What Shots Are You Not Taking?

"You miss 100 percent of the shots you do not take" – Wayne Gretzky

I know of two things right now that could probably energize my creativity and enrich my pocket book. (1) I have an opportunity to hang a piece in an art show. (2) I painted some birthday gifts for two cousins ​​of mine and they hung them where they work. People have been asking if I make them for sale, so there is a shot of me easily selling some of my work.

Ask me what moves I have made in either direction? Nada. Zilch. Zero. None.

I could tell you how busy I am and how family issues have taken up all my free time. I could whine about my internal conflicts and how hot it is in my studio. What I traditionally do is ruminate long enough that the deadline passes and the decision is made for me. The classic: Decision by Indecision.

• "Taking a shot can be risky."
• "You might miss."
• "You're just wasting time and effort."
• "What will people say?"
• "What if you're criticized?"

The whinny, ambivalent procrastinator in my head wants me to think negative; therefore decision by indecision wins the day.

I bet you have a version of your own internal critic that spews out bad advice. I call mine Blockhead. The internal critic in my head comes directly from the primitive part of my brain that is still worried about surviving in the wilds. Since no saber-tooth tigers are loose in my art studio, Blockhead searches for danger at every turn. Hence, I am counseled to wait, hold back, do not take the shot. I am cautioned that I could get hurt. By hurt, I could be embarrassed, shamed, or criticized.

Blockhead needs to get a life, but I digress.

One good way to know when Blockhead might be in charge and seeking out tigers is to notice how big the emotions are surrounding the risk. It is good to notice that if you are measurably afraid, you may be doing something right!

Here are a few tips to help you take the shot:

• Check out the risks with your support system. A trusted friend can convince you that the tigers are all Blockheads' idea.
• Chances are you are not psychic even though your Blockhead wants you to think it knows the outcome before you have ever taken the risk. You will not really know the outcome until you take the action.

• It's none of your business what other people think of you. You can not control what they think anyway, negative or positive.

• Break the risk down into small steps to enlarge your comfort zone.

If you still can not decide to take a risk, try to become willing to be open to the possibilities. I love the saying, "When I become willing to be willing the world is open to me."

You will not know unless you take the shot.