Half Full or Half Empty?
The whole goal of the mental game is to create a mental state that optimizes your brain's chemistry, which in turn increases your ability to perform. If you have fear or doubt that you can make a golf shot, you lower your chemistry and decrease your chance of making a successful shot.
You can transform your negative emotions into positive ones by creating a mind set that your glass is always half full. You don't want to play with a glass that is half empty. The liquid is in the middle of the glass, but there can be two different emotions to the same fact. One is positive and one is negative. It is up to you to decide if your glass is half full or half empty.
If you believe that your glass is half full, you will have a higher level of chemistry than if you believe that your glass is half empty. As simple as this concept sounds, it can make the difference between making the shot or missing the shot because it makes the difference between whether your chemistry is high or low.
The way you create the mindset that your glass is always half full is to look at how your probability of success influences your emotions on every golf shot you face. If you have an easy shot, your glass is half full and you're confident that you can make it. However, if it's a very difficult shot, many golfers think that their glass is half empty and worry about missing the shot.
A way around this up and down swing of emotions is to select only positive emotions when looking at your probability of making the shot. Even if it's only one in a hundred that you can pull the shot off, you have a choice of focusing on the 99% of not making the shot or the 1% of making the shot. Your only other choice is to look for a safer shot if one is available.
If you decide to go for it, you can raise your chemistry by focusing totally on the 1% probability of making the shot and expecting to make it if everything goes right. That's the key. You have to focus totally on expecting to make the shot and not even think about the 99% probability of not making it.
If you train your unconscious that your glass is always half full, you will elevate your chemistry to a very high level. As a result you will make a lot more shots playing with a glass that is half full, instead of half empty. The nice thing about it is that it's your choice and it will reflect in your score.
P.S.: Do you feel nervous on the first tee? Do you feel under pressure sometimes when putting to win? Are shots over water a problem for you? Then this problem can be a mental one. Here is a program that I can recommend to help you overcome it: The mental side of golf