One of my friends asked me lately why I continue to focus on approach anxiety. I still do get some flutters and nervousness when approaching women in certain situations, but it is certainly not as huge a challenge as it was for me in the beginning.
Why continue to focus on it?
I believe that approach anxiety is the first step in understanding inner game. It is the keys to the kingdom, as it were. There are so many guys out there, lurkers who read about how to improve their lives, but only the brave few take it to the next level.
I always felt like if I were able to get past approach anxiety, I could get past anything. And that’s true to some extent.
When you learn to manage, handle and react to approach anxiety, you can then learn to handle many other aspects of your game.
I am at a point where I am dealing with other challenges outside of approach anxiety. There are challenges at every level of the game, whether it’s banter or rapport or learning how to not be a wussy or sexual escalation, or relationship management, you deal with the same aspects:
Fear. How do you deal with fear? No matter what, your body will fight you. If you are good at approaching women, maybe you’ll be afraid to escalate. If you are good at escalating, maybe you’ll fear losing the women.
Pushing your comfort zone. Once you begin to push your comfort zone, this feeling becomes more familiar. Not necessarily easier, but you no longer wrestle as much with things.
For example, the sting of reject may still hurt, but afterward you don’t beat yourself up.
Going back to square one. There’s a danger, particularly when you are decent at this stuff, to want be the expert. We all like to be good at things. However, to truly learn something new, you need to go back to square one. You need to be willing to suck at it.
Being willing to lose. In order to succeed, you need to be willing to lose. This is one of the hardest things. It doesn’t feel good sometimes to lose, but you learn and grow a lot. Sometimes the better you get at this stuff, the less you are willing to lose. I always strive to keep that child-like attitude of being willing to learn something new.
Approach anxiety is an important aspect of pickup–possibly the most important. Because you can only be as good as your ability to start something fresh, to hit “refresh” on the game console and try again. If you can’t take the first step, it’s difficult to improve any other steps.
If you are afraid that you can’t meet someone new, it can be paralyzing in your current relationships.
Once you do learn to manage approach anxiety, the other challenges become more familiar. You know what this process feels like.
You begin to welcome the challenges, because whenever you feel that comfort zone stretching, you know you’ve found where you need to improve and where you want to improve.
It’s one thing to know what to do, but still another to get out there and do it. Are you willing to step into that cold water? How badly do you want it?