What is the root cause of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and worry? Everyone wants to know where these things come from. Everyone knows what these emotions feel like, but almost nobody knows or has even thought about where they originate. Well let’s try to work through it.
Think of it in a real life situation. When you show up to a tournament, and you feel nervous, why is that? Well it’s probably because you want to do well. You want to win. You want to not fail. You want to impress others.
What’s the common word in all of those motivations? The word “want”. You want something that you don’t have. You expect yourself to gain something. You are in a “get” mentality.
“Well of course I want to do well in the tournament. What’s the point of playing if I wouldn’t want to do well?”
And there arises your nervousness, anxiety, and fear of failure. That was easy, huh?
Now that we’ve figured out where they come from, why don’t we get to removing them. In order to remove nerves, you must change your motivation. You have to change from “get” to “give”.
Why does giving rather than getting remove nervousness? Think of the last time that you gave someone a gift. Were you nervous? You probably were, because you were probably hoping that they would like the gift. You wanted their approval, admiration, and to see them enjoy it. So even in the act of giving, you were still hoping to get something. The only part of that scenario that made you nervous was the hope of getting. If you took away what you were trying to get; if you removed the transaction aspect, there would be no nerves. You would simply be freely giving without wanting anything in return.
Now you say “how do I show up to a tournament that I want to win and “give” instead of “get”? What does giving even mean in the context of golf?”
What is something that you can give during a tournament? What is the one thing you have control over at all times? We can ask it from the opposite side. What don’t you have control over? Well, you can’t control other people, the weather, the condition of the golf course, or how well other people are going to play. So what’s left after all of that is stripped away? Yourself. You are the only thing you can control. You can only give of what you already have, and you are the only resource that you have.
“So then how do I give of myself in a tournament?”
By removing “get”. By removing “want”. No more “hope” of receiving something. No more expectation of an outcome. Once you stop wanting, nerves have no other choice but to disappear.
Giving of yourself on the golf course looks something like a painter or a musician or a writer. When they move completely out of their own way and stop worrying about what they are going to produce and therefore receiving something, the art naturally flows from them. They give themselves to the art. They become the art.
Give of yourself completely every shot. Immerse yourself in the perfect execution of every individual shot. And stop wanting something in return.