Introduction

“I’m just not good looking enough.”

“I need to lose 20 pounds, then I’ll start meeting women.”

“I know we’ve been friends for 6 months, but I really just want to date Suzy, she’s special.”

“I need to focus on school right now. I’ll learn about some of this dating advice stuff in my free time, but I don’t have time to go out and talk to women – it’s not a high enough priority.”

“I like learning about success with women, but approaching strangers is creepy. I”m just going to use what I learn to do better with girls I already know.”

Any of these sound familiar? The above are all what I call invisible sticking points. An invisible sticking point is a form of rationalization – it’s something that looks like a valid excuse, but is secretly a reaction to negative emotion.

This may be surprising, but invisible sticking points are more common than any other sticking point. They’re also the most difficult sticking points to become aware of because they have everything to do with our ego.

When I first learned about the game, I avoided actually approaching women because I knew if I did, it would be awkward and I would mostly just get rejected.

To protect itself from harm, my ego convinced me that I needed to learn more about social dynamics before starting to approach women.

Approaching women and getting rejected would have been an assault on my identity. I would have had to admit to myself that I wasn’t as cool as I wanted to be. It would have been an extremely humbling experience, which although ultimately healthy, would have been extremely painful in the short-term.

Our ego is willing to go to great lengths to protect our identity. Although this helps us remain relatively comfortable, it can prevent us from making any substantial change.

In their groundbreaking book, Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard, authors Chip and Dan Heath write, “We are all loophole exploiting lawyers when it comes to our own self-control.”

This is true for dating more than anything else. Not only does our ego want to protect us from the pain that meeting women entails, but society also tells us that taking action to get better with women is creepy.

The whole idea of learning to pick up women is demonized in the era of #metoo, street harassment videos, and never-ending sex scandals.

When all of society tells us something is creepy, it’s that much harder to justify to ourselves that we should do it.

Quickly, I want to mention here that pickup is creepy – if you do it poorly. It’s like plastic surgery in that way. Bad plastic surgery can be a totally unattractive. But you don’t notice good plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is only noticeable when it’s bad. The same thing applies to pickup. If pickup is done poorly, it’s creepy and awkward, if it’s done well, it doesn’t even look like pickup.

If you’re overly aggressive and pushy, you could develop a bad reputation as “the creepy pickup dude” – but if you just look like someone who’s social and outgoing, you’ll actually get a good reputation as someone who’s fun to hang out with.

You don’t need to worry about getting a bad reputation from pickup unless you’re doing it in a way that is totally obnoxious and un-empathetic (and even if you do creep someone out, it’s not the end of the world).

Still, there are a lot of reasons not to learn success with women. And, in many cases, reading books about the topic, or watching videos is a way for us to feel like we’re making a positive change without having to do something we’re uncomfortable with.

Invisible sticking points are pernicious traps because to accept you’re being affected by such a sticking point also means accepting pain and discomfort.

Beyond that, it also means accepting that you’ve been fucking up. No one wants to tell themselves, “Shit, my looks really aren’t a valid excuse. I’m just telling myself that because I don’t want to get rejected. I’ve spent the last 5 years of my life lying to myself.”

We have a strong resistance to admitting we’ve been wrong. This is a universal human trait. The psychological term for this phenomenon is the confirmation bias. We overvalue evidence that reaffirms are current beliefs and undervalue evidence that would disprove those beliefs.

It may be difficult to see yourself in this chapter’s diagnosis section. To do so would mean you’d need to make a drastic change. If you read this section with a critical sense of self-honesty, it will likely be the trigger for mindset shift.

If you haven’t gotten the results you want from men’s dating advice, it’s almost certainly because you’ve been dabbling. I’ve seen it not only in dozens of guys I’ve met, but in myself.

As soon as you realize your mindset is holding you back, you can change your mindset – and then change your actions.

Diagnosis

If you want to improve your dating life, but you’re not cold approaching women multiple times per week, then you’re not making progress.

Each invisible sticking point has its own logic, but the end result is always the same: not going out to meet women.

I could explain each invisible sticking point individually, but it’s important to understand that the details aren’t relevant here, only the result matters.

One guy thinks that he needs to lose 20 pounds before he approaches girls. Another guy thinks he needs to wait till he’s 21, because gaming at his university will get him a bad reputation. A third guy thinks that he needs to read more books before he has the base level of understanding necessary to start approaching women.

It’s all bullshit. There is no world in which waiting to take action will benefit you. We all think our excuse is unique, that we have a legitimate reason to wait to take the leap.

The only exception to this rule is if you live in a very small town and there simply aren’t any women to approach. However even this isn’t an excuse so long as there’s a bigger city within a couple hours driving distance (and if you really are living in a small town, your priority should be to move to a bigger city).

Most people will find a reason not to take a risk and latch onto it. It’s not hard to come up with a logical-enough excuse to avoid approaching women.

A simple way to find out if you’re excuses are valid is to do a thought experiment. Ask yourself, “If I continue to take the same daily actions I’m taking today, will I end up having the fulfilling dating life I want?”

