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  • Joanne Melzer


I still can’t believe I failed my driving test.

Not the most recent one, you’ll be relieved to hear.

No, not the test I took here in Colorado nine years ago.

(Side note → I’m not sure it’s possible to fail your driving test in America — the trickiest maneuver you have to do is change lanes on the highway…)

This was the first time I took a driving test, in England when I was 17.

I failed on a technicality known as ‘undue hesitance’.

It was crushing.

I’d hovered at a junction for a few minutes — inching my nose out, then braking in a panic at the hint of a hatchback dawdling up the road half a mile away…

At the time I felt really cross that I should fail because of that — surely it’s better to be extra careful than plunge out into the traffic before I was ready?

But my lack of self-confidence was not only unhelpful — to me, and certainly anyone behind me — it was considered dangerous.

I was dangerously hesitant.

In many ways, I’m much more together these days.

I stride about on stage trying to remember the words and not bump into the furniture (that’s called ‘acting’). 🎭

I’ll happily truss myself up in spandex and try to persuade a studio full of fearsome warrior women to get fit with me (that’s called ‘trying too hard’). 🏋️‍♀️

And of course I’ve been driving like a pro for decades now (!)

(Also side note → sometimes I drive a little bit badly here just to ‘fit in’…)

But in my business, until recently,

I still found myself being terrifyingly timid.

Timidly terrified.

I had great intentions of getting out there, getting stuff done…

And then I’d shrink back into my comfort cave as soon as I came across Someone Else Doing Things Properly — so much more Properly than I ever could.

Until I merely began. (← thanks Seth Godin!)

I just started writing something.

Then I wrote some more. Unedited, uncensored, raw, private (at first).

I broke the seal and got something flowing. (Not like that, numpty.)

I call it the Stream…

It’s just a folder in my Google Drive, where I add a doc every day and write an idea, a remembered story, an observation…

Something quick, short, and almost effortless.

It’s been kind of magical.

Sure, it’s got me into an important habit of writing every day.

Yuh, it’s also created a collection of raw ideas for more careful writing later.

But more than that,

the Stream has helped me break the habit of hesitance.

Not just for writing itself, but in all areas of my business.

Weirdly, just writing a little nonsense every day has given me enough momentum to get over myself.

And get stuff done.

Of course I still have raging Imposter Syndrome, and will be thoroughly intimidated by the Obvious Superiority of Others until forever.

But at least now as I motor onward…

I’ve finally found the driving seat.

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