Feel It First, Then It Happens

moabOver the weekend I joined my sweetie for a golf tournament in beautiful Moab, Utah. (I’ve written about this gig before.) This is the first year Sadie came with us, so it was an extra special treat!

While Sadie and I had a great time hiking the Hidden Valley trail on Saturday, Russ shot a dismal 82 the first day of the tournament.

(He usually shoots in the 70s. For those of you like me who don’t know much about golf, high scores are not good.)

At dinner that night while recounting disappointing stories of triple bogies and shanks and O.B. shots, Russ summed up his problem by saying his confidence was shot.

He’s nervous at the tee and his hands even shake a little.

Not hard to imagine how that mindset affects his game.

I asked what he was going to do about it. He said he had to get his confidence back.

I agreed wholeheartedly, and asked how he would do it.

He said he’d have to start playing better in order to feel more confidence.

That’s where I couldn’t disagree more.

That’s the typical trap many of us fall in, right? “I’ll feel better when …. ”

We think the external circumstances will change our internal feelingscape.

And that’s just not how it works best.

It works way better when he finds his confidence first, which puts him in a much better vibration for an improved game.

But he doesn’t think that way. I didn’t point out the rut he creates for himself by saying that playing poorly shoots his confidence, and that without confidence he can’t play better.

Sounds like a no-win situation to me!

Like many folks out there, he doesn’t know how to feel differently now before there’s any real “reason” to feel differently. He really thinks his game has to get better first, and then he’ll feel more confidence.

Those of us tapped into the law of attraction do it differently, don’t we?

But he’s not a client and he doesn’t read this blog and he doesn’t even invite my input, so he doesn’t get the benefit of my immense wisdom. <hehe>

What I did suggest, though, was that since he played so crappy the first day, the second day would go much better.

We’ve all experienced that, right? When the pressure’s off, things (often) get better.

Now that he’d lost all hopes of being a contender, he could play for fun. He wouldn’t have to worry about making good shots, because he didn’t have to any more. After all, he was already trailing the field. Nothing to do now but enjoy the day.

He smiled patronizingly when I said that.


At the end of the second day (after Sadie and I hiked the stunningly beautiful Bill’s Canyon – here’s a picture of it!), we drove to the course to pick up what turned out to be a particularly uplifted boyfriend.

Turns out he played much better the second day. Apparently he plays quite differently when “all is lost” than when he’s trying to win. He took aggressive risks he wouldn’t normally take (because after all, there was nothing to lose), which paid off. And he didn’t think about his shots too much because nothing was at stake.

He shot a lovely 76. Which put him in the money.

Now he’s excited about his game again, and has a couple ideas for how he might improve even more for the rest of the season.

I can’t help but imagine what his game would be like if he put his creative powers to work!

Sidenote: I didn’t understand how an 82 on Saturday and a 76 on Sunday could put him in contention, when 73 was leading the show the first day out. But he said everyone always shoots higher on Sunday.

Huh. “Why is that,” I asked?

“Because the pressure’s on,” he said. “Everyone’s more nervous after they’ve done well the first day, and they don’t want to lose their lead.”

How interesting is that?

So what can we glean from my sweetie’s experience?

Here’s what I learned:

  • There isn’t just one way to our happy ending.

My sweetie could have chosen new thoughts that would have amped up his confidence to improve his game the second day. But instead he “gave up” hopes of winning which actually furthered his (lost) cause tremendously.

  • Golfers, just like the rest of us, would benefit from learning how to manage energy!

If they really to tend to shoot higher scores on the second day of tournaments because of the pressure, learning to manage pressure would serve them well. That goes for all of us: if we care about our performance – whether it’s in sports or business or love – if the results matter, we would do well to mind the vibration.

  • Finally, I was reminded that I’m a master manifester even in the presence of supreme skepticism.

Russ believed there was no way I would find a vacancy in a nice hotel that allowed dogs the day before we drove down. Wrong! Gorgeous clean room easily found. (Who does he think I am, anyway?!)

He believed traveling with Sadie would be a huge hassle. Wrong again – she was a dream come true travel companion!

