Own Your Game
I’ve been really struggling with the voices behind my back; what people are saying about me and what their personal opinion is of my life. All I know is that there are a lot of assumptions being made. I think about how this relates to golf and I know I need to expel the outside noise…
Playing golf you have no choice but to look inward in regards to your own game and the scores you post. Before my latter years in high school I was terrible at doing this or conceptualizing the game this way. Every hole that went bad I was looking for an excuse as to why I failed that particular shot, hole, or even round. I would blame my brother for making noises during my backswing, or complain about the position of the cart while I was taking a shot. I was quite a brat. However, my game evolved. Did I get better? On paper, perhaps not. But in the game of life?: You bet!
Taking a lesson from my golf game has become crucial to understanding what exactly I need to work on in life. I need to take ownership of everything that is in my control and remember to stop listening to the outside noise and influences of my family and friends. People can talk down on you all they want, but it’s more important to understand that you control your own path and your own opinion of yourself. That is all that matters. There will always be haters and naysayers. What is more important than anything in life is that you write your own narrative. It is important not to flip out and throw your clubs because you're angry at the person you're playing with. They always say that the next shot is the most important. I must do a better job staying stalwart in my thoughts and actions in order to get to the ultimate end or at least the end goal of the round or day.
I’ve learned more since writing my book than ever before about how people will try to put you in boxes. They do this for a reason. The public, and I mean everyone but yourself, takes shots at you and tries to define you because it makes it easier to conceptualize and reason out their own existence. It’s an extension of bullying. People define you so that they can more easily explain their own existence and actions. People will make fun of your high handicap so that their high handicap doesn’t look as bad. The important takeaway here is that you continue, as stated before, to write your own narrative and to keep your chin up. Stay your course and don’t let the opinions and derogatory noise affect the line.
I was playing a round with some money on the line with a couple members of my family. We were a foursome but all on one team. I wasn’t having a good start and, therefore, not pulling my weight. Around the fifth hole or so I gave up on the hole and my Aunt snapped at me (she can be very competitive) because she didn’t want to lose and I was bringing the team down. I was infuriated. I hit my next three tee shots out of bounds and spent most of the rest of the day in my pocket. A couple holes later my Uncle saw how badly this was getting to me and just told me to ‘play my game’. He was trying to right the ship. A valiant but failed effort. The hardest thing you can do is to keep your own stringent path and ignore the noise from the people on the brink. Especially if those people are right there with you!
On an endnote, as it pertains to my life, people can often confuse good nature and niceness with stupidity. This is their fault and their fault alone. I went golfing once with a friend of mine, and it ended up being a threesome as his dad met up with us to play as well. I remained full of positive energy and in good spirits. I complimented everybody’s game; not acting as if I was in a pissing match, and this was some sort of competition. I overheard the dad’s judgement of me while playing the round. It just goes to show that it’s easy for someone to paint a false picture of who you are so that it helps meet their expectations. It helps give them confirmation about your character when they slander who you actually are. It can even, and often does, help justify their past, present, or future actions against you. Just like I pointed out earlier, there is no need to listen to the outside noise. Stay confident in your own game and make sure to play the game you’re accustomed to. Golf is a game against yourself; a game between your ears. Just try to keep that in check as life can be the same.