Doubt is the opposite of faith. When you are standing on the Tee box, or in the fairway of the golf course, and you are getting ready to hit a shot, doubt can be a “death wish” for being able to hit a good shot!
As a golfing mom (spectating and fan only), I have learned and know for 100% sure that you have to be committed and have NO DOUBT over a golf shot. Sometimes, when standing over a shot, a golfer can be in-between clubs. What this means is that a golfer has a certain distance he has measured and he knows how far he needs to hit the ball. He is unsure of which club in his bag to pull because he doesn’t have a club that he knows for sure hits “that certain distance”. He has one club that can hit 170 yards and one club that can hit 200 yards but his “distance reads 185”. He has to decide which club to pull and whether to swing harder or lighter. He has to factor in wind, up hill, down hill, hard greens, soft greens, etc. He must go through this thought process to come to a conclusion and then step up and hit the shot. It is especially difficult if there is “trouble” around like: a hazard (water), tall grass, a drop off, etc.
All these variables can cause a golfer to “DOUBT”. All golf teachers will tell you: make a well thought-out, wise decision, pull the club, hit the shot, and BE COMMITTED!! WHATEVER YOU DO, BE COMMITTED AND DO NOT DOUBT. Often times if doubt creeps in, a golfer will hit a poor shot and pull or shank because of “doubt!” I have watched enough golf to know that practice and being in these situations multiple times helps a golfer understand the importance of “committing to a shot and club selection” versus “doubting!”
It has been said that “doubt” can only be removed by action, “pulling the trigger!” I agree with that. The only way you can put “doubt” to bed is to take action–experience situations, learn, grow, and keep moving forward. Learning every time you take action, even if the outcome is not what you were desiring. I know this applies in golf and I believe it applies in life. Mo Pickens (a.k.a. Dr. MO), a sports psychologist, shared with me that you have to put yourself in those situations enough times to have the feelings (experience) of doubt in order to know how to handle it. Basically, what I understood him to mean for golf, which I apply to life, is this–give yourself opportunities to “feed your FAITH AND DOUBT WILL STARVE TO DEATH!”
Doubt is a cousin to fear. Many times you will hear the word doubt and fear mentioned in the same breath. The way to overcome doubt and fear in life and in golf is to make deposits in growing your faith. For example, in the “Back 9”, I can recall deciding I was going to put my ideas and thoughts on paper, no laptop (LOL!). I would journal to myself. The next step I took was to write short little thoughts on my personal Facebook page hoping to encourage my Facebook family. I would also write inboxes to friends and text our children with “words of encouragement”. It was a “step of faith”. Small, but a step.
Over the course of writing for almost 2 years, God was faithful to give me feedback through others. The feedback was positive thus helping me to “cast off doubt” in order to keep going. The positive came through comments or inboxes of people actually verbalizing how it encouraged or helped them that day. It especially was a B12 shot when someone would say, “You have no idea what your post meant to me today!” Or “That was just what I needed!” I also prayed for God to give me words and continue to lead me. He led me (prompted is a good word) to speak with people about writing. One WISE person said to be a good writer, you have to become a good reader. I took that advice and it was good, very good advice! All of these were action steps to now journaling the “Back 9” and, in 2 months or so, publishing my (God’s) first book.
I also experienced negative feedback. I learned to look at the negative briefly to see if there was “constructive feedback from the negative”. If there was, I did my best to learn from it, make a mental note, and quickly move on. Moving on required prayer at times because we all can ‘REHEARSE THE NEGATIVE’ way too much. The point being, I took ACTION. As I took action, my faith grew and doubt diminished. I clung to the verse in Hebrews 11:6, “And without FAITH it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards him who earnestly seek him.” And James 1:6, “But let him ask in faith, with no DOUBTING, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Over my lifetime, experience and “pulling the trigger” are two key ingredients that have strengthened my “FAITH MUSCLE”. Trusting God all the while and watching HIM show up. Clinging to HIS promises and walking forward, understanding HE(God) was with me!!!
Realize when you decide to take “action” on a call from God or for living your “called purpose” in work, in parenting, in marriage, in school choice, in major, in talent, etc., it requires action. Be careful to not receive the “gift of doubt from others” or “self doubt” that usually inflicts the deepest wounds. Satan loves “quick sand”. He loves to keep you STAGNANT through DOUBT!! Work on Strengthening your “FAITH MUSCLE” and burning the “DOUBT FAT”.
Leaving you with Vincent Van Gogh’s OH SO TRUE QUOTE, ONE HE LIVED, “IF YOU HEAR A VOICE WITHIN YOU SAY, YOU CANNOT PAINT, THEN BY ALL MEANS PAINT AND THAT VOICE WILL BE SILENCED!”