Approach Anxiety – My Thorny Companion

by Eric Disco
Oct 12

Nov 19th, 2005 was the first time I went out and approached women hard. Brad P. took me out on a “field mission.” I approached more women that night than I had in my entire life. I opened maybe ten sets.

For the first few months I did a lot of night game. I had a couple of one-night-stands, and a few girls I was “seeing” for a little while.

February 1st I took Art of Attraction with Pickup101.

In the spring I set my mind on day game.

When I first began approaching women during the day, it was difficult. I had a lot of anxiety, more so than at night. It seemed so much like something I was not really “supposed” to do, unlike the way people socialize at a bar.

I took Art of Rapport in April, in which I did about 40 sets in a 2-day period. It did exactly what I wanted it to do: it showed me that opening sets during the day is possible and totally cool. However, when I got back to NYC after Art of Rapport, I still had difficulty on the street opening sets.

I decided that I would do one set every day at lunch, and that’s what I did. It was difficult at first.

Doing that one set every day was the most difficult thing that I would do that day. But I also made it the most important thing that day. I focused my day on it. Everything else came second to that.

There’s a fantastic place near me called Bryant Park, right behind the NYC public library. It’s in midtown and during the summer, people flock there like birds. The girls aren’t exactly my “type,” I like them artsy and rockstar rather than corporate, but I was determined to do this to “get over” my approach anxiety.

And I did it. Every single day. Some days I had too much anxiety to open sets. But after a while I almost always opened at least one set every day. If I didn’t find someone at lunch I would go out on a coffee break to try and find a cute girl.

While my approach anxiety did lessen, it never went away. What happened though, was that I got into a habit of going out every day and approaching girls.

It made all the difference in the world.

If you’ve ever trained for an intense sport like running, you know that at the beginning it can be extremely difficult to convince yourself to do it. Having a coach or a team or regular practice can really help. But having to train on your own can be so difficult. It is painful.

But you allow your body to get into a regular habit of accepting the pain during training. And after a while, the pain seems to dissolve into the background. You just go out and do it every day, without thinking. Pretty soon your body is in shape and the pain is less acute.

But the pain is still there, telling you when you are pushing your limits.

That’s what happened with pickup for me. If I’m sitting home on a Saturday afternoon trying to figure out what to do with my afternoon, I can say to myself “I’m going to go out for an hour and approach a woman or two.” And it’s not that difficult. It doesn’t take a ton of mental energy to get myself to do it anymore. I don’t really need to summon my courage as much.

It takes a bit of courage here and there, especially if I’m about to approach a super hot girl. But it’s not the mountain of courage it used to take in the beginning.

I’ve gotten really comfortable with approaching girls in the park just by doing it so much.

But now summer is over! No!!! What happened to the girls in the park? They’re gone!

Now I’m focusing on learning to approach women in other venues: walking down the street, in stores, etc. I’ve done approaches in stores and on the street before, but I’ve not made it a HABIT. It’s not something that I can just switch on.

So that is my next goal, to learn to easily approach women on the street and in stores, without giving it much of a thought.

This whole conquer-by-venue thing seems to work pretty well. I’ve gotten fairly comfortable opening girls in bars and parks, and now I’m working on getting super comfortable doing it on the street.

I should make it clear though, that I do have approach anxiety in these situations. Not all the time, but it does crop up. It will never go away. It is my thorny companion, telling me when I am challenging myself and sparking a small fire inside me. I decide to allow myself to be vulnerable and I accept this companion. I do not “get over” approach anxiety or even “get through” it. I take it with me.

Anyone who says that they can “cure” your approach anxiety is lying. They may as well be a traveling salesman selling you a bottle of miracle-grow at a carnival sideshow. They may as well tell you that they can “cure” you of ever falling for a girl again.

What happens though, is that by practicing, you learn to accept it in different ways than you did before. It doesn’t take as much courage to overcome it as it did in the beginning.


posted in Acceptance

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