Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Now, this is a quality that some people have, some people don't have, and some people have too much of.

I like to think I fall into the first category, although I know when I'm feeling arrogant I fall into the last category. There are some circumstances where I fall into the middle category - I know I'm not the only one, we all have those days.

The thing that bothers me is whether this confidence, or lack of, is justified.

My thought today has been provoked by one of my friends who has a driving test looming. She won't tell anyone the exact date because of the pressure and she doesn't want everyone to know. Personally I understand that fully. The only people who knew the date of my test was my instructor, my mother and myself.

She's learning with my instructor, so I was allowed to sit in the back of the car while she had her lesson. It started off with her having a slight blonde moment - leaving the handbrake up and pulling off. This had me slightly worried that the rest of the hour would be awful, but I knew she was nervous because I was there. I was the same when my mother was in the car with me the day before my test, overcompensating - trying not to make errors, but forgetting other things as I went.

I was meant to stay quiet during the drive - something I didn't succeed with but I wasn't critisizing her, just reliving some funny moments of my own. My instructor said she doesn't remember many lessons with students but she remembered the one with my mum in the car! *embarrassed* I spent the time talking to my instructor about her children, what we were getting up to nowadays, etc. This gave my friend the chance to drive by herself without being prompted which she enjoyed. She also liked having me in the car because I gave her constructive criticism at random points when I was able to without throwing her off her driving - when we were stationary for example. I was glad she took my comments on board as I'd hate for her to dislike my presence there or resent me for any of it.

Although I passed first time round, I still got a few minors in my test and made a few small errors which could have been disastrous. I also have friends who had failed and often asked them what they slipped up on so that I know for future reference for anyone who asks me. I also remember the things my instructor had told me from her other students experiences from when I was learning. All of these things I tend to remember and advise/warn my friends about.

At the end of the hour I "flawed" her on about 3 things. They weren't even big things. Just things to watch out for. Her driving ability impressed me greatly. She pulled up into the drive, I think, relieved that she didn't make giant errors but still not 100% confident in herself.

Now driving before your test is risky, you don't want to get over confident to the point that you make stupid mistakes/kill someone. On the other hand, you don't want to be lacking confidence to the point that your leg is shaking and you can't find the bite point of the car - essential on hill starts as no road nowadays seem to actually be flat. It'd be nice for her to actually be in the middle of the two extremes though, because she has the potential to pass, first time round. I hope she's able to acknowledge her abilities and face her confidence fears because her driving ability won't let her down. Her confidence might.

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