One of the biggest obstacle that keeps guys from meeting a girl they like is approach anxiety. This anxiety paralyzes us, and prevents us from approaching a stranger we want to meet. If you don’t start conversations, your dating life will never improve.
Success in dating, like sales, is often a numbers game. The more women you talk to, the higher your chances of finding someone special. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but a good place to start - especially if you haven’t had a lot of success with dating in the past.
Most of us can function normally day to day without too much anxiety. But when we see someone attractive across a crowded room, a wave of uncomfortable feelings washes over us. We enter a catatonic state - unable to act to achieve our goals.
What doesn’t work to eliminate approach anxiety
There are many ways to deal with approach anxiety. The most common is to use alcohol. Many people use this “liquid courage” to help them get through social situations. But when you use alcohol in this way, you are not dealing with the underlying cause of social anxiety. Alcohol numbs these feelings, but when it wears off, the feelings return.
Most of your best opportunities to meet women are not in bars or clubs. There’s a lot of competition there and women, especially attractive women, have their guard up. Attractive women get approached by dozens of drunk horny dudes at bars and clubs. Some of those dudes are huge jerks. To that hot brunette you’ve been eyeing, you’re just drunk guy #29. She doesn’t know the difference between you and the guy who said something nasty to her 15 minutes ago.
If you really want to master women and dating, you’ll have to learn how to deal with uncomfortable feelings in a healthy and effective way. Doing this will give you the emotional maturity needed to form a healthy, strong relationship. And in this article, you’ll discover exactly how to do that.
Logic and reason won't work, either.
Another way I’ve seen dating coaches try to help their students deal with approach anxiety is by using logic and reason. They will tell their students it’s “illogical” to feel approach anxiety. That its a holdover from our hunter-gatherer days when social rejection could lead to injury or death. They’ll say things like “don’t put the girl on a pedestal” or “don’t be attached to the outcome”.
The problem with this is approach anxiety is emotional. Logic and reason cannot overcome emotions. Have you ever heard that people make decisions based on emotion and justify them with logic afterwards? This is absolutely true.
Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman says that 95% of our buying decisions are subconscious. He found in his research that what people really think or feel often contradicts what they say.
Why aren't consumers truthful about their purchasing thoughts and feelings? Well, a big reason is they are driven by unconscious urges, the biggest of which is emotion.
Our Emotions drive our purchasing behaviors, and our decision making. Hearing about how approach anxiety is irrational or illogical might sound helpful, but it’s not going to help you overcome it. You can reason to yourself all day about how illogical it is, but when it’s time to approach, your emotions kick in and you’ll feel anxiety.
The only way to eliminate approach anxiety is by dealing with the emotions directly. This is a huge shortcut to becoming confident with women. Later on in this article I’m going to show you exactly how to do that.
Neuro-Linguistic programming and other pseudo-scientific gimmicks
Maybe you've heard of NLP. Single men will take NLP courses to “reprogram” their minds into being unafraid to talk to pretty girls. These courses use all kinds of weird techniques to cure people of fears and phobias, with mixed results. Tony Robbins is probably the most well known practitioner of NLP. Were it that easy, then everyone would be rich, successful, and totally confident after one Tony Robbins seminar.
What all these people are really good at is not reprogramming the mind, but selling what they do as a solution to life’s problems. Tony Robbins is a master of sales and marketing above all else. I should know, I used to drink the Tony Robbins kool-aid. I tried everything he recommended, earnestly, and got zero results. Later in life I discovered something that actually worked, and later on in this article I will reveal these “secrets” to you.
What will actually eliminate your approach anxiety
The one thing that works to eliminate approach anxiety taking action. To conquer approach anxiety, you have to talk to a lot of women. Eventually you’ll get enough experience that you no longer feel anxiety. Experience makes all the difference between a guy who doesn’t feel approach anxiety and a guy who does.
When I first decided to get my dating life handled, I had terrible approach anxiety. I suffered from shyness and insecurities throughout high school, middle school, and college. Most of the advice I heard from dating gurus regarding approach anxiety was that you had to “just do it”. And after a few thousand interactions you won’t feel the anxiety anymore.
So I did that. And after a few years (years!), I finally got to the point where opening conversations with attractive women was no big deal.
This is the ugly truth about overcoming approach anxiety: if you aren’t confident initiating conversations with attractive women now, it will take you years of experience to get there.
Most men don’t want to hear this. People want a quick fix for their problems. That’s why alcohol is so popular as a “social lubricant”. It’s also why pick-up artists and dating gurus are able to make millions selling their “magic pick-up lines” and other snake oil. These things all offer a “magic pill” solution to life’s problems.
The shortcut to confidence: letting go
The good news is I have discovered a way to speed up your journey to overcome approach anxiety. It’s a way of processing feelings and emotions and it has completely transformed all aspects of my life, relationships included. It can do the same for you too.
By combining this with your approaches, it will greatly speed up your progress. You will be able to eliminate approach anxiety in a matter of weeks or months, rather than years.
Ego: the root cause of approach anxiety
I mentioned earlier that emotions dictate our decisions and behavior. But what causes emotions? I posit that there are three primary drivers of all emotions. I call these “ego motivations” because they drive the “little me” or limited self. This limited self, the ego, keeps us stuck in life - unable to act to achieve our goals.
There are three ego motivations, they are:
Wanting approval - The desire to be liked, loved, and approved of.
Wanting control - The desire to control our environment, get what we want, etc.
Wanting security - The desire to feel safe, secure, and comfortable.
These ego motivations create all emotions, which in turn create thoughts and behaviors. Letting go of ego motivations eradicates the limiting emotions and thoughts they create.
