Monday, January 9, 2012

I am going to trick myself !!!

PS: This blog is for all those who have a Car but still have not started driving it !!!

I got my car license in 2001 just for the sake of having one. My husband got a car for me ;) in May 2008 and I was really really scared to drive a car. With all my fear inside I sat on the driver seat to take the car for its first pooja to the near by Pillaiyaar temple and ghosh not sure how I got hurt but in one of my right toe was a spot of blood ;(. I decided I am not going to drive that day to the temple. After a few days what do I find – my car’s original RC book is a pizza dinner to a rat. Hmmm bad omen ;) I thought then !!

It was 2011. Year of mentorship lessons! One of the mentorship puzzles was on zero change management – How do we bring about change with zero change management. Couple of key pointers here are that Change Management is most successful when the change is painless to make and it makes life much better. Change is a emotional than a rational process. Minimum viable product(MVP) approach can be applied to change as well

I decided why not try applying this technique for my car driving now that I have to travel across location offices in Chennai.All in all I found that my fear for driving was bigger than me. What if I go and hit someone and what if I don’t feel like taking the car at all from then on etc. I decided I am going to trick myself.

One day at 6 am in the morning I decided I am just going to take the car from its parking lot and drive the car just for 10 mins, only in the forward direction and that was it for the first day ! My mind was comfortable with this change and after three years of the car being idle it was my first success.

Next day I decided to take the car for 20 mins again in the forward direction in newer roads around my area again. Next I happened to pick up my child from one of her classes and also got a chance to experiment reverse in one of the quiet lanes around T Nagar. Again my mind was comfortable with reverse now that it had mastered forward !

I took the car next to Adyar now ! with my husband sitting to my left with his hands always in the hand gear ;).

Thanks to Sripriya Chandran who knew driving well(also a free interesting radio FM for me !!) and who agreed to accompany me for a week to DLF in my car. When I was explaining to her that I was trying to apply zero change management to my driving she teasingly said “ Zero change management for you and 100 % stress management to me sitting next to you …LOL”.

Each time thoughts of fear arose in me for every small change, I kept telling myself “ I am learning something new and hence I am having these butterflies inside and its actually good for me. So many people can drive why not me. I am determined to make it this time “

Within that single week with Priya beside me I saw driving myself with lights ON in the evening, rain, storm(with strong winds one day it looked to me like that !!!), traffic jams at Kathipara etc. I was comfortable with each of these changes – the changes were made such that my mind was comfortable with the change happening each time.

Next was of course a flat tyre change that had to happen !!!.. One day in the evening at MEPZ just when I was leaving ghosh I found a flat tyre. It so happened that Nandhini was also there with me that day. Thank God ! Thanks to JP who immediately helped by coming himself along with couple of them from his team. Thanks to Outreach ! I knew them earlier too very well – Vivek Ganesh and Ammayappan. They asked me for the tool kit to change the tyre. Ooops...I did not even know that my tool kit was not with me !!. Thanks to Sridharan who happened to pass by in the MEPZ lane and was kind enough to lend his tool kit to someone who was completely strange to him. I returned the kit to him the next day.

Thanks to JP, VivekGanesh, Ammayappan, Sridharan and of course Nandhini who were with me for the entire evening to help and I am indeed very grateful to them being my first flat tyre ;)

I got caught by a traffic police too and paid my first fine recently !!! To recap – trick your mind – keep the change so small that your mind does not know that you are making a change !!

Some of you had wanted to read this post so that you could also start applying for car driving….do apply them and let me know how it helped you !!!


  1. Kavitha,
    Your post is simply awesome. Motivates me to try car driving too as I am very scared of vehicles. In fact I have never even driven a 2 wheeler on Indian roads. I love the concept of change management with zero change. I am definitely going to learn car driving with this technique. Also got another idea. I have the bad habit of sleeping late in the night and thus getting up late in the morning. I am thinking of applying your technique to change this too. Loved your post. Keep writing more.

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