The Power of Normalizing

Even if you don’t follow golf, read on for an amazing story about the power of normalizing.

Hilary Lunke had been on the professional women’s golf circuit for only two years after graduating with a Masters in Sociology from Stanford University. In 2003, she had to play two rounds in the days preceding the US Open just to qualify to play since her cumulative scores didn’t automatically qualify her. She qualified by just one stroke.

Amazingly, on July 7, 2003, Lunke became the 2003 US Open winner. She won over $500,000, which was over $225,000 more than the 2nd place finisher, whom she beat by one stroke. 

How did she pull this off? In her interviews it seemed the key factor was that she normalized each shot in her mind, taking the pressure off. What is normalizing? It’s making a situation or activity seem ordinary rather than extraordinary. If it’s something we’re familiar with, we’re usually less intimidated by it.

So Lunke did not say to herself on every shot that she had to do great since so much was riding on this, don’t screw it up, etc. She reported, “I kept tricking my mind saying you’re just playing golf, you’re just playing golf, another day of golf, the way you always do it.” With the power of normalizing, Lunke catapulted herself into the top ranks of women golfers and changed her life forever.

Don’t make your next challenge bigger than it is. You’ve done all kinds of things in your life: normalize it. Keep going, play by play. And someday you’ll win your US Open.

© 2014 Anne Alexander, all rights reserved in all media

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