I was watching a great movie the other day called Journey’s End.
It’s about group of WW1 British soldiers on the eve of the first German attack in a year.
They know they’re screwed, waiting like rats in muddy, wretched trenches, barely living off horse stew; ducking from snipers, anticipating six hundred artillery cannons raining fire, steel and gassy-death upon them.
And they wait, and wait, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, shitting their trousers. Until finally the word spreads through the trench-line:
“Tomorrow. It’s happening tomorrow.”
Fear. Dread. Existential terror.
Imagine knowing the day you would die. Would it be gas? Artillery? Infantry? Bullets? Fire?
And you’re afraid of talking to pretty girls…
Yes, it is pathetic. But you found this blog, so there’s hope.
Here’s the thing about Approach Anxiety, or Social Anxiety: It’s just fear.
It may seem like fear of failure. But all thought of failure, is really a reflection on your limited time. What if you fail, and you waste all that time, and then you die? What if people laugh at you, and then you’re hated, alone, and you die?
- Been single for a year, but too anxious to socialize?
- Hate your job but won’t start a business?
- Stuck in a rut but never travel?
- Want to create something, but all you do is “think” about it?
- Out of shape but you won’t workout?
- Not taking any positive action, at all?
You’re afraid. You’re like a soldier waiting for that infantry charge. Imagining it over, and over, in every terrible variation and outcome. Visualizing the outcome so vividly, trying to find an escape. The result? Paralysis by analysis.
Individual soldiers dealt with their fate differently. Some lost their minds, crawling into their lice ridden cots and weeping like children (many were). Others drank themselves into unconsciousness. But some just said, “Cheerio then! Let’s hop to it lads!” and went about their day.
These men accepted their fate, that they might die, and made peace with it.
Every good soldier knows they’re going to die.
That’s their job, in a way. To face death head on, with their chins up. Because that’s what soldiers do. That’s the way of men.
And you’re too afraid to talk to girls…
Imagine going back in time and offering one of these doomed fools a choice: “Come to the future and live, but only if you learn how to approach women. Or…stay in the trench.”
I was teaching a guy yesterday. He’s a hardcase: debilitating approach anxiety, low self-esteem, and way too damn nice. I had to literally brainwash him with NLP, mediation, and hypnosis just to get him to say, “Hi,” to a girl. It took four tries before he said, “Hi,” loud enough for a female to even hear him. All he wanted to do was escape the his torturer…the dating coach.
I wish I could take him back in time, and drop him in that trench. I’d say:
“You can stay here with the doomed, or come back and approach girls.”
You see, it’s not death that you fear…it’s pain. Tearing, ripping, searing, suffocating pain. Trapped, attacked, vilified, humiliated, shamed. This is what it feels like for many men at the mere thought of approaching an attractive woman.
Doctors and psychologists love to prescribe. They believe anxiety is primarily a chemical imbalance, and they give us drugs. They give children drugs.
The root cause of anxiety is not chemical imbalance: it’s insecurity.
Your subconscious doesn’t know the difference between anxiety and danger. Your imagination creates the story. The ego places you into it, gives you a role. You’re the lead actor, writer, and director of your own war story. It’s about failure, defeat, and annihilation.
The problem is, it’s all fantasy. Not experience. Experience breeds confidence, and competence.
Choose a different story. Write yourself a love story, starring you. A success story. A generationally leaping saga of epic proportions. Imagine it every day, and night. Fantasize about it. Dream it.
Let go of fear by living
I used to be terrified of flying in big planes. I especially hated turbulence. But as a dating coach, I had to fly many times to Toronto, Montreal, San Diego, Bangkok, and on one flight I suddenly realized I wasn’t afraid. I was ready to die in a plane. It wouldn’t be a bad way to go. It’s not cancer, or a war. Just a drop from the sky and then darkness. Plus, I’d already published a few books, and helped hundreds, maybe thousands of people.
I’d done something with my life, at least. I’d left something behind.
Maybe you’ve never created anything. Not a book, a song, a business…or a life. Many men find purpose through fatherhood. I’ve found purpose through art. It’s up to you.
Just do something so that when your time comes, you can look back and know, you didn’t waste all of your time.
When you lose fear of death, approaching women will be easy.
All you have to do is confront it —from time to time. Show some respect for the fallen. Think about the privilege that you have, to live in a time of peace, freedom and prosperity. You don’t have to charge a machine gun nest, or live on maggot infested bread. All you have to do is confront your irrational fear of talking to pretty women. That’s not such a bad deal. It’s a good life.