Be honest with yourself. Don’t look for the easy answer, look for the truth. You could say, “Well, no, not today, but I’m focusing on my career and once I’ve got that handled I’ll be ready to take on dating.”

It is true that your priorities will change over time, however certain aspects of your life are always going to be important. Your physical health and fitness is always going to matter. Your career is always going to matter. Your friendships are always going to matter. Your sexual relationships are always going to matter.

Obviously, it would be silly to stop putting time into your career because you want to get in better shape. It’s just as silly to stop putting time into your sexual relationships because you want to focus on your career.

To be clear, I’m not saying there aren’t going to be times when you put a greater focus on one of these areas than others. Fluctuation is natural. I’m saying that you should be putting some effort into all the major areas of your life at all times.

You may not always go to the gym for an hour and a half a day, but you should never go a week without any physical activity. You may not always work 60 hours a week, but you shouldn’t completely neglect your career, either.

This understanding is important because it makes dabbling impossible. Once you’ve committed yourself to constant improvement in each of the core areas of your life, you no longer have a logical excuse to put off taking action in one of those areas.

In dating, taking action means meeting new women (unless you’re currently in a committed relationship). If you have a crush on one girl, taking action means asking her out.

It’s easy to get stuck on one girl you like, but this can become a huge waste of your time and energy. If she likes you, she’ll say yes when you ask her out, if she doesn’t, she’ll say no, and you can move on. If you’re spending your time pining over one girl, but you haven’t made your interest in her clear, that time is being wasted.

There’s no exceptions. If you have a crush and you’re too afraid to ask her out, you should at least approach other women (to develop your social skills and have a contingency plan if your crush does reject you).

I’ll repeat this because it’s important: if you’re not approaching new women on a weekly basis, it’s because of an invisible sticking point.

We resist the idea that we should go out and approach women for a variety of reasons, some of which have a grain of truth to them. For example, it’s true that your first attempts at meeting women will probably be awkward, and you’ll probably have to deal with some painful rejections, too.

But there’s no alternative. The mind likes to hold on to the idea that there’s a way to reach your goals without going through struggle. This is never the case. Achieving any worthwhile goal will always involve struggle, stress, and pain.

That’s not to say it won’t be fun, too. Achieving a goal involves a range of powerful emotions. Even when you’re just starting, you will be rewarded with small successes (the first time you get a girl’s number from cold approach, you’ll feel on top of the world).

Still, you can’t skip the awkwardness. The longer you put it off, the worse it’ll be. Your anxiety towards taking the first step will build up the more you procrastinate.

[If you’re reading this, and you think you’re the exception, feel free to email me (at aghayden@email.arizona.edu) explaining your situation. I’ll do my best to give you some honest guidance.]

The first step is the hardest to take because it marks a shift in your identity. Once you go out into the world to approach women, you’re no longer a guy who’s interested in dating advice, you’re a guy who’s taking action to change his life.

We resist taking on this identity because doing so means admitting that we truly want to change. If you’re not getting the results you want, you’re going to have to swallow that bitter pill and admit to yourself that what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working – and change is necessary.

Prescription

Once you’ve accepted that you need to start taking action, finding where to start can be overwhelming. The best solution is to take it one step at a time. There are two action steps you can take to start this journey in earnest:

1. Throw yourself out there.

2. Make it a habit.

1.     Throw yourself out there

The first step to changing your dating life is the simplest: throw yourself out there. No, your first attempt at meeting women isn’t going to be perfect. Yes, you might stumble or be awkward. But you have to take this first leap of faith.

Don’t wait for the weekend when there are tons of people out. Don’t wait for your next vacation days from work. Don’t wait for anything. Just throw yourself out there.

This chapter is your first call to action. No more procrastination, it’s time to take action. Do it today. Do it as soon as you put this book down.

There are a few options you can choose from to meet women. Obviously, there’s bars and clubs, if you’re reading this on a Friday or Saturday night, then that’s probably your best option.

If you live in a city with a decent sized University, then that’s a great option for meeting women, too. If you work 9-5 it won’t be ideal, though, because those are the best hours for college daygame.

You can also go to a mall or any busy shopping center (Target is a good option). The biggest fear guys have towards this is that they may get kicked out. You might get kicked out if you’re loud and obnoxious or if you spam approach every woman in a single store, but for the most part this shouldn’t be a concern. And even if you do get kicked out, so what? There’s other stores. Besides, you’ll learn more from getting kicked out then you will from staying at home.

You can also go to a popular park, a busy street (downtown), or anywhere that people congregate.

Yes, some options are much better than others. Generally, clubs and college campuses are the ideal options for meeting women because they have the highest volume of attractive women.

Sometimes though, those options aren’t available. If that’s the case, going to a mall or a grocery store is still much better than staying at home. You might only see 3 attractive women if you go to a store to meet women, but you could potentially get all 3 of their numbers and go on dates with them.

As you get more experienced, I recommend you spend most of your time going to the venues with the most attractive women in your city. But this chapter is about taking your first steps. You don’t need the perfect venue yet, you just need to get your feet wet.

If you’re reading this at 7pm on a Tuesday and your best option for going to meet women right now is the Walmart near where you live, then go to that Walmart and see what happens.

