Today is the last day of the series, and I want to talk to you about a big mistake I see people making with their anxiety, and it’s one that most everyone regrets…
Waiting Until “You Have To”
Please, don’t wait until you HAVE to drive someplace to try and work on your fear. Don’t wait for the next wedding, funeral, holiday, emergency, or business meeting to try and do something about it, because by then, it may too late to do something about it.
Be assured that an event requiring you to drive WILL occur sometime in the future, so start preparing now. By the time the next event or situation that requires you to drive rolls around, you could be completely over your driving anxiety!
If you wait until you have a “reason to drive”, you’ll have the added pressure of knowing you HAVE to drive by a certain date, or that everyone is depending on you, or that your secret could be exposed. More pressure and stress is the last thing you need and can make everything much more difficult. Start getting ready now so you can work through the program at your own pace and allow yourself to really get good at what it teaches.
It’s also important that you overcome your fear for yourself and not for an event or fleeting circumstance. If you somehow battle through and make it to the wedding, meeting, holiday, or whatever the event is, as soon as it’s done and you’re back home you’ll breathe a sigh of relief and tell yourself, “I’m glad that’s over”. You’ll probably be no better than before, and as we’ll talk about in a moment, you may even be a bit worse. You need to defeat this fear because YOU want to, on YOUR terms. Do it for you and no one else.
You’ve heard the phrase “Practice makes perfect”, right?
Practicing the RIGHT things makes perfect. Practicing the WRONG things can make everything, much, much worse.
Every time you go out and drive without the right information and tools, you can dig yourself into a deeper hole. Every time you go out and scare yourself, and try to suppress your feelings, or panic over your symptoms, or “tough it out” with white knuckles on the steering wheel, you can get worse. You reinforce to your mind and body that there’s something to be afraid of and that’s how you handle it. It’s the opposite of what you’re supposed to do, you’re teaching yourself the wrong way and perfecting it.
I want you to do a little experiment with me, are you up for it? You can do it right from your chair.
I want you to cross your arms across your chest, just like you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or something.
Now I want you to cross them the other way, so if your right arm was on top, now put your left arm on top, or vice versa. Not a big change, just swap the position of your arms.
See how awkward that feels? Doesn’t it feel wrong?
It feels awkward because you’ve “practiced” the other arm position so often. Anything else feels wrong, or at least not comfortable. When you crossed your arms the opposite way, didn’t your brain kind of whimper out..”Hey, whadda think you’re doing?”
If your mind can get into the habit of crossing your arms a particular way, don’t you think it gets just as used to reacting to driving and your anxiety a certain way? You better believe it!
Every time you go out, grit your teeth and keep practicing the WRONG way to react when driving, you can be TEACHING yourself to get more comfortable with that reaction, to make it a more deeply ingrained habit, for it to happen more automatically.
Just like you don’t “decide” which way to cross your arms anymore, your reaction while driving may have gotten so habitual that now it seems to come out of nowhere and with lightening speed…if that’s the case, you’ve done a fantastic job at teaching yourself the wrong thing.
One of the things you’ll be doing with the Driving Fear Program is “unlearning” all those bad skills you’ve practiced so much and have gotten so good at. Then we’ll replace them with something much better, you’ll learn to “cross your arms the other way” while driving, and pretty soon, reacting with anxiety can feel just as wrong and unnatural – and that’s exactly what you want.
So practice doesn’t make perfect, the wrong practice can make everything feel about as “un-perfect” as it can get.
You need to stop teaching yourself to respond the wrong way and start practicing the right way until THAT becomes your new habit. If something is inconsequential as how you cross your arms can become a habit, a strong emotional response like anxiety while driving can certainly become one MUCH quicker.
It’s time to try another way. To practice perfecting something different, something that works.
For less than you probably spent on cable TV last month, you can change the course of your life forever. But it’s really up to you, you need to take the first step on your journey. You can take it right now, this very second, by clicking here and starting the Driving Fear Program.
That’s the end of the series, but I’ll be in touch. It’s been a true honor to talk to you, now go start changing your life.