I have had a breakthough! One that means Fear is no longer driving. Fear is now in the passenger seat!
My family live in Spain, and every year, I mentally plan to go and visit for an extended summer holiday. I never make it. It’s because they holiday in a little place where only the Spanish go, and it would involve me driving on the other side of the road, in a car that isn’t mine, and parking in places tinier than my foot!
Driving on the continent is Mr Ramroop’s department, and he has never been keen to navigate the tiny roads of Catalonia, so we have never been on ‘the trip’.
I have just come back from the most beautiful country – Montenegro – part of former Yugoslavia…..where I chose to step into my fear of driving on the continent.
On this holiday, I committed myself to driving as it’s one area of my life where I have been ignoring my fear, and pretending that it didn’t matter that much to me. Well it does. It is stopping me from seeing my family for more than 2 hours at a time.
So I decided now was the time to overcome my life-long fear of driving on the other side of the road, whilst sitting on the other side of the car, and shifting gears with my right hand. WEIRD.
As I was checking the car for dents before I took the handover from the hire company, I could see the traffic building up on the road. All I could think of was how on earth am I going to turn left onto that road? What if someone hits me? What if I stall? What if, what if……
I took one step at a time.
Bear with me for the next paragraph….it has a moral!
I started the engine, and took a breath. Gently moved the car forward, and took a breath before the barrier raised. Checked both ways, and checked again, and with a big smile on my face begged a place in the line of traffic. I took a long, deep, breath….. A few awkward moments, getting used to the biting point on the gears, then coming out of traffic, and struggling to find 5th gear. Looking in both mirrors to check the width of the car, tentatively driving in the middle of the road in the special lane for the car ferry. Yesss a ferry! Like it wasn’t hard enough. Then off the ferry with cars coming at me from both sides, and a right turn onto the Adriatic highway, aka the world’s narrowest road next to the mountains, with bends and turns, people driving over the dividing lines, no edge to the road, so a very high risk of landing in the sea!
And then guess, what? We arrived. In one piece. With a big sigh of relief.
Fast forward 4 days, and I am driving with confidence in the car as if I had driven it for years. Comfortably manoeuvring in and out of lanes and spaces. Parking easily, and reversing into tight spaces.
Why did I tell you all this in such detail? Because at each step I was terrified! But I took it anyway, along with a deep breath afterwards. And then that feeling of fear seemed to drift away, replaced with a feeling of comfort. Even starting to enjoy the drive, and being able to glance down at the sea as I drove along a straight.
This is a metaphor for life.
You can’t ever expect to feel comfort straight away when doing things that are new, or doing things that scare you. But you can expect the fear to drift away as comfort introduces itself. I had to give myself the chance to settle in to the experience, to learn about the car, to get used to the roads etc.
But then it was like the fear subsided without me even noticing…..until I noticed that I wasn’t noticing it!
What is for sure, is that you will never experience this if you don’t feel the fear and take action anyway.
What was I going to do? Stay at the airport staring at what looked to me like an impossible driving situation? Beg my husband to drive and hand over the fear and the subsequent driving enjoyment?
Now that I have done this, a whole world has opened up for me! Not just in terms of all the other places I will now feel confident enough to drive in. And not just that dream family holiday in Catalonia, but philosophically, anything I put my mind to.
I am building an ever growing evidence base of all the good things that can transpire in my life when I choose to keep driving. And keep growing.
So I urge you to keep driving in your life. Choose a destination, and go for it! No matter what the route is, it will always be the same – one step or one mile at a time.
Don’t let fear decide on which direction to take. Fear belongs in the passenger seat. Of course, it is going to want to come along for the ride, but choose not to let it drive you. What else are you going to do from the passenger seat? Look at all the other people driving??! Reflect on how great it could be if you were driving too?
The beauty of driving is you don’t have to have a destination in mind. You just need to trust that you know how to do it, and that something will spark your interest along the way.
If you would like some help in choosing a destination, plotting a route, or you want a co-driver to give you the directions and the emotional support you need along the way, then we should talk.
I love being in the passenger seat for other people. I get so much fun from driving in my own life, that I would like to enjoy the view of yours too!
It’s time to take back control. To start CHOOSING your journey, and to find the routes without all the traffic!!
Don’t wait – book that call if you truly want your life to transform.
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