Today is an incredibly scary day for me. Today I am taking my driving test. I know to many of you that wont seem exceptional – people take tests everyday – but for me, its taken me 3 instructors, 3 years, over 65 lessons, 3 theory tests and a practical test to get here. And I don’t even know if my journey is over yet.
“The Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu
One of the hardest parts in all of learning to drive personally has not been the actual doing it – even though it might not seem like it I am actually quite a good driver – it’s been the mental blocks that I’ve had to deal with. I am such a self-critical person. I find that if I cant do something I have to really push myself to keep going, as my instinct reaction is to throw it away and do something else. That sounds so bad to admit, but I hate not being able to do something – I’m so ridiculously competitive and a complete perfectionist, which basically adds up and makes me a complete nightmare.
“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail” – Charles Kettering
Over the years of doing exams, I’ve come to realise that if I fail at something, its not the worst thing in the world, and I just wasn’t meant to pass that time. It can be tricky at first to deal with, but one thing to remember is that a fail is not always a fail, it’s an opportunity to do better next time. One thing that is so important to NOT do is compare yourself with other people. When I was in sixth form, it seemed like everyone was passing their driving tests, and even now, my step-sister and my best friend who are both younger than me have both passed. It used to really get me down that I couldn’t seem to get a handle on it, with what felt like added pressure at the time from my family that I needed to pass sooner rather than later. I am glad though, that I’ve taken my time, and now, I’m learning because I want to, not because I feel pressured into it.
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you can never see the shadow” – Helen Keller
A positive influence is so helpful when you’re trying to overcome a challenge in your life. This could be the support of people around you, your friends, family, teachers or coaches, or it could come completely from you. Inspiring yourself is an amazing thing to be able to do. Setting yourself small goals to achieve when you’re trying to overcome something is my favourite way, then when you look back, think ‘wow, I’ve actually done all of this, go me!’
To be honest, I can’t write out a set of instructions of how to overcome obstacles, I just can’t. It’s such an individual journey that requires strength from you, with help from people around you. Some people choose to put on a brave face and hope that things will work out, others will sit and plan and plan until they find their way through. It’s a completely personal thing.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there” – Theodore Roosevelt.