It was the Saturday night of my latest workshop — 12:30am (a half hour left in our last night) to be exact — and one of my clients said he needed to talk.
We step aside and he tells me he’s having a bad time — not enjoying himself, not getting the kind of results in his interactions that he wanted. This would be a lot of coaches’ worst nightmare.
Instead of freaking out, I manage to talk to him about everything calmly for 5 minutes (ok, so I wasn’t calm the entire time).
After that talk, he was the most popular guy at the bar (I extended our night to closing time). Everyone was loving his company and, most importantly, he was telling me how much he was enjoying himself.
As the bar closed he had a decision to make.. take things further with the cute little southern belle that had him pressed against the fence (we love our patios in Austin), or join us for food across the street.
Fortunately for us, she wasn’t his type.
So what did I say to him that night?
To find out, simply buy my book. 😉
Seriously though, it wasn’t anything magic. You’ve probably heard it before in some form or another. But when we’re uncomfortable, other messages swarm our brain and do their best to discredit those perfectly good ideas.
Now, every person is going through things a little differently at different times, and so what I said to my client that night was personally tailored to his situation — to the messages that swarmed his brain..
But in general you could break what I said up into two main themes:
1. Base your definition of success of success on things you can control.
If your definition of success is based on your ability to control the weather, you’re going to have a bad time. Not only will you consider yourself a failure, but you’ll question yourself. Your confidence will suffer further as you wonder why you can’t succeed.
Of course, you were setting yourself up for failure. When we base our ideas of success — our happiness, our confidence — on things outside of our control, we’re dooming ourselves to misery.
I have yet to meet a fully functional adult who can’t grasp this idea, and yet, when we’re getting blasted by our insecurities, it’s hard not to get upset if the person you like doesn’t like you back, or if the person you want to talk to doesn’t want to talk to you.
But this is childish thinking, the world doesn’t revolve around us. Whether or not that person wants to talk to/date us has for more to do with things outside of our control (are they single? Are they having a good day? etc.) then has to do with us.
We can choose to entertain that immature reality but that’s our choice. When we choose to dwell on those feelings any more than momentarily we are choosing misery.
Instead, our definition of success should be based on the only thing we can control, ourselves. Did we put our best self out there? Success, regardless of what kind of mood the other person is in. If you don’t celebrate every small step forward and allow yourself to feel good about every little success you’ll never move forward.
2. If you can’t simply enjoy connecting with people you’ll always be miserable.
“ I’m an introvert!” my client exclaimed when I asked him why he wasn’t enjoying his interactions.
It doesn’t matter. I’m an introvert. I need my quiet alone time. But every human being on the planet still needs to connect with other human beings. We require it for our overall health and happiness.
We often get so wrapped up in what we want more of — dates, sex, intimacy — that we forget to simply enjoy connecting emotionally with another human being.
It’s the baseline. It’s the starting point.
You must enjoy that conversation — that connection — so much that you forget about everything else you wanted. That’s the only consistent way to chase away the perfectly normal human impulse to want more.
Again though, it’s a choice. If you can’t simply enjoy even the briefest human connections you encounter then you will never be happy. You’ll never sleep with enough women, never go on enough dates, all while requiring more and more to not feel miserable.
But if you can get so caught up in the moment with someone that you forget about the rest, the rest becomes easy. Most importantly though, you enjoy your social and dating life the way you were meant to.
That’s all my client did that Saturday night.
He already had all the tools. He drilled them the two previous afternoons with my female assistants. I removed his ability to use the excuse, “I don’t know how”, because I watched him do it right.
It wasn’t a question of ability, he just had to flip this one little switch and he was unstoppable.
When I go out, sometimes I run into someone I’m attracted to, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes she likes me back, sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes our personalities click, sometimes they don’t. Sometime’s we’re both single, sometimes we’re not. Sometimes we’re both well rested and in good moods, sometimes we’re not…
If my happiness depends on any of that I’m screwed.
Am I putting my best self out there? Am I enjoying even the briefest of human connections as much as possible? Then I’m going to have a great day/night/date/work event/life.
Are you choosing to be happy or miserable?
You can keep being frustrated over not getting the results you want or you can flip the switch. Either way though, you can’t complain because the choice was yours.