Golf is a challenging and frustrating sport.
I’ve been golfing for most of my life and I have a great appreciation for the sport. I love the game because it gets me outside where I can focus on improving a skill that takes a great deal of patience and practice.
Three summers ago, I worked with a golf professional to improve my game. After a summer of lessons, I had the opportunity to play the Banff Springs Golf Course, a Stanley Thompson course, and one of the best courses in Canada.
For this game, my coach brought me a sleeve of Volvik Pro Pink balls, that I had expressed admiration for early in the season.
The day we played was spectacular and I was playing one of my best rounds to date.
When we reached the courses most famous hole, “The Devil’s Cauldron”, I said, “Wait I need to grab a bad ball I don’t want to lose this one”.
I feared that I would make a bad shot and land in the water between the tee box and the green.
Without missing a beat my coach looked at me and said, “That is your problem…you doubt yourself. Don’t switch out the ball. Play the damn pink ball. You’ve got this.”
This stopped me dead in my tracks, he was right, my biggest limitation is self-doubt. I took a deep breath and walked to the tee box. “Play the damn pink ball” resonated in my mind.
I hit that pink ball with confidence and a newfound composure…it was the closest I have ever been to a hole in one at that point in my life.
“See.” is all my coach said.
This was a huge lesson for me. In my life, I had been switching out the pink ball for a bad ball in a lot of ways. I approached situations with self-doubt and I limited myself in doing so. Often, I focused on the reasons why I should not succeed, rather than recognizing and celebrating all of the hard work I had dedicated to developing my skills.
That round of golf taught me a major lesson: when I take on challenges with confidence in myself I perform my best. When I let self-doubt creep in, I hinder my ability to reach my potential.
I carry that golf ball with me now. It has sat on my desk during big exams, it has been in my bag during job interviews, and it lives on my nightstand as a reminder to wake up and play the damn pink ball.
So I encourage you to find the tendency that is holding you back, practice your approach to that situation with new behaviour and discover what your pink ball is.
It could become your next hole in one.
Written by Jessica Orchin
Gasparotto Group helps organizations create cultures that develop highly effective leaders and build strong, resilient teams.