I Have Anxiety Again Today–and Confidence Too

by Eric Disco
Dec 2

This is the worst feeling ever, I think to myself.

I was feeling great yesterday, and the day before.

But today, I just don’t feel like opening my mouth.

I just got back from a few days vacation with my family. I was social with them, but didn’t interact with anyone else.

I noticed more overall anxiety when I got back last night.

I walk out the front door of my apartment building and bundle up for the cold weather. I think about the possibility of talking to women today and it’s so remote.

I have the momentum of a steam engine–that’s in park.

I round the corner to the subway station. Head up the stairs to the platform.

I get my body walking along the platform even though part of me hopes there’s no one to talk to.

I see a girl. I can’t tell whether she’s cute or not. Who cares. This is just to get moving.

“Do you know if this train goes to Manhattan?”

She smiles. “Yeah. It does.”

“Okay, thanks.” I say and walk away.

Doh. That girl was really cute. And she was smiling. Why didn’t I talk to her longer? I totally could have bantered with her.

Part of me starts to feel regret for not taking it further. But I stop myself completely. That was just a warm up.

I give myself a lot of room when I get into things at the beginning of the day. The first person I talk to, I make sure I put no pressure on myself to do anything.

Yeah, I could flirt. And if I could flirt, I could connect with her as well. And on and on.

But this is all part of a very important process for me, a process I go through every single day.

I often talk about how important it is to interact with women every single day, that doing this daily will be the most important part of learning to manage approach anxiety.

Things really do get easier. But the approach anxiety never goes away. Ever.

But guys that are great at this stuff know that secret. The reason they have less approach anxiety is because they know how to deal with it when it crops up.

They know how to get themselves into the right state every day.

They do warm-ups with no outcome in mind. At a minimum, the first three people they talk to is just practice.

This is the hardest part for guys starting out. It is the most frustrating part. Because they can’t feel what the warm-ups are doing for them.

Am I on the right path? Is this really helping me? I feel different but why aren’t people reacting differently to me? Is this “working”?

They would rather take a huge leap forward and fail because it would hurt too much to fail at something small.

Guys get miserly. When they first start doing this, getting past the fear requires a ton of concentration and energy. They decide not to say “Hi” to the person in an elevator so they can save their energy for when they have to do that difficult approach.

In the beginning, it’s true, you won’t have enough energy to interact with every single person every time you want to. But if you plan to interact with someone on a deeper level, you better start small.

You talk to one person and your body starts to get used to it. You start to feel a bit more comfortable. And with the next person it’s easier.

There’s a word for that. It’s called confidence. And you can build your confidence on a daily basis.

It is a daily process. Anxiety is not something like a disease to be cured. It is something you gain proficiency at dealing with.

It starts new every day. There is something about night, which wipes it all away.

Each night, sleep is a small exercise in death, a daily submission to the great unknown. Our dreams are our womb–intimate, safe and nurturing.

Every morning we are born again. We must learn again. We must rediscover what it feels like to let someone else into our personal space.

I transfer on my train to the next stop. Walk along the platform. I walk over and stand next to a short-haired cutie and open my mouth.

“You look like you know where you’re going.” I wait for her to respond.

She looks at me with a smile and pulls off her headphones.

“Do you know if this train is running this weekend? I have big plans.”

“Um… I think so…” she says with a smile.

“Awesome, you rock. I’m taking you everywhere with me!” She giggles.

And I walk away.

Again.

This time with a smile on my face.

I carry that smile around with me. The next girl I talk to, I will hardly even have to banter. She’s practically giggling when I open my mouth.

Each morning, a voice inside me says, protect what you have. You are fine the way you are. Don’t take that risk.

But my own voice, my true voice, my voice not captured by fear, tells a different story.

There’s more out there, it says. It’s called life. And I intend to live it as vigorously as possible.

-----------------

posted in Ramp Up, Subway Game

COMMENTS
23 responses
stev111 says:

Hay Eric- excuse the cliche but another great article

Picked up on a few things I wonder if you can answer:

1. So you still get anxiety and but you are a lot more comfortable with it?

2. Does everyone have approach anxiety just on different levels?

Eric Disco says:

Hey Steve,

It’s that when I get anxiety, I don’t freak out about it. It’s normal. It’s normal to get it and it’s normal to be in an anti-social mood sometimes. Everyone gets like that.

The thing is, if I want to get myself into a social mood, I know how to do it. I am not at the mercy of my anxiety when it does come around.

