What is the best mindset for learning to drive?

best mindset to learn to drive

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 in driving lessons

Comfort Zone - we feel calm, what we learn feels easy but possibly has little or no challenge, is a little boring, learning may be slow but comfy and it is 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 stress management 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 the article on emotional systems) so that you are ready to resume, staying in the stretch zone of learning. 

Find out more about the stress management solutions included in our subscription packages for learner drivers and group subscriptions for driving instructors.

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What others are saying

Read more of our reviews from happy learner drivers on Trustpilot

It's great to have a website offering fantastic techniques to assist with the challenges of driving. The website recognises the fact that learning to drive can be stressful and there are strategies to help with this. The website's name, 'CONFIDENT Drivers' is what a learner is aspiring to be, so it's very positive. The techniques also apply to building general confidence in all walks of life, so useful again. Thank you!

I was so pleased when my instructor signed me up for Confident Driver. I loved the hypnosis sessions & I recently passed first time with one fault. Recommend 100%

Confident drivers has been a really useful tool in changing my attitude to the driving test. I hadn't recognised just how much my negative thoughts about my ability rather than my actual driving ability have been holding me back and putting me off. I particularly liked the quick fix section that gives you strategies to calm down just before the test!

Stress Management Subscription For Learner Drivers

If you would like some additional help and stress management resources to help you tackle your driving test nerves or improve driving confidence then our subscriptions are created by leading industry experts especially for you.

What is included:

Four relaxation audios 
Three ways to use imagery techniques 
A range of breathing exercises and a breathing audio
Positive self-talk tools and techniques to manage negative thinking 
Four TFT Meridian tapping videos for different emotions and feelings 
A range of Coaching tools and techniques to help plan ahead and change your driving mindset
Two hypnotherapy audios specifically tailored for Driving Confidence and Driving Test Nerves.
You will also get a SIX Week Introduction to Mindfulness course - learning skills you can use in stressful situations throughout your life.

These plans are created specifically for individual drivers, you can find out more details on our learner drivers page.  We also have a range of group plans created for driving instructors, you can find more details on our ADI page.

One Month

  • 8 Stress Management Techniques
  • Online Courses
  • Created by industry experts
  • Renew or Upgrade anytime


  • 8 Stress Management Techniques
  • Online Courses
  • Created by industry experts
  • Great value 12 months access

1 to 1 Call

  • Personal Approach
  • Answer questions in advance
  • Focussed on your situation
  • Video or Audio Zoom calls

Are you looking for a driving instructor who specialises in nervous drivers or driving test nerves?

If you have driving anxiety or are feeling nervous and worried about your driving lessons why not book lessons with a driving instructor who partners with us.  Find a driving instructor near you who offers a subscription to Confident Drivers included in the price of their driving lessons

Learn to drive with one of the driving instructors in our directory and get free access to driving test nerves and driving anxiety solutions to transform how you feel about driving

positive self talk

Search using your postcode or by zooming the map to your local area to find your nearest instructor.   

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