Golf Psychology: Is Your Self-talk Confidence Enhancing or Confidence Deflating?


In our last article, we discussed what self-talk means and how a negative self-talk affects your mood, thinking and efficiency while playing golf (and performing many other tasks as well in life). I also gave you some examples of negative self-talk, suggested you positive self-talk exercise and positive affirmations; now in this article, I would tell you exercise that will help you identify your thinking pattern whether it is positive or negative and will also tell you how you could change your negative self-talk to positive yourself (if you don’t have a trainer or coach to help you).

Before we change our habit of negative self-talk, the first thing day you need to do is to identify whether your self-talk (intra-personal communication) is positive or negative. The following exercise will help you do that.


Exercise to Identify Whether Your Self-talk is Positive or Negative :

Step 1.   While playing golf pay attention to your thoughts and observe what you say to yourself.
Step 2.   After you have finished your game, record or rather I should say WRITE down all of your self-talk. Writing down will help you determine how positive or negative you are with yourself.
Step 3.   Now read and analyze your self-talk carefully. What do you observe? Is your self-talk confidence enhancing or confidence deflating?
  If more of your thoughts and self-talks are negative than positive, then you need to change your self-talk. The following exercise will help you change your negative self-talk to positive.  

Exercise to Identify Whether Your Self-talk is Positive or Negative :

Step 1.   Take all the negative self-statements that you said to yourself while playing golf (which you wrote down in the previous exercise).
Step 2.   Now, next to each negative statement, write down a positive statement.

For example, if you used to say to yourself the negative self-statement "How can I miss such an easy short putt" can be changed to "everyone misses a short putt occasionally; I have hit many putts from the distance."
Step 3.   Change your negative self-statements to positive on paper.
Step 4.   Initially, until it becomes a habit, you will have to consciously apply positive self-talk and change your negative self-talk while playing golf.
Step 5.  After consistent practice, positive self-talk will become a habit and positive thoughts will come out naturally.
  You must keep your self-talk positive and confidence enhancing. Your thoughts and your thinking pattern are yours and are in your hands. You cannot change things happening around you rather you can change the way you react to things happening around you. So, the choice is yours. Change your self-talk to a positive and healthy living.