Swing from Fear to Gratitude by Robin Swift
I fell in love with golf in my early 30s. It was love at first sight. I started out “worm burning” my way through the course; that’s a term used to describe a ball that hardy makes it off the ground and skims across the grass. But I believed I could be a better golfer, so I poured myself into the game. I took lessons from great teachers; I practiced, practiced, practiced, and played as much golf as possible while working full time; and I read every golf book I could get my hands on.
Golf is actually a spiritual experience for me. I have never played a round of golf without giving my gratitude for being able to play, to enjoy the game with friends and family, and to be in such beautiful surroundings — since golf courses are typically expertly designed. The state of gratitude gives me a sense of peace and destroys fear.
Now fast forward many years, and I found myself teeing off in an LPGA Pro-Am with Michelle Wie, one of the most famous woman golfers in the world. All my friends asked the same question: “How will you compose yourself enough to hit the ball in front of Michelle on the first tee box when everyone is watching?” Fortunately, I was equipped with my trusty weapon against fear — GRATITUDE. In that exciting moment on the tee box next to the very tall, incredibly accomplished and talented pro golfer, I thought about how much I had to be grateful for. And guess what? I felt so peaceful inside that I drove the ball beautifully long right down the center of the fairway. It’s like clockwork; gratitude destroys fear!
Don’t you find fear crippling? Next time a fearful thought comes to mind, destroy it with thoughts of gratitude and see what happens. It’s indeed a practice, just like becoming competent at really anything. Practice, practice, practice.
I would love to hear an example of how you used this exercise in your life to destroy fear! Send your examples to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Robin Swift, President of Servant Leadership Institute