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Driving Anxiety

coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 901 Part of The Mix Family
hello! wondering if I can get any advice please

I've been learning to drive for a while now and it's really not something that comes naturally to me. I have booked my test for January, we didn't do this because I was necessarily ready but because of lockdown tests are getting so backlogged we decided to just book one for a little while away so that it was there and secured. My instructor said that she didn't think I'd need lessons all the way up until January, so if I was able to get a car before my test that would be great so that I can stop lessons with her when ready and then I have that to practice in whilst we are out of lessons. Now, she said this months ago, before we knew that driving lessons were about to be cancelled again haha and that she'd have some medical issues to attend to that meant missing lesson so I haven't quite progressed to that point just yet. 

Anyway I got my own car, which I am incredibly grateful for! But it's become such a huge source of anxiety. I learn in a diesel but my car is a petrol, so simple things like moving off are very different to me (in the diesel I always did clutch then gas, in my car I'm not gonna go anywhere without gas haha). Without my instructor in the car, I also feel incredibly anxious and that makes me make so many mistakes. Whenever I make mistakes,  I dwell on them forever and they seriously affect my confidence...so then I make more mistakes! Because it makes me feel like such a danger to the roads, I feel so ashamed and embarrassed. I know it's normal for anybody to make mistakes, but there's a few things I struggle with which I think make me dwell so much. 1, I realised I have a huge fear of failure in life, it's probably my biggest fear! So by having my parents witness me make mistakes, witness me in the learning stage, I feel very exposed. 2. Comparison is the devil I know, but my brother had SUCH a smooth driving journey, passed first time, slotted straight into his own car, so we are polar opposites and my parents have never experienced the 'teaching child to drive' in this way before because of that. 3. I feel guilty for having my car. I was incredibly lucky that my family actually paid for the car itself (I pay for running it and insurance etc), and I feel like because I'm anxious about it so I don't show loads of excitement for lessons, and because I deffo do not seem test ready when I am in that car with them, I feel like they must be wondering why on earth I wanted a car? Almost like driving just isn't for me and they regret getting it. They've never said that but I think it ALL the time

I feel like I'm just getting a bit not a tizzy with it, I'm much less anxious and a better driver when I'm with my instructor but I'm aware that's just not an option right now. It makes it difficult for me to relax because I know there's always a driving lesson looming...does anybody have any advice at all please?

thank you SO much for reading, sorry it was such an essay haha! :heart:


  • RileyRiley Posts: 787 Super Moderator
    I think it's totally normal to be anxious in that situation @coc0mac you're used to driving with instruction and in a different car, it's all different and driving is a pretty stressful activity anyway. I think my biggest advice is just not to rush yourself, I know you mentioned that you can't help feeling guilty or comparing yourself to your brother but there's really no reason to feel like you have to be a fantastic driver IMMEDIATELY you know? Driving is a skill and like any skill you're naturally going to get better at it and more comfortable over time and with practice.

    As for practical solutions, something that you might find helpful is having someone else with you in the car when you're practicing. Even if it's not your driving instructor just the feeling of having someone else with you who can keep an eye on how you're doing might help reduce your anxiety. Is there anyone you know who can safely sit with you in the car and help you practice?

    I really hope you manage to conquer your nerves since this seems to be really stressing you out, keeping my fingers crossed for you! 🤞

  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 901 Part of The Mix Family
    Thank you @Riley, your reply means a lot to me! :heart:

    So I currently drive with either my mum or my dad in the car with me, with lockdown they are the only people that are allowed to share the car with me. I think I just feel quite pressured having them there, I don't want to mess up and I feel like it's a huge responsibility, a lot of trust in me haha! 
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