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Don't overdrive your headlights

As a die-hard New Yorker, I learned to drive after I moved west as an elderly twenty-one-year-old. Night driving was a special challenge and the instructor reminded me, "Don't drive past your headlights."

Over the years, I came to understand what he meant. I learned to look for reflectors, signs and lights, and to drive slowly on country roads that lacked these amenities. I also learned that I could drive much faster when I had driven a road many times.

I think about night driving when people ask, "How fast should I go in a life transition?" Counselors, consultants and coaches often say things like, "You need confidence! Move forward!"

Your confidence, like your car's headlights, will allow you to move forward. You know where you are going and you can handle what's ahead.

You don't get confidence when someone says, "You're wonderful!" You gain confidence the way you learn to drive country roads.

Go slow until you learn the way. If you feel nervous, you can develop your skills, find another route, or even delay your trip so you can drive in daylight. You might feel better if you have a map, so you won't be surprised or wonder if you're lost when you see signs pointing to places you've never heard of.

Sometimes you have to tell yourself, "Look, I've done this before. I've never had an accident. The roads are dry and the sky is clear. Let's move!"

You have to respect your own inner wisdom -- and sometimes your realistic concerns can be
misinterpreted as lack of confidence. You must go at your own pace.

However, you know you need to get to your destination, somehow. You can't stay here forever. Once you're on the road, often your confidence grows as you move. And next time you'll know the way.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com or call 505-534-4294.


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The obstacles you overcome