I used the term heebe geebees in my last posting. I had no idea whether this was actually part of the English language till I googled it. The Urban Dictionary (don’t know if it is legitimate) defines it as “something that gives a person a sense of dread and fear, also means it freaks the f@&k out of a person”. It perfectly describes what I was trying to portray.
The Masters is on this week. A golf tournament that many people enjoy watching, myself included, for various reasons. First off the golf course, located in Augusta, Georgia, is one of, if not the premier golf courses ever. From the drive down magnolia lane to the blooming azaleas to the lush green fairways and the undulating greens. The best of the best gather here on an annual basis to try to beat the odds. To win a coveted green jacket and the prestige that accompanies the win. And as golf goes it will show you incredible shots, mediocre attempts, and complete melt downs.
I found it rather ironic that just as I had done whining about my putting woes, particularly as it concerns the elimination of anchored putters, I witnessed a spectacle not often, if ever, seen. Ernie Els, a 46 year old, four time major champion, six putted a green. Not just any green but the first hole. Those six putts came from within five feet of the hole. Talk about the heebe geebees. If not then certainly those putts will linger in his thought patterns for numerous putts to come. I suspect as much as he would have liked to pack it in at that point he carried on. In a post-game interview he suggested that something like that mental lapse could well drive someone to quit the game. But he showed resilience and finished the round.
I can well imagine the shame and embarrassment he felt, playing in front of all the fans that attend the Masters and the millions that watch the tournament on TV. Never mind the fact that his debacle on that first green will be part of the highlight reel for days to come. I can well imagine his inner critic having a heyday with this. Mocking him. Swearing at him. Telling him what an idiot he is. It will take immense effort on his part to quiet the demons, to regain some sense of sanity after those short minutes of insanity.
All of us have those lapses where everything considered to be normal becomes anything but. All of us have inner critics. And all of us, some more than others, beat ourselves up when we screw up and even when we don’t. Often times we are our own worst judge. Always second guessing, wondering what went wrong. I have alluded to moments where I have a memory from the past that makes me literally swear at myself. Happened just this week when I remembered something from 1978. Go figure.
How can we quiet that inner critic, that judgemental self that seems to be perched on our shoulder? Perhaps we need to take a step back and reassess. Re-configure this “judge” that seems to make us think less of ourselves. Me thinks if I had an opportunity to talk to Ernie Els today I would not be telling him the same things he is telling himself. I imagine the conversation would include snippets of the numerous wins he has had on tour. It would include a piece on self-compassion. It would include a challenge to get up, dust himself off, and be proud of all he has accomplished and will accomplish in the days, weeks, and years to come. Is that not the way we should treat ourselves? I think so. Make it a good one.
“If you talked to others the way you talk to yourself, would you have any friends?”