The subject says it.
How do you build confidence?
Right now, I don't believe I've got the confidence. Maybe I'm shy or got complexes or am fucked up or all of those and more. Where do people get confidence from? I haven't been deep in the whole "PUA" stuff (notice the quotes). But I want to get better.
Little (de)motivational story which got me to start this thread (you may skip this if you're in a real hurry):
I'm just back from an open air concert of a famous local music band. I was there with some buddies and we talked, drank beer and listened to the music. Next to us was a group of four girls, one of whom I found really beautiful. Her and I stood at a distance of about 30cm from each other for about an hour. She regularly glanced at me, I regularly glanced at her. From what I can read of body language, she was interested. I'm not a superexpert in body language, but you can't miss some signs. At some point we both stood almost shoulder to shoulder leaning on the bar with our backs. In similar position. And it's her who kinda started "mirroring" me, to say it in NLP terms, if I may. She even remained in that position for some time when her group moved away a bit for a minute. Maybe they were prematurely "isolating" her for me. (this would be so cynically hilarious if it were true btw).
I know I should've hit that.
What did I do? I kept drinking beer and talking to my friends. And she stood there drinking coke and talking to her friends. And it was like this until the band stopped playing and she and her friends disappeared in the crowd.
Right now, I'm mentally banging my head against the wall. It was a perfect set, a perfect setting, perfect weather, I looked on my best and it was one of my favourite bands. Hell, maybe even the planets were set in the perfect astronomical and astrological order 8-). But I didn't do a thing.
So what is the f#¢ĸłnŋ problem? With every thing that I could say that popped into my mind, I didn't say it. I didn't even had to approach her because she was standing right next to me and was sending signals like the Russian Woodpecker: .
It's worse than AA, it the TTGYDKA (Talking To a Girl You Don't Know Anxiety), an extremely rare condition only I and that Indian guy from The Big Bang Theory seem to suffer from. I know what you say first doesn't need to be perfect, doesn't even need to be good. But I thought I would f#¢ĸ it up by my body language or voice or in some other way. And in the end, I blew it by not taking the chance.
(Did I already mention I'm mentally doing this ↓↓↓ right now?)
The conclusion of this: no idea. Normally, I'm good in stuff I do. Seriously, what is wrong with me? Is it AA? Is it TTGYDKA? Is it fear of failure? Is it lack of confidence?
To get back to the point: So how do you get yourself to do stuff in this field?
Do you just say: "I'm doing this" to yourself and just do this, no matter what? I have done this when I quit smoking a month ago and said to myself: "You're not smoking in the next four weeks, doesn't matter if you have ten freaking deadlines this month" (and succeded).
Do you gain confidence from other domains of your life? I don't think your confidence in your professional field is even slightly transferrable to this field.
Or does it only come from experience in this field only?
And a question somehow off topic: do you even need to be (or show) total confidence and comfort when starting talking? Slight nervousity and/or shyness may not be pretty or, at contrary, may seem cute, but anyway it's part of who you are (for now at least).
Mr. Nice Guy
(This post was last modified: 05-13-2011 10:27 AM by Denis.)
I know a lot of the ebooks and blogs you read just say 'just be confident' or 'fake it till you make it', but I have my own way of thinking about confidence and it might help you.
I feel that confidence isn't just something you have, it's something you build through positive experiences. It makes perfect sense that you don't have the confidence to cold approach, becasue you've rarely done it.
I say forget about building confidence, and just do the approaches. Pick one opening line and use it over and over until you get a sense for how they'll react. Eventually, you'll get to the point where you KNOW you can open. And that's pretty cool. Then you'll have other stuff to worry about, but cross that bridge when you get to it.
As for not approaching the sure thing, we all do it. I've done hundreds of approaches, and still bitch out regularly. Just yesterday there was a girl eyeing me down on the subway right next to me and I said nothing. Just make a weekly goal.
If you REALLY think you have an approach anxiety problem, there's a program called Demonic Confidence. Best thing I ever did. If you are going to do it, DON'T look up anything about it, or you'll ruin it.
Denis, my advice is very simple. Don't go after any silly inner game products or so-called quick fixes. Do progressive desensitization exercises like BradP's 180 degrees of freedom or Mark's exercises (haven't seen them). They will get you through this social/sexual anxiety gradually. For example,
Week 1: Say hi to ten strangers every day
Week 2: Stop 10 people and ask them the time every day
Week 3: Say hi to 10 women
Week 4: Say hi to 10 hot women
You get the point. Look it up. Confidence will be built by having positive reference experiences, not by worrying why you don't have confidence. Find such a program and stick to it. Do it twice, thrice, ten times, until you are fearless. Then you will have the first fundamental of pickup solved - balls!
@Mark: thanks for the ebook. That's what I needed to read at this point (except it could be shorter 8-) ). It contains a truly golden idea for me (which really is so simple). I'm going to make a scheme right now.