Fuck Inner Game. Try Outer Game.

by Eric Disco
Feb 6

Before I began doing pickup, I had it in my mind that women didn’t like me. If a woman caught me looking at her, I thought I’d creeped her out.

No matter what I did–if I worked out, if I dressed well, if I changed my style–the best I could do was try hard to get women to like me. I thought that if I could talk to a girl long enough, I could possibly convince her to like me.

I’ve had a number of girlfriends. And the funny thing was, it felt like with these girls, I wouldn’t have had to do much anyway, that I somehow could have gotten those girls from the start.

And then I realized, wait, maybe I did get that girl from the start.

What changes when you start doing pickup? What changes when you begin talking to attractive girls every day?

When you are approaching women you don’t know, during the rest of the day when you look at other girls, you realize, “Hey wait, those girls don’t dislike me. They just haven’t met me yet. That snarl on that girl’s face isn’t for me. I’ve walked up to girls with snarls on their faces and that snarl usually goes away.”

I was phobic of women. And I didn’t know it. My fear was below the surface. Every time I passed a cute girl I would think to myself “That girl doesn’t like me.” I didn’t verbalize it in my head. But that’s what I felt. And it wasn’t true.

I am now getting looks sometimes from girls. Positive looks. I wasn’t getting looks like this before. What changed?

I changed my look, my posture, my gaze, my body language, everything. But the most important thing that changed was that I stopped believing that girls disliked me. And I started believing that any girl, anywhere could like me.

I hate the term “inner game.” “All game is inner game,” they say. It annoys me when people talk about inner game. I want to punch them in the face and claw their eyes out. Because like most guys, I read this as some kind of zen crap that if you believe strongly enough that you’re great, all of a sudden it will change, that you can just be confident. But this is not the case. And everyone knows it.

What has to change is your actions. What has to change is your habits.

I hate doing mental exercises. I hate the idea of mental rehearsal. I don’t like the idea that I should sit in my apartment and try and think through things in my head until I get it right. I don’t believe it works.

What needs to happen is a process where you take action in the real world. That’s the first step to changing your behavior.

You will never have true confidence by telling yourself over and over and over that you are confident. You will never have confidence by reading a thousand books or going to a thousand workshops. The only way to get true confidence is by going out and doing it over and over. It doesn’t sound easy, does it? Maybe that’s the point.

But if you are willing to do whatever it takes to get yourself there, you can do it.

I did. And I’m still doing it.

It’s possible to get there. Not only is it possible to get there, but you will become a hundred times the man you are for doing it.

I used to have HUGE approach anxiety. To walk up to a girl I didn’t know and try talk to her was torturous for me. There was Hell in Hello. A huge part of me was content and completely resigned to never talk to a strange woman ever again.

I didn’t know that it was possible for it not to hurt. I didn’t think it was possible to get there. I had no path.

I had some inkling in my mind that if I could talk to ten women every day, after a while it would get easier. And I even set out to try and do it.

And I always failed.

But with the loving help of some great coaches, I figured out how to do it.

I don’t have a secret formula to make it easy for you. Because it’s not easy. It’s difficult. Very difficult.

I’m not asking you to do something that’s impossible to do. I’m not asking you to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

I’m asking you to step out of your comfort zone a little bit at a time. And to do it consistently. The small changes begin to add up, most of it unnoticeable to you, until eventually you will find yourself at the top of the mountain.

And all of this can happen a lot faster than you think.

If you need a coach to kick your ass, find one. Or if you have a friend who can help you, call him up. Make a plan. Do SOMETHING. Just take that first step and keep taking those first steps. For me the first thousand steps felt like the first step. There are days when it still feels like the first step. But you can get there. It’s just a matter of your willingness to go out and do it.


posted in Initiative and Inhibition

8 responses
Columbo says:

Good stuff.

Cultivating habits: “Ordinary actions, taken consistantly, produce extraordinary results” — Aristotle.

Getting out of your comfort zone: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to ones courage” — Anais Nin.

John Doe says:

”I’m asking you to step out of your comfort zone a little bit at a time. And to do it consistently. The small changes begin to add up, most of it unnoticeable to you, until eventually you will find yourself at the top of the mountain.”

Awesome quote!

Arthur says:

I think you do need to get yourself together before you can go out there. your right no zen like experience will happen but if you dont believe in yourself and value your social worth no other woman out there is going to verify it for you .
You are right you gotta go out there and do it I agree on that . But if your in your head saying I cant do it your not going to do it .
You got to believe in you first before you go out there. Otherwise you aint gonna suceed.. But great article anyway

[...] And he worked it hard. He kept at it every day, and he drilled the fundamentals, and soon he was so good, I had no choice but to make him a teacher. One thing great teachers do is share with others EXACTLY what they did to master their craft, and Eric has written an article at approachanxiety.com that contains a KEY secret to getting better. [...]

colin roald says:

The screwy thing is, dude, is that even while you’re saying “fuck inner game”, you’re writing a post about virtually nothing *but* inner game. “Inner game” doesn’t mean mystic woo-woo and affirmation bullshit. It means that the bottom layer foundation of your success at anything is your own beliefs about what is possible and what you are capable of. And getting over the transition from assuming women won’t like you to assuming they will? There’s no game more inner than that, man.

This whole post: hardly a word of it is about female psychology or how to read body language or logistics or routines or even about women at all. It’s about the fight inside Eric’s head. Inner fucking game.

But it’s true, too. You don’t fix inner game by sitting on your ass reading yet another forum post. You fix it by going out and doing and succeeding and failing and *proving things to yourself*.

Kingpin says:

Inner game is confidence. Period. And there are enough things to do in the community to get more/ over lack of confidence. Things like beating AA, going Kino, taking chances, being sexual, etc. Wasting time on this zen crap and “finding yourself” is bull.

A good outer game MAKES good inner game. Quote it.

mkb_408 says:

Hey Eric,
To me this post is really all about inner game. After all, you are talking about developing a formidable self-confidence to get what you want in life.

I also respect that you aren’t into proposing magic-bullet solutions. Thank you.

For those here who have strong social awkwardness. These resources will help you build the basic social skills needed:
http://www.datinggroundwork.com — not very developed but has interesting articles

For those with super strong social awkwardness (aspergers):
Marc Segar’s “A survival guide for people with Asperger syndrome”
The Unwritten Rules Of Social Relationships – look this up on amazon

Tz says:

Great post. Just read this for the first time, and man, it is so true. Taking action is the only way to get over fear of talking to women you don’t know. Being a kung fu master at all the pickup techniques in the world won’t help you if you don’t go over and talk to her to get the ball rolling. And I’ve found a lot of times once I do that, I can just throw all the game stuff out the window because I don’t need it. Not that I’m naturally awesome or anything. But I just find that the interaction takes on a life of its own and I’m much better at just sort of getting into banter/vibe with a girl and flirting with her when I’m more focused on the moment and what she’s saying rather than worrying about whether I should be doing this or that pickup technique. I got a kiss close last night and all we did was have a fun conversation. I think if you can connect with a girl in a fun conversation, that alone is pretty powerful stuff. sorry I’m getting off on a tangent. I’ll shut up now.