Pre-first Lesson Nerves! - Diary of a Learner

I have to admit, I've been excited and I've also thought about reasonable excuses to give to postpone my first lesson. It's a strange feeling looking forward to something whilst at the same time trying to find ways out of it. If I was honest with myself, I couldn't say it's because I don't want to do it. It's more to do with the fear of failing. Not the test though, a lot of people do that. But failing at learning to drive. Getting in the car and after ten minutes the instructor saying 'sorry, some people were just not meant to drive, you're one of them, now get out of my sight'. I called a friend who knew and loved his cars as well as driving, told him that I was about to have my first lesson. He told me how he was so nervous he kept calling his instructor Brian instead of his actual name Peter- something about resemblance to Family Guy characters. I never imagined that my friend would have been nervous for any of his lessons. He's driven me before and is extremely good and confident. Maybe despite my pre-lesson nerves I can shake them off and be as good as him? When we look at confident people we often assume that it's just the way they are. We have this idea that they don't know what nerves are. This simply is not the case in reality. Many footballers will talk about the feeling in their stomach in their first big debut game, even the most successful of actors talk of how they almost didn't have a career because they were so nervous to start off with. One of the great bits of advice I've gotten is to not fear or resist nerves but to acknowledge and understand them. I also do what I call the 'Dr Pepper test', what's the worst that could happen? Nerves protect us from reckless behaviour, it's why we have them. If I had no nerves I'd be less receptive to learning and more receptive to just doing what I wanted in the car, overly confident. And with the Dr Pepper test, what is the worst that could happen? My instructor might think I'm unteachable, but that's his or her loss and another instructor's gain. I'm nervous for the lessons and I'm proud of that fact. It shows that I'm keen to develop and to do it right. If I try to resist it well then it becomes a problem and once it becomes a problem it becomes a vicious cycle. So bring on the first lesson, nerves and all!

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