Spring. Growth and New Beginnings. So many new seeds sprouting, new paths created, new challenges overcome.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the phrase start before you think you are ready. I first heard it from a business coach of mine and I find it so true both in business and in life. The key piece of this advice for me is 'before you think you are ready' as often we are far more competent and capable than we give ourselves credit for, and its only by starting, by taking action that we are able to see our strengths come alive.
What does all this have to do with driving you ask? Driving is where it's most recently been coming up for me. No, I'm not new to driving, I've been driving for years...on the right. But now that I live in Scotland...driving happens on the left...which means you shift gears with your left, rotaries flow clockwise, there are one track roads that folks fly down at 60 miles an hour...it is like learning a new language...here there are zebra crossings instead of crosswalks, and roads that don't have posted speed limits because you are supposed to know by the type of road how fast you are allowed to go...none of it is impossibly complex, it is just different...and I have been resistant to the change.
I've been coming over here for years, so you'd think I'd have it down by now, but no...(did I mention I've been a bit resistant.) Yes, I occasionally drove, but found it incredibly stressful, so mostly took public transport or relied on my partner to drive. Motorways were fine, but I didn't enjoy the narrow little village streets, and it just seemed too daunting to reprogram my brain to turn into the left hand lane.
But now that I'm living here...I've been more focused on learning...because 1) I realized that since we live in a wee little village in the middle of sheep and hills, that is not particularly close to anywhere else...I was starting to feel a lack of freedom by not being able to drive, or more accurately not believing I was able to drive. And 2) I no longer can use my US license after a year of being here, so I have to go for my British driving test, which means it's either learn, or don't drive at all, which is definitely not appealing for an explorer like myself, who likes to keep her options open.
And so over the past few months I've been learning. Slowly growing more confident, but still always having someone else in the car...who could tell me which lane I'm supposed to be in at the rotary, or corrected me if I started to turn into the right lane instead of the left. This week I've been slowly releasing the reliance on someone else...and driving solo. Yes, it's been slightly forced by circumstance, and a bit uncomfortable and no I don't feel ready, but I'm doing fine, and I definitely feel more free.
Yesterday was a true challenge as my partner needed to be dropped off in Edinburgh at the train, since the line that goes out towards us is under construction. And so he, who thinks nothing of driving into Edinburgh, said oh you can just drop me off, we'll go after rush hour traffic so it won't be too busy. Under some protest I agreed, though not believing that it was a particularly good idea, or that I was at all ready to be driving in a big city, (when I didn't even like driving in cities that I am familiar with, where I can drive on the right). Was I totally out of my comfort zone, yes, but did I feel like it was time to get over my fear, absolutely. And the reality is it went fine, I made it home with only a few wrong turns, nothing uncorrectable.
It is always helpful to have a person who believes in you and can see your potential even when you yourself are unable to. Yesterday my partner did that for me...he knew I was ready, he also knew I would put off acting on it as long as I possibly could...so he was there to hold me accountable for what I said I was going to do. Ultimately, though I was the one who had to step forward, the one who had to be willing to be a bit uncomfortable in order to overcome my fears and doubts...
Remember we always have a choice. We can let ourselves become frozen by fear or we can choose to move through it one step at a time. What is something that has you stuck or frozen, something that is keeping you from feeling less than free? And what is one tiny step that you can take in the next 24 hours to start to shift and bring motion to that which was stagnant?
Are you lacking a supportive mentor to guide you forward, believe in you unconditionally, and hold you accountable for what you want to create? I have some openings for one-to-one coaching starting in June. Interested? You can read more about them here.