We all know it’s far easier to give advice than to take it. In fact, there is a reason that’s become an adage in most cultures right? Apparently, I like to swim against the current and decided to do it yet again. Well, in all fairness, only after a sharp kick in the pants from my brother-in-law whom I love an adore so much for not only being a rock for me, but pushing beyond the threshold of fear and an amazing cheering section who continues to encourage me to be the best me possible without all of the crippling self doubt that seems to have been my companion for far too long.
I drove. On the freeway. I kept up with traffic and I did not crash or even get flipped off for going to slow. I know for a lot of you, you’re like “So what?”, but if you know me you realize this is a huge thing for me for many reasons. Despite the fact that I am 18 years past being 16 years old, I still don’t drive given some physical limitations. What I’ve realized the last few months (though hard to admit) is that more that physical limitations, I have been stopped by my mind. Unfortunately, early in my life seeds were planted in my heart and mind via (mostly) my family that limited my belief that I could drive. They made me immediately afraid that I couldn’t do it, and even if I managed to do it, I was putting others in danger by doing so. Being the constant worry wart that I am, that was all I needed to shy away from it.
Although I always longed for the freedom that I saw others have via driving, the fear that I might hurt not only myself but someone else was a deterrent. Over the years I have seen a ripple effect this has on my life. It is very hard to be considered an equal in your peer group if you need a ride everywhere. People do not take you as seriously. It limits the areas that you can work to bus schedules and bus routes. Commutes become two, three, or four times as long. Everything must be coordinated like a waltz in order to get things done most efficiently. You become a loyal shopper at certain places and restaurants not because you actually like them or because they are cost effective, but because they are easiest to get to.
Lucky for me, I have some tremendous friends and people I consider family that have become my cheerleaders. They encourage me to be brave and try it. That I deserve the freedom. That it is time to stop doubting myself and start being a do-er. And so I will, one turn signal and stop sign at a time :).
What will you decided to be a do-er of? Today is a new day. Find that awesome cheerleader in your life. First, thank them for being there. Second, listen to them and take their advice. If you are scared, breathe through your nose. (I did that all the way to my first destination.). If you feel frozen in the moment of doing, draw your mind away from all of the reasons to stop doing whatever it is and think of all of the amazing things you will achieve in doing it. Maybe you aren’t driving — maybe you are walking, quitting smoking, or trying a food that you were afraid of. Asking for a raise. Making peace with someone that has caused doubt or pain in your life.
Everyone needs a cheerleader in order to encourage you to do it so let me be your first… You can do this!