Driving Phobia – The Freight Train is in Your Head Not on the Tracks
When you have a driving phobia it is debilitating. You are stuck. You choose to drive, bite your lip, or you stay home and miss out on life. Which choice have you been making?
Have you noticed how your driving phobia starts? Next time you are in the car take a moment to really observe what happens to you. Many people suffering from a fear of driving can get in the car, start down the road, and everything is perfectly fine. Then they see the first event on the road which starts a little fearful thought.
Maybe what they saw was a freight train flying down the tracks at a high speed towards the intersection they are approaching. Would that produce fear in your mind? Would your anxiety begin to creep up?
Now think about it a little further. Did the freight train flying down the tracks produce your fear? Really take a moment and think about this very deeply. The signal lights were already down. The traffic was stopped. What you saw was a normal part of everyday traffic. What happened in your mind is you started envisioning all of the things which COULD happen if the freight train collided with you. You pictured the results of the train careening wildly off the tracks in a derailment. The real freight train was in your mind running wildly out of control.
Stopping the Freight Train in Your Mind
If you cannot stop a freight train on the tracks, or stop bad drivers from being on the road, what can you do to overcome your driving phobia? You must take control of your thinking. You need to learn different reactions to the activity around you.
The first step is to recognize what is happening. When an event triggers the start of your anxiety what are you saying to yourself? Can you step back from it a little and just observe your mental comments and see where they are leading? Even if you cannot step back and your driving phobia begins kicking in full steam, listen closely to the words racing through your mind. What are they telling you? This is the start to gaining control of your life again.
Changing the Roar of the Driving Phobia into a Quiet Rattle
Your goal is to start changing slightly what you tell yourself. Learning to use different language in your internal dialogue can start changing your anxiety from the loud rumbling roar of an oncoming freight train into the rattling sound a model train makes running through a child’s bedroom.
The words you use in your internal dialogue carry massive power. They can be powerful in helping you stay under control, or they can be equally powerful in causing you to pull over to the side of the road in fright. The only consistent truth is you have the power to change it.
We are only scratching the surface of overcoming your driving phobia, but it is an important start. Taking the simple step of learning how you talk to yourself will give you power to start using advanced techniques to overcome your fear of driving forever.