How to Get Over a Fear of Driving
Cognitive behavioral therapy has identified 15 main perceptions which cause a predisposition to focus on the negative allowing a person to become rooted in fear.
Cognitive distortions are inaccurate thoughts which anchor and reinforce negative patterns of thought which affect our judgement and actions in ways that we often blindly overlook.
Filtering allows someone who is afraid of driving to think apprehensive thoughts exclusively, while dulling out any positive emotions and associations with the sheer abundance of fear that becomes present.
Polarized thinking lets the driver or potential driver see everything are black or white. There is only the ability to drive impeccably – a standard so high it cannot be reached, and the complete inability to drive predestining the mind to total failure.
Overgeneralization takes one example of an accident or unfavorable situation and applies it to every single conceptualized experience. Jumping to conclusions aids overgeneralization by forming a chain of faulty reasoning that allows conclusions to be accepted despite thin, misrelated tethers to driving situations of another or an imaginary source.
Distorting the Reality of Driving
A person who is afraid of driving also has a tendency to catastrophize any imagined situation. Positive points which are plausible are minimized to the perception while any actual danger is escalated to levels which are unreal, massively exaggerated and just as unlikely. Personalization is another distortion which leads a person to think that their own inability to drive is something that is necessary to facilitate a higher purpose.
At times the fear of driving itself is personalized to the point where all the fears used as reasons for not driving are motivated as necessary in order to protect the driver or those around them. Control fallacies are a deep distortion tied to a fear of driving. Just as personalization tears away our power, so do control fallacies strip us from the ability to decide and take action. They lead the person to believe that everything that happens to them is out of their control and the total result of external forces.
If you’re completely in the hands of “destiny” then it makes sense to fear irrationally and never take the slightest risk. The Driving Fear Program has a complete syllabus that will help you see things rationally and be in complete control without anxiety.
The Fear of Catastrophe and Justifying False Truths
Certain people fear driving due to feeling that something terrible will befall them. In most cases, the fear is rooted in a feeling of deserving punishment in some form. The cognitive distortion of the fallacy of fairness can tip the scale either way, leading to either an irrational fear of driving due to the entitlement of retribution or the extreme anxiety accompanying a life of running away from judgment.
Blame is the next distortion to affect those with a fear of driving. When we fail to accept responsibility and the potential for accepting responsibility, we forsake our ability to act. Instead of getting behind the wheel, the person chooses to blame countless external factors for all the potentialities making up their fear. Just as much as blame distorts the mind, so does a string of “should haves” and “could haves.”
The fearful driver refuses to address the problem by transferring the weight of their emotion into unrealistic plausibilities, citing the way that things should be or could be in order to enable them to take action and drive.
Imbalanced Irrational Reasoning
Thinking rooted in emotional reasoning and instant gratification may distort the perception of reality allowing a person to hold onto a fear of driving. When one fears an activity for long enough it eventually becomes unattractive and uninteresting. Instead of believing that a fear is holding one back, the person thinks that they simply aren’t interested in driving. This trigger is a form of unrealistic emotional reasoning.
Just because the conceptualized experience is incorrectly valued, the reward is also distorted. The person thinks that there is no benefit to driving when in actual fact the adverse is true and many other potential latent aspirations are unlocked. At times a core fear connected to driving is locked into a fallacy of change.
Instead of realizing that automotive technology, personal driving ability, or the immediate environment has changed for the better, a driver is locked into the misperception that things have remained stagnant. This is why it is so important for anyone suffering a phobia to step out and physically face their fear.
Confused Conclusions About Driving
Another cognitive distortion which causes one to conclude that driving is either unsafe or unsuited to them is global labeling and mislabeling. Certain exercises involved in driving may be misperceived. A person can also misidentify help as either an attack or a patronizing act. By means of mislabeling interactions related to driving, the person drives themselves further away from the truth and deep into fear.
Add to the beforementioned distortions the added impairment of always being right and you have fear recreated into something that is often misidentified. Someone with a fear of driving or driving phobia often reinforces their misperceptions by a fervent belief that they are always right. This makes it very hard to observe the fear in its true form and realize that an actual driving anxiety exists rather than plain disinterest or an intelligent, measured disinterest due to a legitimate risk.
Overcoming a Fear of Driving
The last cognitive distortion which prevents some people from getting over their fear of driving is a belief that heaven, karma, God, the Universe, the self, or some other higher power will bring the right time and place to start driving when you are ready and it is due. This is an aversion technique not waiting for a sign from above.
Understanding the core delusions which sustain a fear of driving will enable you to take control and get behind the wheel with confidence. Be careful of the lies that we tell ourselves in order to sustain things that no longer serve us. Complacency can become quite a convincer when one is trying to sidestep a fear.
If you’re looking for direction and a proven way to overcome driving anxiety then you can’t go wrong with the winning insights, advice, and guidance from The Driving Fear Program. You’ll be over your fear of driving in no time.