If you want to shoot lower scores you must first learn to be “OK” while outside your comfort zone. Wikipedia defines the comfort zone as a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.
Most golfers prefer to play in this space. In fact, it’s human nature to stay in our comfort zone because for most of us, the thought of change is anxiety provoking. However, if you want to take your game to the next level, you must find a way to step outside of your comfort zone. The key is to embrace your anxiety in a positive way.
Find something you like about this unfamiliar space. For some it might be to enjoy the challenge, others to feel the excitement, or to be calm, or creative. To remain in your optimal performance state, you must experience a positive feeling or emotion for as long as possible. Make it a purposeful, intentional, choice, to feel good when experiencing the anxiety caused by the unknown. Find a feeling that resonates for you and use it to remain in a positive emotional space.
In time, playing outside your comfort zone and staying there for as long as possible, will enable you to access more of the incredible potential you know you have.
Doug Hodges developed his expertise as a performance coach while at the La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif. He now offers ThinkWorkPlay programs at the Heritage Golf Club in Wake Forest and Grandover Resort in Greensboro. Visit www.thinkworkplay.com to learn more.