So now that I’m slowly getting a bit more money in, I have decided I want to complete my driving lessons at last by October (hopefully). I don’t know if giving it a month is making me feel more stressed or not but I do need to try to do it by then as my theory runs out. One of the annoying things about all this introspection is Im becoming painfully aware and honest with myself even when sometimes I don’t want to admit the truth or even deal with it. I am starting to realise that sometimes my fear of something is the fear of doing well and then having to keep up the ‘progress’. I have an intense fear of doing badly at something, which has led me to perform well in almost all exams and courses I have ever undertaken and if I thought I wouldn’t be good at something sometimes I’ve left it altogether or refused to try.
I tried to do my test twice at 21 and failed. I’m content with that. I want to keep trying though. But I’ll do a check the facts and then you’ll know what I mean.
What is the emotion you want to change? Fear.
What is the event prompting your emotion? I have texted potential instructors for driving lessons. I have decided to start lesson again to pass by October.
What are my interpretations, thoughts and assumptions about the event?
If I pass, I will have to never get in an accident. I have to always know what I’m doing, I have to be OK with being on my own in the car, I have to not be afraid and be confident in myself or I’ll find it hard. I have to never have random issues or I’ll be stressed. I can’t ask for that much help or it’ll show I’m not ready. I have to pass by October or I’ll have more issues.
Possible other interpretations: Accidents can happen no matter how long someone’s been driving. Whether I do or don’t get into an accident is out of my hands and doesn’t mean I can’t pass. I don’t always have to know what I am doing but I can use resources to help me, stop and ask people, check manuals, ring someone, go to a garage etc. if I need support. I can use skills to not be afraid, I can practice deep breathing and I can sit with family in the beginning if I want to or feel it would help me. Random issues can happen to everyone, it doesn’t mean anything personal about me, it means somethings just happen. I can plan for regular checks to help me with that. I may not even have any random issues, or have them rarely, or have them after a long time when I am more confident. It doesn’t mean I always have to be good at driving, it just means I will be at a certain standard by the time I’ve passed. I can always take extra add-on courses if I want to. If I wasn’t at a standard I wouldn’t be able to pass the test so that is evidence enough that I am safe and skilled enough to be out there like everyone else. Like everything new, I can ask questions and just have to try. I can make short journeys in the beginning, I can only drive in certain areas as my confidence builds I can branch out. I don’t need to do everything all at once. I can take longer than October if that helps me. No one started out knowing everything, everyone built their experience. I don’t have to pass by October, it may even be inconvenient to pass by October, it may add stress, or a longer time might mean I do better on the test. I may pass before October, or in October, or after, but I will pass when the time is right for me. I can always ask my instructor about tips on handling anxiety, on managing nerves and more.
Am I assuming a threat?
If I pass I have to always be good at driving. This is almost impossible about 90’% not likely if not more, to be this way. Everyone has times where issues crop up, even after years. Passing alone doesn’t mean I have to always be ‘good’ at driving, it means with time, I’ll get even better and better and that’s OK. I may even be better than good, I may be great on my own without an instructor. I may be more relaxed after the test and then perform better. Or I may be even better once I have family in the car or friends. I may be happier and more relaxed once I’m driving and in turn, drive better. I may start to realise areas to work on and build my experience slowly around them. I can ask people to sit with me and keep teaching me if I want, through the difficult parts.
What’s the catastrophe? Something bad happens, an accident. I can use my skills and communicate, use DEAR MAN, FAST AND GIVE to talk it out. I can take extra lessons or I can ask someone to talk me through what happened and help me work it out. I can radically accept it happened and happens in life. I can accept that that is the way things are and there is a wisdom behind it.
Does my emotion and/or it’s intensity fit the facts? NO, being afraid does not fit the facts because passing a driving test does not harm me in any way is actually a great thing to do for myself and would help me in the future. There is no direct threat to my health or wellbeing or my life or others by my passing, whether that’s by October or not. Even after there isn’t a threat to my health or wellbeing, I can even do a pass plus if I really want to reassure myself. I can’t guarantee an accident will happen and even then I can’t guarantee it would be one where anyone is even hurt. There are many accidents where only the car is damaged or something on the road and not people so the chances of anyone actually being hurt are pretty slim, I may never be in that situation and I may actually be really good and seasoned after a while. So there is no reason to be afraid as it’s actually something that is beneficial for me and my life and my self-esteem and is a positive thing for my wellbeing in life.
To counteract this fear I will do deep breathing and do what I am afraid of doing over and over, which will be, the lessons.