At the 2011 Valero Tournament professional golfer Brendan Steele was making just his 12th start on the PGA tour. It was the last day of the tournament and he was standing on the 18th green, seven feet from the hole, with a chance to win it. Before attempting his putt he had a little talk with himself.
“Look, give this everything you got, make sure you hit a solid putt on your line. If it doesn’t go in, then it doesn’t go in but at least you could live with yourself. If you hit a weak one up there, or if you get a little timid on it, then you’re going to think about that the rest of your life. ”
It’s advice that we should all take to heart. How many times have we missed out on an opportunity because of our inability to make a decision and confidently follow it through? I would wager that it has happened far more often than we are willing to admit. The fear of failure or mistake causes us to second guess ourselves at inopportune times and we blow it. To make matters worse, we replay the situation over and over in our heads and say things like, “If only I had given it a little more” or “I should have just gone for it”. For the vast majority of us, failure isn’t fatal. What really kills you is regret.
Study the situation, pick a line of attack, and give it a solid swing. If you miss, miss because you picked the wrong line of attack. Don’t miss because of self-sabotage.
Did Brendan make the putt? Not only did he make the putt to win the tournament, but Brendan would also call it the best shot of his career.