This blog is a little more about life, and less about golf. However, by the end of it, much of what I am about to discuss may well in fact, have a profound impact on your golf games.

As I have been recently reviewing the priorities in my life, A.K.A. how I spend the majority of my time each day, I have decided to dig a little deeper. Not only am I reviewing my priorities, but I am attempting to understand the underlying themes that are the essence of my decision making process. I have been able to hone in on several of these foundational building blocks and most are most are what I would believe to be expected. These include my social beliefs, religious beliefs, morals, person goals and one that initially was quite a surprise – Fear.

Fear is many things to many to people. To some, Fear is their favorite 1970s American punk band or their favorite thriller movie. To others it’s a deep respect shown towards God and others who they hold in highest esteem. For the mass majority, it is a heightened emotional response to a perceived outcome (usually negative). However, I have come to find that many successful venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, corporate executives and highly-skilled golfers, use fear as a motivation to succeed. Where some individuals use fear as an excuse to limit their aspirations and abilities, others use it as a motivating force to spur themselves on to even greater success.

The dichotomy between how people use fear in their lives will have a profound impact on the level of success/enjoyment they are able to experience both professionally and personally. I recently spent some time with one of the most prolific computer engineers of this past century, and now serial angel investor.

We spoke for several hours and one of the questions I asked him was what had motivated him to keep working once he had amassed what many would consider to be a fortune. His response was really quite simple. He feared losing his abilities from non-use, and that fear was what spurred him on to further inventions and business developments. Fear was a major motivating factor in the success of this gentleman, but when he spoke of fear, it was not in a negative manner, but rather as an intricate part of his ability to succeed. Fear was not something he shied away from, but rather used it as a motivating force to achieve great success.  Fear, for this gentleman as well as many others, is used to facilitate growth and not limit future possibilities.

If you are worried with how this pertains to golf, I will get their shortly, but one other area must be covered prior.

When dealing with fear it is imperative to understand what it is you truly fear? For the majority, it is often a fear of failure and a sense of being inadequate in your ability to complete a certain task or achieve a certain outcome. However, for others, their fear is actually achieving success! Some of you may be saying, ‘That is absurd, I would love to succeed in the same way as XXX’!

However, with greater success, usually comes greater responsibility as well as higher expectations from others as well as yourself. The pressures that come along with success can appear to be too much for certain individuals to bare, so they accept a path of mediocrity and continue down that road. This is a fine life for many, and a perfectly acceptable choice, as long as you understand the potential of what you are giving up, and the example you are setting.

If you are a golfer struggling with the fear of shooting lower scores or hitting certain shots, I implore you to dig a little deeper and truly examine the foundations of your fears. Golf is now who you are, it is a game you play. Use fear as motivation to improve your practice techniques, in an effort to improve your play on the course. If you attempt to hit a shot you had previously feared, and don’t pull it off the first time, take the good from the situation of not being afraid to fail, and build on that success the next time you face a similar shot.

If you are searching for more out of life and your golf game, fear cannot be your kryptonite, but instead, must be used as a motivating factor. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “The only thing to fear, is fear itself”.  If you view fear as an impediment to your success, than yes, Roosevelt was right and fear is something to fear. However, if you can use your fear as a motivating factor to achieve even greater success, then shouldn’t you embrace your fears and meet them head on?