Do you want the confidence to be able to do something that scares you? Are you afraid to approach someone you find attractive or speak up more boldly in work meetings or disagree with someone assertively when necessary?
Today we’re going to discuss one powerful technique that will have you experiencing increased confidence in multiple areas of your life.
To begin with, imagine one change you could make in your life that you know would make you infinitely happier. Maybe becoming more assertive at work would make you happier . . . maybe conversing with women more freely would make you happier. Whatever it is, imagine this one change you could make to your life to drastically improve your outlook—now ask yourself what’s holding you back from doing that thing.
Most of us instinctively know what we could be doing to make ourselves happier. The path to joy is right in front of us, but we hold ourselves back because we have created images in our minds of the bad things that might happen to us as a result of bold action.
When we are scared, we do whatever it takes to keep ourselves safe from awkwardness and pain. For most of us, fear is an excuse to start imagining negative projections of reality. In that way, we are telling ourselves it’s sensible not to act, less we expose ourselves to potential defeat.
For me, the negative projection was failure at approaching women—I’d imagine the disgusted faces they might make if I introduced myself, or I’d see them laughing at me and walking away like it was some kind of joke.
So, what is that negative image for you? What do you wish you could do, and what are you afraid is going to happen if you do it?
Whatever you’re imagining is not real. It’s not happening now in reality, and there is no guarantee it will happen in the future. Whatever you’re imagining is created in your mind—it’s a fabrication. We like to imagine that our minds are incredible future predicting machines, but the truth is that the stories they create are not reality. To rapidly gain confidence and get the results that you want, you have to test reality—you have to act and see what happens.
Like it or not, action is the only catalyst that will introduce ultimate transformation into your life. You can use all of the mantras and positive affirmations in the world (and that is something I both teach and highly recommend!), but nothing is going to change if you don’t act.
One of the most powerful ways to grow self-esteem is to take action in the world. You’ve got to test yourself and take risks. You can’t just sit in a room feeling love for yourself and expect to develop self-esteem—you’ve got to get out into the world and prove to yourself that you can get things done. That is when you start to feel proud of who you are and what you’re capable of.
So, how do we do that? Well, as Nike would say, just do it.
Let’s use my previous example of approaching an attractive woman: you walk up to her, take a chance, and introduce yourself. Now, a couple of things could happen: 1) you realize that your negative mental model really was just a fabrication that didn’t end up coming true, or 2) your worst fear comes true, and she rejects you. I find that more often than not, you end up experiencing option 1 . . . hooray! If you run into option 2, however, all is not lost! With “rejection” comes the chance to learn that you can actually handle it. Maybe you feel bad or embarrassed; maybe you beat yourself up a bit. Then you get over it, and you do it again.
There is always a chance that you are going to experience rejection when taking action and putting yourself out there. The trick isn’t believing that nothing unpleasant is going to happen—it’s knowing deep down that you can handle it. You must know that you can handle whatever is going to happen before you act, but the best way to prove this to yourself is to take action and experience those uncomfortable feelings firsthand.
If the thought of living through those uncomfortable feelings freaks you out the point of inaction, you need to check out my program, The Confidence Code. This program will teach you powerful techniques to work through those feelings quickly so that they don’t bog you down and make you feel too depressed and scared to try again.
In the meantime, you need to work out a system that will allow you to begin taking bold action now. For me, it helps to give a number to the feelings you associate with the action. If it terrifies you beyond belief and causes panic attacks, it’s a 10; if it ranks somewhere alongside pouring a bowl of cereal, it’s a zero.
Once you have the number system worked out, you will know whether you can keep pushing yourself or whether you need to take a small step back. This is called “gradual exposure,” and it works. If you see a woman who would rank a 10 on your freak-out-o-meter, simply dial it back and approach a woman who’s closer to a 5 or 6. If you would rank sharing your ideas with the boss at a 10, try trouble-shooting them with a high-ranking co-worker instead.
Now, here’s the thing: sometimes you’ve got to get creative. One of my clients, for example, was deathly afraid of talking to women—anything to do with approaching a woman caused him a high level of anxiety. So, we decided to get him more comfortable talking to people in general by practicing “friendly greetings.” We kept dialing this back until we settled on him calling up 10 businesses and asking them about their hours. For you, that might be below a zero, but for him, it was good practice and a good way for him to learn that human interaction does not necessarily end in defeat.
It’s all about simply getting into the process and building the momentum to create confidence and build self-esteem from square one. Over time, you can increase the amount by which you’re willing to push your comfort zone, and you will begin to intrinsically understand that you are able to handle whatever comes your way.
If you want some additional guidance through this work, check out 30DaysToDatingMastery.com to access a program that will guide you specifically through approaching, speaking to and dating women more confidently.
As always, please feel free to “like,” subscribe and share your thoughts below. What negative realities have you been creating for yourself? How are you going to test out your reality today? How has testing your reality been working out for you? Ask your questions and get a dialogue started so that we can learn and grow together.
Until we speak again. May you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you are awesome.
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