Are you permanently parked because of driving phobia? Do you feel some fear holding you back strongly as soon as you think of driving your car?
Then this article is for you. You’ll get off the blocks much sooner than you’d ever think. If your phobia of driving is not allowing you to even want to drive a car, let us work it in your mind first.
The techniques you are going to learn here will help you overcome driving phobia for good. Moreover, you can apply them to any other phobia you may have and get rid of that too.
The key to overcome phobia is wanting to overcome it. If you get yourself to really want to get rid of driving phobia, half the battle is won.
How Driving Phobia Sets In
Fear of driving phobia most often is a result of just one frightful incident while driving. In the early stages of fear of driving, people usually try to get over it by briefly venturing into the feared situation, but they retreat as soon as anxiety creeps in.
When they avoid their fears, they get instant relief from their symptoms of fear of driving. This leads to a negative cycle. The more they avoid their fear of driving, the more symptomatic relief they get, making them believe that their fears were real and not speculative.
It is this habit of avoidance that is phobia. There is no real danger, it is illusion. Each time you avoid your fears, the more real this illusion appears.
How much longer should we keep avoiding? It is like retreating from a battlefield. We may feel secure in the beginning, but we are allowing the enemy grab more and more of our land. As we retreat more and more, we suddenly find that a large chunk of our world has been taken away from us.
It is time to rise against this enemy – illusion. If you are afraid of driving, it’s time to fight. And it’s not difficult because the enemy is not even real – it’s illusion! How do we fight it? Just face it!
Face the Fear and There Will Be No Fear
You only have to face your fear and it will vanish into thin air. Get up and go. This is the easiest and quickest driving phobia treatment there can ever be, even though you may feel it is the most difficult.
You will realize in hindsight that this was indeed the easiest and quickest. Say to yourself let me feel the fear when I start my car and pull away, not before that.
After all what could possibly happen to you sitting at home? If you sit at home you will only fuel your driving phobia and nothing more. Face it.
Every time you face your fear, you’ll find your self confidence rising. You’ll be less apprehensive every time you get behind the wheel of your car. It takes some amount of determination to apply this solution. The results are astounding.
Warning: Go One Step at a Time
If you have a fear of even driving to your local grocery, it would be a disaster if you tried to face your fear headlong on the freeway. You will further worsen your driving phobia if you happen to get a panic attack while driving. And chances are you will abandon the thought of driving again.
Take it stage by stage, according to the level of your driving phobia, and congratulate yourself after every stage.
Follow this order of progression from wherever you are at the moment:
- Sitting in your car with engine running
- Driving round the block
- Driving round a number of blocks with a companion
- Driving round a number of blocks on your own
- Driving over small bridges
- Driving over longer bridges
- Driving on unfamiliar roads
- Driving over long bridges spanning water
- Driving on freeways
- Driving in extreme weather conditions
Still Not Convinced? Another Technique to the Rescue
If you are still not able to muster up enough courage to face your driving fears, “think it through”. Yes, this is the technique with which you can muster up the courage to face your driving phobias. Think it through.
Sit in the comfort of home on your favorite couch and take your mind on the car journey you want to take. Visualize your whole journey in the detail.
See yourself slipping into the driver’s seat, starting up the engine, pulling away, maneuvering through the traffic and so on. Anticipate every problem you may come across and prepare your answer to it.
Prepare for erratic cyclists in your neighborhood, traffic and busy intersections, cars cutting across your lane, vehicles closing in, the honking, etc. Prepare your response to every situation, because these are the situations that are most likely to dent your confidence when you actually drive.
If you go back in time, it was perhaps one of these situations that caused your fear of driving in the first place. Now it’s time to learn from them, expand your skill set, and move on.
Practice it in your mind first. Do your homework. Study the route, know where to turn, and know the one-ways so that you don’t get panicky at crucial junctures.
Look up the actual routes and pictures on Google Street View . All the major streets in the U.S. are up on the internet. Take a drive through sitting at your computer.
Overcome your driving phobia in your mind before you hit the road. Once you do this, you’ll be amazed at the ease with which you will drive.
Laugh At Your Fears
Finally, laugh at your driving phobia whenever you feel anxiety building up. Laughing at your driving phobia will diffuse the associated feeling of fear and make you feel comfortable with driving.
It needs courage and a sense of humor to laugh when you are anxious. If you manage to pull it off, you will probably have mustered enough courage to face the fear of driving!
For more on how to overcome driving phobias, check out Rich Presta’s Driving Fear Program.
It is a foolproof program to help you get back on the road with complete confidence as quickly as possible.