Fearless Friday: Learning to Drive

Today I am honored to welcome a guest post by Sarah Poulsen, blogger at Dates and Deployments. In her post, Sarah shares the triumphant story of her journey to overcome her fear of learning how to drive. Way to go, Sarah!

When most people first get their learners license, they are mostly excited and a little bit nervous. When I got mine, I was a little bit nervous and mostly terrified! This went above and beyond beginner’s nerves and consisted of me and my mom driving around and around an empty parking lot at ten kilometers an hour while I kept insisting that I couldn’t do it.

I did about twenty hours of driving practice, and not a single minute of that happened on a road. I was too terrified to ever leave the car park, and if there was another vehicle there, I would demand to go home. Every time I got into the driver’s seat I would cry, and the tears would continue through the entire time I was driving.

There were a few intermittent attempts at continuing these efforts during my teen years, but the idea of driving—of being responsible for a huge vehicle which I felt I couldn’t control—made me sick to my stomach. I didn’t go anywhere near a steering wheel for at least three years!

But a change came at the beginning of 2017, when I found out that my partner was going away for work for two months. I don’t know anyone else where we live, and I would have no other way of getting around. I had to learn to drive.

My partner’s first attempts to teach me to drive were mildly more successful than my mom’s. He made me drive on the road around our suburb on my first try, and I even got up to forty kilometers an hour, which was a new record for me. Plus, I only stopped to cry once (although there was a lot of hyperventilating)!

My next few attempts were equally stressful and involved large amounts of yelling at my partner. Every time I learned something new or drove to a new place I would take all of my stress and fear out on him.

I am so grateful that he didn’t give up on me.

Slowly, things got better. First came driving without crying, then driving without stressing, then driving without my partner constantly giving me directions, then driving on my own.

When I look back on where I started and where I am now, I am so proud of myself! Now I can drive myself wherever I need to go, no crying involved, and I am so glad that I faced my fear!

—Sarah Poulsen

Do you have a Fearless Friday story to tell? We would love to hear it! Visit our Fearless Friday guidelines page for more information!

4 thoughts on “Fearless Friday: Learning to Drive

  1. cleavinghearts says:

    Hi I also hated driving lessons because of the responsibility. Trish, my wife, refused to drive when we got married. I was forced to or take her on public transport. There is a saying in Scotland ‘have to is a great master’ we can master anything when we ‘Have to’ Bless You. Richard

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jlstanding says:

    I can relate to this post SO MUCH. At 28, I am only now preparing to take my drivers test. I am still working on driving without crying! That’s anxiety for you. It’s so comforting to know I’m not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nicolle says:

    It’s great that you conquered the fear of learning to drive! I can relate to that. 🙂
    When I got my license and needed to practice driving, my mum sat in the passenger seat next to me… however, her reactions weren’t exactly conducive to my practice (think screams and backseat driving), and I developed a fear of driving. One year passed, and I eventually just decided to practice driving, this time by myself. The practice went way better, and more than 10 years later I can say I have pretty good driving skills. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

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