Approach Anxiety - How to beat it like your bee-otch...
I wrote this article recently to address an Approach Anxiety question from a student.
I've experienced much of the same thing he has when it comes to frustration and approach anxiety, and I wanted to share some of my realizations about approach anxiety that I will be going into more detail on with my students in the coming months. I wanted to give this away to you guys so you could get the benefit, too.
Approach Anxiety REALIZATION 1: Approach Anxiety's source is both cognitive and "built-in" (AKA, automatic.)
We are afraid of strangers for a variety of reasons, many of which were installed in us by well-meaning parents and such, as well as stuff that may or may not be instinctual and evolutionary.
The fears that were taught to us by others are - I think - the bigger sin.
Anyone here remember or hear of "Stranger Danger?" That's the well-meaning but misguided attempt to keep our kids safe by giving them instructions on how to avoid the creeps out there.
The reality is that well over 50% of all abductions (some say as much as 70%) are done by relatives and people the kid knows!
So in trying to protect our kids, we make them paranoid of natural socialization and further stunt their growth.
As for the evolutionary or "natural" fears of strangers… I don't hold much stock in them. Why are so many people so naturally good at socializing and approaching? I think labeling approach anxiety as an evolutionary survival mechanism robs us of our ability to leave it behind.
Approach Anxiety REALIZATION 2: It doesn't matter WHY we have approach anxiety - all that matters is a way to get PAST IT!
I hear a lot of theorizing about the apparent causes of approach anxiety, as I'm sure you have.
The bottom line is that WHY is irrelevant. It's like getting caught up in what I call the "therapy trap." This is where we feel an emotional reward for realizations about our past by digging into our childhoods with a therapist. We get the positive juice of an "a-ha!" moment, but no new skill to move on and change it.
When it comes to winning the inner game of approaching, RESULTS are all that matters. (Everything else is just cotton-candy "feel good" nonsense.)
Approach Anxiety REALIZATION 3: Don't give your Approach Anxiety more power by making it seem like a phantom menace!
It's easy to fall into a trap of making our approach fears into an angry looming demon that has the ability to paralyze us and doom us.
The first step in overcoming approach anxiety is turning your approach anxiety into a cartoonish character - a buffoon that you can laugh at and shut down at will. (This touches on Realization 5 below.)
When we personify a fear, we Take Away its ability to control us.
Approach Anxiety REALIZATION 4: Don't seek to FIGHT your approach anxiety. You only give it strength if you do.
Humans tend to identify with our struggles. The things we fight against become our identity because we lack the passion to pursue a nobler path.
Don't get caught up in the "fight against" approach anxiety - or anything based in this negative adversary approach. As we learn from NLP and other areas of psychology, you only give more power to the thing you fight when you do this.
To overcome something, you must become a rallying soldier FOR something positive that gets you to your goal.
You don't fight fat - you join up with the skinny.
You don't fight against illiteracy. You support reading skills and literacy programs.
In the same way, you don't "fight" approach anxiety.
You pursue open, curious social behavior - and genuine interest in other people.
That has been my single most effective tool in overcoming this thing we call approach anxiety.
You pursue open, curious social behavior - and *genuine* interest in other people.
(Yes, I said that twice for a reason.)
Approach Anxiety REALIZATION 5: All approach anxiety can be overcome with COGNITIVE methods.
That's right. I haven't seen a case yet where a guy couldn't get over his anxiety by really breaking down the fear and stomping that bitch into the dirt.
Mind tricks and other flashy techniques are used as "get confidence fast" schemes, but rarely work. All success I've ever seen has come from the person who had the balls to dig in and get dirty - do a little WORK to think it through and poke as many holes as possible in this nebulous approach anxiety.
"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it." - Henry Ford.
But you know what? It's not THAT hard of work with the right teacher.
And you WILL have to do this work someday. Do it now before you atrophy.
Approach Anxiety REALIZATION 6: The easiest way to get rid of approach anxiety is to create value for other people, instead of trying to GET.
Most of a guy's approach anxiety is created because his motives are against his result.
He wants to GET a phone number, GET a kiss, GET a date, GET laid.
We're a bunch of me-monkeys out there looking for a reward.
Instead, when you go into an interaction and want to start creating value for a woman - with no expectation or need of return - your approach anxiety DISAPPEARS.
If I told you that you are going to walk over and tell a beautiful woman that she has just won the lottery - and YOU get to hand her the big check for a million dollars, would you not be excited about that?
Wouldn't that be COOL?
You'd be thrilled to bring that joy into her life and be the one to go tell her.
You'd be positively motivated to go talk to her.
And yet you're deathly afraid to go over and say hello to a girl when ...
(- wait for it - )
*** What you have to give her as a MAN is worth WAY over a million dollars!***
Really think about that last point I made. It's a big deal.
Turn off the TV or the X-box for an hour or so and meditate on that and I guarantee your life will CHANGE. I mean it.
I know, I know, you're saying to me: "Carlos, it sounds so simple when you put it that way, but when I get in front of another person, my anxiety appears anyway."
This is because we lose focus and we forget that state of experiencing how valuable we are, and we start subconsciously going back into "GET" mode.
Gimme gimme gimme gimme….
There are other specters in there, but again, all can be overcome when you get behind your own value and start distributing it to other people.
When we're selfish with our value, we fall into scarcity mode, and our anxiety about our value to other people keeps us from connecting. And the anxiety returns.
Again, I know that some of what I'm saying here sounds like an oversimplification of the fear, but that's *exactly* what we need to do more than over-complicate it. When we make approach anxiety all complicated, we're just trying to create more excuses not to overcome it.
Forget cheap pickup tricks to cover up and gloss over your fears.
KNOW your value, build your value, and then GIVE IT AWAY to everyone.
I defy you to feel anxious when you're fully engaged in living a life of supporting your own value - and distributing your ability to give.
Carlos Xuma. PUA Forums Official Bad Boy<br />
<a href="http://www.puaforums.com/go.php?id=badboy"><s trong>Become The Bad Boy</strong></a> That Women Love.