You can do it.
In the face of hardship and frustration, such words of encouragement are useless.
When everything seems scary and impossible, we don’t feel strong and we don’t feel like we can do it. We feel like we’re not good enough.
That’s how I used to feel a month back. And that’s how I had felt for quite a while before it all changed.
No, I didn’t become stronger. I found out that I don’t need to be.
Here is what happened:
In a recent article on my blog I revealed to the world (and myself) for the first time my fear of driving. In short, that’s not the fear you’d expect – I wasn’t afraid of using a car, but rather of the possibility of failure. I was afraid that I was going to be a crappy driver and I was making up excuses to never practice.
This had been going on for about 8 years.
Finally, I decided to face my fear, and for me this means writing about it.
I wrote the article and even while publishing it I felt that I’ve taken a huge step towards embracing and overcoming this fear of failure.
But, as you might read at the end of the article, I wasn’t even close to ready to get behind the steering wheel.
Then something changed. And the funny thing is, it wasn’t me.
Take My Hand to Facing Your Fears
After I published that article I received an avalanche of emails, messages on social media and retweets from people who encouraged me to give it a try.
For example, my fellow writer, Alan Marsden, messaged me on Twitter saying that once I start driving I’d “never look back. (except when reversing).”
My family and friends talked to me about it and shared their experiences.
After hearing one of my excuses that “I don’t need a car or to drive anyway” my friend pointed out that I didn’t know that I needed it. She told me that I didn’t know what I was missing.
A friend who I met online thanks to an article I wrote and published online, Sree, shared his personal story about his own fear of driving, how it came true and how he still found the strength to keep going.
Even my own husband finally realized how serious my issue is and started taking me for a drive almost every day after work. I was driving.
Surrounded by all the examples, support, love, encouragement and energy of these people I drove our car.
I felt like I’m flying on the wings of a crowd that truly cared about me.
I grabbed the steering wheel and I did it.
And I was horrible. Or at least I felt so. But it didn’t matter because joy had taken over my brain. I was sweating, my mouth was dry, my heart was pounding out of my chest, and my left leg was shaking like it’s bongo time. Those of you who have used a manual car will know why.
I did it. I faced my fear.
I was so proud of myself.
After my first attempt my husband even said that I was way better than he had expected because we didn’t crash the car.
And then it hit me-it wasn’t me who was driving. It was a crowd of people who had encouraged me, helped me and shared their stories and experiences with me.
They gave me the courage. They showed me that I was not alone. That I didn’t have to face my fears all by myself.
Each one of them was right there with me in that car. And it was okay to have them hold my hand while I was turning the key in the ignition.
I felt so strong. I felt so powerful. And yes, finally, I felt that I can do it.
But not because I was better or stronger or more resilient. Rather, because I knew so many people loved me and cared about me.
I knew that they, too, have walked this walk and they, too, have felt the same fear, doubt and insecurity. After I realized that, there was nothing that could stop me because that would mean I’m letting them down.
I drove the car by myself but I was standing upon the shoulders of a crowd of people who did it before me. I can never say I did it alone.
And you know what? That’s okay. I might have never gotten on the driver’s seat if it wasn’t for the helping hands and words of people around me.
I learned that I didn’t need to do it all by myself.
What about you? Have you forgotten the one thing that matters when facing your fears – that you don’t need to do it all by yourself?
In hope that you agree that we were never meant to be alone, I share with you the profound African proverb that has recently become my favorite:
If you want to go fast, go alone,
If you want to go far, go together.
Keep driving, keep going, and remember-there are four seats in a car, you don’t need to drive by yourself….
Antonia Zorluer is a designer, writer, content marketer, and the inventor of The FiveBand. She writes for businesses at work and for pleasure at her personal happiness blog mintyhideout.com where you can find inspirational stories and tips on using writing for a better life. She loves to connect and talk happiness and writing on Twitter and Google +.