This is a three part series on overcoming Social and Approach Anxiety.
If there was ONE thing that would have made my early twenties amazing, it would have been the ability to talk to any woman, anytime, without letting nervousness and fear hold me back.
Sadly, I spent so many of those years watching thousands of women I would have loved to speak to pass by without ever saying anything to them, and of course, watching copious amount of porn.
Most men experience approach anxiety to some extent. Personally, I experienced it to the maximum, most gut-wrenching levels for most of my life.
I remember going out most weekends for over three years and never being able to talk to a single woman unless she approached me. These approaches by women were very rare and only because I made a commitment to improve my style and hit the gym. As a result, a few women here and there would compliment me on my physique, my hair or my style. I was always too nervous to follow up.
The reality is that only a very small percentage of men have the natural ability to talk to women without anxiety and by “small percentage” and “naturally”, I’m estimating less than 5% of men.
The rest of us have to learn how to speak to attractive women without anxiety.
Why Men Get Nervous About Approaching Attractive Women.
There are four main reasons why most men get extremely nervous at the prospect of approaching women.
Past Trauma: This could be getting rejected at a young age, or an unpleasant interaction with an attractive woman at some point in life. This also includes a painful or shameful sexual experience. I’ve shared some of my experiences with this here.
Social Conditioning: Many men are socially conditioned to be ashamed of their sexuality. Expressing their desire to have sex with a woman is frowned upon. Society encourages most men to stay within their comfort zones, don’t rock the boat, don’t talk to strangers and definitely don’t go out of your way to approach women you find attractive.
This conditioning play a huge part in men getting nervous. This is also very true if you come from a conservative society where there are consequences for approaching attractive women.
Masculine Pressure: Men who grow up without a strong male role model in their home or as a mentor frequently have no idea about “how to be a man”.
This struggle to be masculine without actually having a solid example of HOW to be masculine frequently holds men back from expressing themselves sexually with women.
Genetics: Some men have a family history of nervousness, shyness or being withdrawn.
There is Good News!
All the above factors can be overcome by conscious effort. Every single one.
It won’t be easy, but the confidence and social freedom it will bring you will be absolutely worth it.
Men get held back because they read a lot about overcoming social anxiety and approach anxiety, but they never take action to move past it. This is the ONLY way to overcome approach anxiety.
Understanding it intellectually is never enough- you must DO.
Today, we walk around and see most strangers as “shut doors”. We assume that there is no way to interact with people unless we have a good reason, so we simply admire, make judgments, regret our inability to meet this person, and move on with our lives.
I want you to know that social and sexual opportunities are EVERYWHERE you go, without exception. My goal is to teach you change you mindset to actually see that every day in your life.
So How Exactly do you overcome Approach Anxiety?
1) Progressive desensitization: This is a term taken from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which I studied while putting together the Quit Porn Program. I’ve applied it to anxiety and it simply means gradually exposing yourself to more and more challenging social situations in a measured way. I’ve found that this is the MOST effective way of overcoming approach anxiety permanently.
2) Dealing with success and failure the right way: To overcome approach anxiety, you must change the way to deal with success and failure. Most men talk to a woman, have the interaction not go according to the way they see it in their mind, and react very negatively.
Instead, you must reinforce every little success and use it as a building block towards future approaches. Even if your start with successfully asking three women a day for directions, that is success which must be internalized and used moving forward.
Failure such as rejection, an indifferent reaction or any negative response should be analyzed in an objective and healthy way.This is important, as many men have a habit of amplifying failures and internalizing them.
3) Build Self Esteem: This is done by learning how to hold ourselves accountable for what we say we will do and managing our expectations. We destroy our self esteem when we set unrealistic expectations based on our ego and also when we give up on ourselves repeatedly
The bottom line is that overcoming approach anxiety is simply about feeling worthy enough to speak to women.
In Part 2, we’ll cover the true nature of Anxiety and dispel some common myths about it.