Everyone dreams of making it big or of being successful and having wealth and fame. What happens when you’re confronted with the chance to make it? Most golfers aspire to break par. As a beginning golfer, I took part in several golf matches that were way over my head and abilities. On two specific occasions, I came out smoking hot and found myself under par through 4-5 holes. I remember feeling more freaked out and more pressure on each hole as I waited for my regular game to show up. Each time, I fell apart and finished horribly. Instead of viewing it as an opportunity to achieve my goals or to soundly beat others who deserved it, I chose the easy path to failure. Why do we sabotage ourselves? Why do we avoid walking through the door that we’ve worked so hard to arrive at?
In the late 80’s Loyola Marymount had a basketball coach named Paul Westhead. They had some very talented players and implemented the run and gun game plan which was also called “the system”. The strategy focused greatly on getting up and down the court and scoring lots of points. It typically also lead to allowing a lot of points on defense. I remember an interview with the Coach and he basically stated that he was willing to give up 2 points in order to score 3. We implemented some of this strategy on our basketball team and took it to some new levels. We determined that we wouldn’t back off or change our style of play simply because we had a lead. We never wanted to leave it up to chance or to the other team to determine our fate.
Take football as another example. Why do teams find it necessary to deploy the prevent defense? Typically it only prevents you from winning. Why change what has worked for you until now? If you’re struggling or having problems, by all means, try anything but when you’ve been aggressive and able to have momentum, there’s no reason to change it up. Is it running up the score or is it the other teams job to stop you? There are reasonable exceptions. If you’re clearly superior to the other team and have a giant lead, there’s no harm in calling off the dogs or in allowing bench players to get some time. Knowing the difference in the two is a matter of class.
Some people believe that self sabotage is a matter of people viewing themselves as having limited abilities. They often find it more comfortable to live in a comfort zone of mediocrity than to step into the spotlight of achievement (the unknown). the good news is, you can change this mindset. Instead of asking yourself why me, ask why not me? It’s the same factor that allows some people to stand in the glow of a win and bask in it rather than to collapse and cry in disbelief. If you put in the time training, if you practice until it’s natural and you believe you can compete, why not embrace the wining and success? Always be classy and respectful but nice guy syndrome rarely wins the day. If you don’t believe me, next time you’re in a competition, take a deep look into the eyes of your opponent. You can often tell everything with one simple look. Boldness and confidence will stare back at you but a beaten warrior will look away or want to be your pal.
Just as this clip talks of how people can’t handle the truth, it’s doubly true that some people can’t handle success. Don’t let that be you. The next time you have a chance to finish what you started, do it. You’ll never know what the next level is like until you get there and there are only so many chances to walk through that door!
Shark Attack Golf.