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Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the read.
Playing your own game is important. Many years ago, there was a woman at my home club who would play from the blue tees, hit her drives about 230, and would shoot in the high 70s/low 80s. It was fun being paired with her because... well, playing with good players is always fun, but I also enjoyed watching men who couldn't handle being outdriven by her try to hit the ball further, mostly unsuccessfully. I knew I couldn't compete with her for distance (and I don't think I was ever competing against her anyway), but that really helped.
As for the safe shot vs correct shot, I think the driver is the right club a lot more often than many think it is. Fairways hit are overrated in most golfers' minds and distance from the tee is underrated as a contributor to scoring.
Great topic! I have a similar issue, definitely mental. I had a golf teacher who said, "golf is a game of distractions", referring to golf course architecture. But also applies to my score on previous holes, etc.
For me, affirmations, and remembering past success are helpful. Also, specific positive goals for each shot, and sticking to my routine.