In Part I of this feature, we discussed the concept of the comfort zone. Now let’s look at how you can leave your current zone and open new possibilities for your game.
First and foremost, it’s imperative to establish a “process vs. outcome” mentality on the course. (Click the link to learn more about this approach.) In essence, it’s all about staying in the moment, focusing on the shot at hand, controlling the things you can control and letting the results take care of themselves.
Concentrating on your immediate task helps keep out distracting thoughts – If I par in from here I’ll shoot a career round, for instance.
Next, forget about “protecting” a good score, which leads to defensive play and tentative swings and strokes. Playing not to make bogeys, instead of aggressively pursuing birdies and pars, is a sure way to slide back into your comfort zone. Push yourself to go lower – you’ve got the game to do it, or you wouldn’t be in this position.
Here’s an excellent way to break your comfort zone’s confines: Stack the deck in your own favor. For example, play a round from the forward tees, or play with two balls, counting your best on each hole. There’s a good chance you’ll score several shots better than normal, beat holes that typically have your number, and walk away with a new sense of confidence.
Yes, you’ll know the score was achieved under easier conditions. But you’ll also know how it feels to “go low” – and that’s a powerful tool for breaking free from your comfort zone.