Every car ride dented my confidence and affected how I felt about myself

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Throughout my childhood, I had low confidence and self esteem.

At some point in my life when I found my passion, my self esteem and confidence started to grow. However, I still had a long way to go. I struggled to trust my decision making and believe in my abilities. That said, I still felt like I had enough to get by and function like a seemingly normal human being. I’ve always wanted more confidence and a better self-image, but never really understood the importance of actually working towards those goals when I was younger.

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Part of me also thought that as I grew older, I would understand a little more and my confidence and self-image would naturally improve. I had never foreseen that if I didn’t work to enhance these elements I could risk losing what little I already had. Driving was something I always put off because, of course, like many people, I was afraid and anxious about it. I thought fear only surrounded fear of ordinary things like getting into an accident or causing an accident. It wasn’t long before I realized that fear was more than that and was a trigger for mental health.

I felt immense pressure, that I was in the way and that I was a burden on the streets, even though I was going full speed and riding with little mistakes. Besides that, learning to drive was a totally new experience and I had no idea what it was going to be like. I’ve been putting it off for so long and I’ve never driven any vehicle before. I started the journey with my usual drive and dedication and good self esteem and confidence. However, it wasn’t long before each guide was eroding more than just my confidence and influencing how I felt about myself.

Like traditional anxiety, overthinking and being hard on yourself is normal and was only intensified with guidance, mostly because it was so hard to convince myself it wasn’t justifiable. Where replaying conversations in my head probably isn’t very helpful, over-processing my mistakes while traveling didn’t seem unreasonable because there is real danger associated with them. While operating and driving a car, I also felt my inner child emerge and any problems I had yet to solve were magnified.

Driving has affected my mental health so much, but what it has shown me on the journey is that things like self-esteem and confidence should be taken more seriously

I was vulnerable and it was one of the few situations where it was clear that my act of being confident and sure of myself was not genuine. I try to work with a fake until you get it close, but in these scenarios it couldn’t have run into more fake. I really hated the person I became in the car. Where my trauma and anxiety have made me a highly independent person, driving has revealed that I’m not completely independent. Also, he disclosed that I have low self esteem and confidence which I have always been ashamed of. All my life I have always been jealous of those with a strong sense of self and that has only been heightened during this time.

I’ve always tried to do everything perfectly, but of course, nobody’s perfect and that too was a hard pill to swallow. The idea that there was something I wasn’t good at or wasn’t clear headed at was something I really struggled with. There were so many times where I wanted to quit but it would go against my character because I’m not a person to give up. That said, the experience was making me my worst. Even when I wasn’t driving, I started feeling incompetent in other areas of my life and dealing with things like imposter syndrome. I started coming back to questioning things like the value I bring to other people’s lives and being really grateful to those who sacrificed time to be with me even when I felt like I wasn’t a fun or pleasant person to be around.

Driving has affected my mental health so much, but what it has shown me throughout the journey is that things like self-esteem and confidence should be taken more seriously. If you have low self-esteem or self-confidence, you need to work on improving it because you may find yourself in a situation later in life that further reduces the little you have. Low self-esteem and self-confidence can lead to the development of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Today, more and more people are talking about various mental disorders, which is great. We badly need awareness to remove stigma so people can conveniently access help and improve. Confidence and self-esteem are two words that appear in all wellness blogs and products.

However, not many of us prioritize them until we start having problems. With my driving experience, it took me to fall back into intense anxiety and depression to recognize that I need to work on it. Before things went bad, I thought the level of confidence and self esteem I had was good and workable. Having good mental health doesn’t mean having sunshine every day. It’s about having days with rain and showers, wind and storms but being able to cope better. Having a good level of confidence and good self-esteem is the starting point for making sure you are taking care of yourself appropriately.

As I felt primed behind the wheel, I could feel incompetence issues transferring into my work life and even my personal life even when away from the car

Just as we’re starting to take mental health issues like anxiety and depression seriously, we too need to act on feelings of low self-esteem and confidence. While driving was always going to be a trigger for me due to my past experiences struggling to put me out there, feeling incompetent and feeling like a burden, I believe I would have coped with the experience much better if I had more confidence and a better relationship with myself. I feel like it would help me stay away from the dark and stay in the light even in difficult times.

There are many resources out there to help improve confidence and self-esteem, such as coaching, counseling, self-compassion exercises, journaling, and more. Often, we seem to wait until things get really bad to start addressing these issues. However, low self-esteem and self-confidence can reduce a person’s quality of life in a variety of ways. While I felt primed behind the wheel, I could feel issues of incompetence also transferring into my work and personal life even when away from the car.

We need to work to address and close this gap and restore our confidence and self-esteem in preparation for when the tough times inevitably come so we can be a little more resilient and strong in dealing with them.

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