Even when I was my own skeptic (and I thought our hike was ruined because of downpouring rain), I remembered my creative power. I set an intention for an amazing hike and the second we stepped out of the car, the rain stopped. We didn’t get hit with one drop. The trail was empty since everyone else was away due to weather, so we had the whole place to ourselves!

When I caught myself with thoughts of “the room’s probably not ready yet” (since check-in wasn’t till 3), I remembered my master manifesting self and turned that around, too. We got a lovely upgrade that was available immediately. Then on the second day’s hike I intended Sadie be much better with meeting new dogs than she usually is, since this trail would be packed with them. It was and she was.

Sheesh, it’s enough to (almost) make me want to take up golf!

But the whole reason I posted this was to pick your brains for thoughts (or actions) you use to build your confidence when you’re not feeling it.

What do you do to feel it first, in order to make it happen? Would love to hear from you!

  • May 4, 2009
  • Annette says:

    I recently worked an off-site backstage job with 5 others from my theater. As we were carpooling to the venue, Mr X kept worrying that the touring company would treat us like professionals or hacks. He kept complaining and fussing the whole way there. I, on the other hand, was excited to: meet new people; learn new techniques; be part of a Broadway tour; work at a new location. Some of the others shared my excitement and enthusiasm, others were neutral, and Mr X stayed doomy-gloomy.
    Guess what? The ones who were excited and eager had a Fantastic week with this gig, the neutral ones had a ‘normal work experience’, and Mr X . . .
    well, he and the supervisor hated each other on sight and Mr X’s experience went from awful to horrible!!!
    Experience the feeling, then feel the experience!!
    Thank you, Jeanette!

  • Ryan Hook says:

    Hi Jeanette yet again this is great since I have the inside track on Russ! Madison and I are laughing our heads off. Having gone through what I would call a very difficult market my confidence has been all over the board. I had to turn off the news and stop listening to all the media hype!! You hit this right on the head, it all has to come from inside and the only way I know how to do this is to surround myself with as much positive and humor that I could find. The second my mind set changed things got back on track…I belelive!! Thanks

  • Debbie says:

    Hi Jeanette,
    I enjoy your blog so much I’m always inspired to post a comment.
    Whenever I get stuck on feeling the feeling, I dance. Usually alone and usually with no music. I set the intention that the dancing will connect with the feeling and it always does.
    You can’t help but feel good when you’re dancing and that ‘feel good’ makes it easy for me to shift into ‘whatever I’m connecting to’ (like improving a relationship or getting a new job)
    And you can dance everywhere. In the car I bounce around. In public places, I dance more on the inside. (or pretend I’m a teenager with and ipod, even put my hand on the virtual earphones, and do a little dance move or 2.) Nobody ever says anything and if they notice me dancing, hopefully it will make them smile.
    Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
    Debbie Lattuga

  • Gillian says:

    Ah, feeling it first! thats where the Pray Rain Jornaling comes in handy, because if I don’t make a point to sit down and write it, I simply don’t think as much about my goals as I should and hence won’t feel it. So I have to write and focus on it to turn the feelings on.

  • Zoe says:

    I will do this for learning to ride a bicycle at the tender age of thirt…….
    I am trying this on big things too and I do believe it will work, I just need to get the hang of it all.
    Surrounding myself with things like this blog can do nothing but good.
    Thank you.

  • Anonymous says:

    I LOVE this blog. No, I really LOVE IT. Okay, that being said…
    I find it easiest to think about a future experience and pretend it’s in the past. I do this a lot with auditions–it’s really, really nerve wracking sometimes! And you think beforehand, “in just 10 minutes this all will be done, and I will have done horribly or done beautifully.” It’s easier, though, to turn it to a past event–I guess because we’re more conditioned to think back on events than forward. So before I go in, I like to think, “Wow! That went really well! I’m so glad I felt at ease and perfectly connected and in control!” I’ve even done it AFTER the audition was over, to fix my doubting thoughts over what had already happened…and guess what? The last time I did that–while in the MOMENT of doing so by writing it out–my email alerted me to a new email. And it was a callback. BOOOOYAAA!

