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Last week we spoke about the comfort trap and the need to break out of what we termed your “comfort zone”. I always remember a phrase Jack Nicklaus said many years ago about coming down the stretch in Majors. He said ‘Give me THAT feeling you get on the back nine on Sunday, that is what I hit all of the practice balls for’. Nicklaus knew in those white heat moments of Major winning opportunities he was going to feel uncomfortable but, rather than resist it, he actually played a perfect reverse psychology trick on himself by actually WELCOMING the feelings of discomfojack-13rt. The ironic thing is if you do welcome these uncomfortable feelings, they actually cease to have much of a hold on you. Your brain deals with it better because it has planned and expected to feel discomfort. This is the opposite of what most people do, which is to HOPE they don’t get the feelings of nervousness and anxiety but then they panic when they do come along. Whatever we resist, we strengthen and whatever we embrace, we can work with. The principle is exactly the same for you and your golf as it was for Jack Nicklaus. If you get into a position where you are way under your handicap or about to break 90 for the first time, you WILL feel uncomfortable, you will get a bit jumpy. But, if you EXPECT it and you PLAN for it, when it comes along you will be much better equipped deal with the situation. I remember once hearing a quote which went along the lines ‘Successful people are prepared to feel uncomfortable to achieve their goals’ and I am sure that is EXACTLY the case. As we stated at the beginning, our brain is wired to seek out familiarity and comfort but, if you want to achieve anything with your golf and, indeed, the rest of your life, the chances are you will need to resist the pull of the familiar, go into unchartered water and give yourself the chance to come out the other side having got closer to your true potential.

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