What does it mean to dream of driving backwards?
We can’t control the images that show up in our dreams. They can be tragic, scary, threatening or even funny. One of the funniest night visions people can have is to dream of driving backwards.
It’s like a Charlie Chaplin movie. But as hilarious as the image of you stuck on reverse trying to drive anywhere, maybe this dream image is actually quite deep.
It’s too easy to dismiss it as just a funny dream. But there’s a lot of meaning behind the surface humor.
Depending on the different details that form the context of a dream of driving backwards, your subconscious might be telling you of certain realities in your life that may not be laughing matters. In fact, they can be as serious as a heart attack.
Dreaming about driving backwards involves your life’s direction.
Whenever you dream of a car and the car being the central focus of your dream, your subconscious is telling you something about your life’s direction.
Now keep in mind that the car has to place a central role. It can’t just be another detail in a dream that ultimately is about something else. Maybe you are dreaming about being in a field and there is a car to decide. I am not talking about that.
If you are dreaming of driving a car then your subconscious is telling you something about the direction of your life.
Generally, when people drive, they go forward. It takes too much attention and effort to drive backwards. It is also very inefficient.
When you see yourself in your dream in a car going backwards, this can indicate that you feel that there certain areas in your waking life that are stagnant.
Maybe you haven’t paid attention to them all that much. Maybe you compare your life with those of your friends and you feel that they have left you behind in certain areas.
You are concerned but you don’t know why. It seems that you have a sense of complacency about certain parts of your life.
Pay close attention to the speed you’re going and your state of mind.
When you see yourself driving backwards in your dream, are you going full speed? Are you putting the pedal to the middle or are you going slowly afraid that you might hit something?
Try to remember what was racing through your mind as you dreamed of that image. This can indicate that you are sensing certain aspects of your waking life that are not inline with who you think you are and where you think you should be.
Depending on the speed you’re going, this can indicate either a lack of control or a sense of compensation.
Sometimes when we realize that we haven’t been doing what we should be doing when it comes to certain relationships, career goals or even our education, we overcompensate. We push hard against the pedal and we try to gain it all back.
Do you sense any of this in your life? What have been the results?
Usually, when you realize that you haven’t been putting in the right amount of time, focus and effort into certain relationships, your job, your job search or other areas of your life, the solution is to double the effort.
If only things were that simple. Just because you are currently putting in 0% doesn’t necessarily mean that if you put in 200%, things will turn around. The world doesn’t work that way but it does have a schedule.
In many cases, you have to invest in certain areas of your life as well as the key people surrounding you over the long whole. It’s as if you are spoon-feeding them your attention and focus. You can’t just rush it in one day. It doesn’t work that way.
Don’t be surprised that just as driving backwards at full speed can often lead to disaster, overcompensating in certain areas of your life can lead to unwanted results too.
In some cases, you are making things worse by trying to “fix them” instead of letting things play out as slowly and trying to manage things in a more focused way.
You are not caught in a race. Please understand that at the end of the day, the only person that will judge you is yourself.
Unfortunately, we think that if we’re making so little compared to our friends or relatives, we have to somehow compensate. We feel that we have to catch up. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way.
Focus on your lane.
Focus on the decisions that you have chosen along the way and see how you can make the best of the path that you are on before you even think of switching paths. A little bit of mastery goes a long way.
Going too slow can also be a problem.
Driving in reverse too slowly can indicate crippling fear. The opposite is also true, it can be problematic.
If you see in your dream that you are driving in reverse but you’re so scared, you move like a snail, there is a problem. What’s happening is you’re looking at your past so closely that you can’t move forward.
There are people in your past that have hurt you. Maybe they said certain things that they shouldn’t have. Maybe they did certain things to you that you really cannot forgive nor forget.
Welcome to the club. We all have certain trauma in our lives and a lot of these sad to say get worse over time. How come?
Whatever you are frustrated about today, you’d look back at these certain events from your past and you read into them all your frustrations and discomforts about your current life.
Those people that you are mad at from junior high or your first lover or relationship, they’ve moved on. In fact, some of those people are already dead but you hang on to them because they are useful to you. You hang on to what you think happened to you.
If you are not careful, you might end up blowing things out of proportion. You put them into exaggeration and embellishment. Eventually, you become a slave to artificial memory.
People are very hardy, seriously. We are tougher than we give ourselves credit for.