And it does come around almost every day. That’s why I go through steps to make sure that I stay in a social mood.

Cheers!
Eric

Ben says:

As the guy above said, another great article. Just reading about your process makes it easier for a lot of us.

I opened two girls at Whole Foods today…..didn’t follow up with either of them, but f— it, I’m back. This site will help a lot on my (new) journey.

Hannes says:

Heya Eric

Loved the post. As Ben mentioned, just reading about your process is going to help me a lot. I struggle with just saying “Hi”, but I now understand how just going through the motions will help.

Thanks

McMin says:

Hi Eric,

Certainly wonderful article, i am happy to know at least i am not the only one who gets nervous….

“Anxiety is not something like a disease to be cured.”

Yes it is. Take Lexapro, the effects are mind-boggling. Difficult to put in words, but you no longer feel the emotion of approach anxiety, and your subcoms smelt into iron.

Hi says:

Learn to deal with it. Anyone who condones taking medicine for dealing with anxiety is either ignorant or misled by thier doctor. The effects of being addicted to this pharma candy and others like it far far outweigh learning how to train your mind to deal with anxiety and place yourself in a certain mood. Anxiety is no joke and it was practically disablilitating to me at one point. I did go on medicine for a awhile and you feel emotionally dead and there are other serious side effects that I do not want to go into at the moment. 10+ years on the med because you cant just stop taking it. The withdraw is pure hell..even if you are weened. And no Lexapro and the others are NOT a cure. They are just a bandaid over a festering wound. Youll end up with more problems than what you began with because you never learned to deal wtih the initial cause of the anxiety to begin with.

Infinity says:

This is such a good article. You bring some awesome points about accepting AA and using momentum as a means of success.

And the ever-so-important “desire” that you must have in order to make this a daily thing.

Eric Disco says:

“Anxiety is not something like a disease to be cured.”

Yes it is. Take Lexapro, the effects are mind-boggling. Difficult to put in words, but you no longer feel the emotion of approach anxiety, and your subcoms smelt into iron.

If you’ve got so much anxiety that you can’t function in your daily life, you may want to talk to a psychiatrist about getting medication. There is no reason to live your life in pain if it is overwhelming.

But in the long run, pills don’t build skills. By experiencing anxiety, you are learning how to deal with it instead of avoiding it. You are learning to experience all the emotions of life, both the good and bad. All of us have positive experiences as well as experiences that force us to step up and pull something out from inside us we never thought we had.

Be very careful about using pills when it comes to psychological issues. The core of confidence is that you know you did it yourself. The point with psychological drugs is that they tone down the emotional component so that you can learn to build the skill to no longer rely on those drugs. That holds true whether its anxiety or depression.

Eric

Raj says:

Pills are not the solution – in fact, they’re part of the problem.

As Eric said – we need to learn to deal with the anxiety. I am anxious to take my car out on the road – imagining an accident will occur. But the more I drive, the more I realize the flaws of our own thinking. Likewise with approaching women, making a presentation, etc.

We’re afraid of getting things wrong and our inability to handle them. Self-belief comes from practice and experience, not from pills that cure the symptoms but leave the problem unattended or worse than before.

Until someone invents a pill to acquire real world skills, they don’t have a place for most men. Heck even then, the real joy isn’t about picking the girl, it’s about the whole process of going thru the anxiety and beyond – as that makes the end result so much more worthwhile. It’s really all about the journey…

Except that the pills allow you to change, they give you the motivation and fearlessness required to accomplish some goals. Many guys entering the community are quite down

Pills are modern, the community is modern, ipso facto. The community itself could only exist in the modern world. It subsists on the modern memeplex – transport, technology, and especially the collapse in age-old social norms during the 1960′s. Using pills that alter the brain is no different in essence from exploiting other quirks of modernity.

Lexapro is an astonishing, poetic little substance. Very modern. Zero side effects in my experience. It’s effects are so subtle you barely notice, but so profound you suddenly find yourself at the centre of a large social group without even realising it. You make constant eye-contact with everyone, and don’t feel the usual biological uncomfort when doing so.

I am a transhumanist, I believe that the annoying parts of human psychology, the kluges of our make-up, approach anxiety among them, will eventually be extinguished by technology. And that’s just the point raj – lexapro does give you real world skills, a lack of social anxiety is an amazing skill in itself, and these brash little guys give you zero anxiety, doesn’t exist, you make perfect, constant eye contact with women without even realising it, you deliver the apocalpyse opener without blinking, a rock around which the hundrum world wheels in fiery, irrational emotion.

