On 28 November 2011, I got into my instructor’s car and started it with a shaking hand. My examiner, a man in his late fifties, sat rigidly next to me and waited while I buckled my seatbelt.
‘Whenever you are ready…,’ he said.
Heart-pounding, I drove the car and watched him ticking boxes on a form as I clocked my own mistakes.
When he said I’d passed my test, I couldn’t believe my ears. I did? Only minor mistakes? Surely I climbed a pavement, at least twice. I wasn’t planning to argue with him though. My ego was pleased that I ‘d passed on the first attempt.
The truth is I wasn’t ready to pass the test. With hindsight I wish he’d failed me because it’d have forced me to practice more. My attempts to practice with my husband in a passenger seat were short lived. He’s a much better driver than a passenger. So, very quickly my newly acquired skill got rusty and my confidence plummeted with the every passing year.
For the next few years I always had an excuse why not now: I’m pregnant; I have a baby; I’m pregnant again; I now have two babies…. It was never the right time. Until my husband had a heart attack this summer and I was forced to taxi around dropping kids off at two separate nurseries, shopping and doing all the other tasks that my husband does on a daily basis.
In other words, I got my wake-up call.
Getting an instructor was not difficult, and having had nine hours of driving lessons so far, I can drive around the block with a reasonable amount of confidence (my favourite time is Sunday morning – I excel at driving on empty roads!). And every time I do it, I get more relaxed.
You can excel at pretty much anything you want.
That’s what I teach my son. I tell him that when he does it for the first time, he probably won’t be very good at it, but with time and practice, he can shine. It applies to anything, including writing.
Another point of my driving story is that we do things in our own time.
Sometimes you can have masses of resistance to doing a task. Resistance happens for a good reason though. Perhaps you are not ready. Can you be gentle with yourself?
Stop fighting your resistance.
Resistance itself isn’t a problem; it’s when you resist your own resistance you get blocked. Say you don’t want to write today. You could give yourself a hard time for not writing, being too lazy, falling behind, etc. and before you know it you feel stuck. The longer you feel stuck the more entrenched is the feeling.
But what if you could soften around your resistance and accept it. You’d be amazed how quickly you can move through the feeling and transform a seemingly impossible situation.
Join my community here and let me show how you can do it.