With the right mindset, we can pretty much overcome, move on and rise above to whatever tragedies life sends our way. That is just how strong we truly are.
When you play this game of using certain experiences from your past as emotional crutches or useful catalysts for staying where you are, you are not doing anybody any favors.
Those people who hurt you, they have changed. Most of the time, they are not the exact same people that they were when they did what you thought was done to you. Those are different people. They’ve moved on. They’ve let life change them. Why can’t you?
When you keep seeing this image of you behind the wheel looking over your shoulder slightly tapping the gas as you go in reverse and this keeps appearing again and again, sit up and pay attention.
Far from being a master of your present, you have allowed yourself to become a slave of your past. The worst part is, it’s a past that you yourself made up. Either the details are exaggerated or it plays some sort of emotional use to help you get over your issues today.
If you were to look at those memories, they are no longer based on facts. At the back of your mind, you have resigned yourself to the conclusion that they don’t need to be based on reality as long as they serve you (keep you down, let you feel oppressed, small, weak, powerless and voiceless) and sad to say, the happier you become with those memories.
I know this sounds sad and twisted but you would be surprised as to the power a sense of victimhood brings. When people assume the role of victim, they feel good.
Most people get a tremendous sense of relief, why?
If you refuse to be a victim then it means that you have to take responsibility of your life. It means that you have to stop blaming others and take full ownership of how you respond to the signals that the world sends your way. Who wants to do that?
When you are a victim, you get to sit back and point the finger at people in your past or situations you can’t control from yesteryear and say “I can wait”.
I can wait for everybody else to get their act together. I can wait for people to come up to me and say sorry. I can wait for the world to change.
Now as an adult, you know how impossible that is. The world will turn on its axis regardless of what you are feeling. In fact, it has been doing that before you were born and will continue to do that million of years after you’re dead and forgotten.
All you have now is that eternal present. Do I take ownership of my life today?
When you see yourself driving backwards, gingerly tapping on the accelerator, fearing every bump, you are held back by your past. You are not growing.
You are no longer connected with your personal sense of adventure. The world no longer seems new, unexplored and full of opportunities, instead, it becomes a trap and you’re hanging on to maintain some sort of illusion of control.
Dreaming about heading a person while driving backwards.
When your car is going in reverse motion or the backward direction and you see the car heading somebody else, this indicates a very dark side of your emotional state.
A lot of people are afraid of their envious side. In fact, most people would even deny that they are envious and jealous of other people. But the more you deny this part of yourself, the more strength you give the dark side of your consciousness.
This dark side is the part of yourself that feels happy when bad things happen to other people. These people are those that you might not necessarily dislike.
These people, in many cases, can be your relatives and your friends. They are exactly the kinds of people that you should be giving your trust, hope and support to.
It is but human nature when you feel good when something tragic happens to somebody close to you. It is human nature when at the back of your mind you say at least, it’s not me.
As messed up as life has been, as screwed up as the consequences of the decisions that have been made at least, I am not that guy or that girl.
You are not supposed to say this in polite company. This is considered rude or even jaded and cynical but none of that criticisms makes its truth go away.
When you see yourself heading somebody because you are driving in a reverse direction, this is the part of your consciousness being brought out front and center. There is a part of you that desires to betray people because you feel that you have to drag other people down to get up.
Conversely, you may feel that you have been driven and dragged down by these people in your life that you feel obligated to. You feel that losing them or seeing them face disaster or even destruction gives you a sense of relief.
This is a very terrifying string of thoughts to most people cause commonly, they should feel guilty. They should block it off.
The problem here, just like any kind of nightmare, the more you refuse to acknowledge its existence, the stronger it becomes as it lurks in the shadows of your consciousness.
Have you ever noticed that some of your relationships do well only up to a certain point? You can’t seem to get past a certain level? Do you notice that when it comes to certain people in your life, you can only trust them up to a certain extent?
Has it dawned on you that certain people in your life that you think you know like the back of your hand are complete and total strangers when it comes to certain situations? More so when faced with certain circumstances?
This is the dark side of your subconscious that you need to grapple with. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about or make excuses for. You just need to shine the spotlight of honesty on these feelings. They can help you become a better person.
A lot of people unfortunately think that the more they deny or refuse to even think about these, the better they will look to other people. The only person you are fooling if you’re thinking this way is yourself.