Most people are afraid of pills because of scare-mongering anti-scientists, luddites even – conservatives like Leon Kass or Francis Fukuyama, who are afraid that upgrading humanity will upend the unequal but relatively stable social structure of modernity. They don’t like the fact that science will soon change our very beings, making everyone happier, healthier, and smarter. Read Nick Bostrom’s papers, a foremost transhumanist. His fable of the dragon tyrant’ has infinite metaphorical application to this debate we’re having.

I read posts like this and I get disheartened. Super puas like Eric with such anxiety? This is very annoying and frustrating, especially for guys like me, who don’t have the natural fluidity with language, time to invest in approaching, or willpower of Eric in the first place. So why not get rid of the whole rotten underquality once and for all?

PS
I suspect that Rian from the pick-up artist was on anti-anxiety medication. There is no way that someone with that level of social inexperience at 28 years old could have such tight subcoms from the start.

reysatan says:

Sebastian Flyte:

I think you are wrong. We must accept the bad in life along with the good so we can LIVE our lifes at 100%.

Learning a new skill, getting rid of bad habits, and GROWING UP are painful things but we have to accept the pain in order to be better. This will make you feel that you are acomplishing things that you didn’t think you could and that feeling is the most important feeling in becoming better at something… it is even more important than the “goal” itself because once you improved and mastered in one subject you will KNOW that you can aply that to other areas. If someone ofered me a pill that made all the obstacles in the way dissapear i would say THANKS BUT NO THANKS!

Walter says:

Eric,

Greetings from Cali, and nice work on the blog (still going strong)!

Hope things are going well for ya on the East Coast.

-Walter

Hey Eric

Thanks for sharing.

In terms of anxiety. Maybe it best to look at it not so much as a bad thing, but an indicator that you have an opportunity to step up to the plate.

Its kind of like fear, you can let it control you .. or you can choose to notice it and then push on.

Maybe anxiety is an indicator that in that moment you have a chance to grow.

While that looks good on paper, I know that when the situation arises it takes gut to step on and be your true self.

The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Hot Approach Coach
Approach Anywoman, Anywhere, Anytime

http://www.hotapproachcoach.com

Zack says:

Hey Sebastian,
You definitely have stirred things up with your views on medication… I’m sure you can cite transhumanist experts who have certain beliefs/evidence about the upgrading of society. As a psychotherapist, I can cite many studies/evidence (so can the pharmaceutical manufacturers for that matter, but they just like to keep them hidden because it’s bad for business) about the potential and actual negative side effects of psychotropic medications-not to mention other evidence about the deterioration of society due to technology.

I do not judge you or others for taking medication and I certainly respect people’e decision to do so. I know many people (including my mother) who have reported positive feelings and experiences from medication and I think it’s great that people get some relief from symptoms.

However, IMHO, for one to believe that you can get something for nothing (i.e. get significant long-term relief from a pill without any consequence to the mind or body) seems highly improbable to say the least.

I acknowledge that dealing with emotional issues can be a quite a struggle, but I’m a believer in trying to work through issues naturally (e.g. meditation, psychotherapy, exercise, etc.) before resorting to using psychotropic medication.

-Zack

You can get something for nothing. That’s the point of science.

Read the fable of the dragon tyrant and look at then look at the arguments used here to justify ‘overcoming’ approach anxiety. They are identical to the arguments used by the elites in the fable: the dragon-tyrant is necessary, it keeps things in check, it shouldn’t be killed because then we would lose the ‘struggle’, a struggle overleaden with uncontested quasi moral overtones (exhibit A Raysatan:’ we have to accept the pain in order to be better’ (?!). Yes, we must accept the dragon-tyrant, its presence makes us ‘better’… how exactly?!

The premises in favour of keeping the dragon tyrant around, as elucidated by Bostrom:

‘A RECURRENT TRAGEDY BECAME A FACT OF LIFE’ – In the fable, people’s expectations adapted to the existence of the dragon, to the extent that many became unable to perceive its badness. approach anxiety is seen as a fact that must be embraced, like the dragon tyrants presence, it is no longer seen as a ‘bad thing’.

‘A STATIC VIEW OF TECHNOLOGY’ – People reasoned that it would never become possible to kill the dragon because all attempts had failed in the past. They failed to take into account accelerated technological progress.

