Are you too calm or too fearful to learn?

Are you in the best state of mind to learn how to drive?  Do you love your driving lessons or does just the thought of them make you feel nervous?  Your emotions have a big role to play in how well you are able to learn during your lessons.  We have different zones that we move between when are learning something new. 

Learning zones 
 
Comfort Zone - we feel calm, what we learn feels easy but possibly has little challenge, is a little boring, learning may be slow but comfy and its easy for learning to get stuck. 

Stretch Zone - we feel more awkward and a bit more challenged but it is manageable.  We have to focus more, we learn a lot and feel a sense of achievement. The more time we spend in this zone, the more it will grow. Past learning slips into the comfort zone and new learning that would once have been in the panic zone is now manageable in the stretch zone as we grow in confidence.  

Panic Zone - we feel more fearful, possibly frustrated or criticising ourselves and others.  What we are doing feels too challenging which prevents much learning from taking place and can generate feelings of being scared to try again. Our defence system has been triggered. 

Failure Zone - we feel overwhelmed, angry or frozen.  Our defence system is in full swing ready to fight, flight or freeze, preventing any possibility of learning at all and a complete aversion to repeating the experience!  

The aim is to stay within our Stretch zone and learn to recognise if we are approaching our Panic zone and triggering our Defence systems.  Enabling us to stay in the Stretch zone and maximise our learning capacity.  Avoiding the Failure zone altogether!  Reflect back on your last driving lesson.  If it felt too easy, a bit boring and not challenging enough then you may need to chat with your driving instructor about what you would like to achieve in your next lesson.  If however, it felt too difficult making you feel frustrated and self-critical then you may need to chat with your driving instructor about how to keep your lessons in the stretch zone.

We learn best when we are within our stretch zone, challenged but not fearful.

 Using the various techniques on the website before your driving lessons will ensure that you are not starting with high levels of stress before your lesson.  Learning breathing exercises that you can use in the car means that when it is safe to do so you can pause, activate your soothing system (see last weeks blog) so that you are ready to resume, staying in the stretch zone of learning.