The more you take ownership of the guilty, envious and jealous side of your personality, the sooner you will be able to harness all that emotional energy to something positive. You have to understand that the reason why people naturally feel good when misfortune happens to somebody else is that it is hired wired in our genes.
Feeling good at others’ misfortune is a crucial part of human nature.
What I am about to describe is just a description. I am not saying that it is a good thing. I am definitely not recommending or praising this aspect of the human condition, but I would be lying to you if I told you that it didn’t exist or worst yet that you should feel guilty when you start thinking this way.
It is my hope that true personal freedom comes from knowing how the human brain and consciousness naturally work.
The dark corners of our consciousness don’t have to enslave us. They can be channeled, redirected and harnessed to produce something good if understood properly.
What reality am I talking about?
I want you to imagine, walking in a grassland half a million years ago. When you look around, you realize that you are in a small band of cavemen, walking through grasslands, foraging for food. Behind the strand of rustling grasses, you see a lion.
At that point, everybody starts scrambling. Everybody runs in all directions. Your number one instinct is to save yourself.
When you run and you see the lion chasing all of you, you focus on the slowest guy. You understand that the slowest in the group has the highest chance to be eaten by the lion and by doing so end up sparing everybody else.
This is a common and basic logical calculation. Selfish? Absolutely.
Immoral? We can debate about that for days.
What is indisputable is that there is an evolutionary genetic advantage for thinking in comparative terms. This is why people cannot help but compare themselves to others.
People look at how big their house is compared to other people’s houses. They look at how much money they have in the bank compared to others that they know. I can go on down the line, the list is endless.
We are constantly comparing ourselves to others. We are perpetual comparison machines and this is because of a basic survival instinct.
If you didn’t do it and you just focus on the path in front of you, chances are, the lion might catch up to you and eat you. You focus on others. You need only to run as fast as needed to outpace the slowest guy.
I hope you understand how this works because people who have this instinct tend to pass their genes on to the next generation. If you repeat that scene, hundreds of thousands of times through thousands of human generations, you can then understand why people compare themselves even if they don’t want to.
Whether you are checking out your friends’ Facebook timelines to see what they have been doing, the vacations that they’ve been having, new stuff that they bought or people that they’re dating, at least now, you know where that comes from.
Come to grips with your base instinct.
When you are driving backwards and it ends up in a crash or when you’re dreaming about a car going backwards crashing into another car, it’s easy to think that this is a disaster. It’s easy to see this image as the end.
Thankfully, most dreams are not predictive, at least not in the way we expect. Usually, dreams talk about our subconscious. So when you see yourself going backwards in a crash, you have to focus on two things.
First, how fast were you going?
If you just floored the pedal and you end up in a crash, you only have yourself to blame. This is actually good news because your subconscious is telling you that you are aware that your decisions cause certain consequences. This is a good place to start.
Whatever it is that you are happy about in your life, you caused that. Whatever it is that you’re unhappy about in your life, you caused that too. Your life is the effect and your decisions as well as your way of thinking are the causes.
When you see yourself flooring the pedal or going full speed backwards then getting into a crash, this is your self-awareness speaking.
Don’t feel scared. In fact, wake up with a big smile on your face. You have to realize that “I am in control’.
I may not be happy with the consequences of my choices thus far, but since I am aware that my choices will have an effect, I can make better choices. I can take my time studying the potential effects of my decisions today. Do you see how this works?
Sadly too many people think that life is a giant lottery. Either they were born into a certain family or certain social class and everything else just flows from there. It’s as if all their existence is some sort of foregone conclusion that they have no control over. Talk about living a powerless life.
The truth is, everybody has a choice. Everybody can make the kind of life they want for themselves. Unfortunately, if you’re surrounded by people who made the same mistake as you, it is very comforting to believe that all of you were just victims.
There was this giant cosmic lottery. We all just share the same misery and that we are all in need of some sort of heroic figure to lift us out of this pit. How powerless is that imagery?
You surely don’t want to stand around for the rest of yourself waiting for a knight in shining armor to save you. You probably have better use of your time.
So when you see yourself crashing in your dream because you did something, it is an indication that your subconscious is aware that you yourself are also aware of the impact of your decisions.
This is the opening in the door of opportunity that you need. If you are able to wrap your mind around what that symbology means, then that means that you have power over your life.
You are not an accident. You are not at the mercy of your genetics nor are you a slave to the geographic ramifications of where you are born. You are not a victim of history. You are the most powerful person in your life.
