My fear was ridiculous and I had been hiding behind it for years. You must be thinking that it was a huge, gigantic fear of something terrible. It was a fear of golfing. Okay, I can hear you giggling right now.
Learning to golf was on my bucket list. My husband golfs and my son golfs, so it seems like a no-brainer that I would golf, too. Or I would at least have plenty of opportunities to golf.
There is a story behind my ridiculous fear. Over 25 years ago, I was in a relationship and my boyfriend at the time took me to a golf tournament that he was golfing in. I told him I had never golfed and so the plan was that I would go and watch. When we arrived at the golf club, he decided that we would both hit balls at the driving range area.
The problem was… I couldn’t hit the golf ball. I swung twice and missed it. My boyfriend looked so disgusted and he moved away from me. He pretended he didn’t know me. I was 20 years old and embarrassed to be treated that way.
Fast forward a couple of decades, a husband, and kids… I began to crave to learn how to golf, but I really thought I couldn’t do it. I have played many sports in my life- tennis, volleyball, downhill skiing, figure skating- just to name a few and have been naturally good at most sports.
I wanted to golf, but would get sweaty hands just thinking about it. I realized that I had let my early story really affect me. I wanted to break free from the story and finally put any hurt feelings from that previous relationship to rest.
I reasoned that eventually, I probably could hit a golf ball. I reasoned that even if I was terrible at golf, it would be okay. Golfing became a symbol of doing everything in my life that I feared. I decided to take the plunge and bought a set of clubs even before I had a lesson or even tried to hit a golf ball.
I went to the driving range with my husband and son. I swung at the first ball- and missed. Guess what- I didn’t collapse into tears- the world didn’t stop- and I still felt pretty darn good about myself. The second time I swung- I hit the ball- and it went about ten feet. Then I hit another, and another, and another. Each swing getting better and better. I felt strong, powerful, and accomplished.
It turns out this was a start of a love affair with golf. I love it. I even watch it on TV, get Golf magazine, and have golf discussions with my husband and son. I am still a beginner. But I love being a beginner at something when I am 45 years old. Learning something new and being outside for hours has been wonderful for me.
Think about your life… and substitute the word golf for something you fear or have been putting off. Is there something you really want to do? Now is the time. If you have recently conquered a fear- I would love to hear your comments too:)
Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, PhD
The Inspired Action Success Coach