Tell Your Brain Who’s Boss
One of the nifty things about our brains is that they’re essentially slaves to our bodies. The brain reacts to the body as much as the other way around. If your heart’s racing and your adrenaline’s pumping, your brain will assume a certain emotional state and backfill the reasons for it later.
By that same token, you can tell your brain to chill the fuck out by managing the physical aspects of your fear response. That shortness of breath and heart palpitations are physical symptoms of your approach anxiety; remove those symptoms and your brain will think “Huh, guess everything’s fine now. Cancel the fear alert people, false alarm.”
Instead of trying to fight against the adrenaline shakes and jittery legs, let the feelings wash over you. Take a long, slow deep breath, hold it for a moment, then breathe out slowly. Do this again. And again. Slow your movements down; walk towards the object of your affection with slow, deliberate movements, almost as though you were walking under water. Relax your muscles and let your limbs dangle at your sides, as though you were being held up by a piece of string attached to the crown of your head.
You’ll start noticing that your heart rate will slow and the shivers will start fading away along with the approach anxiety. Why? Because you’ve used your body to tell your brain “Hey, everything’s cool,” and your brain cannot ignore this.
Embrace The Suck
As I started getting better with women, I noticed that I wasn’t as hung up on getting rejected, especially if I was approaching a woman cold. Experience had taught me that, despite what I’d thought for literal decades, the girls who shot me down weren’t sniggering at my slumped, retreating back… in fact, for the most part they forgot I existed as soon I as I was out of their eye-line.
I can’t begin to explain just how incredibly freeing this revelation was. The knowledge that I wasn’t being forever branded with a scarlet L made me realize that rejections didn’t matter. In fact, in the right frame of mind, rejections were a good sign: at least it meant I was getting a reaction at all. The harshest blow-outs were the ones where I was ignored entirely. The more over-the-top rejection, the better – if nothing else, it became something I could share and laugh about with my friends.
Once you embrace that rejections don’t matter, your approach anxiety eases naturally.
Speaking of which…
Take Sex Out Of The Equation
Approach anxiety is all about the fear of rejection and humiliation… so don’t let rejection be a part of the equation in the first place.
“Wait, isn’t that the whole point of approaching?” I hear you ask.
Yes, it is. Paradoxically, that is also exactly why becoming outcome independent helps you beat approach anxiety. When you go to talk to that cute guy or girl at the party and your approach anxiety kicks in, you’re worrying about the future. You’re thinking about potential outcomes; will she go out with you, will the date be a disaster, will a blow-job be on the menu, what would your relationship be like, what if she rejects you, will other people watch you get shot down and point and laugh?
Thinking about the future will only stres you out and cause your brain to get back to imagining worst-case scenarios.
Similarly, thinking about the past will inevitably start you thinking about all the times that approaching people went wrong, which will start coloring everything that you’re experiencing and expecting now.
So focus on the now. Yesterday doesn’t count and tomorrow never comes. By not worrying about whether you’re going to get a number, a date, sloppy make-outs, you’re able to focus on the experience and devote more brain processing power to being that charming motherfucker you know you are. Approach anxiety is all about anticipating rejection. If you aren’t concerned about the outcome, then whether you get rejected doesn’t matter. It’s just one more experience in a lifetime of collecting experiences and you can just roll onward.
You’ll be more at ease. You’ll be calm. You’ll be confident.
Everybody Feels Approach Anxiety
Look, the only people who says that they don’t feel nervous about approaching someone new are either deluded, sociopathic or liars. No matter how experienced or accomplished you are, you’re going to feel those annoying twinges of fear when you approach somebody. You’re not alone in feeling anxious. The only thing that matters is if you’re going to be one of the people who’s ruled by their fears or someone who conquers them.
Now stop reading, get over there and start talking already!