  • what was the question again? All this talk of golf and cheese has my gut churning, LOL.
    ah, yes… feeling it first. Well, what I’ve been doing lately – we’ve talked about this before – is just simply asking myself ‘how will it feel when I have what I want?’. Some moments though, it takes a bit more of a shove to shift the vibe, so I’ll try visualising that scenario – having what I want. Next up, if that hasn’t done the trick, I’ll go to my journal and write it up, bring my focus into the NOW and let go of the future scenario where I have this thing I want. After all, we already manifested everything in Right Now, and it feels normal and natural to have everything we have, right? It does for me (looking around me now I can honestly say ‘yep, good, of course I have all this great stuff). So I get into that place of ‘its normal and natural for me to have everything I want’ and its no big deal. But its a good feeling of ‘no big deal’ – contentment, entitlement, deservedness.
    thanks for the reminder and the opportunity to speak the word for how natural it is to have what I want…. 🙂

  • BIO says:

    I finally found a blog much like mine but more practical in telling stories — yours, I mean. Most of my friends and family members, at the onset, would tell me that I am just being impossible whenever I was optimistic at times when it was hard to do so. And they still insist that from time to time. I just want to experience life as something that’s wonderfully mine even in the most ordinary circumstances.

  • MSNikki says:

    What a kick a** post!Hmmm… When the pressure is off most of us tend to do better because we are relaxed and free from judgement both real and perceived.
    What has helped me during those times when I was frustrated at not being good at things that normally come natural to me is to try and do other non-related “complicated” things! I did not inherit my mom’s innate talent for crocheting lace, doilies, etc. Or any kind of sewing skill for that matter! A couple of weeks ago, I finally crocheted my first granny square in hot pink! Granted, I wouldn’t enter it in a contest at the County Fair nor would I attempt to crochet a top that I would wear outside without the fear of getting cited for indecent exposure (my crochets weren’t exactly tight). But, my confidence factor has since been boosted!

  • MaryK says:

    Well this explains why things have been going the way they’ve been going lately!!
    UGH. It’s amazing because I know this LOA stuff like the back of my hand, but this post made me realize that I’m not practicing it on a daily basis! I use it for the really big things, but for the smaller day-to-day things my focus is still primarily in the direction of not having the things I want… which just leads to more of me not having what I want!
    I love the title of this post, Jeannette, because it sums up the law of attraction perfectly! It doesn’t get much easier than “feel it first, then it happens.” So from now on I’m focusing on more traffic to my website, finishing my ebook, and creating multiple streams of passive income. Here I go!!

  • “””That goes for all of us: if we care about our performance – whether it’s in sports or business or love – if the results matter, we would do well to mind the vibration.””””
    There’s the crux of it .. when something is important enough, the stakes are raised and we want it enough to care if we don’t get it. Then it’s a challenge to keep our vibe clean and unattached.
    Reminds me of a post you wrote a few months back where we talked about how our energies are different when we feel we’ve got something to lose!
    Seems like it was the same for Russ on the first day. And often giving up (or throwing a spiritual tantrum) seems to get us back on track cos we just don’t CARE anymore.
    I’m always self managing. Being aware of my body, my thoughts, my energy levels and my mood helps me bring it around to focus on what I want. And when I sense myself getting a wee bit anxious, I drop what I’m doing and do something else. Like singing out loud and dancing to music in my living room! Oh and naps. They help.

