You must play boldly to win.
-Arnold Palmer, The King
People who have met Arnold Palmer usually have similar opinions of him. What a genuinely nice guy. He’s such a class act. He is the consummate professional. That man really loved his community. It is important to note, however, that this is not by chance. He lived his life exactly how he played the game of golf. Boldly. And it helped him create a mindset that was calm and confident leading to genuine love and success.
Life, in may ways, can be like sports. There are similar qualities that are needed in both for success. As in sports and competition, for optimum success, life requires you to be confident, strategic, flexible, disciplined, and dedicated. Perhaps most of all, as referenced by The King, it requires you to be bold.
The word bold is defined by Merriam-Webster as “not afraid of danger or difficult situations.” Thus, being bold is the exact opposite of being afraid. So then fear is what we need to overcome and conquer in order to live life boldly.
Then, what is fear? We all feel it at one moment or another. We all experience its effect on our psyche. Fear can be defined as the unpleasant emotion caused by believing someone or something is dangerous, or able to cause pain. It has been described by behavioral specialists as one of the most damaging emotions to one’s physical and emotional well-being. It will kill your will. Living in fear can literally destroy your life. And it will, if you let it.
But, how do we overcome fear? How do we break through it and live boldly like The King? Here are 5 basic steps to help you overcome your fears:
- Identify: Before you can correct the issue, you need to identify it. Pay attention to your feelings and emotions. What is creating fear and worry? What is the symptom of that fear? How is it impacting your life? Be mindful of it. Do not ignore it. Write it down.
- Change Your Mindset: Your mindset is everything. It controls the way you treat people, and it controls the way you treat yourself. Luckily, you can change your mindset. You can do this with daily affirmations and incantations. The person you want to be – remind yourself daily that you already are that person. Feel it and believe it and you will be shocked at how it can eliminate fear and change your life.
- Control Only What You Can: Many times our worries and fears are about things we have no ability to control. This is extremely counterproductive both mentally and emotionally and can be devastating to your well-being. When fear and worry surround you, remember the serenity prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
- Experience Gratitude: Gratitude is the greatest human virtue that God ever created. When you feel true gratitude it has a way of bringing a peaceful positive flow through your body. If the feeling of gratitude is strong enough and real enough, it can completely melt away the fear and worry and other negative emotions. What are you thankful for? What are the true gifts in your life? Remind yourself of these daily, especially in the face of fear.
- Change Your Perception: Your perception is your reality. Change your perception and change your life. Sometimes in life, we simply need to look at our problems and fears from a different angle. You will be surprised by how many of life’s blessings and gifts are packaged in a way that causes fear. It is best to look past the wrapping paper and straight to the gift inside.
Genuine people like Arnold Palmer are perfect examples of how to live life boldly and without fear. Does it take extreme will and guts? Sure. But those are innate qualities in all human beings. You just need to dig deep and evaluate to find it. Once you do, you will realize that these negative emotions are causing you to treat people differently, including yourself. It is time to change that and take advantage of all the great qualities you have. You deserve it, and the world deserves it.
Godspeed Mr. Palmer. In golf and in life, you played boldly. And you sir, are a winner at both.