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Practice makes Better - Driving Confidence
Episode 2023rd June 2022 • The Driving Confidence Podcast • Kev & Tracey Field
00:00:00 00:12:06

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In this episode, Kev and Tracey follow on from the last episode about learning to drive feeling like it takes a long time, and discuss the benefits of practising driving.

We chat about:

  • How extra practice can build your confidence
  • What to practice
  • Why practising makes driving feel more natural and automatic

While listening to this episode, ask yourself:

  • How much driving practice do you get?
  • What driving tasks are out of your comfort zone that you could practice more?
  • Which parts of your driving feel natural and automatic and how can those elements help you with the parts that don’t yet feel comfortable?

Would you like to feature in a future Q&A podcast?  Do you have a story that others might relate to? You can record a question about driving nerves or confidence that you would like us to answer on our Speak Pipe page.  If you have a question, then there are likely to be others with the same or similar question so ask away and let's start helping more people to build their driving confidence! https://www.speakpipe.com/TheDrivingConfidencePodcast

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Transcripts

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In this episode, we're going to talk about practicing your driving.

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It's a theme that came up after the last episode where somebody was saying

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that it felt like it was going to take them for ever to learn to drive.

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And it got us thinking about how actually that just meant

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that somebody had more practice.

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And what were the benefits of that?

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Yeah.

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So what we're going to do today is let's talk about what you're going

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to practice and when do you practice and how long do you practice it for.

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So, Tracey, tell me a little bit about the theory behind practicing.

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So when it comes to confidence, there are a few different factors that are

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well-researched as showing that they make people feel more confident within a task.

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One of those factors is achieving success.

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So when somebody has had past successes, that makes them feel more confident when

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they repeat those tasks or do them again.

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So clearly if somebody is practicing their driving.

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They've got more opportunity to have success in those practices and the

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more success they have, then the more confident they're going to feel.

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So would you say that they practice everything or is it about choosing what

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they don't feel confident in to practice?

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I guess it's starting where you are.

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Okay.

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So starting with, the things that are in your comfort zone.

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But it's no good.

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Just keeping on practicing what's in your comfort zone and

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not going near the other tasks.

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So, really acknowledging what's in your comfort zone and what

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things are more challenging?

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And making sure that your practicing the things that are more

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challenging because gradually the more you practice those things.

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Then the more they are going to slip into your comfort zone as well.

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So the idea actually is practising so that you're gradually working

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your way through all of the tasks, so that they're in your comfort zone.

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And thats not to say that you don't continue to practice the things

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that are in your comfort zone,

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but I guess I'm just saying to keep an eye and make sure you're not solely

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practicing those things and ignoring the things that you find more challenging.

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So, yes, practicing everything.

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So one of the tools I use is the driving wheel.

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And on that people have a list of tasks or a syllabus and they use the coaching

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wheel to actually find out what they need to practice, so I think that's a great

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tool for people to come out of their comfort zone, and work on things that

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they aren't necessarily confident in, but notice that they need some work on or

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something that they haven't even done yet.

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So I think that's a great way of doing it and finding out what you need to practice.

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So how long do you practice something?

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So you mentioned practicing until they become more confident in it or

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practicing until it becomes in their comfort zone, so, how would they know

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that it's in their comfort zone now, if they're practicing that task, Yeah,

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I think that is, well, certainly the people that we work one-to-one with,

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that's something that we encourage them to really think about and to group tasks

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into what are they comfortable with?

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What's challenging.

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What makes them feel more panicky or fearful for example,

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so actually thinking about it.

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One of the great things about practicing is that it helps tasks, Daisy chain

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together and become more automatic.

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You'll probably be able to give a better Daisy chain example of driving than me

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Kev, but I'm thinking along the lines of when you're first approaching a

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roundabout as a learner, then I'm guessing that's made up of lots of little tasks.

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So managing your speed is one thing.

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Changing gear is a task all on its own, or even putting the clutch down it's all

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made up of these little individual tasks.

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But the more you practice, the more those individual tasks become automatic.

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They Daisy chained together until it becomes a situation

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of, you're not thinking of all the individual little tasks.

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You're just approaching a roundabout, so a bit like as toddlers, when you're first

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learning to get dressed as a toddler.

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Then it's all about trying to get your arms and legs in the

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right place and trying to get socks on as individual tasks.

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But as an adult, we just go and get dressed.

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Now the really important thing about Daisy chaining tasks together is that

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once they become automatic, several tasks grouped together in one automatic action.

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They're less influenced by stress.

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So they take up less space, less cognitive load for us to do and carry out.

