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Self Hypnosis 101
Being Out Of Your Comfort Zone Might Be The Best Thing For Your Game
Say you’ve never broken 80, and you usually shoot around 83. But one glorious morning, you start your round with three consecutive birdies. You’re feeling pretty good. At the turn, there’s a 36 penciled next to your initials. You think ahead—not just to breaking 80, but possibly to shooting in the low 70s. You feel excited and probably a little nervous. Maybe you start to think about playing conservatively to "protect" your score. You start to think more about each shot. From this mindset, you will most likely start to play below your potential. You end up shooting a 44 on the back nine. You’re right back where you think you deserve to be.
This familiar debacle is a result of you being out of your "comfort zone"—the subconscious mind’s idea of what we are capable of achieving, scoring, possessing, being and so on. This zone exists in all of us and governs every aspect of our lives whether we realize it or not. For instance, we all have a comfort zone for our income. We may say that we want to earn $100,000 a year, but if we unconsciously feel like we don’t deserve to have that much money or we worry about how it will affect our relationships with others, we will likely find a way to continue to earn the amount of money our comfort zone allows.
The subconscious mind exists outside of our awareness, so these hidden beliefs can sabotage what we consciously say we want. In the sports-performance arena, the comfort zone acts like a thermostat to keep us in the range we believe we belong. One way the comfort zone shows up in golf is through one’s score. Just ask a group of golfers what they shoot, and you generally will hear comments like, “I shoot in the mid-80s” or “I'm usually in the low-70s,” even though some part of each of them usually believes they could go lower.
A comfort zone is not a true reflection of your ability or potential. It’s nothing more than a belief system you have developed and proven to yourself over time. You can consciously reinforce it by saying things like, “See, I knew I couldn’t break par,” or you can look at where you’ve set your comfort zone—and expand it.
Here’s an exercise that might help illuminate your own circumstances:
Think about everything you are currently doing to improve your golf game. Draw a circle and inside it write down all of those things. You might include taking lessons, your sports hypnosis sessions, the amount you practice and play and so on. That circle represents your comfort zone.
Next, draw another circle around the first one. The larger circle represents personal growth and change as well as your dreams or ambitions. This circle contains those things you wish you could do or achieve, but haven’t. In the space between the two circles write the word fear a few times. That's a fact: most of us pull back into our comfort zone as soon as we experience fear. Examples of such fears include feeling awkward or uncoordinated while making swing changes, or feeling anxiety about setting big goals and committing the time and energy necessary to achieve them.
However, the most successful performers continually push themselves out of their comfort zone and face their fears in order to realize their potential. A perfect example of this is Annika Sorenstam. Early in her career, her discomfort with public speaking resulted in her intentionally finishing second or third to avoid having to face the crowd as the winner. Her coach, Pia Nilsson, asked Annika to practice a speech until she felt comfortable making it. Pia later said, “Annika has given herself permission to be great. It shocks some people, being so bold. But it’s crucial that you see yourself doing something exceptional so that when the time comes you don’t bail out. Because you feel you belong there, you stay in the zone.”
Without a doubt, it is the mind that determines the outcome of our performance and behavior. Working with me, you will benefit from multiple psychological principles and cutting edge mental techniques specifically tailored for you and your sport.
In-person office sessions are available Monday-Saturday 9am to 8pm. I also do numerous hypnosis sessions for athletes worldwide by Skype with great success.
I normally take my athletes through a 5 to 10 session protocol. In that process, most importantly, we clear all of the mental baggage that interferes with achieving peak performance: useless limiting beliefs, faulty programs, old hurts/injuries, etc.
In addition, the athlete learns: intention, self-empowerment, thought control, emotional mastery, self-hypnosis, and how to increase self-confidence. Those skills develop mental toughness and lead athletes to the gateway of "the zone".
When we are through, the athlete is able to keep him/herself clear, continue to build confidence with these tools and apply it all to other areas of life. I am most proud that this training helps a lot of young athletes build solid life skills through sport.
Call 424-645-7517 or send an email to arrange an appointment time.