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On-Site Staff / Program Design, Development, and Quality / Staff Leadership and Management

“You Will Always Miss 100% of the Shots You Don’t Take”

“You will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

This is a powerful quote from Wayne Gretzky, one of the most famous and highest-scoring professional hockey players of all time.  It is also a very powerful lesson to share with kids.

So many people, kids and grownups, let their dreams stay on their “wish list” instead of putting them on their “to do” list – leaving them there to die as the years slip by.

But that doesn’t have to happen!

Here are three common “stoppers” that keep people from taking that first step, and steps you can take to break through those stoppers today (hint – mindset is the key).

 1. Conditional thinking.

Young boy holding a trophy on a tennis court

Conditional thinking occurs when you think something must happen before you can take a step.  It can be spotted by the keyword “if” followed by the word “then.”

For example, a child might say, “If I were taller, then I’d try out for the basketball team.”  A grownup might say, “If I had more money, then I would start a business.”

These are just circumstances!

Even if circumstances can’t be changed (i.e. the child’s current height), they can be managed.  For example, the child could focus on her shooting and free throws so that coaches notice her shooting and not her height. The grownup could look for ways to start a business while working at his current job. Or, he might be able to partner with someone to jump-start his business.

When you spot conditional thinking in either yourself or in children, a key question to ask is, “How can I make this happen?”  The question, “How can I…” will get both your conscious mind and your subconscious mind working to solve the problem for you!

 2. Fear

Fear of the unknown often keeps people from taking that first step.

It is perfectly normal for people to feel anxious, nervous, or afraid before doing something new because they don’t have neural pathways about the new experience.[1] To lessen the fear, learn as much as you can about the change you want to make.  Start visualizing yourself in the new situation so you can build neural pathways for success.

The only way to lessen the fear is to take action. Step through the fear and into the possibility.

3.  Lack of knowledge

Another common roadblock is that people don’t know how to make their dream come true.

If your dream is something that someone has done before, reach out to that person and ask them how they did it. Find a mentor who can coach you along the way. You can also take steps to acquire knowledge that will move you in the direction of your dream – read a book, take a class, listen to experts, etc. Build your plan of action and take that first step.

If it is something that someone hasn’t done before, spend extra time visualizing what you want to create in your life. Take any step you can towards that direction or your goal such as developing a new skill.

I’d like to invite you to do two things:

  1. First, write down your dreams. Are any of these stoppers getting in your way? Identify steps you can take to move your dream from your “wish list” to the top of your “to do” list and take that first step.
  2. Second, ask the children in your life about their dreams. If you hear any of these stoppers, share these tips with them and help them form a plan of action.

Finally, always remember the words of Wayne Gretzky, “You will always miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

Take that shot today – you just might score big!

For more information about how you can use stories to empower kids to visit to check out a free story.

[1] Neural Pathways are connections in the brain that are made each time you experience something new.  The more you experience something, the stronger those neural pathways become.  Ingrained neural pathways create your habits and your comfort zone.

Author: @renayethornborrow

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1 Comment

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    Love this Renaye!

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