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They take the less thinking about, as individual tasks

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it becomes one bigger task.

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And that means that when you're in a stressful situation, actually,

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they're less impacted by stress.

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They're easier to do.

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That's really interesting.

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So it's like, taking bits of what they've done previously so even if it

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was just moving off and stopping so you're noticing how they move away, how

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they stop a car, how they change gear.

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When they become better at that, they can put two tasks together.

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They can move away and change gear.

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And then they can slow down change to lower gear and stop.

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So you you're quite right.

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What you're doing is you are putting lots of little tasks

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together to make one big task.

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But doing it in such a way, it becomes easier, but noticing how you're doing

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it so you can put that task into a different task again, you can use

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that same task over and over again.

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In different situations.

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And again, if you realize what you're doing and why you're doing

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it, what that does is that's got to give you confidence if you just

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repeat it in a different situation.

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So that's exactly what we're after isn't it?

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So I've got a question we've called this podcast practice makes

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better, but the phrase people use is practice makes perfect.

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What's your thoughts on that?

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I don't think perfect is what we're aiming for.

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I've had lots of practice at driving and my driving certainly

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isn't perfect and we're not really aiming at perfection we're aiming at

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safe, confident competent driving.

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Let's try not to be perfectionist about this.

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For me, aiming for perfection is always a bit of a danger signal it just

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brings in so much stress and anxiety perfectionism is loaded with anxiety.

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So yeah, we're not aiming for perfection.

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We're aiming for better.

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And that makes so much sense.

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And for me when we're training people

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it's how long do people practice the same task?

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Well, think of it this way if you had to do parking for instance,

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are you confident parking in a car park where it's fairly empty?

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Or are you confident parking in a car park where there's only one

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space left and it's really busy.

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How confident would you be doing that task?

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Or would you be happy at parallel parking on a quiet road.

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Or are you confident parallel parking on a busy road?

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So again, rate it yourself how high are you at completing a

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task in different situations.

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And I think this is where the practice makes better

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comes into its own really finding out for yourself, how confident am I at

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completing a task in various different situations rather than one area where it's

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quiet so staying in your comfort zone.

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Come out of that comfort zone and ask yourself how confident am

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I to do this task in this area.

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Yeah and

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I'm guessing automatically the more you practice, the more you're

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driving, the more you're naturally just going to come across different

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situations and different scenarios.

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That you might not have experienced before.

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So those little things that as a driving instructor, you can't set up

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for somebody you don't know when there's going to be blue lights behind you.

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You don't know when somebody is going to step out in the road in front of

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you, all those little things that you can't actually plan to practice.

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The more you practice your driving, the more driving experience you

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get the more likely you are to come across those different situations.

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And that's all going to build your confidence.

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And, the more practice you get, the more experience you're getting on the road.

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So I think the more experience you have on the road, you're going to

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become a more confident driver because you've experienced more situations.

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Yeah.

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Now, definitely on that one, because when I was doing my research for my degree,

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I did my study around driving.

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And so those people that I surveyed for my research, I found that the

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people who drove more frequently where, the more confident drivers,

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but also they were the people who had less negative thoughts about driving.

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So there was a little questionnaire that I used about how often do you

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think these thoughts while you're driving and the people who drove more

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frequently pretty much had never, or rarely as all of those answers.

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Whereas the people who drove less frequently started to go higher up

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the scale and say that they were having more negative thoughts about

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their driving while they were driving.

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So, yeah more experience is going to make for a more confident

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driver in most scenarios.

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That's generalizing a little bit, but yeah, and I think it's not just

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for people learning, to drive at the moment people that have passed their

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test as well, carry on practicing.

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And practicing will make you better.

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Yeah.

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And we're all still a practicing.

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After we had that conversation with Matt and we were talking about

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bubbles again, and we've talked about having our driving safety bubbles

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a couple of times in podcasts.

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And shortly after that, I had to drive

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up the M6 a four hour journey with our grandson next to me.

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And I was really focusing on my safety bubble.

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So still practicing, still learning new things trying new things.

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So we're all still practicing.

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Exactly.

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And even if you get a new car.

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Oh, yeah.

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And that's again, something that's going to be different.

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So practice.

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Take time, be kind on yourself notice what you notice and then enjoy practicing.

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Great.

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Well, hopefully you found that helpful.

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How much do you practice?

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Do you feel that you haven't had enough practice and you need more?

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Let us know if any of this resonates with you and all of our contact details

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are in the show notes as always.

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We'd love to hear from you.

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And so until next time, have a great day, whatever you're doing.

Links

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trailer Welcome to The Driving Confidence Podcast
00:06:52