Fear – and ‘taming’ your inner-self when driving

Ok – The Chimp Paradox book. I know not everyone has a passion for reading, this post is in reference to that book.

Brief summary of book is at the bottom of post just in case you want

to read that bit!

My Driver today relates very well to the book as she has a very ‘enthusiastic’, jumpy, paranoid, terrified, and somewhat troublesome Chimp! 

Today she was doing her commentary drive, and as a suggestion by me, was looking WAY way way further ahead than she has become accustomed to.

Recently I have noticed her ‘view’ ahead had become much closer; and her hazards much near
er. It was triggering her Chimp into ‘fight or flight’ mode!

Her summary after her super successful and highly skilled drive was:
” I loved that!
It was weird how my Human was using the top half of the windscreen, and my Chimp

was just monitoring the bottom half calmly!”

I asked her to explain a bit more…

“Well my view ahead and the potential hazards, road signs and road layout etc is all in the distance – and

to see what is there is up in the top half of the window. My human is looking there.
It leaves my Chimp to calmly monitor the bottom half of the window. I mean – that is where the sudden need to do an emergency stop; or deal with an un-imaginable problem will be! I can leave my Chimp to detect it! I (the driver) can relax, knowing I can trust my Chimp to ‘notice’! My computer just ‘does my feet’ for me if I have to stop!

That feels great!!”

Giving names and solid roles for these daft Chimp, Human and Computer fractions of herself has given her confidence a massive boost!


For those that like the “Inner Game” style books; this would be relating to “Self One and Self Two”!


Mental ‘pictures’ to give form and structure to the processes involved in driving can be very useful! Thanks Mr Steve Peters for the book. (Audio file for me of course)

The Chimp Paradox Book (Micro summary)
There are more, but lets focus on 3 inner parts of ‘a driver’.

The Computer

The Human

The Chimp

The computer is an automated system. Breathing, digestion are basic things our ‘computers’ do. Basic car control eventually is done by our computer. Eg our feet just know how to stop the car once we have

been driving a while.

The Human is in control of thinking and complex processes and planning. Concentrating and making decisions; advanced skills and perceptions.

The Chimp in terms of evolution is much more primal. More basic. It is very strong so it can easily overwhelm a human. A human can easily manipulate and control a Chimp by using an advanced cognitive power.
A Chimp has a sensitive and hair-triggered fight or fight reflex! Run from danger! Fight to protect the family members!

The book gives us and our Drivers these focal points to develop upon – arming a new Driver with inner strength to develop and ‘tame’ their Chimps; freeing their Humans, and delegating more to their computers.

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