I was intrigued by something that Rory McIlroy said recently in an interview following his widely-reported ‘early exit’ from the Honda Golf Classic in Florida. Clearly he has been going through a troubled time, with speculation bouncing between whether it is down to his new clubs deal, his relationship with tennis star Caroline Wozniaki, or, as he claimed in Florida, a troublesome wisdom tooth.
He summed up how he feels when he is off his game in very simple terms. “I always think when I’m playing bad that it’s further away than it is.” (meaning his best game). I sense this is true for many of us, in all walks of life. Rory went on to say “….If I have a bad round, it’s sort of like the end of the world.” This ‘catastrophizing’ form of thinking, is, I am sure, familiar to many of us. When some aspect of our life (not always one that is most critical) is not working as well as we’d like, it can become magnified and generalised, to the extent that it contaminates our thinking and self-perception of other aspects of what we do and who we are.
I love the realization that Rory has come to (perhaps with the aid of his psychologist) that playing badly does not necessarily mean that his ‘A’ game is ‘a long way off’. In fact, it is often the case that what we want is much nearer than we imagine.This same realization often arises in coaching sessions, when clients have been struggling to get to grips with their vision. They start out thinking a vision must be able to be described in terms of a place, or a point in time (usually a long way off), and often with trappings (typically materialistic in nature). After exploring this from different directions for a while, what often comes as a huge breakthrough, and indeed a relief, is when people make the shift in thinking that lets them see their ‘vision’ as being a ‘state of mind’, a way of thinking, and usually, not so far away.
Like Rory, the breakthrough happens first inside our heads, not out on the golf course, or in our working environments. Once we resolve this, our best game is ready and waiting to be played.
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Hi Louis ~ when I’m having a bad day, which thankfully is not to often, I always think, ‘Tomorrow is another day ~ renew, refresh and start again!’ It seems to work for me!
Hope you’ve had a great Easter Weekend! John 🙂
Reblogged this on Gyro Consulting Services and commented:
It is heartening to revisit old blog posts and find that they are still as relevant today as they were when they were first written. The Open golf championship is underway at Royal Birkdale this weekend, and, as always, Rory McIlroy is very much under the spotlight. He has come into the championship in rather patchy form, and after the first 9 holes on the first day he was virtually written off as a contender. He could not find his ‘A’ game and looked like he was as good as out of it. In the second half of the round he pulled himself together and put himself back in the frame. Afterwards he was interviewed and asked how far off playing at his best he felt he was. He has clearly learned much in the intervening years since the original post. He said that he felt it was ‘real close’ and ‘there was no reason he could not go out in the next few days and really put himself in a great position to be one of the main contenders for the championship’. We will wait and see how it unfolds, and watch with interest to see if Rory can find his ‘A’ game.