I never drove a car in Nigeria.
We had one but I never sat behind the wheels.
I’ll tell you.
I had enrolled in a driving school. I arrived on time for my first class and after a brief verbal introduction to the basics, I got on the road with the instructor sitting by my side. Soon after we left, he gave an instruction, I got confused and lost control. I swerved, almost hitting a lady who was crossing the street.
I got out of the car, returned the keys to the instructor and went home. I didn’t go back to complete the classes, neither did I ask for a refund. I just walked away.
I walked and unconsciously I decided I won’t bother learning to drive again, lest I kill someone! 😅😅😅 After-all, my husband and I worked in the same part of town so we can always ride to and from work together, with him driving of course! If I can’t ride with him, I’ll find a colleague going my way. If I can’t find one, I’ll call a taxi. No taxi? I’ll join the staff bus! Weekends? Taxi!
At some point, we hired a driver; then one day he took the car to the mechanic for repairs, left it there and disappeared! After that, I had an arrangement with one of my office drivers to drive me around on weekends if I had anywhere to go and he got paid in return. I did every other thing except learn how to drive. I was comfortable with my decision. Why should I kill myself or someone else when I have other options? 🤷🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️
We relocated to Canada and after 2 weeks, I was left alone with three children below the age of 6. My husband had to go back to work. We landed when the weather was beautiful so walking was not stressful. Sometimes, we would take the bus or call for a taxi. I had also made connections with some wonderful people who were always willing to give us a ride whenever we needed one.
Then winter came! I had experienced winter before but it was nothing compared to what Canada had to offer! My goodness! The snow wasn’t cute either! Several times, I fell down while trying to navigate through the snow. On some days, David’s stroller will get stuck in the snow and I’ll have to pull and push to get it out. We wore layers of clothing to keep us warm whenever we went out.
One day, as the certified cry-baby that I am, I agreed wth myself that this was a perfect reason to cry so I waited until the kids had gone to bed, found a spot on the couch, sat on it and cried!!!
(Listen to me, my people! Don’t let the cute winter sweaters, jackets and boots you see in our social media photo shoots fool you! The cold in Canada is brutal!!!😂😂😂)
That was when I decided I have to face, feel and fight this fear of driving. As soon as my husband scheduled his next visit, I found a driving instructor. I was scared but every time the guy showed up for my lessons, I got behind the wheel, afraid.
I was afraid of the roads, afraid of other drivers, afraid of pedestrians, afraid of everything connected to driving; but anytime my instructor showed up, I took the driver’s seat, afraid.
Because something was at stake. Having a car and being able to drive it will not protect us completely from the cold during winter, but it will be a life-saver and If I didn’t learn before the next winter, my kids and I will have to go through it again, falling over heaps of snow and sliding off on black ice. We might also spend more money on taxi fares and bus tickets than we will on gas; plus the time. Besides, we will become a burden to those who gladly gave us rides for free.
I thought of all these and I decided it was time to divorce that fear.
You see, fear is normal.
It means you are human.
It means you are vulnerable.
However, we need to learn to face our fears and overcome them.
What are your fears?
What is holding you back?
What are you REALLY afraid of?
Success?(yep! Some people have this fear; it’s unbelievable!)
Not having enough?
What do you stand to gain if you nurse the fear? What do you stand to lose if you nurse the fear? You will never know how far you can go until you face that fear.
So get up! Get your act together!
My husband taught me to always think of the best-case scenarios instead of only the worst-case scenarios, whenever I have to deal with a challenge.
So today, I challenge you, bearing in mind the best-case and worst-case scenarios,
Make that phone call.
Apply for that job.
Take that course.
Switch that career path.
Start that business.
Embark on that trip.
Accept that offer.
Decline that offer.
Take a stand.
Someone wrote, “feel the fear. Have the doubts. Do it anyway.”
Another said, “Do it. Afraid.”
Paul the Apostle preached, “for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind.”
They all say the same thing about fear. Recognize its presence but do not succumb to its pressure.
Face your fear.
Face it afraid.