I’ve only seen this a couple of times. An applicant shows up for the check ride down on himself and lacking self-confidence. Some people are just nervous but this is different. As we talk I’ll hear something to the effect of “I don’t think will go well but what the heck!”
Well that’s no way to start the show! I’m not sure how long this “negative thinking” has been going on but the longer it does the more a person will believe it. I’ve seen people get stuck on a simple question and say “I don’t know, I give up”. Well, lets not get so shaken up yet. Can you find the answer somewhere, in your notes, or FAR/AIM? I had one applicant several years ago actually give up flying the airplane! We where in the landing flare when the applicant took their hands off the controls and said “I can’t do this!”
Well, here are a few suggestions to help us out.
Have confidence in your training and instructor. All the instructors I know will not recommend an applicant for a check ride until that person is ready. The FARs and the PTS spell out the minimum requirements and I know most instructors standards are higher than the those. So have faith in that you have had good instruction.
Think positively. The check ride is not nearly as difficult as you think it will be. I’ve often asked applicants if the ride was as bad as they thought and they almost always answer “No, it was easier”. Some tell me their instructor was harder (which is the way it should be). Keeping on the positive side will keep you more relaxed and stress free.
Keep your head up and sit up straight. Believe it or not posture can play a role in self-confidence. People with the more dominate stance generally command more respect and power. That stance (or posture) sends positive signals to the brain allowing the individual to do well.
Just before the check ride, write down what your are scared or nervous about on paper. After you’re done, throw the paper away. I don't know why this works as a stress reducer but it does.
Remember to take your time, relax and breath. It’s kind of a yoga thing that will help reduce stress and clear your mind.
That’s all I got! Good Luck!