Self-doubt is insidious. We've all seen it sabotage what should be easy. You have that two-foot putt lined up, then, that nagging voice in the back of your head asks, what would happen if you missed? How would that feel? Bet it would feel pretty awful. And the ball cuts wide, rolling downhill off the green and into the rough.
I'm in no way athletic. And I suck at golf. But one of the few things I'm good at is archery. As an archer, I'm at my best when I'm not thinking. The bow is an extension of my left arm, the release and the arrow an extension of my right. Together, we are just a machine that shoots arrows. The world begins at the tip of the broad head. It ends at the target.
I miss often when I get in my own way, when something breaks that contiguous plain of consciousness of arrow, bow and limbs. That voice is there, asking what would happen if I missed. In truth, if I missed, I'd knock another arrow and shoot again. As simple as that sounds, it took me a while to figure out.
On a recent episode of the Joe Rogan experience, Vinny Shoreman, a mind coach for fighters, talked about how so many of his clients have the same problem. They get in their own way. Shoreman's main objective is to have the fighter's inner confidence trump their self-doubt.
He does not instill them with confidence. He brings what's already there to the surface.