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How the thought of driving on the motorway fills you with fear!

Updated: Mar 26

Blog post - How the thought of driving on the motorway fill you with fear

Have you ever noticed how you talk about driving? By that, I mean, what words are you using and, what are the connotations of those words? Whether you say it out loud to another or whether it's the dialogue you use inside your head. Your words are important. Pay attention to the words you use when you think about yourself and driving.


Consider this, your language could be keeping you stuck and yet it could be helping you to move forward. Which one do you want? And are these the words you are using? The story of what happened or when it began plays an important part in who you are and whether you remain stuck or find the solution to your specific problem.

Maybe you’ve heard yourself say this?

’All of my friends know I can't drive on the motorway’

‘I can't go anywhere after it's dark’

‘I pretty much drive around until I can find a space I can drive into'

I’d never dream of reverse parking

Can you see how the words that you use and how you speak about yourself matter? Not only do these words keep you stuck, but did you notice how extreme they are?

All of my friends know! All of them and all of them are okay with it – does this imply that all of your friends are happy for you to stay in your safe comfort zone?


‘I can’t go anywhere after it’s dark!’ These statements ensure there is no compromise, certainly not during the winter months at least…


‘I’d never dream of reverse parking’. There’s no grey area here for an opportunity to try or even daydream about how great you could be. It’s a complete shutdown to the possibility.

Jodie phillips D.hyp Hypnotherapist - Me again therapy

If you don't know me, I'm Jodie phillips from Me Again Therapy and I help anxious women drivers to overcome their fear of driving. Whether you've been driving a long time and you suddenly lost your confidence one day or you have always hated driving and it's getting progressively worse

Now, coming back to the language you use. Choose any part of your story. One I hear often is I don't do motorways! Just the thought of the motorway and no, I just can't cope.


I hear people describing a thought as something they can’t shake or something they can’t get over. Some even say the thought stays with them ever present! always there.


Here lies part of the problem. Is thinking these things helping you? Or hindering you? I think we all know which one it is… And because we are habitual beings who cycle the same few thoughts through our minds daily I’m guessing that you can already recognize a few of your own.

Motorway fear - Me again therapy

Now, there is a part of the mind called the reticular activating system that acts like a bouncer that decides what can enter your subconscious mind. It filters out 99% of external stuff that you see, hear, and experience every day. But, when YOU say, think, or talk about a thought or a belief that you have its only option is to receive what you say as fact! Every time you speak or think to yourself, your subconscious mind has no option whether it can decide if you are right or you are wrong, it believes everything you say and it goes about making that 'truth' a reality.


So, every time you say you don’t do motorways it goes about finding evidence to support this thought or belief about yourself, even overlooking any evidence to the contrary.


If you see a motorway on the TV and you shudder because you're telling yourself just the thought of it and you can't cope. Guess what, every time you think about the motorway you get anxious and start to worry.

And when you get in the car and drive, seeing a sign for a motorway can result in panic. Yes, full panic, just from an unhelpful thought that runs on- repeat in your head. If your subconscious doesn't want you to get on the motorway it cranks up the anxiety stakes where you think that you’re going to pass out behind the wheel.


And our common terms in language can hold us back too. Did you notice how the title states the thought of driving on motorways fills you with fear?

You are full of fear!  not a little but a lot!

Not a little nervous but I can cope!

And these common terms are familiar and others can relate when we use them but they are also extreme versions and far from where we'd like to be.


The problem with telling and re-telling the story of what happened on the motorway which caused you to hate driving - keeps you stuck and continues to keep you stuck until you change the story, challenge these unhelpful thoughts, and change the language that you use to describe yourself as a driver or your abilities to drive. You can do this in your everyday language but with the fear stuck in your subconscious mind, the change needs to take place there too.

driving anxiety - me again therapy

The problem with telling anyone who will listen about your problem is that it makes it part of your identity and keeps you stuck in the problem and, in the same notion, have you noticed how you talk about something you have overcome?

When I talk about having had driving anxiety. I intentionally leave it in the past.

I used to struggle with driving.

The strangest thing happened to me years ago on the motorway. I had

hypnosis and it's all in the past and I enjoy driving now.

I didn’t know it was anxiety at the time and, yet I knew it was something I didn’t want to become part of who I was. All of the symptoms of anxiety were there but, I naively didn’t know what anxiety was. The more I tried to explain and think my way out of the problem, the more I avoided motorways, the more I focused on avoiding them, the more I felt stiff and stuck when I got in my car and the more uncertain and panicked I felt.

How can you change the language you use when you talk about driving? It’s easy for me to say having done the work but, how do you start to change the language you use about driving whilst, you still have a problem with it?

It starts with recognising the words you use, the impact they have on you and decided the goal you want to work on finally overcome your driving anxiety. Once you know them, you are part of the way to overcoming and leaving it in the past.

If you’d like to understand more how I can help you to make changes to your actions, thoughts and fears and start enjoy driving again book an exploration call to find out more.

Exploration Call - Me again therapy - hypnotherapy





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