Too often, when faced with a new task, we limit ourselves by asserting, “I can’t do this.” This mindset will sabotage every effort you make. To find entrepreneurial success you must break through mental barriers.
A few years ago I enjoyed a great partnership with Curtis Blair. We were expanding a company called Cyclone Trading Co., an international golf supply business. One day while we were working together, Curtis confided in me one of his personal mental barriers in golf. For years he had told himself he was not a sub-80 golfer. He was certain that if he took private lessons and had plenty of practice time, got his hip rotation right, and ensured his mechanics were fluid he could maybe, just maybe, go sub-80 in three or four years. For Curtis, the solution was “work harder.” I didn’t buy it. I saw his talent. I saw this predicament as a perfect opportunity to show Curtis what he could do for himself with regard to both his game and his business attitudes: he just needed to break though mental barriers.
To spur him along, I issued an offer and a challenge: “Curtis, I’m going to prove to you that you are a sub-80 golfer. Not only will I do that, I will personally reward you for achieving your goal.”
The plan laid out was simple and far from original: “You must visualize success on every shot. You must play one and only one shot at a time. You must decide whether your putt is a ‘get it close’ or a ‘make it in’ putt. You must focus on playing confidently but conservatively. The next few times we play I’ll walk you through each shot: club selection and positive reinforcement exercises. Finally, if you want the reward
you must hit in the 70s within three months, not three years.”
“You’re on,” Curtis agreed.
Three months later Curtis and I stood on the 18th hole of the Coral Canyon Golf Course near St. George, Utah. The previous evening had been spent putting for two hours, talking about mindset, practicing layups and up-and-down shots. After that, we ended with
a relaxing dinner – nothing stressful, just having fun. Now it was the next day, standing on the tee box at the 18th.
Curtis teed up and ripped off a smooth drive. The Pro-V1 bounced three times and rolled to the left center of the fairway. Pulling out a three iron he went through the same routine, but the ball sliced, ending up in the weeds. His wedge from the weeds got him within 10 feet of the flag for a chance at par. He pushed the putt, sliding it past the cup by three feet—no better than a bogey chance now. And then the moment arrived: an easy tap-in gave him a bogey. “Seventy-seven!” I shouted.
I knew all along that Curtis would do it, so I was not surprised. The win came because Curtis broke through his mental barrier. Standing on the 18th hole that day, Curtis discovered exactly what he was capable of: anything.
Porter’s Points – Breaking Through the Mental Barrier
- Do not allow mental barriers to keep you from succeeding.
- Visualize your success, paint the picture of where you want to be and then be the painting!
- Don’t sell yourself short by believing your success requires a long, drawn-out process. With the right tools and mental attitude, success may be closer than you think.