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.
If you feel that you (or members of your team) would benefit from exploring ways to make substantial improvements to personal and collective effectiveness and productivity, please get in touch. Simply submit your contact details on the Contact Us page and I will be delighted to get in touch with you for an informal initial chat.
What do I do?: I enable people in business to operate more successfully. They may be struggling to implement their corporate strategy, they may want to get more productivity out of their teams (without using bonuses) but don’t know where to start, or their people may not be having as effective conversations with each other as they could be. I will work with you to enable you to formulate more effective ways of leading, to raise awareness of blockers to successful ways of working, and ultimately to help you to lead more successfully.