7:00 AM. My alarm goes off. Time to get out of bed and go running.
I don’t know why but I always seem to choose either the hottest, most humid day of the year to start running again, or the coldest, snowiest day.
I really don’t want to do this. I’ve been putting it off for the last few days. But due to some shenanigans, I hurt my back again. And running is the best thing for it.
It’s dark in my apartment as I get out of bed. I walk into the living room and look out the window.
It’s dark outside. And snowing. I stand there in my long johns and look out the window.
The excuses begin.
It’s not even light out. I can’t run in this!
It’s snowing, what if I trip and fall and hurt myself.
I decided to do this yesterday. But now at 7:00 AM, it seems crazy to go outside and run.
I decide that since today is the first day, all I have to do is put on my clothes and get outside and jog around the block. That’s it.
The first day is always the hardest. Your mind comes up with so many excuses. That’s why I allow myself the luxury of just getting out. That’s it.
It’s enough of a challenge for me to get out my front door. There is no need to add challenges on top of that.
When it comes to approach anxiety, the biggest problem for guys is taking on too much at once.
You want to go out. You want to find cute women. You want to walk up to them. You want to open your mouth. You want to say something clever. You want to stay and talk to her. You want to get her engaged in a conversation. You want to set up a date.
The first step is to just get out. You haven’t been doing anything until now. Do something physical with your body. Make this as easy as possible on yourself.
If you set yourself up for too much, you will fail.
For a lot of the guys I coach, the time they feel the most anxiety is when they are about to go out. Once they are taking action, other things aren’t as difficult.
And I feel it too. I’m sitting at my desk at work. I have NO momentum. Okay, I’ll just get out and take a walk around. And sometimes that’s all I do.
And you know what? I’m a god-damn champion for doing it. Because without that step, no other step can be taken. And with this step, we can start to build other things on top of it.
As I reach into my drawer to get dressed to go running, the excuses start to come thick and fast.
I don’t have good socks to wear.
My insoles are no good, I should get new ones before I start.
I notice myself coming up with excuses and laugh. They’re getting more ridiculous by the moment.
All I have to do today is go outside, I tell myself.
When I meet with guys, one of the things I have them do aside from going out every day for a half hour, is to find one new activity to do each week.
I’ve noticed in myself and others, that social anxiety is accompanied by agoraphobia. There’s a fear of public or unfamiliar places.
You don’t like to go to new places. You don’t like to explore. It’s easier to stay home and read about meeting women than to take any kind of action.
But once you’re out there actually taking action, everything is different. You’ve put yourself into motion.
Whenever you feel anxiety, allow yourself the luxury of just going out. Explore a little. Notice where the cute women are. Don’t do anything else than take a walk around.
It seems small and easy, but it is the most important step of all.
As I get out onto the road, a snow covers my path. I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would. I run further than just around the block. And I feel great.
Start today. Take a walk outside without any other intention than to be out in the world among other people. Allow yourself the luxury of not doing anything else.
It is the first step to changing everything.