The Art of Letting Go: The Key to Learning

The Challenge of Teaching Golf

Teaching golf can be a challenging endeavor, especially when it comes to helping adult golfers develop a good swing. However, the real difficulty lies in getting them to let go of their bad habits. As human beings, we often hold on tightly to what feels familiar and safe, even if it doesn’t serve us well. Our desire for competence, status, and connection can make us resistant to change and learning something new.

The Fragility of Our Position

Our sense of self and identity can feel fragile, and we may hold on tightly to our beliefs and behaviors that got us to where we are today. We may even feel like impostors, constantly fearing that our success is not deserved. This fear can lead us to resist change and cling to what we know, even if it hinders our growth and improvement.

Emotional Enrollment: The Key to Learning

To truly learn and progress, we need to be emotionally enrolled in the process. Just ask any toddler learning to walk. They don’t insist that crawling is good enough or try to crawl harder to walk. They let go of what they know, take a leap of faith, and embrace a new way of moving.

As teachers, leaders, organizers, or coaches, our role is twofold. First, we must earn the emotional enrollment of our students. We need to create an environment where they feel safe to let go of their old habits and beliefs. Second, we must teach them the new skills and techniques they need to learn. But without the willingness to let go and embrace change, true improvement will remain elusive.

The Wily Nature of Resistance

Resistance is cunning and will find countless reasons to keep us closed off from change. It may manifest as narratives about entitlement, a need for security, or cultural dynamics that discourage growth. Each time we extinguish one reason, another one pops up in its place. Resistance will continue to find ways to keep us in our comfort zones unless we choose to confront it head-on.

Getting Real or Not Playing

If we truly want to learn and grow, we need to get real with ourselves. We must confront our resistance and recognize that holding on to what we know is holding us back. Real progress requires us to let go of our old ways and embrace the discomfort of change. It’s a choice we must make if we want to reach our full potential.

Closing Summary

In the world of teaching, whether it’s golf or any other skill, the art of letting go is the key to learning and progress. We must be willing to release our grip on what feels safe and familiar, even if it’s holding us back. Emotional enrollment in the learning process is crucial, as it allows us to open ourselves up to new possibilities. It’s time to confront our resistance, get real with ourselves, and choose growth over complacency. Only then can we truly unlock our potential and achieve greatness.