Sylvia Schiavoni is a Coaching Client of Synergy Hypnotherapy
I was in my late 20s when I finally began taking driving lessons, mostly out of a lack of necessity and desire. When I started learning to drive, I would describe my level of fear of driving as relatively normal for any new driver.
Over time my fear of driving began to snowball. I have often been asked, ‘what happened that made you so scared?’ I have never really been able to answer this question unambiguously. I have never been in nor witnessed a major road accident. Whilst I was learning, I naturally had a few upsetting road experiences but nothing that could remotely explain what progressed into full-blown anxiety.
I started to have physical responses to the mere idea of going for driving lessons. I would overheat, sweat, my heartbeat increased, my belly would knot and the tears would well up. I felt overwhelmed on the road. I felt anxious. I felt tense. I felt rushed. I felt scared. The most minor of incidences would reduce me to tears.
The constant pressure from those around me to get my licence just culminated my pure hatred of driving. I hated that it was a part of everyday life. I felt so pathetic that I couldn’t do something so basic, something that everyone just did.
Earlier this year I took driving lessons again, following another long break. My anxiety was ever-present and with every lesson it became more overwhelming. I pushed through it. I had made a pact with myself to face it head on and I was going to try one final time to get my licence.
I went into the exam thinking – ‘if I fail, I don’t care because I am officially giving up after this attempt’. Not the most positive attitude but my lack of care at least kept the ridiculous level of nerves I had felt in previous tests at bay, and I was left to deal with my customary driving anxiety. I passed. Great. I still hated driving.
After several Coaching sessions and then discussing this fear with Rodney, he felt it was very important we deal with it immediately. I went into the session extremely hopeful that it would work and equally as anxious it wouldn’t because if it didn’t there was nothing left except a debilitating anxiety.
Rodney went straight to work with a series of questions in order to identify the various emotions I had experienced, along with my overall attitude towards driving.
During the session, although I was under hypnosis, I was actively participating and remembered the whole experience. We did a few different exercises relating to eradicating those negative emotions, as well as creating new emotions around driving. We also worked on creating a new picture of driving and transforming my overall attitude.
Within 2 hours I was heading home, feeling great and ready to face the real test – driving. I felt very neutral to the whole idea of driving which was already a hugely promising sign. All the horrible feelings and physical symptoms had vanished. I reached the car, jumped into it and just drove. I was fine. What was the big deal? In fact, I actually found it incredibly relaxing and enjoyable. I could not believe it.
The sense of pure relief and happiness was phenomenal. The burden and constant pressure of not wanting to drive, coupled with no one being able to really understand my anxiety, was also gone. I felt liberated and still do. My only wish is I had found hypnotherapy earlier, in 2 hours a 10-year anxiety had just vanished.