  • ooo- this is a good one! And one I’ve been struggling with lately!
    I got a reminder lesson in it this weekend too. I’ve got serious fear/confidence issues when it comes to jumping my young, inexperienced horse, Charm.
    Like Russ, I’m pretty fine if all goes well, but when Charm gets wiggy and needs me to be calm- that’s when I say- “BUT I can’t be calm unless you are calm!!!”
    Just when she needs me to give HER confidence, I can’t give it to her, because the way she’s acting has made me lose my trust in her.
    And as you mentioned- it’s a no win situation here. All goes to hell!
    It came to a head this weekend at a 2-part show. We came in 1st in the beginning part- and then it was off to the jumping- where she promptly began acting like she’d never seen a jump before. And that’s when I freeze up!
    So we had a stop at a silly jump and lost the 1st place. Because I couldn’t stay in my power, and give her the confidence, that “Yes, indeed-y we go no matter what!!!”
    So, I love your question about how we can build our confidence, when we aren’t feeling it! Because just earlier today it occurred to me what I should do BEFORE we start the jump course.
    A month ago in a little self guided equine coaching session with Charm, she inspired in me a vision of using a bright, warm sun radiating from my heart area when I am nervous riding her. And get this, she said “Think about the fun we’ve had together”. But I haven’t played with it yet!
    So, now I know what I need to do. When I get in that start box, they give you a minute before you go. I’m going to flood us with that happy, warm, relaxed, yet powerfully confident feeling of the sun- until we feel like there is nothing that can stop us- THEN I’m going to ride the course in my power!
    And whenever my confidence starts to wane, I’m going to immediately shine that sun’s light stronger and brighter, right into the moment- riding it’s wave right up and over the next fence.
    I’ve got the perfect challenge coming up this week to try it out on: a 4 day jumping clinic. The last time I went I had a serious melt down and almost quit jumping entirely!
    So, now I’ve got a plan and I’ll let you know how it works! 🙂

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    BTW – Love your lesson about cheese pizza and Pepsi diets. I’m from the land of the devil…a complete cheesehead, both with more dairy products in my frig that you can even imagine and with a Packer’s cheesehead for game Sundays. 😉

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    If you’re speaking of just letting go and trusting that it’ll happen, with consistent and easy strokes, yes! Though slicing a piece of the rough out with a 9 iron can be therapeutic too.
    I can just imagine my two dogs on the course. They’re herding dogs. First, they’d be trying to keep the foursome together in one bunch which slows down pace of play, and then they’d be grabbing the golf balls to play a game of fetch, or trying to catch them in their teeth, both of which are dog hazards. Now…there is such a thing as disc golf…I wonder how that might go with dogs involved.

  • The Inner Genius Coach says:

    Jeanette, great story.
    I would have reminded Mr. Very Left-Brained Russ that scientific studies have shown that when you visualize your game ahead of time, you contribute to training your golf muscles ahead of time.
    I would ask him to recount a game when he felt he played perfectly and confidently.
    I would ask him if he could connect with that image and keep rehearsing it in his head.
    That way, it is not too wooyey for the likes of Mr. Russ.
    I commend Russ and give him big kudos for realizing that his confidence was off.
    I would also sit there and tell him how wonderful and sexy he was and how much I was enjoying the whole trip with him.
    I tell my husband often that he is the smartest man I know and you should see his chest blow up like a puffer fish!
    That is what girlfriends and wives are good for, right? Building up their confidence.
    Truth is, he does the same for me.
    It is all about the imagination and visualizing.
    I have called a girlfriend once and asked her to please remind me how great I am since I obviously had forgotten.
    Fun times!
    Iyabo Asani

  • Well, that’s gotta be the easiest way to find our way to confidence, isn’t it, Dana?! I’ve used that one myself many times, and can speak from personal experience that it works!
    Thanks for sharing the golf tips … there are a couple of things that appeal to me about the game, but until they let dogs on the courses, I can’t see me getting too riled up about it. lol
    Sounds like great practice for gaining mastery over the mind, though! Nice to hear you weigh in on this one, Coach. 🙂

