(This article is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Irresistible: How To Attract Women With Ease)
How To Cure Approach Anxiety
Las Vegas is known to be one of the best cities in the world for learning to attract women. Every week hundreds of thousands of women visit the city to party, flirt with guys, and in many cases, have a casual fling. Because of this, there’s an active community of dating coaches and pickup artists in Las Vegas.
Every year, hundreds of hopeful guys fly out to Vegas to get learn how to attract women with their favorite dating coach. Once, I had the opportunity to watch one of these coaches in action. This coach and I were in a packed nightclub with two students.
The coach said, “Okay guys, the first and most important thing to do is to get over your approach anxiety. Does that sound good?” The students nodded enthusiastically.
The coach continued, “Okay, you’re both going to approach 50 women tonight, each.”
I was shocked, 50? That sounded like a gratuitous number, why would anyone ever need to approach 50 women in a single night?
I later learned that multiple dating coaches in Las Vegas had their students approach 50 women, it was standard practice.
No, approaching 50 women isn’t practical in general, but it’s a potent exercise to get over approach anxiety.
Approaching women has momentum to it, each approach makes the next approach substantially easier until you get to a point where approaching is completely effortless.
Making excuses has momentum to it, too. The longer you’re in a club thinking, “I should be approaching right now, but I don’t see the right girl. . . ” the more momentum your excuses build. The more you avoid approaching, the more resistance you’ll feel to doing an approach.
Momentum doesn’t only affect your anxiety over the course of a single night, but also over a longer period of time. If you go out and approach women three nights in a row, the momentum from those three nights will make it so you experience much less approach anxiety on the fourth night.
I’ve gone on streaks where I approached women every day for several weeks consecutively. By doing this, I reached a point where I would approach women without even thinking about it. It had become automatic, even effortless.
Hypothetically, the best method for overcoming approach anxiety would be to approach 50 women tonight. Taking that much action would give you so much momentum that approaching would become more fun than anxiety provoking.
Of course, there’s a catch-22. Approach anxiety makes it hard to approach, so how can you be expected overcome approach anxiety by approaching?
The solution to this predicament is what psychologists call gradual exposure. One of the most powerful methods therapists use to treat anxiety is what’s known as exposure therapy. If you had a fear that you were going to have a heart attack, you might avoid doing anything that causes your heart rate to rise too much (I.E. exercise).
A therapist using exposure might have you do pushups while he watched to the point that your anxiety started to make you fear having a heart attack. Then, he would encourage you to keep going, even when you were sure that you were actively having a heart attack. As you continued doing pushups, you would be forced to realize that you were not having a heart attack, and eventually the anxiety would burn itself out.
The idea behind exposure therapy is that to overcome your anxiety you must expose yourself to the thing that causes it. Doing this forces you to realize that your anxiety is irrational – at that point, the anxiety dissipates.
The same logic applies to approach anxiety. Only by approaching women and realizing that your anxiety is irrational can you eliminate it.
Of course, it’s not fair to expect that you’ll be able to force yourself to approach 50 women in one day just using your willpower. (If you can do that, great, go for it it.)Most guys will need to take a more gradual approach to overcoming approach anxiety.
That’s where gradual exposure comes in. Gradual exposure is based on the same logic as immediate exposure, but it’s a step-by-step process. Instead of going from 0-100 in one day, you go from 0-10, then 10-20, 20-30, and so-on.
This gradual approach is the most effective way for most guys to overcome approach anxiety.
- If approach 50 women in one day is going from 0-100 – what is 0-20?
- 0-20 is simply going out to a location where attractive women congregate.
- What’s 20-40? Going out to a location where attractive women congregate and giving women a compliment as they walk by (I.E. I like your style/ I like your shoes / I like your shirt/ etc.)
- What’s 40-60? Actually walking up to a girl to give her a compliment Or if she’s walking, you would walk next to her to give her the compliment. (The difference between this and the last one is that by walking up to the girl, you’re committing more to the interaction than if you say something as she walks by) .
- What’s 60-80? Walking up to a girl to give her a compliment, then asking her how her day is going.
- What’s 80-100? Walking up to a girl to give her a compliment, asking her how her day is going, then continuing the conversation as long as possible and asking for her number before you leave.
(The numbers between 1-100 aren’t meant to be precise, they’re just a template to make the point.)
The above progression can be used as a formula for overcoming approach anxiety. Anyone can do the first step. Then, each step is slightly more challenging than the previous one. When using this strategy, the goal is to push yourself outside your comfort zone gradually.
