Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Next and Big Step

We've embraced a positive attitude as a team this year and it's made our journey great.  As a team, we read The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon and I must say we have complete buy-in and understanding of how important this commitment is to our success.

We've seen the effects with our communication with each other, our togetherness, our will to succeed on the golf course and overall attitudes with small tasks.  In the book, we've learned that Energy Vampires (negative people) are to be avoided at all costs.  We all vowed not to be that person. Now it's time to take the next and biggest step, which is to put a stake through the heart of the Energy Vampire in our own hearts and minds.

In our team meeting on Monday, we had a quick chat about how we were doing with our purpose of FAMILY.  We all reported feeling very good about our interactions and having each other's backs.  However, when we did a quick circle of how we're doing with the ideas of Jon Gordon, we discovered that there are still Energy Vampires that live within us.  Our next and biggest step is to put them to rest.

Do you have an Energy Vampire living within you?  Are you positive with yourself?  Do you provide yourself with uplifting self-talk?  Do you encourage and support your own efforts?  Do you spend your time on the golf course focused on what you want to happen or what isn't happening?  The bottom line is, do you believe in you?

You can check out Jon Gordon's article here.  Better yet, purchase the book The Energy Bus.  It will change your life if you allow it.

Energy Vampires as defined by Jon Gordon do the following:
Negative comments: "Did I tell you how much I hate my life and work?  Did I tell you what so and so did to me?  Did I tell you how nothing goes right?
Dream snatching:  "You can't do that.  "You'll never succeed at that."  "Are you living in a fantasy land?"  "You should do this instead."
Shrinking devices:  "What is wrong with you?  "Can you do anything right?"  "Why did we hire you anyway?"
Team Destruction:  "We'll never make it."  "It's Joe's fault."  "Everyone is clueless."

As a team, we will quickly recognize these comments if we hear them and then easily dismiss them.  We're trained to give no power to Energy Vampires.  However, what happens when the Energy Vampire lives within us?

As we read the book and discussed it as a team, we envisioned Energy Vampires coming from the outside, but we've quickly learned that we have some habits that allow the Energy Vampire that lives within us to lure us off the Energy Bus.  If you notice Mr. Gordon's writing above, you'll notice that most of the explanations for how Energy Vampires work are through questions.  What questions are you asking yourself in a round of golf?  What questions are you asking yourself in life?  Think through these and understand their power.  Here are some examples and some statements with which you can replace these insidious questions.

  • Why can't I make anything?  Replace with:  I'm rolling it nicely and I'll get another chance on the next hole!
  • What's going to happen today?  Replace with:  I feel prepared and I'm up to whatever I face on the golf course.
  • What's wrong with me?  Replace with:  I'm learning new stuff all the time!  Sometimes I have to learn the hard way, but that's ok, because I'll be better tomorrow.
  • What's my problem?  Replace with:  I'm not perfect, but I'm going to act like a champion no matter what happens today!
  • I wonder where this shot will end up.  Replace with:  I see my target, I feel my swing, I can trust myself completely to hit the shot.
  • I'm so dumb.  Replace with:  Wow, that cost me some shots, but this bounce back is going to be stupendous!  
  • That was a bad hole, I need to make up for it.  Replace with:  I have a great game plan and I'm going to take it one at a time and follow it today.  No need to worry about the past or future.
  • I really need to go low today!  Replace with:  I'm going to do my very best with each shot I face today.

The funny thing about being an Energy Vampire is it's sometimes based on long held habits or ways of thinking.  One of my players broke down crying after playing good golf last week.  When I asked her why, she answered that she'd spent the round holding her frustrations in all day and they just bubbled over.  I was really proud of her for working hard to be a positive force for her teammates out there and for working to follow our goal of staying positive.  However, if she was fighting frustration, she wasn't truly being positive.  She was putting her energy to fighting negativity, which is different than being positive.  She told me she had an incredible ball striking day, but made absolutely no putts.  We've all been there, right?  Those days when nothing falls are tough to take.  The ability to stay positive means you focus on what you're doing well, your opportunities and take something good away from each hole.  Touring pros are awesome at this skill and it shows by long stretches of pars with a few bogies followed by a string of birdies.  They are very skilled at not looking for patterns when they play but instead looking for the positive and the opportunity.  

The important thing about that last sentence is, being positive with yourself is a skill that you can learn and work to make a habit.  First, you have to recognize how and when you are your own Energy Vampire.  Then you have to turn the tables on that Vampire and kill it with positivism.  Finally, you have to make that attitude a habit.  Simply fighting the negativity isn't enough.  You have to take the Next and Big Step and fuel your ride with Positive Energy!!!


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