I encourage you to try this
For the more than 27 years that I’ve been a driving instructor with Young Drivers of Canada I’ve been known as a supporter; someone who encourages others to do their best. To be honest, there are some days it can be difficult to encourage others. Regardless, I still feel it’s important to do. Are you an encourager? Do you help others feel that they’re capable of doing their best? As a driver we all know how important it is to do our best. Do you encourage yourself?
For the three years I was involved as a judge with Canada’s Worst Driver on Discovery Network, I had met a few drivers who could have really benefitted from spending time with an encourager. Their self-esteem was very low and after they perform challenges, they felt they had failed, even though they may have done much better than they had hoped and actually performed it well. Part of having the feeling of failure were the people around them. They kept pointing out all of the flaws instead of promoting their successes. Has this happened to you?
When I’m training new instructors for Young Drivers of Canada, I keep pointing out they should focus on what they’re doing well. Thinking of their mistakes promotes those mistakes to become more habitual. For the things they do incorrectly, they should focus on the solutions; on what to do the next time. There’s actually a process for giving out positive corrections to others. You should start off with praise for the things done correctly, and then provide the corrective behaviour of the things done incorrectly and then the outcome. The outcome, in other words, is why they should make those changes. When you know why you should make those changes, you’ll most likely do them. No one really does what they’re told. They tend to do what they believe in.
However, when it comes to encouragement, the first person you need to encourage is yourself. Believe in yourself. When I first started to write about road safety a decade ago, I wasn’t sure I could do it. I had never done anything like that before. I received a harsh criticism from someone I worked with at the time who reviewed my work and that really dropped my confidence in my ability. After that, I received encouragement from my family and the rest is history. I decided to take my own advice. I began to encourage myself.
There will be new things we try that just don’t seem right, including while driving. We want to be successful at it, but things just aren’t falling into place like we want. Here’s some advice to help you grow your ability when you’re learning something new. Lower your expectations. On a scale of 1 to 10, you may have always had high expectations of your abilities, perhaps an 8 or 9, but your current performance level isn’t anywhere near matching those expectations, perhaps it’s at a 2 or 3. If you lower your expectations when you first begin to learn, your performance can reach those expectations easier. Once you reach that level of expectations, you’ll feel better and you can then raise those expectations a bit more as you progress.
This “stepping-stone approach” will allow you to feel more positive about what you’re doing. You’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something. This positive outlook will help to encourage you to keep going and become successful in whatever you want. I hope this advice is encouraging you to be who you want to be, to become the driver you want to be and to help others you care about to do the same. I encourage you to try this.
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