I've just come back from a great golfing holiday with some good friends where we played a Ryder Cup style team event. I decided to take the opportunity to observe and listen carefully throughout the games and also during the none golfing times to see what people said and also watch how they performed. Being a little competitive, ok a very competitive person myself, I consciously talk confidently and positively about my own intentions. Even during games whilst playing below my best my internal and external dialogue remains upbeat. However I was staggered when I realised just how much people actually talk their games down both before, during and after the match. Most of this was probably unintentional and I only noticed it so much because I was focused on listening for it. But what value does it have? Is there any reason to barrack yourself so much? Be careful what you wish for as acts, follow words, follow thoughts. Think brilliance, say brilliant things, play brilliantly.
I was 2 down with 3 to play against the best player on tour on the final day. I had stayed up rather late the night before and had a little too much to drink. I wasn't exactly fresh. All day I had challenges with my game and was clinging on, barely! Giving my self a hard time really wasn't going to cut it. I used all the positive mental techniques at my disposal, and even with my sore head and dehydrated body I won the last hole with a sandy par to half the match. I was physically and mentally spent. And ecstatic.
So next time all you have are harsh words for yourself just reflect on how it makes you feel and what it will achieve. And say something else. The subconscious mind just does as it's told. And your in control.