I am not sure how many of you drive, have had driving lessons or passed your test. If you passed your test, congratulations. If you failed (like me), do not worry, there is always another chance.
I started my driving lessons almost three years ago, when I was in year 13. I thought I would find driving easy. However, I found driving very hard and scary. Whenever I had a lesson, my body would shiver out of fear. I stopped driving for a couple of months and started again when I came to university.
Last year in February, I decided to book a driving test as my instructor thought I was almost ready. I too thought I was ready. Sadly, two weeks before my test, I hit a curb as I was going around a bend on a bridge. That really scared me because there were people on the pavement. Had my instructor not stopped the car, we may have hit the people and drove into a river. It was scary. It knocked my confidence a lot. I stopped driving for over 7 months (trying to recover from the ordeal). When I started my lessons again, I was still a bit scared. However, this time I had more control over my emotions and feelings. I decided to book another test for February again. The test date was on 21st February. I was ready for the test this time. Guess what? It got cancelled 1 week before because there were no examiners. What! It had to be rescheduled to 5 weeks later. Well maybe not that long. I was not happy at all, I had finally reached a point where I felt confident enough to go for a test. Now that it had moved, I was not so sure anymore. I decided to go for the new test regardless. It felt like I was going to fail. The cancellation of my previous test must have been foreshadowing something.
On 13/03/17, I went for my first driving test, almost 26 months after my first driving lesson. At first I was really scared but as the test progressed and knowing that I had failed, I became calmer and drove better. After the test, the examiner told me I failed with two majors and four minors. The majors were so silly. Things that I would not have done had I not been thinking “I have already failed”. I came back home so depressed. Not because I failed but because I knew I could have passed. The night before my test, I was reading stories about people who failed their driving test and I was like wow, it is okay to fail because most people fail anyway.
Moral of the story; firstly, do not go for a driving test thinking you will fail. You will fail for sure. Secondly, do not worry if you fail, you can try again. I know it is expensive, but the investment is worth it. Thirdly, failure teaches us to be stronger. If I had not gone for that driving test, I would not have made progress. I would still be fearful. I would still hate driving. Going for the test made me realise, the outcome is not as important as the experience. Yes, passing or failing is important. However, having control over our nerves is more important.
I am hoping to do a test again soon. This time, I am not afraid. I will face my fears head on and hopefully I will pass.
If you have failed your test and feel down, feel rubbish and feel like a failure, repeat these sentences.
1. I am not a failure because my failures are stepping stones to my success.
2. I will win this battle against fear of driving.
3. I will win this battle against fear of driving tests.
I am aware driving lessons are very expensive and can be demanding when you are a student. It is okay if you need to stop for some time. I would encourage you to save enough money for your lessons first then do your lessons. From my experience, starting and stopping is so much more expensive.
I am a winner, you are a winner. We will overcome.