Christina Lecuyer is a former professional golfer, a three-time reality television competitor, turned public speaker, and mindset coach. She didn’t start playing golf until she was 18 and still managed to get a scholarship for college. Playing golf taught Christina about how your mindset can impact your performance and the challenges around basing your self-worth on external factors. She had a successful career, the look, the money, the house, and the man. And even then, her soul was unfulfilled. It wasn’t that something was missing. But she wasn’t doing what set her soul on fire! She wanted to make an impact. She wanted to do what I was put on this planet to do (& get paid well to do it!) More recently, Christina has taken her skills off the golf course and brought her knowledge and passion for inspiring people to design a LIFE THEY TRULY LOVE through coaching and immersive events! The highly sought-after Women with C.L.A.S.S. Mastermind and Decide It’s Your Turn: Women’s Weekend are just a few ways Christina is helping women break through barriers to become more confident, find their purpose, and truly live a life they love.
You started playing golf when you were 18. I was blown away that you won your first tournament
In fact, Christina won her first 3 golfing tournaments.
Were you nervous at all?
At the beginning of her career, there were no expectations on her and she didn't expect to win. She could just play. She struggled in the middle of her golfing career because suddenly there were expectations and that was when the mental stuff crept in.
Christina doesn’t believe she was particularly talented, but she was always good at working hard. In the beginning, no-one expected her to be very good and she didn’t have any expectations for her. She would practice for 5-7 hours a day. Then as she improved, people realized that she was really good, and the expectations started to appear. Fear and doubt started to creep in as she realized, she was supposed to be good at golf.
Then what happened? How did you manage those mental thoughts?
She won her first 3 tournaments, shot under-par and the next summer was offered a scholarship. She went to college and the first year she performed horribly. But in the next 3 years, she was an All American twice and won 5 times.
A lot of her doubts came from the fact that she only started when she was 18. Many of the people around her had started playing as young children. She would tell herself -’You have not been playing long enough. You do not deserve to get to the LPGA this fast. She went into her first LPGA qualifying tournament the same way she had in those very first tournaments – with the expectation that there was no way in hell she would ever win. But she got through to the final stage, her very first time, which doesn’t tend to happen. At the final stage, she told herself the same thing – that she wouldn’t get through. And she didn't.
Was it that mental thought of ‘you’re not going to get it’? Because it sounds like in the beginning it kinda helped you. But then when the real pressure was on that thought actually hurt you.
It was a 5-day tournament and in the first 3 days, she felt like she didn’t have a chance. Then she started getting interviewed by media and she realized that there was an expectation on her to actually get through. In the last two days of the tournament, she fell apart.
You are talking a lot about expectations. How do you think expectations play a role in our ability to succeed or perform?
For Christina, the expectations that she believed the outside world was putting on her, hurt her. She had 3 core things she based her identity on – being a golfer, being attractive and thin, and being financially successful. When those 3 things weren’t going as well as she thought they should go, her sense of self-worth would plummet. If she gained a pound, she thought her life was over. If she played golf horribly, she felt her life was over. Her life was based on external validation and she felt she needed to be great at those 3 things in order to be great at being Christina. When she was 29 she realized she could no longer live like that.
It sounds like you had a moment where you realized ‘whoa I am actually not happy even though I have all of these external things that I expected would bring me happiness’.
Someone recently asked Christina ‘When did you know you were broken? And when did you know you were worthy?’ It was not an aha moment. It was a series of moments that happened over and over. She had always felt that if she wasn’t pushing herself or forcing herself to get to the next level, then she was settling. Trough self-development and working on herself, she is now at a place where she knows that she is worthy, whether anybody else agrees with that or not. She loves herself now. She is still a great golfer. She looks about the same. Her life is the same but where she is internally is completely different.
Some people might say ‘yeah intellectually I know that I’m worthy.’ But there is a difference between telling yourself you’re worthy and being worthy. I’m curious about your experience of the distinction.
