‘Approach anxiety’ is the anxiety that men feel about approaching women, and it’s probably the single biggest reason why many most men can’t meet the women that they want, and don’t have the dating skills or confidence that they’d like. I believe that it’s also one of the main reasons why some men settle in relationships that they perhaps don’t really want to be in. Why would you leave someone if you’re incapable of meeting anyone else?

Approach anxiety is actually a completely natural thing, so it’s very important to not feel bad or beat yourself up for feeling it. If you feel nervous about going to talk to a stranger – congratulations, you’re completely normal. I’d actually be more concerned if you didn’t feel any anxiety, because to me this would indicate that you’re probably out of touch with your emotions, or suppressing them.

Reframing Approach Anxiety To Be A Good Thing

You could even say that approach anxiety is a blessing. Why? Because in order to grow, you need resistance. Much like weights in a gym, approach anxiety is going to provide you with the resistance required to grow internally. It’ll be a major contributor in you becoming a more attractive, charismatic, successful and motivated guy. By learning to deal with the fear, by learning to push through the anxiety, you’ll grow immeasurable, not just with women, but in life.

So you want to reframe approach anxiety. By that, I mean that you need to give it a new definition – as something completely natural and normal, and something positive that offers you the opportunity to become a better you. It’s not some illness that afflicts you. There’s wrong with you, even if you feel that you alone are affected by it. Most guys see approach anxiety as this crippling burden, this evil curse that prevents them from getting what they want. But you need to see it more as a sparring partner. And if you don’t learn how to gain some control over your emotions, and learn how to make yourself do the things that you know you should do, then you’ll also likely stay in a job that you hate, put up with people treating you badly, won’t take risks in life, etc. Basically, you’ll potentially spend your life under the shadow of your own fears, unless you find a means to gain some control over them. And there’s no better way to gain that control in my opinion, than by learning to approach and speak with women.

The good news is that approach anxiety does reduce a LOT over time. The ‘bad’ news is that it only does so through real world experience (i.e. a lot of approaching). Don’t believe any bullshit miracle cures – there is one solution for overcoming it, and that’s gradual desensitisation. Don’t focus on ridding yourself of approach anxiety – it doesn’t ever go away completely – but it does reduce, and you learn to deal with what’s left much better. And you wouldn’t want it to completely go away. A world where dating isn’t a little bit scary and little bit nerve wracking, wouldn’t be very satisfying.

Condition Yourself To Feel Good For Just Trying. No More Approach Anxiety

Take a moment to imagine that you’re out. It could be on the street or in a bar, and standing right next to you is a beautiful woman. Everything about her appeals to you. She’s just standing there, on her own, playing with her phone. She looks at you, you make brief eye contact, and you realise that it’s the perfect opportunity to say hello. But you walk away. On a scale of 1-10, how disappointed do you feel? It’d likely be quite high, yes? You have no idea who she is or who she could have been, and now you’ll never know. Maybe she was even standing right next to you for a reason – so that you might talk to her. But you’re probably more disappointed by the feeling that you don’t have control of your own destiny. You couldn’t do something that you really wanted to do. Fear stopped you. This isn’t about the girl, it’s about you.

Now imagine the exact same situation again. You see her in all of her beauty, but this time, you muster up the courage to talk to her. You say hello and ask how her day or night is going, but she completely ignores you. It’s nothing too bad, she just gives you a funny look, and goes back to her phone. You walk away, probably never seeing her again. How do you feel now? If your thinking in the right place, you should feel better in this last situation, even though you were ‘rejected’. The point that I’m trying to make is that even if an approach goes ‘badly’, or just doesn’t go anywhere, you can then walk away knowing that you stepped up to the plate. You might still be disappointed, but it’s a better disappointment than the disappointment of never doing anything. You did something that most men will go their whole lives without doing. And now you know that you don’t get along with her – you don’t have to wonder. From just that one approach, you’re a little stronger and a little better. You took a little more control of your life.

I really want to stress that you don’t need to approach every girl that you see. Really, please don’t. Have a life outside of this. Again, nothing is more annoying than a guy who just can’t turn ‘dating mode’ off. Nothing screams “insecure” and “overcompensation” more than a guy who just has to run after every woman that he sees. However, when you are out doing this, there’s no approach that you should regret, regardless of how it goes. You need to condition yourself to congratulate yourself for just trying. Let go of the outcome. After every approach, regardless of how it goes, you should take a moment to think “Ok, I just approached! Awesome. I stepped up. I’m one step further on my path. She wasn’t the girl for me, it’s nothing personal, no harm done, and now I’m stronger for it. I’m closer to my goal. Next!”

If you need help with approaching read out guide on approaching women

The Fear Of Rejection

The main two fears that I see in my clients around approaching, are the fear of rejection, and the fear of coming off as weird (to both the woman and people around them). We’re biologically wired to fear rejection and social shunning. We’re social creatures, so our brains have evolved to favour social approval for its survival benefits. So your fear of rejection isn’t irrational, it’s how your brain works. You’re normal. And on top of this, everyone is walking around thinking that everyone else is way more sorted out, and don’t have the insecurities that we do. So when we approach, we feel that we’re bothering this ‘perfect’ person and their ‘perfect’ life. We feel that this other person – who must be so much more ‘normal’ than we are – will look down at us and wonder why we’re so weird.

