There are actually quite a number of ways to
de-condition a negative performance thought pattern. The basic
idea is to replace the 'old' thought pattern with a 'new' one.
Mentally 'resisting' the undesirable negative thought will
usually backfire - you'll actually reinforce it and
make it even worse! The more you revisit the negative thought and fire those
neurons in your attempt to remove the thought completely, the stronger the thought pattern
Instead of trying to resist the negative thought
pattern, it's better to 're-direct' it.
Take the energy of the negative
thought and re-channel it into a positive thought.
With a little mental re-conditioning practice, whenever the
negative thought occurs, your mind will recognize the negative thought and
automatically flow/transition into the linked positive
Recognized every negative thought 'on' or 'off' the golf course and write it down.
'I never hit the ball solid."
Step 2: Select a positive, empowering replacement thought...
hoose a thought that empowers you in a way that disrupts the dis-empowering effect of the original negative thought... and write it down.
Re-channeled positive thought: 'I frequently hit solid shots and am getting more consistent all the time."
Step 3: Tu
rn the positive thought into a mental image... and make sure you experience a 'good' feeling as you imagine the positive thought in the present tense... as though you've already completely accomplished the performance result that you are imagining.
Step 4: Mentally chain the two images together.
ake the statements and images from Step 1-3, and
mentally glue them together.
You want to 'morph' the first scene into the second
scene... and you will want to practice
making the mental and emotional transition from the negative thought to the positive thought
happen as quickly as possible.
Replay the statement in your mind, read it out loud, and wait for the negative feelings to be felt... then as soon as you recognize the negative emotions and/or any physical response to the the imagined negative thoughts (fear, anger, nervous tension, depression, fatigue, muscle tightness, pain, etc.) immediately switch over to the positive statement... read it out loud as many times as necessary to enable as many positive thoughts and feelings to flow through your mind and body until you actually experience the ideal scene feelings you want (confidence, happiness, relaxation, increased energy, comfort, peace, joy, etc.).
Once mastered, you should be able to transition the entire thought process, from negative to positive,
in a matter of a few seconds.
It should be lightning fast... much
faster than you'd see in the real world.
Step 5: Test your mental redirect to see that
It's a lot like an HTML redirect -
when you input the old negative URL, your mind
should automatically redirect you to the positive
one. Merely thinking the negative thought should
rapidly bring up the positive thought.
If you've done this correctly, you won't be able to
help it. The negative thought is the stimulus that
causes your mind to run the whole pattern automatically.
So whenever you happen to think, "I suck at this game,"
even without being fully aware of it, you end up
thinking, "I'm great at this game!"
If you've never done visualizations like this
before, it may take you several minutes or longer
to go through this whole process. Speed comes
with practice. The whole thing can literally be
done in seconds once you get used to it.
Don't let the slowness of the first time through
discourage you. This is a skill that can be learned like
any other, and it probably will feel a bit awkward
the first several time you practice it. Just realize that it
is no different than strength training your body by lifting a certain weight... at first you need to lift the weight slowly and with total conscious focus on your proper technique for optimal benefits and safest results As you continue to work out and do the exercise, you will be able to lift the weight more easily, with less conscious focus on technique and with greater speed. Mental visualization training works the same way.
This type of mental conditioning will give you what you truly want... a lot more c
onscious control over your internal states... and ultimately much better control over your sub-conscious images, emotional feelings, and physical performance potential when you play.
With regualr practice, this process will be so internalized that you will just do it
automatically - without even thinking about it. Your
sub-conscious mind will take over at some point so whenever you
have a thought like, "I can't," it will automatically flow your thoughts and feelings into,
"How can I?"
... Now go to work! Get started right away at giving this process a try. The very next time you notice
yourself dwelling on a negative thought whether it occurs 'on' the golf course or 'off' go through steps 1-5 above. I think
you'll find it very empowering!
And, if you want any extra help with this process, please feel free to contact me for 1-on-1 personal coaching to support and enhance your ability to get the results you truly want even faster. I have
many other helpful techniques to improve your golf specific mental and physical conditioning that I'd love to share with you.