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It all starts with a story!

What is your current story?

This is quite an odd question to ask I know but this was brought to my attention on my latest Mindfactor course and had a huge impact on me and my mindset.

Do you ever find yourself worrying about things before they actually happen, or narrating/ berating yourself on past or current mistakes? This might not be just golf related... it could be at work, an upcoming meeting, presentation or simply just a family get together with the relatives we don’t particularly want to see! These stories can have a huge impact on our day to day lives so it’s important to look at the way we talk to ourselves on a daily basis.

Different people react in different ways but it is often the stories that we tell ourself that make the biggest impact on our mood,overall happiness and performance, but also massively distorts the reality of the situation.

The stories that we tell ourselves throughout the day(s)play out like we are watching a movie. Instead of seeing our regular A-list celebs, we are the starring role, but our evil twin is the director. In the build up to the event, the movie can manifest in many different ways. It may simply be about all the things that we have to do, should have done, or mistakes that we could have do Len better at. We then repeatable tell these stories in our subconscious mind and cause anxiety and stress before they even happen or compound what has gone before...

Does this relate to your golf? After you miss a 4 ft putt? Hit a driver in the trees?

Both simple mistakes to make on any given day but when you give It a reaction that is line with... “I’m the worst putter alive” “How can you miss a putt like that, what an f@&£ing idiot” “you never hit driver well” it seems to have a lasting effect.

Conversely you could have this self talk before you even hit the shot. “I never like the tee shot on the 13th, I always hit it in the bloody water” or “I have made bogey from this spot in the fairway the last three rounds” “I never the drive the ball well with OB down the left” We have all been there right? But what I find amazing is after all this, and a poor shot does occur, the comment that normally follows is “knew that would happen” and it almost rationalizes the poor self talk/ story to make it ok and then we repeat the process in a vicious cycle and never improve.

So if that is the case, instead of our evil twin being the director of the movie, why don’t we take charge of our movie and change the narrative. Be the director and decide what we tell ourself and take charge of the situation?

Before we go ahead with this exercise we must be truly honest and aware of our current story. Often people try to change their story without being fully aware of the current story they are telling themselves, it’s like trying to change your golf swing without an understanding of what you currently do in the first place. We will stick with golf or your sport for this current exercise but you can branch this out to your whole life, but that will need a little more time and still an open and honest approach.

To gauge an understanding of this, here are some questions that will get you started on discovering where your story is currently at...

How do you talk about your game?

What is your narrative?

Positive/ Negative?

How do you see yourself as a player?

What is your biggest worry?

Who is the biggest influence on your story?

What pattens keep occurring and re-occurring within this story?

Firstly, well done for taking the time to do this exercise, it’s not easy to dig deep and look out our own personal pitfalls, but wanting to change them is a great start.

After you have done this exercise you should get a pretty clear understanding of yourself, but also how you react to yourself during a round/ tournament that might be detrimental to your performance but also self esteem.

Now let’s get into the fun bit... the new story!

Here we are going to imagine your life in the future... In this exercise you are going to write down in detail the following answers to the questions below. This is going to be about the journey that you want to embark on going forward, not just the outcome or happy ending to your story. Having a goal to be world number 1 is awesome, but it doesn’t happen overnight and you need a map to guide you to the destination.

Give some thought to these questions below...

Imagine everything has turned out really well in your golf, what does that look like?

You have worked really hard, diligently, smartly and achieved your life goals, what did you do? What was the process?

You have built a team around you to help you succeed, what do they look like and how do they help you get the best out of you?

What did the journey look like? What were the highs and lows? How did you overcome the obstacles to react your goal?

How did you react on a daily basis, what was your attitude like, how was your mindset?

Write this out in detail, the whole process, the steps you needed to take and the tough decisions you needed to make a long the way.

Do this process for at least four consecutive nights, in a quiet spot where you can be alone with your thoughts. If you can’t commit to four nights, then wait to do this when you can. It’s vital to do this exercise over four nights as it will paint the picture clearer each time you write it down and also discover new things that add to your new story that will help you reach your goals.

This is not an exercise on wishful thinking or just being positive. This is a clear process of what “you” want to do, feel like, perform and achieve! Like I have said before, please allow four consecutive nights to do this, it will give your brain a chance to see what is truly possible and how your future can be different when you change your self talk, your story and give yourself a clear map of your best possible future self.

Enjoy the process, take your time with this and let us know how you get on.

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