Don’t have unrealistic expectations of yourself. You might not be able to approach a girl your first time going out, and that’s okay. Go out and do your best to approach women, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t overcome your approach anxiety.

Approaching women isn’t easy at first for most guys. Going out to a venue where women congregate is your first major step towards success with women, actually cold approaching a girl is the second step.

When I started practicing daygame, I went out for 12 days in a row before I was able to approach a girl. Those first 11 days were incredibly frustrating for me. Each time I went out and didn’t approach a girl, I got increasingly pissed off at myself.

Eventually my frustration was overwhelming enough that I said, “Fuck it” and I approached a girl. If you haven’t cold approached a girl recently, the same may hold true for you. Don’t be surprised if it takes a number of sessions to get to the point where you tell yourself, “fuck it” and do a cold approach.

At the same time, it might be a lot easier for you, too. Throw yourself out there and do your best to approach women.

The key to success here is persistence. If you find you are unable to approach a girl on your first attempt, keep going out until you can approach a girl.

Tony Robbins has a saying, “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” Every time you go out, but don’t approach a girl, you’ll be one step closer to reaching the point where the pain of not approaching becomes greater than pain of approaching.

To get to the point where you are able to make this shift, you’ll want to use the power of goal-setting and habit formation to your advantage.

2.     Make it a habit

The first step to making a real change in your dating life is to throw yourself out there, the second is to make it a habit: a real part of your day-to-day life.

Many people think to make something a habit you must do it every single day. This is untrue, and often backfires. When you make a commitment to do something every day, it can easily lead to burnout. Obviously, everyone is different, if you have a lot of free time and going out doesn’t take much willpower for you, then you may want to go out every day.

But, if you’re just starting and going out still takes a lot of energy, you should start with a lighter commitment. You want to set a goal that is ambitious enough to help you reach your goals but is realistic enough that you won’t end up quitting after two weeks.

This is important to consider. Most people who pursue self-improvement goals – like losing weight – give up long before they reach their goal. Gyms are flooded with new members chasing their new year’s resolutions in January, but they’re comparably dead only a couple months later.

People give up on their goals because they have unrealistic expectations of themselves. If you’re new to working out, but you set a goal to go to the gym an hour a day, 6 days a week, it’s very unlikely you’ll follow through.

I’ve found the most effective method for setting goals that I follow through on to be weekly based. Regarding meeting women, this means I’ll set a goal for how many times I’ll go out in a given week.

To start, I’d recommend setting a goal to go out between 2-4 times per week. (Anything less than twice a week isn’t going to be enough to build any kind of positive momentum).

You can also go out just 15 or 30 minutes on some days, while committing to longer sessions on the weekends. The advantage to this method is that you’ll build a lot of social momentum. Social momentum means that every consecutive day you go out to meet women, it gets easier than the previous day.

But be realistic. You may want to start with only going out twice a week, and build up to going out more over time if you decide it’s necessary to reach your goals.

The importance of setting a goal for yourself can’t be overestimated. Of all the guys I’ve gone out with, very few make meeting women a habitual part of their lives. They go out 3 times one week, but then stay home for the next four weeks in a row. You’ll make progress – and get results – only when you make meeting women a regular part of your life.

If you strongly prefer online dating over cold approach, you could focus on that method, but make it into a habit and set goals. For example, you could set a goal to use your preferred dating app for at least 30 minutes, 4 days a week.

Create a system for yourself that makes progress automatic. If you don’t, it’s unlikely that you’ll repeatedly and reliably make the decisions that will lead you towards success.

Make a decision now, for example: “I will go out every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.” Then, when Saturday comes and you start to think, “You know what, I’m feeling tired, I’ll just go out tomorrow,” you’ll catch yourself because you’ve made a previous commitment to take action.

Creating a plan of action is your most powerful tool for making consistent progress. Normally, our emotions guide our decisions. And most of the time, our emotions convince us to take the easy way out. But when you have a commitment, you’ll be much more likely to take action even when you don’t feel like doing so.

Additionally, using some form of tracking is useful. A tool like Google calendars or a habit tracking application (to find one, search habit tracking in your phone’s app store) will remind you to stick with your goals – which will help you remain consistent.

Goal setting isn’t a magic pill, but it is an important step to making a long-term change. Once you’ve committed to a specific goal, change is no longer an amorphous idea in your mind, it’s a real, actionable plan.

Remember that your goal should be to get out of your comfort zone, not to make a miraculous overnight change. At first you may not even be able to approach women when you go out. If that’s the case, just keep going out until your frustration with yourself becomes more powerful than your approach anxiety.

Unrealistic expectations are a surefire way to burn yourself out. At the same time, anything can happen. You might run into a girl who just broke up with her long-term boyfriend and she’s decided she’s going to sleep with the next guy who talks to her. You never know what might happen when you go out to meet women, keep your expectations rational, but your hopes high.

This article is a free section from my book: Irresistible.

Follow me on Snapchat to see daily infield footage (approaches, makeouts, pulls) Username: AveryGHayden

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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.

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