicap for a reason , and instead of thinking about the good part of the shot , we focus on the difference of the outcome to our often unrealistic expectations ! This can be applied to a lot of our day to day situations and not just on the golf course !
For many people January is when we make resolutions and goals, and February is when they start to dwindle, and our negative thoughts can make this worse. We love to focus on what we haven't done rather than what we have done, and then this often becomes a barrier to achieving our goals and so we decide to drop them as it becomes too hard . If we focus on the positive changes no matter how small they are this will then lead to more changes which will over time add up to us achieving our goals.
So why not for February give ourselves some positivity and love, after all it is the month of Valentines Day. Let's make it a month when we only think positively both about ourselves, what is around us. Start the day by thinking positively about ourselves, and look for those small wins, for sure there will be times in the day when it is hard to be positive , but the more we do it, the easier it becomes and then we will start to reap the rewards.
Notice how much better we feel, more positive, more resilient and you never know those resolutions might continue further on into the year.