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  • Writer's pictureCarol Alford

Quieten all that negative talk

I've written previously, regarding how your thoughts control your actions. At times in competition we can be our own worst enemy when using negative self-talk. Being overly self-critical will not help your game, as what you think becomes reality. All is not lost though, because you can control your mental environment and when you chose to think differently, you will begin to take charge of your game. So to get you started here are my top 5 tips

Tip No. 1 - Be aware of focusing on the negative and forgetting the positives Negative thinking stops us from seeing and experiencing positive outcomes, even when they happen often. It’s like a mental block that filters out all the positive things, allowing only the negative stuff to get through, which is very damaging. Do your best to be aware of this happening. One great way to do this, is to have some red coloured tees in one pocket, when you find yourself focusing on the negative, take a tee and move it to another pocket. Count them up at the end of the round. Your aim is to reduce this number next time you play 

Tip No. 2 - Try not to focus on the extremes.  We have a tendency to want to see things in black and white, all or nothing. And most of the time, we view anything less than perfect as being extremely bad. The truth is there’s a lot of grey area in between, and just because something isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it’s a failure or worst-case scenario.

Tip No. 3 - Stop seeking negative signs from others.  We are often hasty to jump to negative conclusions, especially when it comes to interpreting signs and communication (or lack of) from others. This is especially true in our present digital age where we send short texts, reactions, or don’t respond at all. Jumping to negative conclusions causes us unnecessary worry, pain, frustration, and stress. We can’t assume anything about others, especially what they’re doing or thinking.

Tip No. 4 - Identify underlying triggers to negative self-talk.  To change the way you think, you have to be mindful of your thoughts. Instead of ignoring negative self-talk or blindly being a slave to it, pay closer attention to it and document it. Write down the thoughts when they come to you, and identify what triggered them. Doing this will make you aware of what sets off your negative thinking and will highlight common trends so that you can work on eliminating them from your game

Tip No. 5 - Change your mantra.  A mantra is a usually a word, phrase, image, or sound that’s repeated to improve concentration, focus, and your overall mental landscape. It is often a centrepiece of meditation, but it is a useful tool for removing negative self-talk and positive change. Choose a mantra that’s important and relevant to you. The key is to remind yourself that you are good enough!

If you would like to learn more about the mental side of the game please get in touch or check out our other blogs, there's something in here for everyone.


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