Why Focus On Approach Anxiety?

by Eric Disco
May 27

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?


posted in Initiative and Inhibition, Self-Improvement Strategies

7 responses
AFC #32852 says:

My buddy called me from work this afternoon (he works at a county club). He said one of the girls he works with just got out of some bad relationship. He decided to tell her about me, and suggest that we meet. She’s 21; I’m 26.

While telling her about me, he mentions that I have a goatee– why that would be of any importance, I have no idea. I don’t have a huge bushy one or anything… just a short, clean cut goatee. If you ever played Half-Life, think Gordon Freeman (http://seb.vince.free.fr/half-life2/pochette.jpg).

Why the hell am I talking so much about my goatee? Well apparently, when he told her I had one, she said that she doesn’t like goatees and that I should shave it off.

I love my goatee. I’ve had it for 6 years. Feel naked without it. And my friend expects me to shave it off before I MEET THIS GIRL FOR THE [[[[[FIRST]]]]] TIME! My immediate response was no fuckin way. My friend warns me not to blow it, and suggests that I shave.

I think if I were to remove something about myself that I like, just for ONE person that I haven’t even met yet, that would make me a spineless chump. My attitude towards this is that if she doesn’t like my goatee, then NEXT CONTESTANT PLEASE. According to my buddy, she’s exceptionally good looking. I told him I don’t care how good she looks; I’m not making a change to myself that I cannot undo within 24 hours time.

Suppose I get rid of it when we meet, and it works out well and something happens. Then I’d have to be a total sellout and walk around barefaced, not because I want to be that way, but just so I can stay with this girl?

Suppose it doesn’t go well. Here I am back where I started, minus a goatee.. for nothing. What a tool! We’re talking SEARS Craftsman 128 piece ratchet set.

Seems like a lose-lose situation to me.

Am I being unreasonable here? I just think something as petty as requiring a dress code of someone before you even meet them should be interpreted as a warning sign.


A way to look at this would be who’s qualifying whom. Even if your friend says she’s good-looking, does that mean she’s an acceptable person? She could have a repulsive personality, etc.

If she knew you had a goatee and met you and you had shaved it off for her, you can forget about it with her anyway.

A lot of this stuff I’ve been thinking about as long-term. Get used to walking away from girls, get used to leaving girls because you don’t like what they’re saying. You may lose a few along the way, but you’ll have your dignity.


AFC #32852 says:

Amen to that.

Mike says:

Great stuff Eric. when i started going out a lot it was extremely scary, and it still is, i “went back to square one” more time then i can remember. but every time i went back it was a little more familiar.

take now for example. its been about like 2 weeks since i did a cold approach. between finals and some personal issues i just stopped going out. fast forward to this past friday. i go out to start a new stretch of approaching and i’m scared shitless. but i manage to get one approach in. it was hard and scary, but not as hard and scary as the first time. this was partly because i knew that in order to get over AA again, i had to face challenges again. i expected this and i committed to doing it beforehand. i knew very well that it would be scary as hell, and i went out anyway and did it.

the same concept applies for ALL other challenges with learning pickup. recently i met a girl i met online. i never did online game before and she was the first girl i ever met. i was really really nervous about meeting her but at the same time i totally identified my body fighting itself due to me pushing my comfort zone. and once you realize that pushing yourself to doing uncomfortable things becomes easier because you know you’re improving. i cant force myself to do something painful if it does not provide some sort of benefit. but i know ever time i approach or do anything uncomfortable i’m totally benefiting. my inner game is getting re-wired, i’m practicing out game. all these beneficial things are happening even if you dont feel it.

and that right there is the sole reason i keep going out. i keep going on day2′s, i stop myself from ejecting early. i totally believe that all those things add up to a greater whole.

I’d not think any of this if i didn’t learn it from applying myself and getting over AA 4 months back. learning about and getting over AA gave me a solid gameplan to attack other areas of my game. that’s why learning about AA is important. in a way its the same as any other fear you feel when going through this strange and crazy journey.

Props Eric.


mkultra says:

Why not go out with this girl anyway?
Most women don’t know what they want.
My sister had the same attitude towards goatees.
Guess what? she married a guy who I have never, ever seen without his goatee.

Evolver says:

Hey AFC,

Tell your friend that you’ll shave your goatee if she agrees to shave her head, that you have a fetish for bald women. Obvsiously she is not going to do this, but at least they both might see the sillyness of her request.

Ok, so maybe don’t take it that far but what I’m saying is that you should turn it around on her so that she has to change something about herself in order for you to be interested in going out with her. At least then, she’ll realise that you’re not someone who is easily toyed with. This is a typical test, if you shave it for her you will fail.

John Doe says:

”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.”

So true.