Congratulations if you have decided to take your fear of driving head on by taking control of your car. It is true that the best way to get rid of driving fear is to face it, but hold on. Before you commit some common mistakes that others of your kind do, be warned of them. Else you may never take up driving again if you meet up with some scary incident.
First Mistake: Testing Rather Than Practicing: Your aim is to get better at driving, not perfect. If you get better with each passing day of practice, you will eventually become perfect. Avoid the temptation to test your progress directly on freeways or bridges ahead of schedule.
Testing causes anxiety, stress and the possibility of failure, in which case your driving phobia will worsen. You don’t want to risk that. The sensible way to go is one step at a time.
Second Mistake: Practicing in the Traffic: Driving through traffic is never easy for anyone. Stress and frustration while driving in traffic is normal for anybody, leave alone driving phobics. Of course you will eventually need to do it, but not early into practice.
Start with driving on roads that are not busy. Look for a time that is most suitable. Early morning is perhaps the best time to practice wherever you are. Start easy and gradually increase your difficulty level. Do not unnecessarily make things more difficult than needed.
Third Mistake: Not Relaxing Physically: You cannot hope to relax mentally while your body is tensed up. A relaxed body almost certainly ensures a relaxed mind. As soon as you feel some amount of driving anxiety creeping in, consciously relax parts of your body one at a time.
Do not wait until you almost get a panic attack to practice relaxation methods. You need to practice them as a preventative measure. When you stop at a red light, be sure to apply the techniques. Relaxation is a great way to reduce the rising levels of anxiety as you drive.
Take care and avoid these mistakes and you shall well be on the way to freedom from driving fear. Congratulate yourself after every practice session so that the subconscious mind feels confident and happy about your driving skills. This will put you in a positive cycle that will accelerate your success.