Confidence is one of those things that you don’t see coming or going. It’s sneaky – it can slip away like sand falling through your fingers or, it can drop away suddenly in response to a situation.
I’ve noticed over the years that changes in my walking ability directly influences my own confidence.
When I walked with a cane, for example, I felt fairly confident even though, by most standards, I was painfully slow. Then one day, I noticed that whenever I had to walk across the street at an intersection, with stoplights – using the “timed” crossing light, I would break into a sweat.
People would zoom past me and be halfway down the street long before I had reached the sidewalk.
For that reason, I would do anything to avoid crossing the street. Even now when using my scooter, I still don’t like crossing with a countdown meter.
It’s easy to understand why I feel uneasy when it comes to walking.
As a younger woman, I was eager to get my driver’s license and glad that I did. Driving changed everything for me; it really expanded my abilities.
I have been driving well over 40 years and have a clean and safe record. For close to 20 of those years I drove a van with hand controls. The van was equipped with a lifting device that allowed me to independently put my scooter in and out by myself.
When the van wore out due to old age a few years ago, my partner and I replaced it with a smaller, sportier car. And even though we put hand controls into the new car, I never felt comfortable driving it.
As a result, I lost my confidence. I didn’t notice it right away – instead, I just drove less and less.
Earlier this month, for a variety of reasons we decided to buy a new vehicle and this time we selected a van.
Once the hand control unit was installed, I got into the driver’s seat and haven’t looked back.
My driving confidence suddenly returned! It was a welcome surprise.
In the van, I feel I have more control of the vehicle when driving. My view of the road is wider, I’m higher from the ground, and the steering wheel is larger. It feels like the right fit for me. It sure feels good to be driving with confidence once again.
Remaining mobile is hugely important to me and driving is a great equalizer.
Confidence is a mindset – meaning it’s all about what you think.
I certainly believe in the importance of paying attention to your thoughts, but in certain instances, having the right devices and tools can really make a difference.
It sure feels good to be back in the driver’s seat, literally.