“I’ve been driving for years and never had a crash, there is nothing wrong with my driving” sound familiar?

So you may have completed numerous journeys successfully but is that success a real measure of you getting it right or wrong, good or bad, safe or unsafe?

The driver who performs a manoeuvre 100 times ‘successfully’ who then subsequently crashes performing that same manoeuvre on attempt number 101 has in fact got it wrong 101 times however by chance the first 100 attempts didn’t result in a crash providing of course our driver carried out the manoeuvre in the same way on each attempt.

So why do we rely so heavily on previous successes as a measure of our own ability?

Our brain is very good at learning from past mistakes but if our journey goes without incident we will have learnt very little about how to avoid an incident in the future instead we continue blissfully unaware of our flaws even a near miss, the other driver blowing their horn in anger or the screeching of tyres is unlikely to be taken as a lesson.

Why not?

We self justify our mistakes or poor decisions to avoid taking responsibility and seeing ourselves in a negative light refusing to admit that mistake even to ourselves, OK self justification isn’t always a bad trait without it  we could become over anxious even depressive over something that was relatively minor in fact we could become so focused on the error we have just made whilst driving that we become distracted from the task in hand causing more serious errors.

If we allow ourselves to be blinded by our self justification just like water going down the plug hole we will get drawn deeper into complacency fuelling our belief that it won’t happen to me, it wasn’t my fault, there was nothing i could do, allowed to grow unchallenged we will justify bigger and more costly errors to the extent it can alter our perspective on reality.

“I don’t do that”.

If the above thought has just popped into your head you have just justified an error, we all do it to varying degrees in all areas of our lives.

Changing the way we think.

Every time you ride or drive don’t use the number of successful journeys to calculate the chance of your current journey being unsuccessful instead start at 50/50 then in order to shift the chances in your favour build on your previous experiences of how it went right by asking yourself what will i do if it goes differently.