I have been a professional golfer since April 2012. Every January since then I have looked at myself in the mirror and said: “this is the year it’s going to happen.” I’ve had some great results in my career; winning three times in China, finishing 4th at the Australian Open and some other great results. Plus some decent checks all over the world… as it turns out, no year has been the year I’ve broken through.
No year has been “it.” Yet, I continue to say it to myself, and the reason I continue to say it is because I still believe it. It’s not just to be an optimist (although that helps in pro golf) or for any other superficial reason, it’s because if I close my eyes and look deep inside, I can still see it happening… That’s why earlier this year I looked at myself in the mirror just like the past six Januarys looked deep into my own eyes and said; “This year, this is it.”
This whole thing may seem either completely normal or utterly crazy to whoever is reading this, but let me explain why it doesn’t matter that I haven’t “achieved” what I want to just yet (and why I see every year as a success). It’s because as I look back, every year has brought the lessons that I needed to learn right when I needed them; not wanted but needed.
It’s because as I look back, every year has brought the lessons that I needed to learn right when I needed them; not wanted but needed.
Every year has brought me valuable experiences, and the game has humbled me when I deserved it and rewarded me when I earned it. So even though I am yet to break through, every day I am learning what I need to do to achieve my goals. Success is through the process. The key is to keep going, keep pushing. I always say to myself to keep knocking, and the door will open eventually. I truly believe that.
Athletes have to tackle a lot of challenges that are estranged to the fans. I am a big believer that you earn your money when it’s just you. It’s easy to practice when a coach tells you to or workout harder when you have a buddy there with you. But the real difference, in my opinion, is to be able to push yourself, to be your own best friend and to encourage yourself to do what needs to be done in line with your goal. That’s where true belief comes from because you can honestly say to yourself that you are taking the necessary action. You can lie to your coaches or your supporters, but you can’t lie to yourself. When you stare at yourself in the mirror there is no hiding, you’re either doing it right or your not.
I am definitely on the more intense and more righteous side of the spectrum, that’s just who I am. I have strong beliefs, and I have experiences to back them up. But I genuinely believe in a strong relationship with yourself, with all parts of you. That I think is something that transcends the different viewpoints that people have about sport or life. We can disagree all day about the best way to motivate or the best path to success. Yet at the end of the day, we cannot have lasting and real success, without a good relationship between the different parts of ourselves.
This is how I motivate myself. I have been pushing hard for six years, learning a lot, not just about my game but about myself. I’m yet to break through to where I want to be, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the grind. Through it all, I’m grateful for the journey I am on, because it’s my story, and it’s far from over.
If you want to get a little insight into the way, I train, travel or think, check out my:
Twitter (@BJMacpherson) or my blog
“The Unseen Athlete” at theunseenathlete.wordpress.com
Until next time. Bryden.