Photo of a earner driving to illustrate how to overcome driving anxiety

My name’s Paul and I work online with people all over the world to help them overcome driving anxiety.

As well as having been a driving instructor in the UK for over 20 years, I’m also a professional therapist with qualifications in hypnosis that go way beyond what your average therapist understands. Read my page on the secrets of hypnosis and you’ll know more about it than most hypnotherapists do!

Let me explain why you have a fear of driving and how to overcome it.

Contact me to get back on the road and join these people who got a result.

This video explains a lot about driving anxiety and how to get rid of it

How to overcome driving anxiety

This page contains the following sections:

The biggest secret to driving anxiety

There’s one thing you must understand about driving anxiety:

Driving anxiety has nothing to do with driving!

Driving anxiety is just a symptom – how your real problem is showing itself.

Think of it like how sneezing and coughing mean you have a virus. It’s no good working on the sneezing by taping your mouth shut because the real problem is the virus.

So many “experts” get this wrong and waste time focusing on exposure therapy and driving lessons for anxiety. Doing that will only make the problem worse as your constant failure compounds the fear.

Let’s look at the truth about driving anxiety.

What causes a fear of driving?

Driving anxiety is generally caused by three things:

  1. An emotion from earlier in your life that is being triggered by driving
  2. A build-up of pressure throughout your life
  3. Part of your mind stops you from driving for a reason

A fear of driving can be caused by any one of those things or a mixture of two or three.

Everyone’s problem is unique and that’s why you are unlikely to fix the problem by listening to YouTube hypnosis tracks which are a generalised one-size-fits-all solution.

Something to consider as you continue reading this page is that all of what I’m about to describe happens subconsciously. That means you won’t be aware you’re doing it, just like how you breathe and blink without being aware of it.

If you now find yourself thinking about your breathing and blinking then there you go: you’ve just brought something from your subconscious into your consciousness which is what you need to do to overcome your driving anxiety!

If you are thinking about those things then don’t worry, they’ll slip back into your subconscious mind soon and be running on autopilot again, just like your driving will.

Let’s have a look at each of the causes above and I’ll explain more about each one.

This video explains what driving anxiety really is and has a fun interactive game for you to play along with to help you understand

An emotion from earlier in life

One day when you’re driving, something happens that reminds you of an earlier time in your life.

This can be caused by something that reminds you of that event or even a song playing on your car stereo that was playing years ago when the event happened.

This triggers your mind into replaying the emotion that you experienced at that time and because you’re driving, that feeling then becomes attached to driving.

Driving will now trigger that old emotion in just the same way that hearing a song makes you remember people and events from years ago.

This is why driving anxiety seems so out of place – it is! You’re getting scared because of something your mind thinks is happening right now but it actually happened years ago.

It makes no sense to most people that an event such as dropping an ice cream as a child gave you driving anxiety as an adult. This is because of two things:

  1. There will have been many events between the two that led from one to the other and just giving the start and end makes it sound silly.
  2. You’re thinking about it with your conscious mind which is logical but the problem lives in your unconscious mind where logic plays no role. For example, love is an unconscious feeling. You can’t tick boxes and logically explain it!

A build-up of pressure throughout your life

We all experience negative things as we go through life.

These things can include arguments, relationship problems, deaths, falling out with friends and anything that makes you feel bad.

Each time you encounter one of these events, it’s like steam building in a pressure cooker.

One day the steam will build so much that it just has to come out and that often happens when you’re driving.

It does that because driving is such an emotive thing. Think of people honking their horns at you, cutting you up, jumping the lights, speeding etc.

Add to that the fact that your life is in danger and it’s easy to understand why there are few things in life that evoke as much emotion as driving.

This release of pressure then gets associated with driving so each time you drive, your mind thinks it’s time to let the steam out.

Your mind stops you from driving for what it thinks is a good reason

Sometimes you can be driving when something happens that scares you.

This could be seeing a crash, hitting the wrong pedal or absolutely anything.

Your mind then suddenly decides that driving is bad and it must protect you at all costs. It goes back through everything that’s ever happened in your life and links a bad feeling to driving to stop you from doing it.

What’s really interesting is that all of that happens in less than a second!

From now on, your mind will stop you from driving by replaying a negative feeling any time you drive.

This video goes into more detail about how a fear of driving can begin

How to overcome driving anxiety

To stop driving anxiety you first need to find the cause of it as mentioned above.

I know what to look for because I’ve spent 20 years working with anxious drivers. I know the common phrases and themes that come up and I’m an expert at finding the link between obscure memories and a fear of driving.

Here’s a great example of how finding the cause of fear stops it.

Imagine that one night you’re lying in bed and are suddenly woken up by the sound of voices from another room. You freeze in terror and clutch at the sheets as you realise that someone must have broken into your home! You then hear the voices change into an advert for carpets and realise they’re coming from the TV that you left on in the other room.

What happens to your fear as soon as you realise there are no intruders and it’s just an advert for carpets?

The fear goes – exactly like your fear of driving will go!

This video explains more about how my driving anxiety program works

How to find the cause of driving anxiety

Finding the cause of your anxiety is not done in the way people think.

Many people say they’ve been thinking for years and they just can’t think what it is. You won’t because that’s not how you find it!

The problem exists in your subconscious mind so you’ll never find it just by thinking back to events that happened. That’s all conscious stuff and won’t get you anywhere.

Please do not get obsessed with finding the root cause consciously. You can fix a problem without ever knowing what the root cause was consciously. It’s your subconscious that must find the answer.

Sometimes after your subconscious has found it, it’ll choose to show you by popping a memory into your head. Sometimes it doesn’t and your problem will be fixed without you ever knowing what it really was.

The video below describes how to find the root cause of driving anxiety.

I also have a playlist of videos about the root cause of driving axniety.

How I can help you when others can’t

I am both one of the UK’s most experienced driving instructors and also a professional hypnotherapist. I have taught over 1,000 people to drive over the last 20 years, trained hundreds of driving instructors and made over 600 YouTube videos that have had over 10 million views.

In other words, I know my stuff!

Someone who is just a driving instructor can’t get rid of anxiety because they don’t know how to. They often make the mistake of booking you a driving lesson and putting you in a car; right into the very situation that makes you anxious. Driving instructors will often just teach you how to deal with anxiety or cope with it but that’s no good. You want it gone!

Therapists usually offer a wide range of services without being an expert in any of them. You can easily find therapy sites offering services to beat anxiety, quit smoking, lose weight, sleep better and much more. They do a bit of everything and aren’t particularly good at any of it! As the saying goes: jack of all trades, master of none.

You can learn more about these things on my page on vehophobia (the fear of driving).

This video explains how you first get a fear of driving.

Contact me now for help

Book your consultation call to work with me 1-2-1 and find out how to overcome driving anxiety.

If you want to learn more first then keep exploring this site or visit the 1stDrive YouTube channel.