Driving with Two Feet
I was in the loveliness that is Houston traffic the other day and noticed a car in front of me that continually had the brake on, yet it seemed like he was moving with the flow of traffic. He would let off the brakes for a moment only to light them up a few seconds later. My issue…he was clearly on the brake and the gas at the same time.
What is it with people that drive with two feet? There is a theory out there that it is safer. One foot for the accelerator and one for the brake and drivers will be less likely to use the wrong pedal by accident. I’m not here to argue for the safety of one method over the other, it just seems that using them both at the same time is an inappropriate use of energy. Is this person thinking, “I want to move forward so I’ll step on the gas, but not too fast so I’ll step on the brake at the same time”?
Usually, as a coach, I would step back from a situation and try to look at it from all angles. I’m criticizing someone else’s driving, so maybe I need to look at my own driving. In this case, I stepped outside of the car story entirely to look at a greater picture. I found what I already knew, but sometimes ignore…
Somewhere in each of our lives we are driving with two feet. It may be in our family relationships, it may be in our work or that passionate escapade that has been on the back burner for years. We’re all stepping on the gas and the brake at the same time. We’re all cruising forward and then we get scared – scared of getting hurt or embarrassed, scared of success itself, scared of what someone will think, scared to be wrong. Let me be the first in line. Recognizing that we hold ourselves back is somewhere most of us have been. But then what? I recognized it for a long time and really didn’t do anything about it. So there’s always a choice…stay cozy or grow.
The growth path is messy, but fun. We realize we’ve been taught to use both feet to drive our lives, but start to question if that is really the best way. What other ways can we try? I’ve found I can’t just magically grow on my own. I can read all the latest books and listen to all the podcasts. That’s fun and totally necessary. But, that is actually passive action. Ah, passive action, my favorite friend. I’ll give you a tour of my library someday so you can see how long I have stayed in that cozy zone.
So, how did I get myself out of that zone and why?
The why is easy. I only have one life. I want to see what is possible. I believe I am here to grow and serve others.
The how is that I got myself a coach…with the purpose of looking at all the ugly, unpacking and changing the thoughts and attitudes that need to change, and growing just a tiny bit each day. Our conversations reveal where I have the freaking parking brake on in places I wasn’t even addressing. My coach is a person that can look at my life from the outside with no judgment, only love, and can hit me square on with the truth when I need it. She points out when I’m driving with both feet, wasting energy, and going nowhere.
This has now led me to that oh so irritating question of ‘who?’.
Who do I need to be in order to live my best life, lift others up, and find joy in each day? Who do you need to be?
I still have a coach, I always will. There is no point at which ‘you are there’, ‘you are healed’, ‘you are done’. And that’s a pretty amazing journey to embark on. She helps me drive like I mean it and reminds me to occasionally get some gas. She helps me process my thoughts so I can keep moving, one exit at a time.