But women don’t make you feel weird, you allow yourself to feel weird. Ultimately, it’s you that’s making yourself feel bad. In the face of rejection, all of your insecurities will come flooding to the surface. Whatever it is that you don’t like about yourself, you’ll automatically think that you were because of that, even if in reality, the girl was just not up to chatting. And no, it’s probably not that you did the approach wrong. You need to get out of your head the idea that if you approach correctly, you’ll get the girl. You’re only ever responsible for 50% of any interaction. You need to learn to embrace rejection. Every guy that I know that is great with women, has actually had more rejections that a newbie could even fathom. I’ve had literally thousands of ‘rejections’ – it’s into 5 figures. Any guy that’s good at approaching and interacting with women, has simply tried a lot. He’s built up a skill set and a strong mindset, and has become much more immune to that sting of rejection. Dealing with rejection is not really hard.

Michael Jordan has missed more shots than he’s made. Babe Ruth at one point held the record for home runs and strike outs at the same time. You simple NEED to see these “failures” as inevitable and an integral part of the journey. Don’t see it as rejection, see it as just incompatibility. When you realise that at this very moment, there are millions of women in the world going to bed tonight wondering why they can’t meet a cool guy, this all starts to get much easier. Most guys suck at dating. That’s just the honest truth. They have no idea about women or attraction or approaching or seduction or connection or conversation, and they’d never dream of buying a book to this topic (so go you). So women are suffering too. There are women at parties right now without a date. There are women masturbating right now, wishing that it was a great guy’s hand. There are women literally crying because they think they’ll never meet anyone. I know many lovely, beautiful and successful women who just can’t find a good guy. They hear about what I get my clients to do and say to me “Send them my way!” or “Why doesn’t this happen to me?” So by not talking to her, you’re not only denying yourself of growth and a potentially amazing partner, but you might also be denying her. There are women out there waiting for you to approach. Some certainly aren’t – some don’t want to meet you at all – but some certainly do. And you don’t know who is who until you try.

Excuses For Not Approaching

So let’s tackle some common excuses for not approaching. Now, it’s very important to note here (again), that you don’t have to approach every girl. Often when guys start out in this, they work themselves up over any attractive girl that walks past. Just relax. There’s no rush. You don’t have to approach every girl and you don’t have to take every ‘opportunity’. In fact, you won’t even go after most of the women that you see. That’s called being normal. You’ll notice them, admire them, maybe think about approaching them, but then you’ll just get on with your day. But when you do go out to specifically practice this, then your mind will find ANY reason to not approach – even reasons that don’t make sense. Your mind will justify your fear with any reason that it can find.

Here are some of the most common excuses that I hear as a coach. Please write each of these in your journal. Also, please note that for all of these excuses (general, night and day), I’m referring more to when you’re out practicing this, or when the situation arises in your life. I’m not talking about when you’re just going about your life. Not talking to a woman is not a problem – have a life – and nor is it an “excuse”. I pass many lovely women that I don’t talk to every day. Needing to talk to everyone is an impossible standard to set for yourself, and it always makes you pretty annoying. Again, I just meet some men who get involved in this and suddenly they can’t walk past a cute woman without feeling that they must approach her.

Again, have some social intelligence and make meeting women a part of your life, not your whole life. But if the opportunity is there, or you’re out to trying to get up some experience, then these excuses are likely the ones that will come up.

General Excuses

1. “I’ll do the next one”

This comes up when you see a woman that you’d really like to talk to, or when you realise that it’s a good opportunity to have a chat with someone, but you tell yourself (or whoever you’re out with) that you’ll “do the next one”.

Look, that is actually ok. It’s fine to wait it out. As I mentioned before, you don’t have to run after everything you see. However, if you’re out doing this specifically, you need to know that you’ll very likely not do the next one. You’ll feel exactly the same as soon when the next one comes along, so sometimes it’s better to just get that first one done then and there, out of the way.

2. “This is just not for me”

This is a very common one for new guys. They get excited about the idea of being good with women, but when it comes time to get out there and do it, they start to doubt themselves.

  • “Is this really for me?”
  • “Am I really that kind of guy?”
  • “Do I really have to go about it this way?”

This is the old you resisting change. It’s your old identity/ego trying to pull you back into familiarity (i.e. your comfort zone). Your mind/brain doesn’t actually want you to grow, it wants you to be comfortable and to survive. To the brain, stress means danger.

But even if something doesn’t feel very “you” – that doesn’t mean that it’s bad for you. Ironically, the less that it does feels like “you”, the more you probably need it. For example, consider an obese person who thinks that exercise isn’t really “for them”. It’s actually exactly what they need. The first time you got on a bike it wasn’t really “you” either. You probably wobbled around, fell off and hated it at times. And if doing “you” isn’t getting you what you want out of life, then it is time for something different.

And there are many more excusing we make but this should give a general idea so stop making excuses right now and do it.