Where Does Confidence Come From?

June 11, 2007 by  
Filed under Rants & Reviews

Here’s a recent message I got from a MySpace user…

Wow well i must congratulate u on making one of the best books of our time, lol

Ive read it all and its the greatest stuff..i know enough praising.. only thing is i find it really hard to approach women, i mean i don’t see the problem when i think about it when its quiet, but as soon as i’m at a bar/club its like my feet are in cement n all the things i remembered just leave my head

I know i can only overcome this by going out there and just doing it but i don’t know why i can’t, lol, just wondering how u managed to and where the confidence comes from.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated

Well, I try to cover this as much as possible in The Art Of Approaching (the book this guy is talking about), but I guess I’ll go into it a bit more in-depth here because this seems to be a large topic of interest for a number of guys.

I always hear people lament "Wow, meeting women is so hard!"  And you know what?  It can be.  There seems to be a myth out there that Approach Anxiety can be "stomped out" forever.  But in my experience, that just isn’t the case.

I know a lot of big time pick-up artists – guys who go out every night and always pull girls – who still suffer from approach anxiety.  I know there are times when I, myself, still do, and I’ve been doing this for a LONG time!

I think the notion that a guy can "always be confident" is an unrealistic expectation to hold oneself to.  Approach Anxiety will always be there in some form or another, because successfully meeting women has a lot to do with your MINDSET.

So then the question becomes:  Is it simply a matter of feeling the fear and doing it anyway?

Well, yes and no.

I look at it as an experience we all know too well.  If you’ve ever had
a big test in high school or college, you know that the time leading UP
to the test is the worst.  When you’re studying, trying to anticipate
what will be on the test, weighing the impact its outcome will have on
your future – its almost too much to bear.

But when you sit down and actually start taking the test, it becomes a
easy.  The pressure has passed, and you accept the fact that you’re
either going to ace it or fail it.  In short:  once you know the
outcome, it becomes easier to accept.

But it’s getting TO THAT POINT that’s the hard part.

Experienced pick-up artist have the benefit of experience on their
side.  They know that every woman is different, but not THAT different,
so they have a reasonable expectation of what their outcome will be
once they approach the girl.  That’s how they get past their approach
anxiety – because their experience tells them they have a good chance
of getting the outcome they want, and once they pass that "point of no
return" of walking up and talking to a girl, they can see if the
outcome is certain or not.

For the average guy who either has very little or no experience with
women, this is a more daunting prospect.  They’ve studied, they know
what they SHOULD do, but they’re unwilling to sit down and have the
teacher administer the test, preferring to let the opportunity to put
their newfound skills and knowledge to use.

Crazy, right?

So in my opinion, overcoming approach anxiety and finding confidence
isn’t so much a question of "feeling fear and doing it anyway."  It’s a
question of managing fear and your own expectations.

You see a girl you want to approach, but you’re afraid.  You feel that
anxiety come over you.  So what do you do?  The answer:  CONTROL it.

Understand that human beings have the ability to control their
emotions.  We often forget that and let our emotions control us, but
this is very counter-productive.

You can control your emotions by controlling your focus.  If your focus
is on approaching a woman and that’s making you afraid, change that
focus.  Focus on what she would look like with hairy legs, a mustache,
or terrible BO.  By changing your focus, you change the emotion.  So
instead of feeling afraid, you may become repulsed, or your attraction
level may go down.

Either way, you’ve "snapped out of" the anxiety.  Then focus on
approaching the girl you imagined with "hairy legs and BO" and you’ll
feel less afraid.

But not feeling fear and feeling confident are two very different things.

Overcoming your anxiety is just half the equation.  The other half is
actually feeling confidence, and the only way to do that is – as I said
before – have a reasonable expectation of what your OUTCOME will be.

Most guys focus on negative outcomes.  The girl rejecting them or brushing them off, for instance.

But if you focus on a positive outcome, such as making her smile,
getting her to laugh, or getting her phone number – something that is
both positive AND reasonable – you can be sure to feel confident of the
outcome of your interaction.

All this really boils down to is a measure of self-control most guys
fail to develop or nurture.  But it is possible to achieve.  It might
take some time, but with practice, it becomes second nature.

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