August 1st signals the start of ‘Road Victim Month’…
And this got me thinking about the clients who come to see me because they have a real fear of driving…
I could be that they have been imvolved in a car accident, and this has left them fearing driving again, Or, it could be that they have no idea why they fear driving – they perhaps just have a ‘general fear and anxiety’ that strikes them every time they get behind the wheel.
So, if YOU have something similar, and you find that it is really hindering your daily living, it’s time that you did something about it. In this post, I will give you my top 3 ways of how to handle a phobia (or fear) about driving.
Tip1: Take a look at the statistics. You have an 8,000/1 chance of being killed in a road accident (Daily Mail).
Source: Daily Mail article, April 3rd 2014.
Every year 1,500 car drivers and adult passengers die in road smashes, while around 1,000 pedestrians and cyclists die in road accidents. Worldwide, over 3,000 people are killed in road crashes daily. – Daily Mail.
This is a very low figure, and so logically, when you look at it like that, you KNOW that the chances of actually dying in a car crash are relatively low. However, phobias and fears are not based around logic. Fact.
Therefore, it can be meaningless to try and process the facts and figures, as on one level, yes, you can take them in and consciously think ‘oh right okay then’ – yet on a subconscious level, it still doesn’t make much difference.
However, I feel it’s important to highlight the statistics to you because often, we imagine them to be very different.
Tip 2: Ask yourself if you can pinpoint the root cause of your fear?
If you can, then the chances of you getting rid of it quickly are much, much higher.
If you can think of an actual event, or incident, where something happened inside of you, that left you feeling scared about driving, then try the exercise I am about to share with you to let go of that.
Close your eyes and go back to that memory. Then hold it in your minds eye. Now, turn that scene into black and white, and make the image smaller and smaller. Then, add some background music to the scene – it could be something really funny or silly, something that brings a smile to your face. Then, poof, let the whole scene go, almost as if it is on a rubber band, just watch it catapult into the distance.
Next, picture yourself as you are now, in your car, (imagine it, or even get into the car if possible), and imagine your car is made of steel, and is a super hero vehicle. In your mind, hear some music, maybe the theme tune to Superman, and see yourself protected and strong, with wings of steel either side of you.
The next time that you start to feel yourself panic, just repeat this, and you will soon find that actually, you can’t feel the same way as you did before, when you start to think about driving.
Step 3: Make your peace with your car.
For a lot of people, there is nothing better than getting into their car, blasting some music out, and driving on the open road as a way to chill out for a bit…. Let’s have you be one of ‘those people’.
Make your peace with your car – get into it, and make it a space that you like to spend time in. Pop some of your favourite CD’s in it, get an airfreshner that you love the scent of, buy a lush throw that you can pop on the back seat, fill it with your favourite snacks and treats.
And pop post it notes onto your dashboard, or in your glove compartment, that remind you that ‘you have totally got this’ and ‘that your car is not your enemy’.
I know that it can sound easier said than done, to just ‘make peace with your car’ and let go of old memories, but your car is not the issue here. It is the association that you have built up in your mind WITH your car that is the problem. Once you accept this, you realize that actually, your subconscious mind has been working over time to protect you, and as soon as you give it permission to stop doing that, life gets a whole lot easier for you.
Have a little chat with your subconscious mind, and let it know that you would like to let go of your fear of driving. It understands you more than you think it does. Give yourself permission to enjoy road travel, and plan a trip that you can take. go somewhere where you have amazing memories.. maybe the beach that you used to go to when you were little.
Let me know how you get on with my tips, and until the next time, have fun on the road, and fill me in on your adventures!
Christopher Paul Jones, the Breakthrough Expert.