A couple of weeks ago we talked about taking action in one’s life (link to previous article) – deciding who you want to be and doing the little things necessary to be that person.
One of the pieces of feedback I received from that article was that my advice – while motivational and illuminating 😉 – was a lot easier said than done.
Of course. Isn’t that how life always is?
In fact, one of the things discussed in Fearless is how changing your actions – even in the most simple way – can sometimes be extremely difficult.
That’s because your current actions have become a habit. These habits came about because, at some point in your life, you (unconsciously) determined that certain actions would make you feel happy and safe, while others would make you feel unhappiness and maybe even pain.
So the mere thought of taking different actions in situations that subconsciously remind you of past hurt can be enough to trigger intense anxiety.
Even just being in these situations and remaining clearheaded enough to notice that your actions aren’t that effective can be as challenging as anything you’ve faced.
So of course, gathering the strength and courage to change some very cemented habits, and face the fears behind those habits, is, well… easier said than done.
Because of this sobering fact – and because helping guys make these changes is exactly what we do here at The Social Man 😉 – I want to give you a little more than a pep talk.
I want to give you two tools which – if you actually DO them – will make your growth substantially quicker and less challenging.
One of the toughest things to do when we’re working to get better at something is to stay motivated over time. Whether it’s with weight loss, finances, or confidence/attraction (3 of the most common forms of self-improvement), history is littered with those who tried… and gave up.
It can seem easy during those first few days of trying new behaviors – and then the focus starts to waver. Then the results start to suffer, and after a little while, the motivation starts to lag, and the voice in your head starts convincing you to take a day off, and before you know it your program is derailed.
So how to keep up the motivation day in and day out?
Tool 1: write out a list of why you want and keep that list handy so that you can refer to it whenever that voice starts telling you that it’d be better to stay in the same comfortable (though perhaps suffocating) place.
You see, those silly little neural pathways in your brain have formed a habit. When situation X arises, thought Y floods the brain, resulting in action Z.
Situation: Ooooh, pretty girl 🙂
Thought: “I’m not good enough”
Action: Hide behind my beer
Obviously not very helpful.
But when you write out a list of what you truly want, and refer to it when your mind starts to object, you’re creating a new path for your thoughts to jump to instead of the old one.
Let’s use an example to illustrate this:
“John” was kinda nerdy in middle school and high school, and his experiences with girls, especially girls he had a crush on, weren’t exactly the stuff of the coming-of-age movies where the geek gets the girl.
He is taught the lesson that he can save himself a good deal of pain if he holds back any feelings or signs of desire for these girls. Because of this, when he encounters a woman who he wants, he’s usually flooded with feelings of anxiety and that voice in the head that we mentioned before – “she’s busy, you would just be interrupting her, she’s too good-looking for you anyway, you don’t have the energy for it, she’ll probably slap you” – whatever his personal anti-coach says.
Normally John would retreat to the comforting arms of solitude and walk away – especially in the second week or so once his initial enthusiasm has subsided. Today, however, is different.
John pulls the note card out of his pocket; he reminds himself of the lonely nights he swore he’d put an end to, the feeling of frustration as another girl he had a crush on didn’t return the feeling, the utter hopelessness that accompanies the sense that he’d never be able to figure this out… and he swears to himself that this time will be different.
Does John succeed or fail?
Well, the majority of a woman’s (or anyone’s) reaction to you has far more to do with them than with you.
However by taking different actions – and by sheer law of numbers alone – John’s social muscles get stronger and he begins to receive positive responses more and more regularly.
Because those old, negative memories have been replaced with new, positive ones ones, now when John encounters a woman he’s attracted to his heart still starts beating faster, but instead of retreating he’s already making eye contact with her, a smile is on his face, and a “hey” is already on the tip of his tongue.
So what do you want, and how bad do you want it?
Do you want to find the love(s) of your life?
Do you want to erase any doubt that you’d be ‘settling’ for whomever you end up with?
Do you want to know that if you run into a woman who takes your breath away, you’ll be able to talk to her and create attraction (provided, of course, it’s meant to be ;)?
Are you tired of feeling lonely and not content with this area of your life?
Do you want to have sexual experiences with women who turn you on? (There’s nothing wrong with that, provided you’re clear and honest with them and more importantly, yourself.)
In speaking with Christian, he told me that he profoundly, and resolutely, decided that he would date women who looked a certain way… “perfect ten model-esque women with dark hair and big eyes – basically, someone who looks like (or is!) Alessandra Ambrosio” He wanted it BAD. And he got it.
You see, one of the big self-help truisms is that “the journey is the reward.”
That’s very true -when you’re looking back on the journey.
But it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it when you’re in that moment, looking at a pretty girl and wondering if you should make the approach.
So you’ve got to have the GOAL in mind. FRONT and CENTER. THAT is the thing that is going to keep you motivated, and going to push you into taking that action that you know you’ve gotta take.
Ready to get specific?
Whatever it is for you, grab a pen and paper and write it out. What do you want? Hell, what WOMAN do you want?
Got her? Good – but don’t stop there. This second tool is even more powerful:
Tool 2: The benefits of keeping a journal are no secret. If you want to accomplish anything, keeping a journal of your progress and pitfalls will enhance it – period.
Because of this, we’ve created a section of our forums specially designed to not only do this, but to also get feedback and have your questions answered by guys who are going through the exact same thing as well as some of our senior coaches. Christian & I even jump in on the fun to answer your questions from time to time.
So back on you: how bad do you want to make these changes in your life?
We’ll both know the answer within 24 hours of your reading this.
Is there a new journal in our forum listing the reasons why you want to make this happen, or not?
I can promise you that we’ll continuing doing everything in our power to make your progress as simple, efficient, and effective as possible for you.
The only question is whether or not you’ll be looking at this same screen and in the same position in your life relative to women that you were 365 days ago… or whether you decide today to take 15 minutes and set a different course for your life. There will never be a better time than right now.