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Im no good, Youll never pull this off, I wont make this putt. Any of these sound familiar? Cmon, weve all heard that voice before and it belongs to one of our favorite people. His or her name is the INNER CRITIC and dont you know that he or she shows up just in time to throw you off your game when you need to be your best? When does yours appear? Is it when you stand over your first tee shot, are staring at a 3-foot downhill birdie putt or about to chip it up close (hopefully!)? Maybe it happens when youre going for the green in two on a par 5 and hitting over water. Weve all heard this intruder and weve all been influenced by it. Its very distracting and it causes you to lose energy, focus and confidence.
Sowhat is this invisible voice and who invited to the party anyway?
Here are some more common inner critic comments. Jerry, a 17 handicap hear things like. 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 critical mass 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.
Unfortunately, self-criticism for many of us is hardly a value judgment because it turns into a personal attack and when it gets personal it gets rough.
Here are 4 things to consider to begin quieting the critic inside you:
Its just a recording 'The critic inside you is nothing more than a recording that youve rehearsed time and time again and it plays automatically.
Its only 1 part of you ' Its not ALL of you! If its the loudest part of you, its only because youve paid more attention to it. Five cloudy days doesnt mean the sun isnt in the sky anymore does it?
Talk Back! ' Who says your inner critic is the definitive expert on anything? Its not! Once you see it for what it is you can TALK BACK to it. What about what you ARE doing well? What about what you ARE CAPABLE OF?
Its NOT Personal! ' Watch your inner dialogue. Be wary of the word I as in, Im no good, Im an idiot! These comments are taken personally and when it gets personal; it gets harder to change! Change the word I to the word That. The statement now becomes That was a bad shot or That was a poor decision. This removes your words from being too personal.

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