Friday, July 30, 2010

I See Opportunity... What Do You See?

Our ultimate experience is based on our perceptions!

This is so true, so basic, so valid for everything we do in life... yet rarely applied. Too often, we live our lives on auto pilot, thinking we're slaves to our outcomes. It's true, many outcomes are out of our hands, but how we choose to perceive what happens is totally up to us. 

What we see, think, believe, and how we talk to ourselves will determine our realities, period. John sees future success when he hits a wall. Kristin sees failure after she runs into that wall. Same wall... two different realities.

Our ultimate experience is based on our perceptions!

Every minute of every day, we have choices that will affect our outcomes. How we decide to look and react to these moments will have an instant impact on our day, creating a long term picture of our lives. 

"Man or Boy?" I hammered these two words into my student's unconscious during his session today. He has a choice to react like a man after a bad outcome, or an immature boy. HE GETS TO CHOOSE! His decision will determine who he becomes. 

Our ultimate experience is based on our perceptions!

Draw confidence from past successes... or ignore them, and stew on all of our past mistakes? We choose. We're given the power to consciously make that decision. There will always be successes and failures in our lives, but what we decide to focus on will create who we become. Another student had this decision yesterday during her session. After a great shot, her instincts made her focus on the negative: "Why couldn't I do this in my last tournament?" she asked herself. She took a very confident experience, and instantly turned it into a negative. After realizing what she did, she consciously changed how she perceived these moments, creating more confidence, one good shot at a time. When the day was over, she had shot her best round of golf to date.

I see opportunity... what do you see?

Monday, July 26, 2010

We'll Never Know...

To quit or not to quit... that is the question.

To stare fear in the eye, and slap it in it's face... that is our goal.

To watch one obstacle after another keep showing it's face ... "now what" becomes our favorite two words.

Ignoring the negative voices that continue to tell us we're not good enough... that is our only option.

Pushing our bodies and minds past the pain as it screams through our veins... that is our passion.

Looking into the future, and only seeing struggle... this is why success is so sweet.

Creating a fighter out of ashes and torn goals... is it even possible?

We'll never know... because you quit!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You HAVE To See This...

Please take a couple minutes to view this video. Butch Lumpkin doesn't view his "disability" as an obstacle... he sees it as a way to separate himself. He only focuses on what he has, and understands everything becomes probable the moment we believe it's possible.

If we choose to look at the possibilities of our path, we WILL find a way.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When Will The Fear Disappear?

While watching a student of mine compete recently, I was asked a common question by his father: "When will his fear go away?" 

His son was playing very well, but is young, and hasn't developed the ability to conquer his self doubt. Ironically, he's one of the best male high school golfers in the state, received a full scholarship to Northwestern University, and just tied Tiger Woods' Southern California's Amateur scoring record. Why would a player with this much talent have a "fear" problem, and how do we make it disappear?

How do we make it disappear is the main problem. Trying to make fear go away or attempting to hide from it will ultimately make it stronger. Most would tell him to ignore the fear... I say embrace it, invite it back again, and kick it in it's teeth. I want him to remember what it feels like to be scared. I want him to look at his fearful face in the mirror. I want him to admit to this fear thing that it used to get the better of him... but no more will it run his life. Never again will he allow it to dictate his actions! 

Ask self doubt to come back, rather than being afraid of the fear. Ask it to return, in order to demand that it leaves!

Fear is an illusion. It's never as powerful as we make it in our mind, but if we don't attack it head-on, it will run our lives. In my student's specific situation, he allows self doubt to make him focus on what he doesn't want, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more he concentrates on what he's afraid of, the more often those fears manifest.

What he's now learning to do is substitute confident, powerful wants and needs for his doubts and fears. Confidence and doubt can't live together... absolutely impossible. His immediate goal is to replace these new confident thoughts every time he feels fear of failure. After repeating this over and over, his unconscious will then respond with fearless actions... soon turning habitual, and eventually building a cycle of belief. 

The unconscious naturally goes to it's fear place if we don't tell it otherwise. It's a survival technique- a way to guard against pain. In order to override this instinct, we must consciously take over our thoughts and feelings, creating a new positive mindset. 

We're in control... fear isn't!

Jack: You accomplished something in your last tournament that most can only dream of. You played against experienced men and beat all of them, except one. Take this confidence to Northwestern, knowing the Tour is just around the corner. Believe in yourself. You've earned the right!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Answer To Why Is?

Create new habits, instead of staying away from chocolate.