In order to be successful in any endeavor, you must want your goal more than you want approval, control, or security. By doing this, you can let go of these limiting ego motivations, overcome the fear and anxiety they create, and take the necessary actions.
How wanting approval creates approach anxiety
When you see a pretty girl you want to meet, you want her to like you and approve of you. But this desire for approval also creates the fear of disapproval or the fear of rejection. And this fear of disapproval is one of the emotions involved in approach anxiety. Letting go of wanting approval eliminates the fear of disapproval and the anxiety it creates.
Wanting a woman’s approval also causes many other self-defeating behaviors in dating and relationships. Often guys will want a woman’s approval so bad, they shower them with compliments, give them expensive gifts, and bend over backwards for them. Women hate this kind of thing. Women who experience this feel like they are being bribed or obligated to be with that guy. It doesn’t feel good to be pressured like that. That’s why women will often only to be reject or “friend-zone” guys who do this.
This also explains why women date jerks. These types of guys are don’t care about getting approval. Because they don’t want approval, they don’t engage in the kinds of supplicating, needy behavior that can be a huge turn-off for most women.
The more you can let go of wanting approval, the more you will eliminate approach anxiety and supplicating behavior.
How wanting control creates approach anxiety
When you see an someone you want to talk to, you want the interaction to go your way. You want to have control in the situation. And this creates the fear it won’t go your way; the fear that you don’t or won’t have control in that situation.
Fear of losing control creates anxiety. When you are afraid of something, you are picturing in your mind what you don’t want. And it doesn’t feel good to hold in mind what we don’t want. Yet we do this all the time. The root cause of this is the desire for control, which creates the fear of losing control. The only way to overcome this cycle is to let go of wanting control.
And I’m not saying let go of being in control or having control. I’m saying let go of wanting it. Wanting is not the same as having. When you are wanting something, what you are really saying is that you don’t have it. We never want things we already have. We only want things we don’t have. In wanting control what you are saying is “I don’t have control” or “I’m not in control”. And this creates anxiety.
Another problem with wanting control makes out outcome dependent. You want things to go your way. And being attached to the outcome is one of the best ways to strike out with an attractive woman. When you’re attached the outcome, you’re so focused on making things go your way that you can’t act relaxed and natural. And this causes anxiety for both yourself and the girl you’re talking to.
Letting go of wanting control creates a feeling of relaxation and ease. You don’t feel anxiety and you aren’t attached to the outcome. You are free to be your charming self and act natural. What could be sexier than that?
How wanting security creates approach anxiety
Security is the main driver for everything. We want the approval of others because we want to feel safe. The desire for control is created by the desire to be safe and secure. But when you are wanting safety, you are holding in mind a picture of vulnerability. That could create anxiety for anyone.
Wanting safety or security is the main cause of all anxieties and fears. The ultimate fear is the fear of death. But for many men, getting rejected by a woman is a fate worse than death. It’s irrational, but it’s real for a lot of guys.
Letting go of wanting security or wanting to be safe stops anxiety at its source. The only way to overcome anxiety is to take action and see first hand how irrational your fears and anxieties are. But if you are wanting security so much that you never take any risk, you’ll never overcome anxiety and your dating life will flounder.
Putting it into practice
Here’s how to put this into practice to eliminate approach anxiety as quickly as possible. When you see a woman you want to talk to and you feel anxiety, here’s what to do:
Step 1: Accept or allow the anxiety to be there.
Notice and allow the sensations in your body as well as pictures and thoughts it might bring up. The normal reaction to something like anxiety is to try and push the anxiety away or get rid of it. But this only makes it stronger. Carl Jung famously said, “that which you resist, persists”.
When you are fighting against something, you’re giving it your attention. And by doing this, you’re giving it more power than it has. Accepting or allowing it creates some space. This acceptance or welcoming can lessen the anxiety all on it’s own.
Step 2: Become aware of the ego motivation behind the anxiety
The next step is to become aware of the ego motivation creating the anxiety. Check inside and see if you are wanting approval, control, or security. It might feel like it’s all three, and that’s okay. Just notice or become aware of the desire for approval, control, or security.
Step 3: Let go of wanting approval, control, or security
The final step is to make the conscious choice to let go of wanting approval, control, or security. It is this wanting that is creating the anxiety in the first place. By making the choice to let go of wanting these things, the anxiety will lessen or disappear entirely.
If you are having trouble letting go, just ask yourself, “would I rather want approval, or would I rather have it?” “would I rather want control, or would I rather have control?” By wanting these things, you are creating a feeling of lack and limitation. You are affirming your lack of approval, control, and security. And these feelings of lack and limitation create anxiety.
Letting go of wanting creates a feeling of having - a feeling of wholeness or completeness. And if you can open a conversation with a woman from a place of wholeness or completeness, your chances of success are much higher. We call people who feel whole and complete within themselves “confident”. And nothing is more attractive than that.
Step 4: Make the approach and keep letting go
If you’ve done steps 1-3 you should feel less anxiety or maybe even none at all. The next step is to walk up and talk to her. Once you initiate the conversation, this may bring up more emotion. As you converse with this new girl, keep letting go of wanting approval, control, and security.
Every time you let go, you lessen the power your emotions have over you. If you keep meeting new women, and keep letting go, soon approach anxiety will be a thing of the past. This could happen in a matter of weeks or months rather than years. It all depends on your willingness to let go.
You can use the above process for anything. Someone cuts you off in traffic and you feel angry? Welcome the feeling and let go of the ego motivation behind the feeling. Your coworkers annoying you? Welcome the feeling and let go of the ego motivation behind the feeling. The more you can put this letting go into practice in your daily life, the more confidence you will gain in all aspects of your life.
Try it out for yourself and let me know if you have any questions!
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