Getting a driver’s license is a coming of age milestone for most teenagers. But what if you are over 21 and still do not have it?
If you fear has stopped you from getting the thing that will make you an independent adult then read on because you are not alone and there are things that can be done to remedy this problem.
The first step in the process of overcoming your fear of driving is too figure out the root of the fear. Ask yourself the following question: “Why as an adult, am I fearful of getting my driver’s license?”
The most common answers will be
- You were never taught as a child and fear it is too late
- Your mom or dad never got their license out of fear of driving and it rubbed off on you
- You are afraid of accidents
- You tried to learn as a teenager and failed so are afraid to try again
- You panic in high stress situation and are afraid you may panic when driving
These are the most common reasons that adults do not have their driver’s licenses.
If you were not given a chance to learn as a child or you were given a chance and were taught by someone who was a bad teacher (yelled at your when you made mistakes, had no patience to actually teach you well) you may have developed a fear of learning.
Maybe you saw that your parent was scared of learning to drive and that fear was projected onto you.
Maybe you fear accidents or have a panic disorder that you are afraid that this will affect you will driving.
All of the above were true for me. I did not get my driver’s license until I was nearly 22 years old!
My mother never had her license and when I saw my father teach her how to drive it was just horrible! He screamed and yelled at her and made her so miserable and nervous that she gave up trying to learn. She is now 57 and has never had a driver’s license!
I suffer from OCD (a type of anxiety disorder) and one of my obsessions is fear of doing something wrong and getting into an accident, of which I have already been in three! But, now at age 32, I have been a licensed driver for a little over 10 years now.
Thankfully I had support and good advice to help me overcome this fear and shame that as an adult I was a non-driver.
How I Did It And How You Can To!
The first step for me was the realization that if I did not overcome this fear my whole life would depend upon what other people could do for me in their own time. I wanted my freedom to go where I wanted, when I wanted without having to call a friend for a ride.
No license meant having to find work hours that fit someone else’s schedule and I came to the point where I was sick of this! The decision must be made that you HAVE to get your license and then you can deal with the rest.
The following are steps that I took and steps that can help you as well:
- Ask a trusted friend to help
- Get your panic and anxiety under control with proven methods
- Get some support from other adults with the same fears
To begin with, address your fears openly and honestly and without shame. There are so many others who are in the same boat as you are. Find them to get and give support.
Maybe you will even meet someone whom you can work with towards reaching your goals together. Having someone else who shares your feeling can help you both feel stronger and more confidant.
If you have panic or anxiety issues, talk to your doctor or therapist about them. There may be help there for you to overcome your anxieties before you attempt getting your license.
Your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medications to help you overcome this aspect of your fear. Therapy can help you find the cause of the original issue and work through it in order to build confidence and free yourself of shame and embarrassment.
The most important step for me was to ask for help from my friends. One in particular was my saving grace. After I had addressed the core issues and my anxiety, I was ready to put myself out there and attempt to learn how to drive.
The friend I asked was an experienced driver, had great patience, and was encouraging even when I made mistake after mistake. There was no yelling or agitation during the lessons and this made it to where I was able to relax enough to actually learn.
It took me several times out on the road to get the basics down and feel safe enough to take the actual driving test. I took that test NINE TIMES before I finally passed and was issued a driver’s license. Once I did get it though it was the proudest moment of my life.
I was still afraid to drive but I had overcome enough to get the license AND YOU CAN TOO.
Use whatever tools and methods you think you need but make a commitment today that you will learn to drive and will be a free and independent adult.
Though I drive every day, I still have fears about driving but I have them under control.
I am able to do this through a great self-help program called The Original Driving Fear Program.
This program gets me though those fearful and anxious moments and it can help you too!
Using this program in addition to the above mentioned tips will have you driving in no time and doing it without high levels of fear and anxiety!