If you haven’t read part 1 of this story, go read it here: Driving Fear Stops People From Living A Complete Life. You can find part 2 here: Things Only Got Worse As The Driving Fear Increased. Here is part 3: The Key To Success And Overcoming Driving Fear.
The first thing that Tony learned is that his fear came from a deeply rooted subconscious association to driving. This occurred, for him at least, because of his wreck with his brother in the car. His brain made a subconscious association to driving and immediately labeled driving as a very bad, fearful, and horrible experience.
The same is true for anyone else who experiences driving fear. Either because of one very bad experience while driving, or because of a number of smaller fearful experiences, your mind has made a subconscious association to driving and has labeled it as being dangerous, bad, and something to be feared. The first step is to understand that your mind makes these types of connections all the time to everything. It’s normal and natural and it’s how we function in the world. You look at a door and your mind automatically makes the association to the door, the door knob, how to work the door, why you should use the door, and everything else associated with a door.
You don’t have to stop and look at the door, think about the door, think about using the door knob, try to think about why you want to go through the door in the first place. You simply take action and use the door. The same is true for your driving fear. Your mind and subconscious mind automatically associate driving, getting behind the wheel, and operating a vehicle as dangerous and something to fear. This happened, again, because of those few small experiences that you had in the past that created fear in you.
The problem is that your mind has created this fear of driving connection. It relates to driving as being dangerous. Yes, there is a degree of danger to driving, just like there is a chance of getting hit while walking across the street. This doesn’t mean it has to be dangerous though. There are a number of things you can do in order to reduce the danger of driving.
First, you can start by paying attention. This isn’t the paying attention so closely that you get paranoid and scared. But instead, paying attention and being aware of what is going on around you. Noticing the car pulling out in front of you two blocks ahead, or the car ahead of you about to merge into your lane. Awareness is the first step that Tony used, and it’s the first step you need to use.
The second thing you can do is to slow down. Who cares if the person behind you is in a hurry and riding your bumper. Let that person ride your bumper and do their thing. You take your time, pay attention, and drive at a speed that is comfortable for you. If that means doing 20 miles per hour under the speed limit to get started, then so be it. By slowing down and taking your time, you give yourself the comfort of feeling comfortable and the ability to respond and react much more quickly if you need to while on the road.
The final thing you can do to help get yourself started, is to start changing your subconscious association to driving. Begin to envision yourself driving along the road completely relaxed, care free, and completely in control of yourself and your vehicle. The only way to change your negative subconscious association to driving is to use the same tool that created it. Your mind made the connection with a few strong emotions, so you must undo that connection with a few strong emotions.
Be sure to feel strongly that you are in control of yourself, and your vehicle, and that you are completely relaxed and fearless while driving. As you envision yourself driving along, throw these emotions in as strongly as possible. Do this daydreaming a few times a day, day after day, until you begin to recognize your fear of driving starting to diminish. In the next and final part, we will talk more about how to overcome your fear of driving as well as some options you have available in order to speed up the process and learning curve.