I step onto the subway train. It’s crowded. It’s been a long day.
I’m tired. I’m not in the mood for much. Sorta just feel like going home.
But then I see her. She’s cute as a button.
I make my way over to her. And then, I touch her on the arm as I say, “Hey.”
We talk a bit. And laugh a bit.
She has to get off the train too soon, so it doesn’t end up going anywhere.
But after this, I feel better. I start to feel like I have MORE energy. I’m ready to socialize even more.
It’s an amazing feeling to know that you can approach any woman anywhere. That the dread of anxiety won’t turn you into a zombie every time you open your mouth.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you know that I used to have a ton of approach anxiety.
There are posts from 2006 and 2007 where I struggle with simply saying hi to a woman.
And I struggled with it for a long time.
At first, I advocated one approach a day. Doing that one approach did help.
But every time I started a conversation, I still experienced high levels of arousal–feelings and thoughts–that felt out of control.
In the last few years, this has changed dramatically for me. I am at the point where I almost no inhibition in starting conversations with women.
The obvious answer would seem it’s because I’ve done it so many times, it no longer scares me.
But the real reason is a little different.
Approach anxiety is essentially an energy problem. Guys know this subconsciously.
A guy with a ton of approach anxiety may be able to get himself to do one approach, but the mental energy it takes is too overwhelming.
He knows he won’t be able to sustain it. And so he doesn’t take that action even once.
That’s why, instead of recommending one approach a day, I started to break down “the approach” into smaller steps.
By breaking down “the approach” into smaller steps, I can practice each step, depending on how much anxiety and inhibition I feel.
Psychologists call this approach Systematic Desensitization, or graduated exposure therapy.
You can extinguish a phobia by gradually exposing yourself to it.
The key here is gradual.
Once you learn these tools to get past your inhibition, the sky is the limit.
The key is to start on easier tasks (almost too easy) and work your way up to more challenging tasks.
If I’m feeling really off one day, I may simply go out and walk around. Or I may stand next to a woman. Or I say one thing and walk away.
This builds my energy because I know I can take action. As I interact with more people and I start to have more energy.
Part of this is that I get really good reactions from women.
But another part is that the energy of taking the next initiative is really, really low at this point. I have very little inhibition.
This doesn’t mean I don’t feel any inhibition.
I’ve always said that anyone who claims they can “cure” your approach anxiety is a snake-oil salesman.
It’s like someone telling you they can guarantee that you’ll never get your heart broken again.
Life doesn’t work that way. And you wouldn’t want it to.
Whenever you’re challenging yourself, you’ll feel some uncertainty. You’ll need to push yourself harder and go through some uncomfortable feelings.
But you can get into a zone where you’re challenging yourself and improving at very manageable increments.
So that you are never overwhelmed and thus don’t experience those overwhelming thoughts and feelings.
You still feel feelings. And still think thoughts. But the step up is so small that there is very little stress.
That means you walk away from the interaction with more energy than you went into it.
Once I got into the practice of breaking the approach down into more manageable increments, I made huge leaps and bounds in the way I felt around women I talked with.
I was more relaxed. I could enjoy the process. I didn’t worry about rejection as much.
And things started to get a hell of a lot more fun.
If you’re ready to get past your anxiety and start meeting women in the most efficient way possible, check out
Don’t let another day pass you by.
posted in Initiative and InhibitionCOMMENTS