In My Journal on
January 4, 2012

Conquering My Fear of Driving

Conquering my fear of driving

So I’m going to talk about something that makes me uncomfortable. I know there must be someone in a similar situation and I hope I can bring them some relief.

I have an irrational fear of driving.

It all started when I was 16 years old in my driver’s education class. There was a disagreement of opinion between me and the instructor, which I will not disclose for personal reasons. Since then going to class became an anxious task. It didn’t help that he was the kind of instructor that yelled when people did things wrong.

So, I started to associate yelling and anxiety with driving.

Since that class whenever I would get in the driver’s seat of a car, I would become overwhelmed.

It took me a long time to get comfortable driving. By a long time… I mean this week. It took me six years to not hear him screaming at me every time I got into the car.

The only way I was able to get my license last January was by paying instructors to give me lessons every day for two weeks, in which I really embarrassed myself by crying in front of them every day. I thought once I finally got my license it would be easier for me to drive, that I would feel safer.

I didn’t feel any safer.

I would still imagine my instructor and even everyone I know yelling at me whenever I would attempt to drive. After I got my license, I didn’t drive for almost six months.

The breaking point came this week, when I leased my own car. Instead of thinking “Oh no, I have to drive today. I can’t do this…” I started taking my own advice. I thought positively. I told myself instead “I can do this. This is easy. No big deal.”  and I said that to myself all day. Then when I drove my new car, I wasn’t scared. Sure, I was nervous but it wasn’t like before. I didn’t have that overwhelming anxiety.

I relapsed a little when I drove on the highway during rush hour traffic yesterday because I kept saying to myself “Oh I made a mistake again. I keep making mistakes. Everyone is lying to me. I’m doing a horrible job.” but now I know what I was doing wrong. I was making a self-fulling prophecy.

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.
-Henry Ford

Now, I just need to keep going. It may be difficult and it will take awhile to get used to but I just have to believe in myself.

I hope you will as well. 

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  • Lyndsey Marie

    yay congrats!! glad you did it!! i also have a bad driving phobia!! though mine is in bad rain or snow :( thank you for stopping by my blog :) i like your resolutions!! good luck with them!!

    January 5, 2012 at 4:19 am Reply
  • Jordan

    Oh man, I used to be TERRIFIED of driving. I did everything on time in terms of Driver's Ed and getting my permit, but because I was so scared, I didn't end up getting my license until I was twenty. And even then, I hated driving. Like you, it wasn't until I got my own car and NEEDED to drive that I really overcame that fear. Congrats!

    January 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Kelsey

    I'm so happy you were able to overcome. Best wishes to you Jordan!

    January 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Kelsey

    Thank you Lyndsey! I love your blog!

    January 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm Reply
  • Chloe

    Woohoo Rebecca! Conquering your fears is not easy to do! Driving for me is a love, but I understand your fear because my sister HATES to drive! She would rather have people take her places or stay home, but the more she drives the more comfortable she feels! It will probably not ever become her favorite thing, but by facing her fear she gets a little more comfortable. I think that is the thing with fears you just gotta do as much as it sucks! ;) You are on your way! Wooohoo for getting your car, and conquering those fears! PS. your instructor sounds like a major jerk!

    January 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm Reply
  • Helen

    have you seen this movie –> haha your post reminded me of it. give it a try its funny! xo

    July 20, 2013 at 5:44 am Reply
    • rebeccakelsey

      No I haven’t, I’ll go look it up.

      Kindness is the best accessory,

      July 21, 2013 at 10:25 am Reply

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