I’ve been spending a lot of time recently rediscovering, redefining, and refining my purpose. In this process, I realized that in some ways I was trying to fit into other people’s ideas of what I should be doing or how I should be doing it and it didn’t feel authentic. I made a connection between what I was doing and what I often see others doing in their wellness journey – yielding to backseat drivers.
Most of us have experienced a backseat driver at some point. Heck, we may have even been one before! They are the passengers who, despite not being in the driver’s seat, offer their ideas, instructions, and commentary about how you should be driving or what route you should have taken.
What’s more, backseat drivers fail to acknowledge your ability to drive your own car. Not only do you presumably have the skills to do so, you are the one driving! You’re responsible for making decisions about when and where to turn, how fast to drive, whether or not you’re going to stop at the red light, when to have the car serviced, and (when needed) if you’re going to turn this car around and go straight home!
When on the receiving end of backseat driving, you probably wouldn’t think to yourself: “Yeah, you’re right. I’m not a very good driver. I should have turned slower. I should be going faster. I should watch where I’m going. Hmmm, what would my backseat driver want me to do now?”
If you continued to listen to your backseat driver, you may start to feel disempowered, afraid to make decisions, unclear, and frustrated. You would lose your confidence. You may even give up driving.
Instead, when you encounter a backseat driver, you’re probably thinking something like: “Hey! I am darn well able to drive this car. I’ve done it a few times. And it’s my car. If I want your help I’ll ask for it. Otherwise, your silence would be appreciated!”
Yet, I often encounter folks everyday that yield to their backseat drivers when it comes to their own wellness. Whether it be their doctor, personal trainer, financial advisor, well-meaning friends, or product marketers, people are dismissing what they already know about themselves, their needs, and their best interests. Sometimes we need new information or skills. At those times, we can seek assistance and guidance. But never should we allow anyone else to define our wellness for us.
Please post a comment and share what ways you have yielded your wellness to backseat drivers.