  • You know, Iyabo, your post reminds me …
    Once upon a time when I was having dinner with a super hot pilot I picked up in Phoenix (we dated for a couple months), and at this dinner I was telling him how bad his diet of cheese pizza and Pepsi was. I told him about the ills of white flour and how cheese was from the devil (according to the nutritionist I consulted), and don’t even get me started on the empty calories and caffeine in his drink.
    He looked at me steadfastly while continung to chew his bite of pizza, not saying a word.
    After a several long quiet moments, I broke the silence by saying, “I’m sorry, I’ll stop critiquing your diet.”
    And instead of thanking me for the insights or laughing it off, he said matter of factly, “Well, you’re gonna HAVE to.”
    What he meant was that we had no chance if I continued to point out everything he was doing “wrong.”
    It was a good lesson to learn before I started coaching. As a coach, I realized the men in my life weren’t my clients, and they weren’t nearly as appreciative of my hard won wisdom as I thought they should be. So I learned not to coach family and friends.
    It’s sometimes embarrassing to have someone close to me be so ridiculously uneducated (I mean that in a joking way), but … until they ask, I do my best not to impose my opinions on them. No matter how well thought out and important I think those opinions are. he he
    At least that’s where it stands today. Tomorrow could reveal a whole nuther “feel good.”
    I love that you have a girlfriend on standby to remind you how great you are when you forget, Iyabo!
    That’s a good plan! Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂

  • Janette says:

    That’s easy – I read the Good Vibe Blog.

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    Actually, as I’m thinking about it and being serious, when I golf I do my best when I let it all go and get out of my head and just swing exactly the same way every time, nice, easy and gently. It’s about the physics of it, not the might. It’s really universal laws at play, including what Russ did, releasing attachment, and including trusting that the ball will find the pin.

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    If played in best form, golf can be an alpha brain state game. It’s as much in the mind as it is physical. That is what most golfers love about it. It’s spiritual.
    I dare you to try it, Jeannette. It’s a great game that you’d do well with.
    For those of you ladies interested in golf, EWGA is a great resource. Join your local chapter and get free and reduced rate lessons from masters, get a golf mentor, learn pace of play, and learn to use golf as a networking tool. Best of all, it gets you out in the lovely weather and works on your mind/body alignment.
    How’s that from a LOA coach? Love the post, btw!
    As for confidence, personally, I fake it till I feel it if I don’t have it to begin with. Or I get really frustrated and take chunks out of the green until I make contact with the ball. Hee Hee! 🙂

  • Ha! Thanks for the smile, Janette! 🙂

  • Of course you would find confidence through intuition, Leslie! That hadn’t even occurred to me before you said it!!
    This is exactly why I love hearing from you and other creators! Just when I think I know it all, everyone here reminds me I don’t!
    Congrats on taking the step in the direction that felt good!

  • Leslie Richter says:

    You know I absolutely adore it when you share these golf trips. Such differenct planes of reality we live in – don’t we? To me it seems your way of thinking is a more direct way, but to each their own. And bless you that you know that…and know your way is the better way, hee hee.
    In answer to your question, the times I have managed to feel the confidence first were times when I have listened to my instincts and acted on them.
    Recently I applied for a job at the local bank and was hired. It was something I have thought about doing off and on for years but thought I wouldn’t be able to do the job. Recently, the thought occurred to me that NOW would be a good time to ask and apply.
    I wonder if it wasn’t really a case of now was a good time but rather, I was feeling it was. I was feeling like they could really use me, I would be such an asset. I wasn’t working at it – I felt it and thought it, confidence was an after-thought.
    Love Leslie

  • Wow – those sound like three powerful habits, Pernille!
    I’ve heard that about visualizing … that if someone says they have trouble with it, if they just keep working at it they’ll become more proficient. Thanks for that confirmation!
    And I love the ‘story’ theme, too! I’ve been reading a lot lately about the power of story, and how to leverage it for a better life.
    Thanks for setting such a powerful example of deliberate creation, Pernille, and for sharing it here with us!

  • Hi Jeannette, thanks for yet another wonderful post – I simply love it when you tell stories from your own life 🙂
    I feel that I’m sort of playing with many different manifesting techniques looking for “my way” of doing it! For the time being I find myself spending still more time with “wouldn’t it be nice if…. (or wonderful or fantastic …) – it immediately shifts my vibe in a very positive direction and lately I’ve experienced very fast results this way (it’s so exciting I get goose bumbs!).
    I also find myself visualizing more and more. I used to find it quite difficult to visualize (I didn’t “see” very much), but I’ve kept on trying and trying and I’m doing better and better all the time.
    And the last thing I find myself doing more and more for the time being is simply telling myself another story, “thinking” it as if I was telling it to somebody else.

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