Today we’re going to address what I consider a fundamental flaw in most approaches to overcoming the fear of driving. It’s something that I’m very vocal about in the industry, and it’s really a very different way of viewing recovery as a whole, and even how “recovery” is defined.
I suppose that’s as good a place to start as any…
When you consider any treatment plan, you need to know what they consider a “success”.
There are programs that consider taking anti-anxiety medicine three times a day for the rest of your life a “success”…I’m serious…they say that taking anxiety meds is just like taking insulin for diabetes.
There are books that tell the reader that the best they can hope for is “management” of their fears, and if the person accepts that as their condition to live with, that’s a success.
I guess it’s easy to “succeed” in those programs, but I have no problem standing up and saying that those aren’t successes to me, and if that’s all the program can do…well pardon my language…then the program sucks.
I look at it VERY differently, and it doesn’t always make me popular with my peers, but the Driving Fear Program, and any other treatment, in my opinion, needs to follow Lesson Number Two:
A Successful Treatment Has to Focus on Living a Life of Freedom, NOT Lifelong Anxiety Management or “Coping”
The Driving Fear Program has a singular goal, to free you from your fear. That’s just the only way it ever made sense to me. When I was living with anxiety, I certainly didn’t want to learn how to “cope” with it for the rest of my life, I wanted it GONE…I wanted the old me back.
Now you’ve got to keep in mind, there’s no shortage of people that disagree with me on this. You have to look at it from their perspective…how would you like it if you were going around saying how wonderfully successful your treatment approach was and then one day here I am, telling everyone that not only have you not been all that successful, but your program, book, or method “sucks”. It’s bound to ruffle some feathers, I get that. When it’s all said and done though, I decided to devote my life to helping people overcome their fear, not run for mayor or win a popularity contest.
Maybe you don’t agree with me…that’s ok, you wouldn’t be the first. If all you want to do is learn to “live with” your anxiety, I’m not your guy. No hard feelings, but that’s just not the kind of result I want for my clients.
I mean honestly…if you went to the dentist with a toothache, and he told you that he would show you how to “cope” with the pain, you’d find a new dentist! You don’t want to learn to live with or “cope” with a toothache…pull the tooth and get me back to my life!
Now let me be crystal clear here…
That doesn’t mean you’ll NEVER be anxious again. Some anxiety as we go through life is normal, it’s a good thing and a sign of personal growth…evidence that you’re pushing past your barriers. You don’t want to NEVER have ANY anxiety again, and it’s impossible to try.
But having some normal anxiety is different than having a PROBLEM with anxiety or panic. Just like it’s normal and healthy to sometimes experience anger, that doesn’t mean you have an “anger problem” that negatively affects your life.
We’re going to get into that in much more detail tomorrow, but I wanted to be sure and touch on it today, so there wasn’t any confusion.
So it’s really up to you. If your goal is to learn to live with your fear, just go to the bookstore and grab anything off the shelf and I’m sure it will be fine…that’s a pretty low standard for the treatment to attain. But if you’re more like me, and you have your sights set on not living WITH your driving anxiety, but on LIVING WITHOUT IT, I think you should take a closer look at The Driving Fear Program.