Christina believes that every person on the planet is put here for a purpose and a reason. If you are trying to be someone other than yourself, then you can’t feel worthy. Striving for something that you are not can cause pain and suffering. Christina cusses all the time. If she was to stop cussing to make someone else more comfortable, then she wouldn’t be being herself. She shows up as her authentic self every day. No matter what she does on a daily basis, whether she screws up or has lots of success, no matter who likes her or who doesn’t, she is exactly her.
It sounds like putting more emphasis on the way that you feel, versus the way that you think you should be. It takes a lot of awareness to know when you’re not feeling like you are being yourself and doing something out of pleasing or appeasing some external thing.
Knowing you were put here for a purpose and giving yourself grace are two of the biggest things. To know that you were put here for a purpose and all you have to do is be your authentic self should give someone a sense of calmness and worthiness.
One of my core beliefs is that our purpose is to be fully ourselves. If my purpose is to be myself and fully express myself, then what? Where do we go from there?
People think that in order to have a purpose you have to be like Oprah. You can have an impact on someone by doing something very simple. Christina has a 90-year-old neighbor who lives by herself. Christina put everything aside one day to spend time with her. Christina made her life better by just showing up and being there one day. It doesn’t have to be a huge dramatic thing.
When you are in alignment with who you are everything else makes sense. Christina has made more money, been happier, and attracted the best people in her life whenever she has been in alignment with who she is.
I know that you just climber Kilimanjaro. How present did you need to be to make that happen?
It was the most beautiful experience. For the past 3 years, she has put her life on Instagram and she thought she would do the same when she climbed Kilimanjaro. For the first two days, she didn’t have a service and used her phone only to record videos. It was so nice to just to be able to be present and enjoy the company of the people she was with.
Was it hard?
It is an 8-day trek and Christina found the first 6 days super easy. She was in good shape and mentally strong. On the last day she got altitude sickness and then discovered that she had an allergic reaction to the medicine they gave her. Her tongue and throat swelled up. The last 48hours were incredibly tough but somehow, she still managed to reach the summit.
What drove you to keep going? Did you think you should stop?
It didn’t occur to her to stop. She had signed up to the trek really late. She climbed it for a children's charity and was asked to join the team only a month before. The day she signed up she created an affirmation. ‘I will summit and return, healthy and safe. I will continue to be a blessing by living a blessed life.’ She repeated this to herself every single day. The day that she got sick she saw the screensaver she had created of the affirmation and for the next 3 hours, she repeated it over and over.
Thinking about your preparation. It sounds like you had a practice that included a bit visualization, a little bit of mantra, and some anchoring using a song. Those sound like the main components. Am I missing anything?
For her physical training, she would walk on the stair-master at the gym wearing hiking boots and w a 20lb backpack on her back. She would rather be laughed at in the gym for looking like a fool than to die on the mountain.
Did you use those techniques in golf?
Christina wishes she had known about these techniques when she was playing golf. Now she plays golf twice a week and plays better than she did 10 years ago. She is able to relax and feel grateful for being able to be out there playing her sport.
Let's go back into where we started. To not rely on these external expectations but really rely on your inner wealth and resources to guide you. To learn to connect to them through some practices. Would you say that’s the essence of being?
You have to know how to get yourself to your best being. Everything is a choice. How you think, how you react, what you do – it’s all a choice. Christina knows the choices she has to make to get to the best her each day. She admits that she doesn't always do it and she definitely has lapses. But she knows what it takes to be the best version of her.
Christina doesn't have a traditional meditation practice because that doesn’t work for her. But she will often spend 5 mins out in her garden, or in silence in her car and for her, that’s her practice. You have to find what works for you. The important part is showing up consistently every day.
The obstacle that you think you’re going to face is typically not what happens. It is something else that you have never thought of. But you handle it.
You will learn from it and you will prove to yourself that you can do it. You can do hard things. Most people can do hard things but choose not to. You can choose to do hard things and the most successful people in the world do hard things. Christina tells her clients to run towards something which is even a little bit scary or hard. There is so much growth in that.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
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