Have you ever been sitting around with your girlfriends, and eventually someone will ask,
“Would you rather have a personal chef, chauffeur, or stylist?”
Your answer says a lot about you, but I’m the only person I know who’ll choose a chauffeur every time.
I’m not a bad driver. I got a 100% on my driver’s test last summer. See—
And I don’t dislike driving. It’s sort of relaxing.
But I have problems with spatial reasoning, and I get lost very easily. I can follow written directions to the letter, but it’s like I’m missing the part in my brain that tells me where I’m located in the world. Compass directions are meaningless, and I have no comprehension as to how roads connect to each other or how far distances really are.
When Chris is driving and I’m in the passenger seat, as we arrive at our destination, it feels like we teleported there (bamf!), and I have no recollection of the route we just traveled.
So, since I get lost often, I’m always anxious when I have to drive.
I get caught up in worst case scenarios, convinced that I’m about to meet some horrible doom the next time I get behind the wheel.
Do you struggle with overcoming imagined fears?
Here are 3 questions that help me move forward despite my fears.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Really, go there. Map out the extreme worst case scenario. Don’t hold back, and get as detailed as possible.
My worst case scenario goes something like this: I’ll be driving alone at night by myself, and I’ll get lost. I’ll become so scared and frightened that I’ll drive off the road and land upside down in a ditch. No one will know I’m there, and a family of grizzly bears will rip off the car doors and eat me alive. Then the mama grizzly will choke on one of my ribs, and the baby bears will be orphaned. Without anyone to care for them, the baby bears will wander aimlessly until one of them starves, one of them gets hit by a truck, and another is shot by hunters. My lousy sense of direction will not only result in my death, but I’ll be responsible for the dwindling grizzly bear population! There goes my dream of winning a Nobel Peace Prize!
What’s the most likely thing that could happen?
Think about what is the most realistic outcome, seriously. Be honest with yourself, even if you have to admit that there’s no real danger.
OK, so the most likely thing that will happen to me is that I’ll get lost, have to pull over someplace to ask for directions, and feel stupid. Gee, I guess that’s not so terrible after all.
Is the risk worth taking anyway?
Life is scary, but we’ll never grow unless we take risks. So, ask yourself if this risk is worth taking even if the most likely unpleasant scenario happens.
After careful analysis, I almost always face my fear (in this case, driving) and do it anyway. Sometimes I have to make 3 or 4 U-turns before I get to my destination. Sometimes I call Chris while crying from the side of the road. Sometimes I park at a gas station and look over the map again.
I still don’t like driving, but I haven’t once gotten anywhere near the worst case scenario. If I can get over my imagined fears, then so can you.
And all the grizzly bears can breathe a sigh of relief.
Need help overcoming your imagined fears? Check out these articles:
The Giving Tree This little girl has the most awful worst case scenario ever (it involves dinosaurs).
What to Do When You’re Scared Out of Your Mind
How to Make Big, Bold, Wildly Exciting Things Happen in Your Life
Embrace Fear and Find Your Center: Riding With No Hands
Mark Twain’s Guide to Living an Awesome Life: 7 Essential Tips
What’s one of your fears and what’s the worst case scenario?