What has happened to arguably the greatest golfer of the century? Tiger Woods’ game is worse than ever and everyone is trying to understand why. It’s simple; his head has not recovered from the self-induced trauma. Golf, from what I’ve been told, at the top level is primarily mental. It appears that he has lost the prerequisites to winning: confidence, focus, and desire. I’m not a golfer, but I do recognize when a person’s attention and self-assurance are gone due to a string of self-destructive choices and behaviors. Negative thoughts and emotions can wreak havoc on a person’s life impacting their performance, concentration, and attention. You don’t have to be a professional golfer to be overcome by bad choices which can lead to a spiral of perpetual pain. While some attempt to deny, repress, or avoid the problems with distractions, others try solutions without much success. Like Tiger, many of us have been lost at some point in our lives. What enabled us to find our way back?
Are we even aware that our life is spiraling out of control? First we have to recognize that we’re on the wrong path and need to ask someone for guidance which can be very difficult, especially for men. Acknowledging that we have veered from the healthy life path is hard to admit even to ourselves. We don’t want to appear weak, vulnerable, or inadequate. I often worry more about those who aren’t seeking professional help, but need to, than those who are in counseling. Fear, pride, arrogance, and loss of control all contribute to avoidance of help. It takes courage and strength to admit your problems and seek help. Change is especially challenging if you’ve been successful in one aspect of life (professional) yet are failing miserably in a different area (personal). Some don’t seek help until a crisis impacts every aspect of life.
None of us can avoid trauma, pain, suffering, and hardship but our resilience can determine the impact and magnitude of our agony. We bounce back by dealing directly with our emotional pain, surrounding ourselves with a healthy support system, reframing our experiences, and taking charge of situations over which we can control. Healing from bad choices requires consistency in choosing healthy behaviors, repentance, and an ability to forgive oneself. Believing in a God of grace and mercy can help with self-forgiveness. Lastly, set goals, persevere through hardship, and never give up on yourself.