Think of a time when your driving was very good and you felt confident.
What were you driving? Where did you go? Were you alone or with someone? What did you do to achieve your best ever, most confident drive?
All of these things shouldn’t really make any difference to how we drive, but they do. Perhaps your passenger made you feel good about your driving, or maybe you drive your best when you are alone and you can concentrate on the road.
Bring back your confident memories
Was it a long time ago or just recently? Can you remember the date? Maybe you had to make a long trip or just take a tricky route where you had to dig deep and summon all your strength, courage and navigational skills.
What were you driving? Was it a new car or your first car that made you feel really good about driving? Or was it the way you conrolled the car, maybe in a tricky situation or a dangerous road that you handled really well. Who else was proud of you, or was it only you who knew about it?
What ever you did, no matter when it was and what you were driving, hold on to that experience and keep it fresh in your mind. Look after that memory and cherish it. You can draw on it when you feel you are not so confident and reassure yourself that you can be a confident driver.
I recently coached an older driver who was in her 80s. Lets call her Irma, because I think that’s a lovely name. She had lost her confidence because she had a long break from driving. When her husband retired, he did all the driving, so she didn’t get behind the wheel very often.
So when her husband died after a short illness, she was coping with being alone but also had a fear of getting back to driving. She wanted to get out more in the car but she was scared to get back behind the wheel. They had a lovely sporty car which was sitting in the garage, and she was sitting alone at home.
Getting her confidence back
She used to drive a lot when her husband as working and she used to tow a trailer on holidays too. So we worked together on her confidence, helping her to see that if she had done that in the past she could drive again. She wanted the independence to drive to the shops, to the car dealership, to the doctors and to other local places.
I kept reminding her about towing the trailer, but there were lots of practical things I helped her with too. First I drove the car – reversing it out of her garage for her – and found out all the things it could do. I let her know what all the buttons and dials were for, and helped her to see what the engine and gearbox were capable of.
She did it and you can do it too
Then she drove on a quiet road just to get the feel of the car again, and she began setting goals for our next sessions. Next time we would go further out of the city on roads she had been on before, then she was ready for strange roads.
Dont get me wrong, it wasn’t easy for her. She didn’t feel fantastic on the first try and there were a few things she had forgotten. Small but important things such as what the road markings mean and speed limits and a few other things.
She said she had been very nervous before our first session and pretty tired out afterwards, but she was so glad to have got her driving mojo back again.
I was very understanding, patient and reassuring. After 4 or 5 sessions she was ready to drive herself to the doctors alone, which we had done together as a trial. We had even planned where she would park.
I also taught her some modern gearbox techniques, as she learned to drive about 50 years ago and things have moved on. She was able to get more miles out of her tank of fuel.
Remembering how she had towed the trailer was an encouragement for her, but actually doing the driving and going to the places she needed to was a practical boost for her too.
So back to you! Whats your best memory of confident driving?
Hold on to your best memories and they will help you in your driving today. Keep your skills up to date as Irma did and you will feel much more confident every day.
If youve got an specific driving problems let me know and I will answer them by email, on this blog or on social media. However you like. Moira@letsalldrivebetter.com