Build more fat-burning muscle, rather than "gotta go to the gym."

Construct a point in tennis, instead of hitting corner-to-corner.

Manage emotions and self-talk on the golf course, in place of crushing the ball.

Focus squarely on a perfect routine on the balance beam, instead of the mistake that could ruin your score.

Lead by example, in place of talking-the-fancy-talk.

Create life evolving momentum, instead of simply wanting to change.

Too often, we get stuck focusing on the second part of each of these sentences, mainly because they're all short term goals. To really make a difference in what we're hoping for, we must look at the bigger, more detailed long term picture. 

Rather than going to the gym because we know we should and it's good for us, create a more specific picture of why we're pushing our bodies and comfort zones. Our unconscious minds need a "deeper" reason for waking up at 6 am to run on the treadmill. It needs a motivation that can construct and sustain it's long term goals. Our unconscious is listening 24 hours, 7 days... give it something powerful to hear!

On the golf course, it's important to be able to blast a ball 300 yards, but not as crucial as learning how to deal with the emotional roller coaster that's inevitable with every hole. Knowing why we think the way we think, and building a game plan to help manage those thoughts will make us better in the long run. I see too many players focusing on past and future thoughts, rather than learning how to formulate a blueprint that keeps them in this one single moment. Hitting now vs. Focusing on the now... the biggest downfall of most athletes!

I was recently talking to a woman who was "trying her hardest" to stay away from chocolate, forgetting about the why part of the equation. She consciously knew why, but hadn't yet learned to make it her primary focus. Trying not to eat chocolate will only work in the short term... creating new, powerful eating habits will ultimately lead her to what she wants. She, like so many, is focusing on what she doesn't want, rather than the new way she wishes to eat and live. When she makes that switch, everything she's hoping for will click into place.

So many of us fall short of achieving what we want for many different reasons. In my opinion the main reason is not working backwards from our big, detailed picture down to our smaller day-to-day actions. We consciously know what we want, may even take a few small steps... but in order to establish long term success, it must come from knowing why, and the motivation behind that why.

Your answer to why is?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Who I Was...

"Why is Dayne teaching anybody about the mental game. Does he remember how he used to be?!"

-Friend from the past

Who I was is not who I am.

I used to be hot-headed, throwing and breaking numerous tennis racquets whenever I got angry. I was thrown out of a high school tennis tournament for verbally abusing the referee. I got in a fist fight with every player on my basketball team during my senior year. I jumped over the net, attempted to punch my opponent after he cheated me, but before I could reach him, my doubles partner grabbed my collar and pulled me to the ground. Wanting to get kicked out of a match because I was losing, I purposely elbowed my opponent as we changed sides of the court. 

Who I was is not who I am.

After missing an easy jump shot during a prestigious high school basketball All Star game, I told the coach not to put me back in. Here I was in front of college scouts, and I couldn't make a 15 foot shot? "Why even play this stupid game? I'll never make it at the college level," I told myself. I remember that moment as if it was yesterday. I could've played college basketball for most Division I teams, but allowed that moment to sway my belief system... choosing the "easy" tennis route, where I knew I would succeed.

Who I was is not who I am.

A very close friend said she didn't want a priest to marry her and her fiance... instead she wanted me to do the wedding ceremony. After immediately saying no, I took two weeks to rethink that decision. "Marry them? Me? Are they freakin' crazy, wanting me to speak in front of 150 people on the biggest day of their life... a day in which I could potentially ruin?" The fear I had of completely destroying the most important day of their lives is exactly the reason I decided to say yes! Fear wouldn't run my life any longer. I stood in front of the gorgeous couple, their family and friends, and took the biggest risk of my life!

Who I was is not who I am.

After shooting my worst score during my first golf tournament, I immediately entered another one, shot my all time best score, and won the tournament. After losing in the finals of a tennis tournament I previously won 4 times , and was supposed to win again, I called my opponent and congratulated him for playing so well. I had aspirations of wanting more, needing more, and deserving more, but didn't know how to accomplish those goals. I took a chance, quit my job, chased that dream, and made it a reality.

Who I was is not who I am.

My wife wanted to start a family, but I didn't think I was ready to be a daddy. How was I going to teach a little baby anything? I didn't know how to be a father... my baby would definitely see all my flaws, know I was faking it, and wouldn't ever trust me. How was I going to earn enough money to support my family in the city we live? How was I going to stop being so selfish? How would I get over my fear of failure, self doubt, and insecurities? Then Logan was born...

Who I was made me who I am!!