Do you have a phobia or fear something so strongly that it not only affects you but other people?
I do (or hope to say did) and had to call in an expert to help me out.
MY FEET WERE SO CLOSE TO THE FIRE I WANTED TO LITERALLY ESCAPE THE CAR IN THE MIDDLE OF A BUSY MOTORWAY
Over the past few months I have shared on my FB page about my panic attack(s) on the M25 and how I have battled this crippling phobia of motorway driving (which has got worse recently due to life getting in the way), meaning I have to choose on Google maps: 'avoiding motorway routes' to come back to my childhood home to Worcester from Essex (3.5 hours motorway vs 6 hours on the A roads).
A friend had commented in my previous post that she too had lost her confidence on the motorway and had taken 'defensive driving lessons' so I was intrigued to have them too. Another friend shared a post about a menopausal woman also having panic attacks at the thought of motorway driving so when I shared the post it was clear that I am not alone.
That actually helped. A lot.
It was good to see that there are people out there who share this motorway horror and that many of them have taken steps to seek help which have really helped them.
Recently I had NLP (Neuro Lingusitic Programming) during my training to become an NLP Practitioner to get rid of my fear of driving in the rain (on motorways....any other roads are just fine) and of the pesky lorries who always loom up from behind.
This lorry induced fear will be thanks to a big truck bashing into the back of a Suzuki Maruti my mother and I were travelling in in India totally writing the car off and crushing the boot into the front of the car...plus the lorry that clipped the side of my car when I was pregnant on the M25 just near Clacket Lane....or the lorry my kids and I saw tumble into slow motion off the motorway by South Mimms a few months ago (that made most of the newspapers and we were literally next to it as it fell off the road) so as you can see...my bête noire is the lorry filled motorway.
The NLP made me not fear the lorries *so much* as I had a new mindset of "Oh it's just Mr Brown doing his job of delivering the eggs / cement/ milk / sheep (you name it) from A to B and he's NOT the enemy, he's just in a lorry and doing his day job and NO he's not out to get you".
HOWEVER...I still lacked the confidence on actually doing the driving on the frikkin' motorways!! I am currently going thru quite a lot of adversity so I decided it that now was well and truly time to call in an expert to help me.
I booked up the fully-booked Gareth Lewis who luckily had some (rare) space to do two motorway sessions which lasted two hours each. He had got my niece through her driving test first time and he came highly recommended.
So 2 x 2 hours would mean 240 minutes or rather 14,4000 seconds of being on a motorway in the driving seat.
Boy...I have never clock watched so MUCH in my life before.
I have never felt so nervous, hot 'n' sweaty before.
I have never been soooo out of my comfort zone as he pushed me to indicate, 'push the gas' and go up to the eye watering speed of 70mph (I do like to sit at 60!!!) as I over took lorry, after caravan, after small car going gently along at 60 (my ideal please!)
Then it started to...RAIN! Help, another bête noire all rolled into one.
We actually did several motorways during our sessions..M5....M42...M6....on and off we came and busier and busier it became.
I really felt uncomfortable.
It wasn't a gentle, let's do one little motorway, pull over and discuss www (what went well) kind of session. No, it was multiple motorways with no breaks!
At one stage when I was in a cold sweat, I thought back (just at the turn off to the NEC - you may know that turning if you're in the Midlands) to some copy on my PR Mastermind sales page where I say: "I hold your feet to the fire as I get you to call your dream journalist and I listen in to the call."
I also thought about the times that my lovely clients have to do their very first Pitch Clinic to a leading journalist.
Some clients have run for the hills at this prospect (but come back before my pre-pitch clinic training session!), Some have got totes emosh after their pitches as the journalist has asked probing questions about why they set up their businesses, how they are qualified to do what they do...basically they're doing their job and at the same time empowering my clients to become confident at pitching through a little tough love.
So yes - it's okay for me to dish it out...now was my time to be on the receiving end. Ouch.
Gareth was giving me so much tough love I wanted an escape button in the car. At one stage he 'forced me' (okay I offered before he suggested) to go in the (scary) fast lane.
I kept on turning on the air con, opening and closing the window...he must have thought OMG....! Give me back my 17 year old learners any day. But actually he kept on pushing me on.
Off the motorway...back on it, off, then on and so on for a full 120 minutes.
Then finally it came to an end and during the last part of the session we chatted normally and I did manage to feel less uncomfortable and more confident.
Actually, I asked him about his business as I was keen to find out how he shared his expertise when not teaching in the car and how he could potentially boost his income. I love sniffing out money left on the table.
I had an expert in the car and I was off on one! I was sharing ideas on how he could generate additional income, do group coaching, target three groups of drivers...the list went on and talking shop also helped towards me feeling more confident as I was in my 'zone of genius' not just a bumbling 49 year old who is shit at driving!
Then he said something to me: "Oh but to do online training... I don't think I'll be confident to do that. I'm confident with motorways and roundabouts!"
Well by this stage I had totally forgotten those pesky lorries and slip roads as I was in my element! We glided back home and I felt amazing.
I said: "Gareth, the tables have turned! I'll help you just as you've helped me. I've felt so super uncomfortable it's unreal but you made me and I did it".
- A new expert was born in Worcester (watch this space as he owns his 3 niches) I told him he could, so he will!
- I have had some excellent training from an expert and he told me to drive back to Essex ON THE MOTORWAY which I did yesterday (lovely sunny day and lorry free as it was a Sunday, my new driving day of choice!)
- The power of the expert has never been so clear as when I was doing the drive back as I remembered all of his hints and tips and everything simply flowed.
I could have not bothered calling in the expert and continued to do it the long slow way but this was damaging my confidence and performance on the road. I had tried to go it alone but it just didn't work out.
This emphasised so clearly to me that when I invite business owners to have a PR Strategy session with me to see how they can put into practise what they have learnt from my masterclasses, trainings or blogs, that they too have the choice to go it alone and take the long 'avoid motorways route' or to do it on the motorway - at speed with me guiding, supporting and helping them to secure the all essential press coverage so that they can grow their awesome businesses, attract many more clients as they share their message with millions and enjoy the process at the same time!
Which route will you be choosing with your business plans?
I never thought I would say this, but I invite you to 'come on the motorway with me'. Apply for your PR Strategy session and let me help you to have the fastest route to high visibility in your industry.
And I really look forward to connecting with you. We have 30 minutes together of diving deeply into your business, spotting the gaps and seeing how you can claim your expert status and actually take it to THOUGHT-LEADER, that would be great, wouldn't it?