‘ADMINISTRATION BECAME ITS OWN PURPOSE – Damage-limitation became such an exclusive focus that it made people neglect the underlying cause. Approach anxiety has an underlying cause – the chemicals in our brain. These can be changed fundametally, or we can continue to repeatedly overcome the same bullshit anew each day. To an extent the community is ‘adminstration’.

And more http://www.nickbostrom.com/fable/dragon.html

I’m sorry guys, but ‘overcoming’ approach anxiety is not much of an accomplishment. You’re essentially overcoming some mind rubbish – mental phantoms. I could ride a horse and cart to work every day, it would be overcoming something or other… but why fucking bother? Isaac Newton accomplished stuff, puas accomplish nothing.

SLAY THE DRAGON TYRANT!!

Ty says:

I love this site, and still find it useful even though I’ve been out there a year and a half.

Can definitely relate to this. I do night game and you can be on top of the world one night when you’ve hit state and nothing scares you, yet the next night you have to do it all again. It can feel like work sometimes, like a pain in the arse.

But it does get easier and better in the long run. You need far less to warm up and after a while you can nail it within 3 girls that night. After a while the time it takes to get to your awesome self is far quicker.

J says:

Very interesting.

Can totally relate to the ‘somedays you have it, some you don’t’ and having to start again each day.

TC says:

Hey this was a great article. We all suffer from anxiety from time to time and I think we have our days that we are not on our game. I have been approaching women for a while know and although I don’t feel too much anxiety anymore I still come across times where I know I could have done more to engage the woman that i had approached.

But I don’t beat myself up about it.
It’s not worth crying over spilt milk :)

TC

Karma says:

Sebastian Flyte, you recommend LEXAPRO as if it will “slay the dragon tyrant”. But the FACT that you depend on the drug, means the dragon inside you is ALIVE.

The dragon gets ‘killed’ only when you don’t need an external drug.

Don’t you get that? Wait a minute…that’s it…you don’t GET IT. :)

Mr. Ali says:

Good Point Karma – I thought we were talking about slaying women and not dragons here? =P

As for the article itself, it was a great and easy read.

What I enjoyed most about the article is the reminder about the “process.” That approaching women (among other things) is a process that takes effort and time. It’s the little victories that we need to focus on.

America is so obsessed with these instant self-improvement books/dvds/etc. What we fail to realize is that in order to create or overcome an obstacle, it involves a process. After all – Rome was not built in a day or on Lexapro.

Thank you for reminding us that life is a long term process and not a quick fix.

Hemlock says:

Karma, the last sentence in that comment you made wasn’t necessary :/ I dig what you’re saying Sebastian. I too look to science to help us transcend our current human capacities. And if someone did offer me a drug that does for you what you say Lexapro does for you, and didn’t have any significant side effect for me, I’d take that drug, absolutely. As it is it’s not like the drug is easily accessible and I am not about to do any experimentation on myself when it comes to medicine like that since the reaction one gets varies from person to person. Still if such an ideal pill existed, that didn’t have negative side effects, I wouldn’t hesitate to use it. Many people would start popping this pill though, and I wonder what the social scene would start to look like with all these people running around without any social anxiety of any kind. I wonder how women would determine who was REALLY confident then, and who was merely medicated. They would resort to other criteria. Still with such a safe medication as you describe, people could enjoy each other’s company more fully. Currently people use alcohol to temporarily subdue the inner dragon that is fucking with them. That’s a lousy solution so I hope science comes up with a better alternative into the future.

Stan says:

I got no anxiety when i approach

and AA isnt natural
conditioned
guess by who…
women
women/girls in the de early six years of your life
the more rejections you had th more you have AA
but i wouldnt be saying this if there was no solution

here’s the model:

self-esteem – AA = approach motivation or not

if you have 10 self-esteem points and 15 AA points
guess what youre not gonna approach

so what do we do

we higher the self esteem or we lower the anxiety
if you have little problems with AA

do affirmations
i got myself a brand new pc for free with affirmations
and you can achieve everything you want with affirmations

if you have less motivation then EFT is very effective
also works in real time AA

But its you who will do the step to total improvement
if eric disco’s instructions didnt work try
something else if they do keep doing

Btw eric disco has enough self-esteem to get over AA
but if you cant approach it means you must change something
internal

I am shure you guys have the motivations to try everything

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