Does "to go up a gear" have a figurative meaning?

If so, when do you use it?

Would you please give me some examples?

Thank you

P.S. CJ: If you happen to answer this question, would you please be so kind as to answer my follow-up to my question titled "Storytelling: Simple Past or Present Simple?" - Thank you.


I think I more often hear 'shift gear ''than 'shift gears'.



You sometimes hear the phrase "shift gears" used figuratively, meaning "change the way things are done." As in the following, for example:

"Our relationship is at an impasse. I've got to shift gears, or it's over."

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 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.

In the US, it's "shift gears." (Clive is Canadian, originally from the UK.)