Even ‘babysteps’ towards Goals can be meaningful..just as meaningful as the Goal or Dream itself, sometimes…in its own way!
Living life the ‘bucketlist way’ has changed my mindset in incredible, and unexpected ways…none more so than encouraging me to live life outside my ‘Comfort Zone’. In a strange kind of way, I dont ‘choose to’ live life outside of the Comfort Zone these days..it’s like my mind has an automatic default. Its just how I think, and am deep down inside, now! I’m constantly on the search for ways to challenge myself, so the Comfort Zone isn’t a place I visit and get comfy with all that often (except when health challenges crop up and I retreat so I can regain my strength again – this is when we all need ‘comfort’, right?). In fact, being INSIDE the Comfort Zone feels foreign and uncomfortable to me now…weird, huh?
But, this ‘living outside the Comfort Zone’ automatic pilot setting in my mind has not always been the case…
In my early 20s, I developed severe PTSD, which manifested itself into agoraphobia (intense fear or anxiety about being in open or public places) – at its worst, I could not even venture outside my front door to wander down the driveway to my mailbox, this frightened me beyond belief – and it is such a simple task…I was simply ‘afraid of the world’ for a very long time. Over time, I very gradually taught myself to repeatedly, and gently, venture further – to the mailbox, sitting in my car in the driveway, starting the car and driving down the street and back, driving to the local shopping centre carpark and just sitting in the car….to gradually taking bigger steps to where I (somewhat) had my life back. Not the life I have now, but a life where I could function again and do the basics like grocery shopping and venturing out in my local community, return to employment etc. This is where I had my first learned (adult) experience of teaching myself ‘taking babysteps towards a Goal’. I wanted my life back so badly, that I just HAD to go through these gentle (but scary for me at the time!) babysteps to achieve it!
Fast forward to now, and even though I am constantly pushing myself and striving to achieve all that I can – I know that my anxiety is sitting dormant in the background, surfacing in specific situations. One such way it shows up is when I drive ‘longer distances from home’, especially by myself. I am perfectly OK to jump into someone elses car as a passenger and let them drive me even to a place where I have no idea where we are going, the anxiety doesn’t rear its head then …but, for me to jump into my own cars’ drivers seat and head out of town…especially when I have absolutely no idea how to get to my destination and heading into unfamiliar territory? Oh yes, the anxiety shows itself BIGtime! Which was my motivation behind placing these two ‘Dreams’ or Goals on the bucketlist:
136. Gain more confidence in longer distance driving by myself ….and then further in time, I ‘got brave’ and placed this on the List…
230. Drive down to Dick Johnson Racing Team Mates Night one year, myself. DJR Team Penske’s annual Team Mates Night (a 1.5-2hr drive down the Coast away from where I live) is the one night of the year which I look forward to so much every single year – everyone who knows me/knows of my journey knows how much this Team, my Racing family means to me, its like a big ‘family reunion’ every year on this night – so it only makes sense to use this Event as my (excuse the pun) ‘driving force’ to help me overcome this fear of driving longer distances! I usually get a ride down/back from my awesome fellow Team Mates family – nothing will keep me away even if I don’t drive down there myself!
There is NOTHING like writing down a Goal, to make it actually REAL. For me, it makes it ‘set in stone’ and turns it into a ‘Challenge Accepted!’ moment! I cannot NOT ignore it, once it is on that List! Once I committed myself to #136 – I went and bought myself a ‘Go Via’ (automatic toll payment) tag and stuck it on my car. I thought this would encourage me to get out there at the time, and explore….but no, this wasn’t enough to kickstart me towards achieving my Goal…
TELLING PEOPLE OF YOUR GOAL MAKES YOU ACCOUNTABLE…putting it out there, really does work!
I’ve since told a number of people about my Goal, but telling this group of people connected to my Racing Family/Team suddenly made it Real “I really do have to achieve this now…I’ve told all these people I WILL do it!”
Dick Johnson and his lovely wife Jillie (Jillie gives the best ‘Jillie cuddles’!) now know about my Goal to drive down to Team Mates Night…
…as do racing legend John Bowe – and the Teams 2014 drivers – including the man himself who Drove me to my Dream, Steve Johnson! Steve’s wife Bree also knows of my Goal..
….All these people know what I want to achieve…uh oh I can’t get it out of it now! haha
THE ‘LIGHTBULB MOMENT’
Sitting in the passenger seat on the way down to DJR Team Penske Team Mates Night 2016 – it suddenly dawned on me! My PTSD/agoraphobia I developed and fought so hard to overcome in my 20s, is a big part of what is driving this ‘fear of driving longer distances’ today – the ‘further away from home’ I get when completely by myself (ie. No one else in my car with me), the more my anxiety knocks at the door of my mind, and shows itself. All these years later after that challenging time in my life I never really connected the two until this moment. Lightbulb moment right there! With lightbulb moments, often comes healing and the road ahead suddenly seeming a lot clearer (even though nothing physically has changed in your world, the ‘road in your head’ suddenly opens up when you discover the ‘why’ of how the roadblock has appeared in your mind and stopping you in your tracks.
Having arrived down at DJR Team Penske HQ once again with absolutely no anxiety at all, this really helped in the “I not only want to make this happen…I now NEED to make this happen, for myself!” determination switch in my mind! Yes, the ‘thought’ of doing it does make me very nervous still…but, if I let those thoughts overcome my actions and intention – I will never plough through this fear – I will never make it happen! I admit, it makes me nervous deep in my belly to think “in 2017, I may even drive my car to Team Mates Night myself! (with a passenger)”, even just thinking that makes me take deep breaths and exhale nervously – but…the only way to get through the nerves is to DO it!
(I’ve written the Goal down…told people about it… The next step? Uh oh…yep that’s right, the only thing left now is to ACHIEVE the Goal!)
OUR GOALS, DREAMS, FEARS & BLOCKS ARE UNIQUE TO EACH OF US
Its funny, I will quite happily and excitedly jump into a tank full of sharks with absolutely NO fear…but, thinking about jumping into my own cars drivers seat (I absolutely love my car, and it frustrates me that I have this fear!) and going on a roadtrip?? This gets me wanting to run and hide in the corner! It’s bizarre(and very personal!) what ‘gets us’ sometimes, isn’t it…our fears and ‘blocks’ are unique to each and every one of us, for our own reasons.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…when you jump into the drivers seat of your own life!