Five Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic

By David BreslowSeptember 21, 2005, 4:00 pm
Youve heard it. Cmon, be honest, youve heard the rumblings of an inner voice that seems to pop up in your head just at a time you dont need it. Youre standing over your first tee shot with everyone watching. Youre looking at a 3-foot downhill birdie putt. Maybe youre going for a par 5 in two over water. Weve all heard this inner intruder and weve all been influenced by it. What is this invisible voice and where does it come from?
 
Donald, a 9 handicap called me and told me the most difficult thing he faced was a constant battle with the negative critic inside him on the golf course. Donald is a very successful business person outside the golf course but on it; he has a tendency to apply the work very hard attitude along with the Its never really good enough attitude. Both of these were interfering with his ability to not only relax but diminishing his enjoyment as well. If its never good enough, how can you really enjoy yourself on the golf courseor off it? I asked Donald. I dont enjoy it as much as I could except for some brief moments when something goes really wellbut then the need to make sure it stays that way pops up and the inner battle begins again. Donald replied. The word battle is quite appropriate here. This is exactly what it feels like when we have opposing forces battling for position inside us! Have you had this experience on the golf course? Do you know what its like to face negativity and doubt on one hand while trying to convince yourself that it doesnt exist on the other? Its very distracting and takes a lot of energy and focus away from the game of golf. In addition, if the critic is always telling you its never good enough, how can you enjoy what youre doing? Its almost impossible.
 
Who is this critic and who invited him or her to the party? Well, lets face it; there is a part of each of us that takes the role of inner critic and it doesnt need an invitation. Its very happy to show up on its own. Its purpose is to literally look for, identify and comment on all the negative things it can find. That wasnt good enough, This wont work, You cant hit that shot, Yes, the ball went where you wanted it to but that swing was lousy, Johns using a 7-iron and youre using a 5-ironyoure kidding me! and on and on the critic goes.
 
The word critic is defined as: (derived from the ancient Greek word krites meaning a judge) a person who offers a value judgment or an interpretation.
 
Self-critics can be the harshest of judges because a value judgment turns into a personal attack and when it gets personal; it is difficult to get out of. If youve ever attacked yourself, you know exactly what I mean.
 
Here are 5 steps you can take to quiet or delete the critic inside you:
 
1. Its a recording - - The critic inside you is a recording thats been played and replayed over time. Imagine your brain as having VCR capabilities. It has recorded this critic through practice and rehearsal over time. When the play button is hit; the recording turns on! The inner critic is an echo from past critics; you, friends, teachers, parents and so on.
 
2. Its only 1 part - - The inner critic is only one part of you; its not ALL of you! If its the loudest and most consistent part; thats only because youve paid more attention to it and ignored the other parts. Ignoring the other parts doesnt mean they arent there. Five cloudy days dont mean the sun isnt in the sky anymore does it? No, of course not. In the Wired To Win program we identify the other parts so you can begin recording them more often!
 
2. Accept It! - - The first rule of the Wired To Win program is: what you resist; will persist. This means that if you fight or resist anything; the thing you fight with gains more power! When youre inner critic shows up, learn to accept it. Besides; when has fighting with it ever gotten you anywhere?
 
4. Talk Back! - - Who says your inner critic is the definitive expert on anything? Its not! Once you accept that its real and its there; TALK BACK to it. The critic in you only knows one thing; what doesnt work! What about what DOES work? What about what you ARE doing well? What about what you ARE CAPABLE OF? Focus on these and you wont have to battle with your inner critic; instead youve directed your mind toward something more constructive.
 
5. Its NOT Personal! - - Watch your inner dialogue. Be wary of the words You or I. Those words are very personal. Im no good, You idiot! and comments like this are personal and when it gets personal; it gets deep! Change the words you or I to the words It or That. This now becomes That was a bad shot or It was a bad shot. It and That are not personal.
 
Special Note: We are launching a new program for athletes and the corporate sector. Its the Wired To Win program that teaches the powerful performance laws and principles that influence you at ALL TIMESalong with the 9 Habits of Success. For more info click on: www.theflowzone.net/corporate.html. Telephone Coaching is available for all areas of personal and professional development. For info on programs; email: David@theflowzone.net.
 
Related Links:
  • David Breslow Article Archive
     
    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed Wired To Win programs for athletes and business professionals to help them perform at the top of their game!. His unique approach helps people make quantum leap shifts! David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio, etc. For more programs/services/products or sign up for a free newsletter (write newsletter in subject box). Contact: David Breslow 847.681.1698 Email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net. For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
     

     
  • Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.

    Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

    Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.

    Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.

    It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.

    Goodbye and good riddance.

    The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.

    “What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.

    Amen.

    The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.

    Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.



    Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.

    But at what cost?

    The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.

    The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.

    We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.

    In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.  

    We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.

    Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.

    We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.

    “What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.

    Amen again.

    We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.

    Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.

    There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.

    This is good governance.

    And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.

    This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.

    We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.

    Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.

    Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.

    Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”