GOLF MENTAL GAME TRAINING TIPS BY DR. RICK SESSINGHAUS
Let me pose a question to you: Could you live life without having any expectations of what should occur? Hear me out on this. I was thinking about why sometimes I get a little frustrated, or a little down, or a little irritable. I’m going, “There seems to be a common theme.” It’s when my expectations are not met that that creates the frustration. This creates a disconnect because I think things should be a certain way.
But if I look at any day, well, life just happens and I shouldn’t expect anything, that’s what we call getting detached from the outcome. In a way, that’s kind of freeing, isn’t it? That life just happens, and it shouldn’t be a certain way. Any time you use the word should, that’s an expectation. “My boss should do this. My kid should do this.” That if we get wrapped into expectations a lot, you’re gonna find that you’ll be disappointed.
Now again, this is just posing a question to you and it is one of the more important questions in the golf mental game approach. Could you go through a day where you don’t have any expectations? That you just have your intention of how you wanna show up for that day and just let things kind of go how they want. “Oh, there’s traffic. Oh, it’s traffic.” “This should be faster to get to work.” Okay. Again, you gotta be careful, because once the expectations aren’t met, it triggers a response in you.
I think part of expectation also goes with judgments, right? Judging other people of how they should be, that’s how they are. They don’t meet your reality, then that gets us flustered. Now, this is something that’s working better for me. Not saying I have all the answers, but if I can remove judgment and expectations, I tend to have a more free-flowing day.
It doesn’t mean I’m happy all the time. It doesn’t mean that I am not disappointed, but I don’t get into that everything should be a certain way, or, “That person needs to be that,” or, “I can’t believe that person did that.” Instead, it’s like, “Wait. Okay. That’s out of my control.” But how I react to those things are certainly in my control.
Again, pose the question to yourself: Could I go with a day, just one day, without having any expectations of what should happen? That’s a tough one. Could you also go through a day and not have judgements towards other people? Maybe how they look, and how they behave, and stuff like that, and just go, “Oh, that’s interesting.” That’s one that I use a lot. “Oh, that’s fascinating.” Instead of getting mad at that, I just kind of look at it in a different way.