The first time my 16 year old daughter backed out of the driveway in our Mini Cooper she stalled umpteen times. She was new to a manual transmission.

More than once, over the course of those 25 feet, she felt frustrated.

More than once, she was ready to quit. She cried. And it took a really, really long time.

But she kept at it.

A year later I noticed she pulled out of our driveway like a pro.

When I asked her why she kept at it that first time, despite the many failed attempts and tears she said she knew it was possible and decided she was going to do it. She decided she was going to succeed, no matter how long it took or how frustrated she got. She decided she wanted to drive the cooler of our two cars instead of my mega-mom wheels, even if it was hard.

And with that decision she went from dreaming about driving the Mini to doing it.

Stalling is part of learning to drive a manual transmission.

It is also part of taking your dream out for a spin.

When your dream is kept parked inside it’s safe. Perfect. Shiny. Dream like, in fact.

Yet untested and unlived.

Most dreams, when taken out for spin, loose a bit of their shine as we back them out of the driveway. They stall and need to be restarted. Some even produce tears and take much longer then we expected.

But learning to live with the tension of stalling and starting, again and again, is part of the process. It’s how we go about the messy business of moving from dreaming to doing.

Stalling is inevitable. The problem only arises when we let it stop us in your tracks. When we stall out and decide sitting safely in the driveway, going nowhere is just fine. When starting up again just feels too hard.

What’s causing you to stall and quit? What’s standing between you and someday? And most importantly, what would help you decide it was possible?

Originally published at on February 4, 2015.

Originally published at