The mind is a highly complex thought mechanism capable of mighty things. But it can also be downright absurd at times.
So always remember a principle that will keep you in safe stead: “When you are feeling anxious, don’t trust your mind; trust your experience.”
The mind is a flurry of thoughts. Thoughts are just thoughts; thoughts are not YOU. Know when to take them seriously and when to disregard them.
Everybody gets all kinds of thoughts. But not everyone behaves the same in response to those thoughts. The difference lies in how each one of us reacts to those thoughts.
Thoughts, especially when you are a bit anxious or fearful about something (say, driving), can be totally irrational and nonsensical.
This has got to do with our animal instinct – that which gets us on high alert in response to something potentially dangerous.
This is what we evolved from hundreds of centuries ago. This part of our mind cannot think logically, it just reacts.
It senses some possible threat and goes off, because it wants to protect us. But since it cannot detect the threat it leaves us with unwanted anxiety and fear.
Well we don’t need it anymore especially when it comes to driving a car, and therefore we must ignore it. Do not bother entertaining anxious or scary thoughts. Just be logical in your approach and trust your experience.
If your mind prompts, “You are going to veer off and crash,” question yourself, “Have I ever veered off or lost control of my car before because of anxiety?”
In all probability, you answer will be “never”. Should you then entertain any more of these silly thoughts?
Trust the law of averages
Just take an overview of facts related to your fear of driving. As an example, consider some traffic stats in the US.
How many passenger vehicles run on the roads each day in the US? – Say around 100,000,000.
How many accidents, minor or major, happen each day in the US? – About 10,000.
What are the chances of you being involved in an accident? – 10,000 in 100,000,000. That is 0.01%.
Should you spoil your journey fearing something that has just 0.01 percent chance of occurring?
With some time and practice, if you observe your thoughts calmly you will realize that they are just thoughts, not facts.
You will learn to ignore them or not take them seriously. You will start trusting your experience and focus on the job at hand – driving.