(If you find that complimenting women as they walk by is too big a leap, you can take an even smaller step by just clapping loudly a few times as you walk around. Doing this will show you that people don’t care what you do, and that there’s no negative consequences to attracting the attention of those around you.
I understand this may sound silly, but that’s kind of the point, you’re doing something a bit unusual to prove to yourself that it’s okay to express yourself freely in public.)
Potentially, you could make it through all the above steps in one game session. But if it takes a number of sessions, that’s fine too.
For example, the next time you go out, you might only be able to make a few quick compliments to girls as they walk by. Once you get comfortable doing that, you might be able to have some more committed interactions. After you’ve done that a few times, you might be able to get a girl’s number.
But maybe you won’t be able to do anything when you go out. You might not be able to give a girl a compliment as you walk by.
That’s fine. The next time you go out, you’ll try to make it past that resistance again. It’ll take as long as it takes.
You might think it’s weird to compliment women as they walk by (by the way, presumably, you’re walking too, not just sitting down). That’s mostly just your approach anxiety trying to conjure an excuse to avoid taking action. For the most part, you’ll get positive reactions to giving women compliments and even approaching them. Some women will react negatively, but so what? Getting comfortable with rejection is an important skill to develop.
Even though I’ve done thousands of approaches, I still get approach anxiety sometimes. If I haven’t gone out to meet women in a while, I tend to get some approach anxiety the time I go out again.
I still use the above process to get over my approach anxiety when necessary. It happens in the course of a few minutes – I give compliments to people as I walk by, then I compliment a woman and stick in the conversation for a few seconds, then I compliment a woman and have a longer interaction. Oftentimes, that first interaction doesn’t go anywhere, but the momentum I build helps me go into the next interaction with more confidence – and each interaction is better than the last.
You can’t get rid of all approach anxiety forever. If you take a few days off of approaching women, you’ll probably get some approach anxiety the next time you go out. But you can get to a point where you can overcome your approach anxiety after a few minutes of warming up, and the rest of the your day or night out is just you having fun confidently meeting new people.
Try the process as I’ve laid it out, then change it based on what works for you and what doesn’t. I highly recommend that you write this out in your smartphone’s note taking application so that you can reference the steps when you go out. Doing so will help you stay focused on your goal when you’re out.
If you want to completely overwhelm your approach anxiety, try this momentum challenge.
You’ll only be able to do this when you’ve warmed up enough that you are able to approach women. (If you spend most of your time while you’re out to meet women procrastinating and only approach occasionally, this challenge will help you break through that sticking point.)
The rules are simple, you are only allowed 2 minutes between each approach. AND you are only allowed to stay in one interaction for up to 2 minutes. Do this until you get to at least 20 approaches.
This means after your first interaction ends, you have 2 minutes to do another approach. This is best done using an actual timer to hold yourself accountable.
This exercise will build massive momentum in your favor. By the end of this challenge, approaching will be automatic.
It’s important that you only stay in each interaction for two minutes because if you don’t set that limitation you’ll likely just keep interacting with the first girl you talk to as long as possible (to avoid doing another approach).
It’s true that you’ll be limiting your ability to bring a girl home with you the night you do this exercise, but the point of this exercise isn’t to get laid immediately, it’s to get momentum working in your favor.
Do this once and approaching will be much easier for you the next time you go out (so long as you don’t take a long break).
You can also realistically use this challenge as an opportunity to get lots of phone numbers. Although each individual number won’t be likely to lead to anything, the volume of numbers can work in your favor.
Again, this isn’t the ideal way to go out and meet women in terms of getting results on a particular night, but it is an effective way to overcome approach anxiety and get comfortable with taking massive action.
If approach anxiety were easy to overcome, every guy would be approaching attractive women on a daily basis. The fact that it’s difficult works in your favor because you’ll be one of the few guys who has the balls to approach.
Everyone experiences negative emotions when we start a new endeavor, few people persist despite those emotions – and succeed.
You might think that it’s creepy to approach women, you might think that you couldn’t possibly attract women because you’re too short or too poor, you might think that you’re never going to be able to overcome approach anxiety.
Remember, these thoughts are just your brain attempting to rationalize your negative emotions. When you feel stressed out or anxious, your mind will come up with logical reasons to avoid whatever it is that makes you feel that way.
Make a commitment to persist past the initial pain period. Decide that even though you may want to quit at some points, you won’t let your feelings limit your actions.
Get your free book: The Psychology of Seduction
Learn how to use proven psychological principles to attract women. In this book, you will learn:
1. How to increase your value using the power of scarcity.
2. How to use The Pygmalion Effect to make anyone like you
3. A simple psychological trick to prevent women from flaking on you.
4. And much more.
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.