I recall walking around Washington, D.C. one afternoon, telling myself that I was going to do some day game.
“Alright, this is it Jon—no more fucking around. It’s time to learn game.” I got out of my car and trotted over to the nearest park where they were putting on some sort of music festival.
There was literally thousands of people all over the place, but I just walked around for an hour like a dummy. I could not work up the nerve to approach a girl. “That girl, there!” I’d tell myself. Then, as usual, I’d bitch out at the last minute. “FUCK!” Sound familiar?
Even after running to a nearby liquor store and pounding down some vodka, I STILL couldn’t work up the nerve to approach. “What gives?” I thought.
Getting over approach anxiety was one of the hardest things that I ever did…but paradoxically, it was also one of the easiest. Here’s why.
First things first, we should go over what causes approach anxiety. In order to understand this, like many things, we need to go back to our primal roots.
Imagine that you’re a caveman and you stumble upon a nearby group of people—you don’t know any of them. You don’t know the women, the men, or the children. Say that you have the courage to go and approach one of the girls, though.
Do you know what would likely happen? The alpha male of the group would bash you over the head with a rock, because you were trying to steal his girl. That’s what would happen.
That’s all that approach anxiety is—a remnant from our evolutionary past. It’s your brain saying “don’t talk to a girl you don’t know, unless you have high status.”
This is linked to something else, known as “status anxiety,” which is basically when you don’t know where you stand in the hierarchy. When you go to a night club or a bar, and you know nobody there, you have no idea where you stand in the pack. This is status anxiety.
This is one of the things that contributes to approach anxiety. Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to approach women you don’t know when you’re with your buddies? Yup—that’s because you feel like you’re higher status when you have a few guys to back you up.
Remember: 100,000 years ago if you stumbled into a tribe, but had a few of your buddies, you’d probably feel more confident in your ability to approach women you don’t know. Realize that approach anxiety is simply your brain saying “don’t hit on the alpha male’s girl, or he’ll kill you.”
Just understanding this simple evolutionary root of approach anxiety will help you to overcome it.
Being decisive is perhaps one of the best ways to get over approach anxiety. Why? Because 80% of approach anxiety is just you getting in your head and thinking about all of the shit that could go wrong.
If you just learn to take decisive action, you will put an end to approach anxiety.
Do you know what my thought process is when I see a gorgeous woman at the club? It’s nonexistent. I just see her, and without thinking, I go up and start talking to her.
I’ve literally trained myself to not even think. Thinking is what fucks you up—when you see a girl, and start thinking, you immediately create this giant chain of thoughts that freezes you in your tracks:
But if you just TAKE ACTION, and don’t even think about it? You eliminate all of this completely. Trust me, once you learn to do this, you will eliminate 80% of your approach anxiety.
“So how do you train yourself to just take decisive action, Jon?” I can hear someone ask.
First off, I’d like to say that strategies #2, #3, and #4 in my eBook are specifically meant to develop the characteristic of decisiveness (among others). That being said, I’ll give you a few tips.
The first thing to understand is that decisiveness is a MINDSET, not a specific action. For example, some guys might go out and ask themselves: “Am I being decisive? Is this decisive?” but they’re asking the wrong question.
Decisiveness is a FEELING, it’s a way of BEING. It’s not just a specific action—the actions that you take are the result of decisiveness.
One way that you can cultivate this mindset of decisiveness is to take cold showers. When you take cold showers, every day you force yourself to do something you know will be uncomfortable (plus they boost your testosterone).
When you force yourself to step into that ice cold shower every day, you’re literally training your feet to just WALK without even thinking. If you start to think, you’re going to think things like:
But every day, you’re going to say “FUCK YOU,” to that voice and completely ignore it. You’re going to take DECISIVE action.
In other words, you’re training yourself not to think. You’re training yourself to act. This is the crux of being decisive, and it’s a huge factor in getting rid of approach anxiety. Once you learn to just take action, and you train your feet to just move before you can even think, approach anxiety will go away almost entirely.
“Okay, Jon—this is all great advice, but how do I actually go out and do it? What are the steps?” I can hear someone ask.
The first thing to realize, is that you should not do daygame as a newbie. This is one of the biggest mistakes that beginners to the game make, for a multitude of reasons:
Basically, when you’re starting off and trying to get good at game, you want to only do approaches during the night.
This can be at parties, bars, night clubs, or whatever—and after all of the night clubs shut down around 3AM (depending on what city you’re in), do street game and hit up all of the people walking around on the street.
There’s a number of reasons for this, but basically it’s because everyone is in a much more outgoing mood, they’re drunk, and because of all the stuff going on around you, girls won’t really take that much notice if you’re really creepy.
Okay, so now that you’ve figured out where you’re going to go and learn game at, it’s time to go through this step by step. First, before you go out, consider using game-enhancing drugs like kratom, phenibut, or alcohol.
I realize that this is a very controversial opinion in the PUA community, and for good reason—if you’re going out very frequently, which you should be if you want to learn game, you can’t be using substances that often.
But, I think that at first, sometimes it can be a great tool to use in order to get over the initial approach anxiety. Whatever you decide to do, however, just be sure to be responsible.
Okay, now here’s what you’re going to do:
Obviously it’s a little bit more complicated than that, but this is the basic strategy that I use. Here’s a little bit more information on why I do these things.
Social momentum is a huge deal when you’re trying to overcome approach anxiety. Have you ever noticed that it’s your first approach of the day that sucks, but each one after that gets easier? That’s social momentum.
See, there’s two sides of your brain: the left and the right. The left is the logical, analytical side that’s engaged for most of the day; it’s responsible for thinking logically, and is essential for reading really great red-pilled books, building a business, or whatever else.
The right side, however, is the emotional side that you use when you socialize—after a long day of working and using your “left brain,” it can sometimes be hard to switch over to your “right brain.” This is why it’s the first few approaches that are the hardest.
This is also why I want you to approach non-stop as a newbie. Once you become more advanced, you can pick and choose your approaches, but the best thing to do as a newbie (to overcome approach anxiety) is to just APPROACH!
Approaching girls on the way to the club starts getting you some social momentum. It tells your brain: “Oh. I just approached those girls, and some guy with a rock didn’t kill me. Maybe I can approach more!”
It “sets the stage,’ so to speak, of the night. Now, be careful—obviously if you’re walking out of a secluded parking garage on the way to the club, you don’t want to approach some girl there. She’ll get freaked the fuck out and think you’re a serial killer trying to kidnap her or something. Use some common sense.
If you’re on a crowded street on the way to the club, though? I’m sure there’s a ton of girls there who you can approach. Then, by the time you get to the club, you’ll be in the “social mood,” and it won’t feel too difficult to approach women.
I could write an entire book on approach anxiety, but ultimately it comes down to just taking decisive action and learning to “warm up” on the way to the club.
Just doing these things will drastically reduce your approach anxiety—but remember, you have to actually do them. Don’t just read this article and then forget about everything in a few minutes. Actually do it.
You’ll find that as you go out more and more, your “base level” of approach anxiety (when you first go out) will start to lessen. It won’t ever go away 100%, but it will become extremely manageable.
If you guys have any questions, comments, or concerns, let me know…as always, I’ll see you next time.
Jon Anthony is a world renowned dating coach and the founder of Masculine Development, a website specifically dedicated to helping men improve their personal, dating, and financial lives. After years of training men how to attract women, build muscle, and make more money, Jon created the "7 Strategies" program to help kickstart your journey to success. Jon firmly believes that every man should have control over his own life, and he created Masculine Development to share his passion with men who want success in all areas.