Letting Two Milliseconds Define Me
As I rekindle my passion for golf I am realizing some habitual patterns that keep showing up in my life.
Some of those habits serve my greater good and some of those habits have kept me locked in a cage feeling extremely limited.
One of my most recent moments of realization came after an almost three hour sweat drenched practice session on the practice green working on my chipping.
I am going to use a word that most golfers and athletes despise. It’s called the yips.
If you don’t know what the yips are, watch the Ted Lasso episode where Mexican footballer Dani Rojas comes down with the case of the yips and no one in the locker room even dares to utter the word as it feels like a curse.
The yips are a psycho-neuromuscular phenomenon that shows up as a spasm or a flinch in the body. For a golfer it typically shows up in the hands, wrists and forearms. It basically stems from fear or anxiety around performance.
For most of my life I have put so much pressure on myself to perform as an athlete as much of my identity was based on how I performed on the athletic field.
I have carried the story that I am loved for how I perform and not who I am for much of my life. It has seeped deep into my subconscious mind and has been trapped in my body at a cellular level. Letting go of that story has been a gradual process.
As I was on the chipping green the other day on a one hundred degree plus day in Florida I told myself I am going to figure this out no matter what it takes. I guess one of my good habits is perseverance. I do not give up easily.
As I was about two hours into practice session with the sun beating down on me struggling with the yips, inconsistency and lots of frustration, I had my epiphany. Thank goodness because I was starting to feel the effects of the heat.
Without getting technical, the difference between a well struck shot and one that is yipped is two milliseconds. It basically stems from how I start my downswing. I was letting two milliseconds define me resulting in anxiety and fear over a little white ball.
My mentality that I was holding onto was I am good if I hit a good shot and I am bad if I hit a bad shot. When I simply let go of judgment of good or bad and tuned into my awareness of how I started my downswing and let go of judging myself, all the tension left my body and I started hitting world class chip shots.
How many of us have the yips in life because we are so caught up in judging ourselves as good or bad?
I would like to offer up a new possibility. What if we simply become more aware of the choices we make without judgment and make different choices that serve us better without beating the living daylights out of ourselves physically and emotionally? How freeing would that be in our lives?
If two milliseconds can be the difference between a world class shot and the yips, what small change can we make to move our lives in a positive and healthier direction? Think about that for a second.
We get caught up in thinking transformation is made up of these huge changes, but that’s not the truth. It’s these little two millisecond changes that occur consistently over time that make all the difference in the world.
I am going to put it in golf terms, but I think it fits for life.
Efficiency = Consistency + Power
We are efficient in our lives when we show up consistently in our own inner power not judging ourselves as good or bad. It’s a matter of simply accepting what is, learning from it and making the necessary adjustments to grow from our experience.
I am kissing my fear of the yips good-bye. So long friend. Thanks for being a great teacher. You have done a your job of trying to protect me, but I don’t fear you anymore. I know my life is more than golf. I know who I am is more than how I perform.
I simply know that I am a beloved son of God who is loved unconditionally, yips or not.
We can all overcome our yips in life when we realize and experience that unconditional love as children of God.
Lift Your Spirit,
Troy Ismir, MS
Inner Transformation Coach
Spiritual Golf Mentor
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