Since I had a road accident two years ago (Iin which I was fine, but the car was written off), I have been scared of driving. It’s rarely a problem, because I live in London and travel by public transport most of the time. I only drive once in a while when I visit family in the French countryside. I tend to worry about it days ahead.
Last week I had to drive my mum’s car to the supermarket. It’s a small car, I know the way along the quiet lanes, so it should be no big deal.
I was scared, so I drove really, really slowly. I stopped a long time at crossings, stayed well away from other cars, and let people overtake me on the main road. Basically, I drove like a granny. After a few minutes, something happened – I realised I was almost enjoying myself.
Which lead me to think, the problem isn’t so much that I am scared to drive, but that I have been pushing myself to drive faster than I was comfortable with.
I have been neglecting what my senses were telling me, to follow what I thought was “the norm”.
By driving what I felt was “embarrassingly slowly”, I was doing just fine. And importantly, I dared to pick up the car rather than shy away and stay home.
This reminds me of something else: for years I had tried repeatedly to get into running to lose weight… and failed miserably each time after a few painful runs. Until I recently read this advice from famous gym instructor James Duigan (of Bodyism fame – a fitness genius): When you start running, you should go at a pace where you can easily maintain a conversation.
What?! I You mean you are not really supposed to be sick after a run? That was a turning point for me.
I now jog so slow you’d think I’m going backwards, but guess what – I absolutely love it.
I’m not saying everyone should take more time to do things slowly by the way. I know people who enjoy doing many things in a day, and tirelessly do things at a brisk pace in order to move on to the next thing – my parents are still like that in their 60s (which might explain a few things!), and that’s fine too.
Did you ever notice how uncomfortable it is to try and walk at someone else’s pace for a long time? If they are too fast you’ll be out of breath, but if they are too slow you will be infuriated.
Bottom line is, it’s important to keep to find the pace that suits YOU. This way instead of giving up because you feel uncomfortable, you will keep going effortlessy.