A few weeks ago, we witnessed a new superstar in the golf world. Jordan Spieth dominated the Masters tournament, eventually tying the all-time scoring record at the Augusta National golf course. If you watched Spieth that week, or any week on the PGA Tour, you will notice how much he chatters with his caddie, Michael Greller. But Greller does much more than just give knowledge about distance and the right club to hit. Greller always gives Spieth a positive push of confidence and ends his conversation before each shot about having a clear focus on the target. What if Greller’s last words to Jordan before each shot were, “Don’t miss it right again” or “Don’t leave it short”? Michael Greller would be out of a job and back to teaching 6th grade math. In business as in all aspects of our life, you have an inner caddie. And your inner caddie can fill you with loads of confidence and peace of mind, or your inner caddie can berate you with constant negativities and create a world of self-doubt.  Why don’t you fire your bad inner caddie? Why do you let this negative self-talk continue? Perhaps you have gotten complacent, or perhaps your bad inner caddie has become a bad habit that shows up every day. One aspect that all successful golfers have in common is that they have fired that bad inner caddie and, just as important, train and retrain their good inner caddie on a daily basis. Here are a few essential strategies that will help you to master your inner voice: 1)      Develop a good inner caddie book. Every day in this book, write a positive push like “I am really going to play well today” or “I feel it today.” Also, look at your inner caddie book every day for a jolt of confidence. 2)      Be like Bruce Lee. When negative thoughts crept into his mind, he wrote them on a piece of paper, and then visualized crumpling that paper into a wad and throwing it into a burning fire. In that way, his negative thoughts would turn to ashes. 3)      Snap out of it.  Wrap a rubber band around your left wrist. Every time you have a negative thought, snap it. Not so much you are in pain, but that you mean business. Then replace that negative thought with a positive self-statement. Over time, your negativity will diminish. Of course, you can continue to wear the rubber band for a fashion statement. As Aristotle once stated, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Make it a habit to fire your bad inner caddie and re-hire your good caddie, and you will become the golfer you want to be. By: Dr. Gregg Steinberg, USGTF Sports Psychologist Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a professor of human performance at Austin Peay State University. Golf Digest ranked him as one of the best golf psychologists in the world. He is the author of the Washington Post bestselling business book Full Throttle. Dr. Steinberg speaks about mental and emotional toughness to Fortune 500 companies such as Pacific Life, Merrill Lynch, and T Rowe Price. Also, he coaches business executives to develop greater confidence and focus. Dr. Steinberg will be a guest speaker at the upcoming World Golf Teachers Cup in Orlando, October 13-16. Please e-mail him at mentalrules24@msn.com with any questions, and visit www.drgreggsteinberg.com.
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