Taking Self Belief Too Far, Into the World of Unreality

Taking Self Belief Too Far, Into the World of Unreality March 14, 2024

CREDIT: www.theplayers.com

Three PGA Tour pros are leading the first round in The Players Championship today after carding a seven-under par 65 at the Tour-owned TPC Sawgrass located at Ponte Vedra, Florida. They are four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, and current U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark, and consistent Exander Schaufelle. All three are currently among the top contenders in the four major golf tournaments in the world, and this tournament is often regarded as “the fifth major.”

After Exander Schaufelle’s round today, one of the television commentators said he was asked last year on national television what it would take for him to win a major championship, since he had so often contended well in majors in recent years and yet had remained empty handed with one of those coveted trophies. He answered so matter-of-factly, “Self belief.” All of us who have seriously competed in sports, especially professionally, know how true that is. You’ve got to believe in yourself.

There are different levels of self belief. There are those people who believe they CAN win. Then there are those fewer optimists who believe they WILL win. And finally, there are those wretched souls who just take self belief too far. They live on the edge, thinking they HAVE won when they haven’t.

Concerning this third type, I’m thinking of someone in particular, who loves to play golf and owns some great golf courses.  His pastor and mentor was Norman Vincent Peale in Manhattan, New York City. Peale authored a bestseller, The Power of Positive Thinking. That book got some traction among some PGA Tour golf pros in my day, and some of us discussed it quite a bit. Thinking positive in life is so helpful, especially in sports. But it can be taken too far, into the world of unreality and make believe.

That’s why I like to say, “stay calm and carry on.” And as a Christian, I like to think of something the apostle Paul wrote, “This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3.13-14 NRSV). In pro golf, we press on toward the goal of winning the prize. At the same time, I like to remind myself and others, “Keep it real.” If we don’t, we are taking self belief too far, into the world of unreality.

[See more about this topic, and the man who took self belief too far, in Kermit’s book, Bible Predicts Trump Fall.]

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