There were very few cars with automatic gearboxes when I learned to drive . Finding out how to use the clutch and gear stick/stick-shift was part and parcel of the process for me.
Of course these days there are many more automatics around, but I still enjoy driving a car that puts me in charge of the gear I drive in. Four (or five) choices when it comes to going forward, and just the one when you need to reverse, which is not a bad analogy for the way we progress through life.
Although it's usual to move forward, there will always be times when you need to back up a little. When you do so, move slowly: there's no need to rush. And aim to go no more than a short way in reverse. It's usually used for parking rather than long-distance motoring, and that's why there's just the one backwards gear.
Use your forward gears in succession - both upwards and downwards. Get things started in first gear, which will move you slowly but surely. Change up only when the time's right. You'll know when it is. When you need to slow up, change down gradually.
Some may argue that taking a positive approach to life means being bullish and full-on all the time, but maybe it makes more sense to learn from a car's manual gearbox? There are several forward modes, and the trick, I'm sure, is to know which gear to use when.
In inclement conditions we're generally advised to drive slowly in a low gear. It gives you more power. Wise advice next time you're going through a difficult patch yourself, perhaps?