Will this fear ever go away?
Learning to drive can be traumatic, but you keep asking if the fear will ever go away. Anxiety, which can lead to fear is a very real feeling and deserves to be respected, not dismissed. Fear comes in many shapes and sizes. One of them being the thought of getting into a car and learning to drive or, getting back into a car after an accident or road rage incident. As we also know, this can also lead to anxiety, which in turn stops you doing your daily activities.
I know my traumatic moment in time was getting my tongue caught in my braces as a 13yo. Yes, you may well be laughing at (with) me but at the time, sitting at Sandringham Hospital with Mum and they suggest they cut my tongue to release it from the wires. Thankfully, Mum said just cut the wire. Took me a decade before I ate peanut butter again. 😉
How does anxiety work?
Anxiety is a state of mind that has been known in previous time as something silly and pointless. A moment in time where our brain tells us that we can’t do something. Every time we think about something we need to do our mind creates doubt in our ability to carry it through. This is known as a specific phobia. According to the Beyond Blue website, specific phobias are a fear of a certain activity, animal or object that has been present for six months or more.
So, this means your anxiety about driving, dealing with traffic conditions is a very real condition and it CAN be managed.
What forms does anxiety come in?
Some of my client’s fears can include the use of freeways. Freeways can freak anyone out, particularly after a traumatic episode. All those trucks going at 100 Km/h and you feel like you’re sandwiched in between them. It may be as simple as going around sharp bends, wondering if the other car coming towards you will stay on their side of the road. You may think you’ll never be able to negotiate steering and using the pedals at the same time. These are all very real anxieties and should not be ignored.
Whilst visualisation techniques can help alleviate the stresses of these moments in time, sometimes a practical supportive approach is what helps you manage them.
How do I move past the anxiety?
Our approach to learning to drive, or improve your techniques are to bring it back to basics. With my dual controlled car, you may only be comfortable steering during your first session, whilst the next lesson you may want me to steer whilst you just use the pedals. Learning to drive doesn’t happen overnight and with my supportive, nurturing manner beside you, you will be able to manage these anxieties and move forward with your learning.
Sometimes it can be parents who pass on the anxiety without realising it. I know myself with my eldest, the thought of hopping into her manual car with her after completing some automatic hours made my anxiety levels go through the roof. I would hold onto the car strap on the roof, my shoulders would tense up, my feet went to the pretend dual pedals at my feet. All that anxiety passed onto her and made her tense up. This would in turn create small mistakes to be made or an argument would ensue by her pulling over and asking me to drive home. Sound familiar?
These fears and anxieties can be managed through trust, support and guidance. So, how do I do this? With the following.
- By supporting both the learner AND the supervising driver. Neither of you are ever alone and I will always leave the lines of communication open.
- All lessons will be conducted in a supportive, nurturing and safe environment. Parents are welcome along to lessons whenever they like.
- Students fears are always acknowledged, discussed and a plan worked out to manage those fears.
- The opportunity to complete Stage 1 of The Blue P Program – which includes a detailed checklist to support you through those first hours with your teenager.
- Every anxiety and fear is different and will be treated with the utmost respect.
Time to make the call!
As you can see, helping those with fears and anxieties towards driving is Drive Skills 4 Life specialty. I will walk the walk and talk the talk. No rushing, no judgement and in particular, no rushing. The feeling you get will go away and we will be there to steer you in the right direction.