Your decisions have consequences. They may trigger only small changes at first but those small changes scale up over time especially if you keep making them over and over again.
What does it mean when you are driving slowly in reverse and you end up in a crash?
When you are driving very slowly and you still end up in a collision, it means that you let your fears get the better of you.
You have to understand that nobody can make you feel miserable without your permission. The same goes with defeat, you can never really lose unless you have resigned yourself and you have given up mentally and emotionally.
Many people are short, physically disabled, battered, suffering some sort of disease or overcoming some adversity but they managed to make it all the way through. Why?
They didn’t give themselves permission to lose. They didn’t allow themselves to quit.
The truth is, as long as there is breath in your lungs, you can continue to fight on and on. Fight until you achieve victory but you have to commit.
Life is a commitment and this is what scares people. You don’t just deep in when things are going well and then get out when things head south. Life doesn’t work that way.
People who do things that way tend to end up with unsatisfactory results.
Do you think Steve Jobs came up with Apply one day and was successful from day one and was a smooth ride from there on out? Of course not. In fact, he got fired from the company that he founded. People were laughing at him and thought he was addicted.
Do you think Bill Gates had a smooth ride? Nobody does. Nobody who has ever built anything big had a smooth ride.
If you are trying to make something out of your life, understand that you cannot let your fears get the better of you. You have to focus on what your life vision is for your existence. You have to use that for motivation.
Keep moving forward. Keep failing and keep learning from those mistakes because if you are not failing, you are not trying.
What does it mean to dream about driving in reverse while you are drunk.
This is a very weird combination of symbols. It usually indicates your subconscious awareness that you are under some sort of false assumption or impression.
What if I told you that whatever results you get out of your life, is a consequence of your impression of life. In other words, your assumptions and expectations of how things should be, influence how much effort you put in, what kind of efforts you take and how you view the results.
Mindset is everything. Your subconscious is using the intoxication analogy to wake you up to the fact that maybe you are operating under the wrong impression.
Are you living your life because your parents expect you to live a certain way? Well, you are not living your life. You’re living theirs.
Are you working at the job because your parents wished they worked at that job? Congratulations. You are not living your dreams, you’re living out your parents’ dreams.
Now, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this if you know what you are doing and you’re perfectly happy with it. It can get quite tragic however if you’re completely clueless as to what is going on.
Here you are operating with some sort of mental and emotional virus implanted by somebody else and intended to benefit other people. You are unhappy but you don’t know why.
When you see yourself in your dream driving backwards in a car, drunk out of your mind, your subconscious is telling you, maybe it is time to consciously adopt your own mental operating system.
Other variations of dreams of driving backwards.
If you see yourself running backwards in your dream, it means roughly the same thing as the analysis above. The same goes with walking briskly or walking slowly.
On the other hand, if you are dancing backwards or you’re doing something weird or unusual while you’re going backwards, your subconscious is telling you that you have to embrace yourself.
Maybe you are the type of person who doesn’t like to be called abnormal, weird, strange or odd. In fact you don’t want to feel left out so you try to be like everybody else. Pretty soon, you lose all sense of identity. You would feel like you become some sort of impostor or worse yet, a chameleon.
If you see yourself running, walking or driving backwards, doing something weird, maybe you are wearing a clown costume or you’re singing some weird song, that “weird element” is intended to get your attention. It is intended to draw your focus to who you really are.
A lot of times, if you’re not successful in your relationships, in your mental health, your emotional maturity or spiritual path as you would have hoped, a lot of these has to do with the fact that you are not living your own life. You are confused as to what kind of life to live.
This type of dream with its emphasis on “weirdness”, is a wake-up call to embrace whatever it is that is weird, abnormal or unusual about you. This is because it’s not the generic that people seek out into each other.
Believe it or not, your crooked smile, your weird dimple or your unusual laugh, these are what attracts others to you. It is not because you are some sort of a chip of a perfect template. They are not looking for that as what mass media images are for.
People instead, are looking for something different about you to fall in love with. Allow that to happen. Be the first to fall in love with who you really are.
Dream Example #1
I had a night ride in the countryside coming from my grandma’s house when I felt dizzy since I was driving for almost hours straight.
I could really feel the fatigue in my body since I was alone and my radio is broken. I decided to stop by a liqour store to buy some cigarettes, hoping to cool myself a little bit.
