How it feels When People Have Your Back!

Tracy Bevan
3 min readFeb 20, 2023

Last week I drove all the way to Cornwall. Seven hours. Gold star for me.

I can’t lie, I was chuffed. ‘This is what it’s like to be a grown up’ I thought and I’m 53 so it’s about time!

Redefining the Limits of Your Capabilities

I get that for some folks, driving that far would be no great shakes. Some of you out there will have driven across deserts, traversed fragile bridges built of roundwood and strapped together by rope. The M5 is no walk in the park but it isn’t going to be appearing on ‘World’s Most Dangerous Roads’ anytime soon. Yet we all have our own personal mountains to climb. It might be how we are in relationships, our careers or the spider in the corner of the bathroom. Whatever. The point is, for me it was a big deal. It had been playing on my mind for a couple of months, ever since I’d booked the trip, so the sense of accomplishment and freedom I got was special. I’ve banked it for the next time I hit an ‘I can’t..’ stumbling block in my life.

The Secret?

How did I do it? Well firstly, I gave myself the opportunity to push myself. Obvious but essential. I took the first step of booking the trip and agreeing (grudgingly) to be the driver.

Secondly, I left my fixed mindset at home. Who else was going to look after the dog?

By mid-point of The Ordeal I started to realise it wasn’t that bad. The magic ingredient? I had a team of four great mates in the car with me. They were a good mix; practical (it’s left up ahead) and supportive (you’re doing great). They challenged my perceptions of my abilities (I thought you said you were a nervous driver? You’ve got this!) and kept me laughing and chatting, distracting me from my fears all the way there.

Afterwards I joked, ‘I think I’m going to take you everywhere with me’. How cool if we each had our own personal cheerleaders at our back, whispering encouragement and advice. We would rock the interview, sail through that presentation and that spider would be checking out Rightmove!

Putting Those Inner Critics In their Place

In the past my head space was mostly taken up with a flock of harridans swirling round like dementors leaving me unable to see clearly or think straight, but honestly, when have undermining, judgemental thoughts ever been of any benefit to you in a crisis?

‘Well, you shouldn’t have done that’, ‘Really? What were you thinking’, ‘Everyone is going to think you’re a (insert your own personal expletive)’ ‘That won’t work’, ‘Why do you get yourself into these situations’? These inner critics may have developed in your childhood to keep you safe but to grow we need to get our perspective back and recognise these old thoughts and behaviours for the jailers they have become. Otherwise they will continue to hold us hostage with their powerful negative take on our reality.

My drive to Cornwall was an example of what you can achieve when you let your head be filled with friendly words, understanding, compassion. And the difference… the difference is immense. We can do and be so much more than we think we can! We just need to get out of our own way and start enjoying the challenges that we meet along the way.

Life’s an adventure.

You really have got this!

And if you want to know what the carrot was to get me behind the wheel check out this place…

Paper Dolls Girls — Free photo on Pixabay



Tracy Bevan

Creative writer, positive psychologist and coach.