Learning and Practice: Building Confidence

This winter break I am not traveling. I am planning to travel with some friends, though, but I don’t think we’ll make it. Anyway, the reason I am not traveling is because I am saving so I can travel a bit farther next summer break. Please wish me luck with the visa ^^

Another reason I am not traveling is because I want to learn to drive again. Abang, the first son of an Indonesian family here, teaches me. We’ve agreed that he can park at my place when he goes to campus, and in return, he must teach me to drive. So I’ve been learning to drive with him again.

Me with Festus, my motorcycle back in Indonesia.

And here I come with this feeling of confidence. I think learning and practice is about building confidence. I don’t drive a car because I don’t have it. Cars are quite expensive in my country. Well, at least I can’t afford it. My family can’t. So I ride a motorcycle instead. And I love it. I’m very confident with my skill at riding a motorcycle. Well, at least my motorcycle 😊 Dang, now I miss it! *Btw, the name of my motorcycle is Festus ^^

But okay, I don’t mean to talk about riding a motorcycle. I want to tell you my experience learning to drive a car. After some practice with Abang this winter break, I feel like I am getting more confident. I have always been nervous at the thought of driving a car. I feel like I cannot really estimate when I have to start steering the wheel, or when I should start turning. I am scared of hitting people or other vehicles. I’m afraid I’ll damage the car I’m driving (especially because I know it’s not mine!) I don’t want all of that to happen, I can’t bear the guilty feeling. So, there, I have never been confident to drive a car, let alone on my own. I am always scared and I guess this is what inhibits my learning. With more practice, however, I become more confident. It’s like I get to know the car and the roads better. Just the way I would ride my motorcycle.

Me. Winter 2015. No, I wasn’t driving.

I’m not sure if that’s because Abang is a good teacher or not. I’ve learnt to drive before. Back when I was in the States and back when I was back at home in Indonesia. I guess this time it’s because I have somehow learned the basics, so the amount of practice really comes to play. I’m not sure that I’m going to be more confident when I hit the real roads or different routes, though. I’m still struggling with my parking skills. And, I’ve been practicing to drive only in the parking area of a closed market here. So I don’t know how much more I’m going to advance and how much longer it’s going to take. Like, I’m not sure if I will ever be confident to drive all by myself, alone, solo. I mean, so far when I’m learning there’s always someone beside me on the front seat. It kinda gives me assurance that if things go wrong or if I do something wrong, there will be someone I can rely on to make it right. But if alone, I don’t know. I’m not that confident. Or maybe I’m just insecure.

With the car, however, I feel more comfortable. I’m getting used to it. I get more familiar with how it reacts to the things I do. I just need more practice so that I can handle it better. But this worries me, too. Like, if somehow I can succeed driving Abang’s car with ease during the learning or the practice, will I ever feel the same comfort when I have to drive a new car or a different car? Jeez, I worry too much. But I guess that’s it. Even though you’re an expert, you’ll still need to get to know the car you’re going to drive. Though the more skillful you are, the less time you’ll need for it (the adjustment, red). I know from my experience with motorcycles. As I have said, I’m quite expert at riding Festus, my motorcycle. But if I have to ride another motorcycle, I can’t speed the way I do with Festus. I need to know the motorcycle first and adjust my riding style accordingly to make it safe. And I guess all of it is for building confidence. Confidence that we’ll be safe when doing it so that we are not worried too much.

And I think it applies to other types of learning, too. Learning to do makeup, learning foreign languages, learning to cook, etc. The more you practice, the more confident you will be as you’re getting better at it. What do you think? 😊

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