Each of us has sub-conscious and conscious patterns of feeling and doing. Our sub-conscious patterns are our ‘rules’ and most were learnt by the time we turned 7 years old; between the ages of 0 and 7 we learn without effort. These ‘rules’ were learnt from our ‘people who must be obeyed’- our parents, grandparents, teachers and siblings. These ‘rules’ enable us to ‘fit in’ and although well meaning, many of them are negative.

Our conscious feelings and behaviours are usually learnt after we are 7 years old. This type of learning is creative, focusing on new ways and is inculcated via repetition. This learning is not as ‘easy or as natural’ as the way we learn when we are younger.

Our sub-conscious patterns generally run the show. If you are thinking about anything other than what you are doing in the moment i.e. when driving, you are operating sub-consciously – in your programmed / default behaviours.

The moment the conscious mind is not paying attention, the mind defaults to the sub-conscious. If one is not in ones conscious mind it is very difficult to know ones feelings or emotions and observe ones behaviour. Not being conscious of my behaviour means that I am unable to determine whether my thoughts or behaviour benefits me or not.

I can only purposefully change my behaviours or the meaning I give things if:

a)      I am in my conscious mind;

b)      I am paying attention to the thing at hand.

Many, probably most of our driving behaviours are sub-conscious. We ‘learnt the rules of driving’ from the ‘people who must be obeyed’ – our parents, even though we were too young to drive. Children in the back seat are not passive passengers; they are learning your driving rules and behaviours and are likely to carry those rules and behaviours into their driving patterns and to pass them onto their children.

When we learnt to drive (functionally) we were certainly in our conscious minds. Do you remember how difficult it was to co-ordinate your hands, feet, head and eyes in relation to the accelerator, the brake and clutch pedals, the steering wheel, rear view and side mirrors, never mind what was going on around us; and we were moving and so was everyone else!

All of these separate things quickly became integrated and for most of us, we don’t even think about the complications of using a stick shift, unless of course we haven’t driven one for a while, then we have be conscious until we get used to it again. This shows that not all of our sub-conscious patterns of behaviour are negative.

If we want to become conscious of our driving behaviours to determine whether they serve us or not, or you have completed a Driver Assess driver behaviour profiler and it indicates you have high(er) risk behaviours that you want to understand, what is it we need to do?

See ‘We are driven by our sub-conscious patterns – Part 2’ next week.

Emotions drive people, people drive cars.


Reference and credit:

Featured image – Alexander Hough, Unsplash
Banner image – Joey Khyber – Unsplash
Small image – Jake Blucker, Unsplash

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