• Perform
  • Posts
  • How the world's best golfer keeps winning

How the world's best golfer keeps winning

In partnership with

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

All your news. None of the bias.

Be the smartest person in the room by reading 1440! Dive into 1440, where 3.5 million readers find their daily, fact-based news fix. We navigate through 100+ sources to deliver a comprehensive roundup from every corner of the internet – politics, global events, business, and culture, all in a quick, 5-minute newsletter. It's completely free and devoid of bias or political influence, ensuring you get the facts straight.

My friend Tobias is a 4x founder and CEO. Now, he offers a 6-week course where he teaches other founders and leaders how to build high-performance teams — with a people-first mindset. Remotely or in the office.

Readers of my newsletter can join the course for free — saving you the regular fee of USD 500. (Simply mention me in your application!)

Be quick: applications close June 30!

Current World #1 Golfer Scottie Scheffler has delivered a recent masterclass in mindset.  

The guy was arrested before going out to compete and still shot 5-under. If that doesn't tell you something about his self-control, presence, and competitive fire... And, not only that, but he turned it into a 5-tournament winning streak.

His ability to stay present and perform so consistently - after an arrest and the subsequent birth of his child - is a testament to his mindset.

There's one aspect in particular that he seems to have special mastery over: the ability to separate his self-worth from his performance.

It's allowed him to steadily climb the ranks of one of the most mentally intensive sports and to stay there. It’s allowed him to not get eaten up by wins and losses and to keep showing up  

We could all benefit from holding our wins and losses so loosely.

Here's how you can do it, too.

First, separate your identity from performance.

For Scheffler, he anchors his identity outside of sport to faith. 

That works for him.

But that doesn't mean everyone has to adopt a religious perspective to have a healthier identity.

It means we can derive a greater sense of well-being from something other than our wins and losses.

Your value isn't tied to the outcomes you produce. 

"That's a pretty special feeling to know that I'm secure for forever, and it doesn't matter if I win this tournament or lose this tournament."

Scottie Scheffler

A perspective that separates your self-worth from your outcomes allows you to see yourself more flexibly. It means that the losses won't hit you so hard (and as a bonus, you have the choice to lean in and feel the wins fully if you'd like).

That kind of freedom - to dictate more of your own internal experience based on what you value - is much more powerful than being controlled by the feelings generated by wins and losses.

Psychologists call this ability self-as-context.

It's the ability to see yourself as more than the sum of your thoughts and feelings. To observe them as they arise and recognize that, while they're a part of you, they don't define you.

You contain them, even though at times they may feel overwhelming.

The alternative is to identify too closely with your thoughts and feelings, such that your actions are driven more by a desire to change your internal experience than to become the highest, best version of yourself.

And it's no surprise Scheffler's faith helped him to develop this perspective.

It is an almost spiritual experience, developed through skills like mindfulness or moments of awe (you can get that feeling now by reading Sagan's Pale Blue Dot). It also comes from understanding what matters to you and brings you joy.

Pair that with extreme competitiveness. 

Scheffler has always been ultra-competitive.

In his words, "God created [him] with a little bit of extra competitiveness." And that desire to compete drives the way he shows up on the course.

Scottie's ability to be "gracious in both winning and defeat" sums up what it means to have stricken the balance between competing hard and not letting the outcome define you. Because he doesn't derive his self-worth from a score, he's free to compete as hard as possible because there's nothing to be afraid of.

No internal narrative that if he doesn't win he's "not good enough."

No fear that if he gives his all and still loses, he may not have what it takes.

Being able to be okay without the baggage of identity on the line frees him up to maximize the power of his competitive spirit.

We could all stand to play more freely. 

If you’re interested in the NBA draft process and what it looks like, I talked with my friend Adam from the Phoenix Suns about what it looks like to build a roster.

You can check it out here:

Join the conversation

or to participate.