Here are 4 Tips for you when you find yourself seeking perfection in your golf game:
Identify Strict Expectations That Impede Success. Expectations, especially strict ones such as to hit perfect shots, do more harm than good. Expectations, good or bad, high or low are harmful to performance because they keep you stuck. Placing high expectations on yourself puts you in a win-lose or success-failure situation. If you don’t reach your high expectations, it’s easy to judge your effort as a failure. Setting simple goals is a better option. Set simple manageable goals like hitting a certain number of fairways per round or to play one shot at a time.
Focus on Having Fun in the Present. The anxiety you experience partially results from an overemphasis on results or shooting a certain number. Everybody is trying to shoot a good score and you can’t control the outcome of a round. Your competitive goal should be to play for fun and the enjoyment of the game. This is easier said than done for golfers who constantly tie themselves up in knots because they try too hard to play well. Start by recalling why you first started playing golf. Did you enjoy the feeling of a well-hit shot? Did you like being outdoors? Try to approach goal like a kid again.
Don’t Beat Yourself up for Mistakes. If you are a perfectionist, you spend too much time dwelling on your mistakes, bad shots, and weaknesses. This is unhealthy for your self-confidence and doesn’t let you enjoy golf. Dwelling on your weaknesses and errors sends a message to yourself that you are never good enough. You are not a failure, you just choose to think more about your faults. You have to make the choice to think about the small successes and remember the good shots instead of repeatedly replaying the bad shots. When you finish a round of golf, ask yourself first what two things you did well today instead of beating yourself up for the missed shots.
Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes. Perfectionists think that anything less than a flawless performance is a failure – the first bad shot or bad score on a hole ruins the entire round. You have to accept that you are human and you will make mistakes just like everyone else—it’s part of golf.