After smoking, I tried to nap for a short while to regain my energy since I am still halfway from my destination. I never expected that nap to be one of the longest yet sentimental naps that I have experienced in my entire life.
I dreamt of myself sitting in my car, the same location where I took a nap in front of the liquor store.
My car started to move backward. I checked my handbrake, and it was not functional.
I tried to step on my brakes, but the car I not stopping, but I could steer it left and right. It is like my car was brought to life and started moving on its own.
However, my car is moving backward, and I can only decide if I want to go left or right since it is not stopping. I panicked at first, but I discovered that my car was aware of where it was going; it just let me decide if I would go right or left.
Amazed on what I was seeing, I looked into my surroundings. I observed that the people and other vehicles were moving backward as if everybody was on a rewind cassette tape or a rewind button was pressed. Instead of being scared, I was fascinated with the experience.
I realized that my car was taking me back to my grandma’s house so I had nothing to worry about.
As we were cruising in a long lonely road, I observed that the people were not just moving backward, they were also getting younger. The models of the vehicles were becoming older. I realized that I was getting back in time. My car turned itself into a time machine!
I tried to talk to one of the people on the sidewalk, but they won’t respond or hear what I was saying. Nobody can see me driving backwards.
I feel like I was a spectator while getting back in time. Still amazed at what was happening around me, my car brought me to my grandma’s house. I saw her taking care of me when I was young since my parents were always at work when I was a child.
I saw my grandmother prepare my things for school, cook my food and wash my clothes. I also witnessed how she comforts me when I feel alone and scared from getting bullied at school.
Looking from afar, I noticed that she was staring at me. I thought that people would not see me because they would not respond nor hear me.
Her stare was completely blank, and I could feel that she was staring me right down to my soul. Feeling scared, I drove backward in panic and crashed my car into a rock.
I woke up and checked my phone, I received a text message saying, “Where are you? grandma was found dead at her home by the police!”
Dream Example #2
When I began to look around, it seemed like a regular bus ride, but we soon found ourselves driving at the side of a steep hill somewhere in the countryside.
The road curved around the hill and down below, I could see the tops of trees and rooftops from up the escarpment. Still, I did not know why we were here.
Everybody on the bus seemed to mind their own business. Some were on smartphones, some were reading, and some were gazing ahead.
I knew nobody, and none of my friends or family was there. I was in a strange place with strange people feeling strange. The bus dragged along the steep road like a stone on sand -I felt like getting out and helping it move.
As we were about to come to the end of the escarpment road, the engine suddenly stopped, and the bus began driving backward. As the backward speed increased, the bus shook violently, and I shook like a leaf.
My mind raced. Of all days, why was this happening to me today? I thought about personal projects, my family, friends, and I was still young.
Any time, this bus could fly off the side of the hill and crush us like grapes. This is not how I wanted to leave this earth.
Terrified, I tried to shout, but no one heard me. No voice came out of my mouth. Worse still, everyone else sat there like nothing serious was happening -I was the madman in the market. I was boiling in my frustration and fear.
By now, it seemed like many hours had passed by, and it became nighttime. The bus was still driving backward at full speed, and it seemed like we were falling into an endless pit without an end.
I froze in my seat, I could not even move a finger, and my jaws became locked. I could still sense the other passengers, but I could not see beyond my nose. The air was dense and hot, and I was soaked in sweat.
Instantly, it was day again, and I could still see the same trees and rooftops. Everyone else was still seated comfortably in their chairs, but the bus was still falling backward.
I had a little strength to leap forward over the other passengers towards the driver’s compartment, but there was no driver.
I gathered all my strength to try and open the compartment to take control of the bus, but I couldn’t.
My hands and legs felt weak and tiny. Every time I tried to pull the door, my hands slipped away. My whole body felt like spaghetti. As I watched helplessly, terror engulfed me, and I froze.
I gave up.
And then, a gray cat appeared. It was morning and my cat Simba was trying to wake me up. I could finally move my hand and wipe the sweat from my face. I still felt dizzy, but at least I was not going to die in a crash.
Dream interpretation and symbology have fascinated me ever since I read Freud’s classic, “The Interpretation of Dreams.” Ever since, I have explored Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist as well as Jungian psychological ideas about the meaning of dreams. Thanks for joining me in my exploration of the amazing intersection between our conscious waking world and the rich expanse of our subconscious-the home of our intuition, instincts, and hidden potential.