How We Send Mixed Messages

By David BreslowNovember 27, 2006, 5:00 pm
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Now on with this week's article....Your body is a walking communication mechanism. Thats right! You send yourself messages all the time both on and off the golf course. The things you think about, the words you say and the images you have in your head all send messages to your mind, emotions and body.
Whats most interesting is how we mess up this system by sending mixed messages that cause us to hesitate, lack trust and doubt our own abilities.
The following are the messages Ive found to be the most common. These mixed messages cause a lack of confidence, lower our faith and cause confusion and lack of clarity. We want to be intense but we also want to let it go to play our best. Too many messages from too many people and the result is generally confusion! Here are some of the most common mixed messages we send ourselves See if any of these look familiar.
Be Intenseand Let it go
Be Aggressive and Dont take silly risks
Fight for everything and Stop trying so hard
Dont make errors and Errors are part of the game
Dont let em see your emotions and Play with passion
Think, Think, Think! and Dont thinkjust play
Think about what youre doing and Stop analyzing so much
Do what (fill in blank) does! and Play your own game
I can do this! and No you cant!
Im a winner and Im a loser
I want to win more and Im afraid to play my best and still lose
I want to play with no fear and Im afraid to make mistakes
Is it any wonder we feel so confused? Are these helping you create opportunities to feel confident and powerful or confused and frustrated? Think of a cell phone line. Imagine youre on a call passing someone information and a third party comes on the line saying exactly the opposite of what you are saying. Imagine how this must sound to the person youre talking to when you say, Ill meet you at Sears at 4pm and the other voice comes on and says, Ill meet you at Burger King at 4pm. The person listening to you will be very confused and not sure what to do or where to go. As ridiculous as this sounds, this is exactly what we do to ourselves when we send mixed messages to ourselves. The body does not know what to do so your actions will be hesitant and your outcomes will be below your true talent level.
Unfortunately, too often, instead of sending clear messages we send mixed messages causing us to experience doubt, lack confidence we do not enjoy ourselves as much as wed like.
Here are some helpful ways to discover whether youre sending mixed messages or not:
  • Pay close attention to what you say to yourself prior to hitting the ball such as, Ive got to have this/relax or cmon focus, focus/take it easy slow down.

  • Become aware of certain thoughts that seem to pop up out of habit and notice whether they create a mixed message or a clear message.

  • Use a journal to record the kinds of mixed messages you may be sending yourself and write down how your play is affected when you do. Start sending ONE clear message and see what happens.
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    Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved. David Breslow is a Speaker/Author/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people move past limiting patterns to perform up to their potential. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David appears on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and speaks to both large and small corporations across the country. For more information or reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: or visit the web: To order, Wired To Win click here OR call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
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