Acknowledging Fear

“Of all the hazards, fear is the worst.”

-Sam Snead

Ah. Fear, the other four-letter f word in golf. It consumes and manipulates your mind, sabotages your intentions and plants doubt during executions.

Fear is such a nuisance of an emotion because it creeps in at the most inconvenient times, usually when there is something important on the line. It has the influence of its friends, nervousness and anxiousness, who are quick to its beck and call. Evil emotion huh?

What if we have this all wrong? 

Well, actually… it’s interesting because if you think about it, fear has the best intention of any emotion, it just wants to protect you. You are fear’s child and it’s doing everything in its power to make sure you don’t get hurt. Back in the primitive days, fear’s job description was to alert the body that danger may be near so it can turn on flight-or-fight mode. The body is alerted to increase your heart rate drastically, quicken your breath and tense the muscles. In the event that fear was pre-mature with the alert, the body then begins to relax and return to its normal state. This could take, minutes, hours or even days because fear runs the show and still doesn’t trust the unknown. 

Now today, in a civilized society, our protective mom is still inside us, looking to fend off any and all danger. The only thing is she is trapped inside this cage called a skull watching a muddled black and white movie of what’s happening in the world. She can vaguely make out the sounds and images, its as if she’s watching a blurry, lagged movie in Russian. If she really focuses on the screen, she can guess where the setting is taking place and can vaguely read the lips and expressions of the characters. The movie is being filtered through this strange thing called perception. 

Now, don’t forget! She’s still a mom, with that protective nature and overbearing personality. She will work tirelessly, day in and day out to jump out to pull you out of the firing zone, to make sure you’re back home safely in bed at the end of the day.

So, she does it, probably at inappropriate times, when its critical that you make that beautiful baby fade that you’ve hitting all day or when its time for you to nail that speech that you’ve rehearsed a thousand times. Instead, she inserts herself into what she thinks is a line of fire and tries to prevent you from duck hooking the ball OB or completely freeze up on your speech in front of 800 people. The strange translator is telling her that this situation is the same one thousands of years ago when a predator could be around the corner. She begins to lecture and tell you everything you are supposed to avoid, thinking that it will do just that. However, the more she tries to lecture you not to get too quick in your back swing, the more its now in your head, and you do just that. As a mom, her life motto is ‘better safe than sorry!’, so low and behold, she does it all the time. 

Us: “Mom, leave me alone! You’re so annoying, you ruin everything! Just go away forever.” 

Mom: “Better safe than sorry… Mom knows best. One day you’ll thank me.”

It has happened so many times that while we acknowledge that she has the best intention to keep us safe, it is not executed properly and disaster strikes everything she appears.

So basically we need a new game plan, let’s think this through logically. She keeps appearing because she thinks we need saving right? We keep fighting and attempting to get rid of her but we need to come to the conclusion that she will always come back, a mother never leaves their child behind. 

Let’s try this, let’s have a logical unemotional conversation with her. We sit her down and give her a pair of glasses as the peace offering.

“Mom, look this has to stop. We know you have the best intention but you are ruining all my hard work and embarrassing me. Let’s come to a compromise. I’ll stop trying to push you away. Here are a pair of glasses for you to watch the movie clearly, and I have cleared the entire front row for you. It’ll give me comfort knowing you’re close by if I ever do need you.” 

She thinks about it and says “Ok. But just know I will always be here, in case you need me.”

“Yes mom, I know that you’ll always be there for me, I love you.”

Turns out, acknowledgement is the key to her heart. All she needs is reassurance that her child is responsible and mature enough to handle himself. She will never leave though, she will always  be in the front row of the movie theater with an exit plan. After all, she’s mom. 

So here’s me, acknowledging Fear and jumping into the unknown.

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A golf gypsy and sock fanatic on a mission to inspire golfers and golfers to be to bring the spirit and philosophy into the game of life #teetostreet

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