Golf and Your Mental Game: Moving Beyond Acceptance to Radical Acceptance

I have said that acceptance of the bad shot may soothe the golfer’s mind. Fight that acceptance and you may be in for a mental struggle based on negative reactions you can’t let go of.

Some psychotherapists embrace the theory of “radical acceptance”. Acceptance is acknowledging or recognizing facts that are true and not beating up yourself over unpleasant facts. Radical acceptance is a bit more cosmic because it involves accepting all the way with mind, body and soul and involves opening up yourself to fully accepting reality as it occurs.

For example with patients experiencing depression they must accept that depression and view that depression as ok. The patient can accept that depression and still decide that life is OK with depression. Just because you have depression doesn’t mean there aren’t pleasurable things in your life. Traditional psychotherapy may be looking for a “cure” to your depression instead of trying to accept it and manage it.

Psychotherapist Marsha M. Linehan in her book “Building a Life Worth Living” identifies 6 key pointers about radical acceptance:

  • Freedom from suffering requires acceptance from deep within of what it is. Let go of fighting reality
  • Acceptance is the only way out of hell
  • Pain creates suffering only when you refuse to accept the pain
  • Deciding to tolerate the moment is acceptance
  • Acceptance is knowledge of what it is
  • To accept something is not the same as judging it as being good

Linehan gives an example of being in a card game. You have to play the game with the cards dealt so In order to be in the game you have to accept the cards that you have been dealt.

Although experiencing a rough golf moment is not as serious as being in a depressive state hopefully you can realize that accepting the bad part of your game is a way of ending your suffering. Most golfers have difficulty accepting the bad which means they stew and fuss and often berate themselves. This does not create a happy golfer. Like a card player being dealt a rotten hand the golfer should move on realizing that “bad golf moments” are simply part of the game of golf.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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