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Back Seat Drivers

Picture this:

You’re on a bus. The type doesn’t matter, be it a school bus, city bus, Greyhound, take your pick.

There are several people on this bus. Take a moment to give them all back stories.

The person in the front, in the middle, in the back.

Think about each person’s differences. No two are alike and they’ve all had vastly unique life experiences. What Religious beliefs do they have? What kind of town did they come from? Are they confident in who they are? Or do they seem to be pretending to be so?

Take a moment with the woman here and the man there. The confident lawyer looking person and the exhausted insecure one. There’s the broody person trying to be as minimal as possible while emanating a spiky energy. Perhaps there’s a bookish person minding their own and totally lost in the world they’ve chosen to dive into.

Every one of these people has hopes and fears. They have dreams, successes and failures. Some have actively chosen to be on this bus and others have come unwillingly, thrust onto the mass transit with things totally out of their control.

Some would rather be driving while others are happy to take a back seat, for now. 

Take a moment to add anything else to the scene? Colors, thoughts, emotions. The physical discomfort.

While enjoying a lunch date with a dear friend he gave me this visual. I’m not sure if he knew how vivid the images were for me. It was like a scene from a movie where things stop for a moment and you’re transported to this new place and time.

Our conversation continued with this simple statement:

You are the bus. Everyone on it wants to be the driver.

Let that sink in.

You are the vehicle going through this life. Rolling down the road, hitting potholes, taking turns, dealing with flat tires and needing gas to continue forging forward to the next mile marker, the next town, the next… what?

Everyone else on that bus is a “back seat driver”, a representation of the voices you hear. Think about what they say. “This is too slow.” “This isn’t good enough”. “You can’t make it to the next stop.” “You need to be better.”

As you allow, they take turns driving. Maybe a couple of people are kind and loving, encouraging, while a few others aren’t so supportive. Regardless they all have an opinion on where you should go and what route to take to get there.

I loved this analogy and knew I had to share it here.

It’s another way to illustrate the need to find your own voice, the good driver with love, confidence and hope. The one who trusts in your path and drives from one point to the next. 

Sure, there are hiccups. A pothole may mean the bus needs an alignment. Or a flat tire sets you back a bit financially and slows down time. An oil change is required to keep the motor running smoothly and avoid seizing up. Filling the washer fluid keeps the windshield clear so you can continue with a clear view.

Think of the above challenges as the self-care required for your physical body, the bus, to maintain healthy optimal performance. If you don’t maintain your fluids, eventually something goes wrong in the engine. If you don’t check the oil or swap out the tires you could find yourself out of commission for a while with a hefty bill for serious medical care.


Who do you want driving your bus? And what backseat drivers are you glad came along?

Every voice you listen to is affecting the twists, turns and straightaways you choose to take. And while they may get loud and demanding, you have the power to turn on the music and drown them all out. 

Better yet, You’re the bus. Who do you want to allow to continue to ride? 

The next time you begin to think less than loving thoughts about yourself and the life you lead take a moment to see who’s driving. If it’s time to change things up I encourage you to pick the best backseat drivers to come along.


                                         with love,


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