Resilience and Faith in The Journey

For deep-level change and ultimate success in the dating game, you must always have faith in the long-term journey, making a commitment to keep moving forward through the natural ups of downs. This is primarily achieved through positivity and resilience, regarding your ability to maintain a consistently good emotional state, without being negatively affected or influenced by factors that are often beyond your control. It’s all about mental toughness – one of the key factors that separates those who put in the work and eventually make it, from those who give up too soon (or fail to even begin) and never achieve the results they desire.

Your sense of fulfilment and self-worth should not be determined by the attitudes and opinions of others, but rather found in the actions and learning process of your purpose and goals. It’s generally difficult for most people to be well-balanced and focused all the time, due to natural fluctuations of energy and mood, but the more you can take control of your situation and let go of what you can’t control, the better off your state and mentality will be in the long-run.

If you become more frustrated than usual and feel like nothing is working out, take a moment to relax and put things in perspective. Circumstances are often unpredictable, but as long as you continue taking action and remove the pressure/urgency to cultivate the ideal outcome every time, there’s plenty to learn from any situation (or specific interaction), and with more chance you will feel good enough to radiate a more appealing (less outcome-dependent) energy.

From what I can tell, the majority of people who get involved with self-development and “game” to improve their dating life, will generally dabble and lose interest fairly quickly – unable to deal with any setbacks and failing to see the “bigger picture”. Short-term pain leads to overall long-term success – you need to be embracing these learning experiences, rather than trying to avoid them, because there’s no other way to expand your comfort zone and improve your confidence.

To succeed with dating and relationships, the ability to persevere through adversity is imperative – the better you are capable of surviving the “bad times”, the more you will flourish during the “good times”. Good feelings, situations and outcomes can be viewed as a reward for remaining process-oriented and emotionally-stable, even when nothing seems to be going your way, and your faith is being tested (and confidence being threatened) by a lack of tangible success.

No matter who you are, there’s no avoiding countless disappointments and being constantly “tested” in many different ways, but if you understand and accept that’s part of the process, your “inner game” will significantly benefit and you will be motivated to continue moving forward with positive attitudes and behaviours – recognising what you can and can’t control (based on your current level), and progressively making adjustments accordingly.

This has a cumulative effect over time, in turning you into a naturally better version of yourself – capable of controlling and achieving more, so the chances of finding and attracting women the right women for you, and developing your ideal dating/relationship situation, are constantly being shifted in your favour. But maintaining such optimism, and systematically achieving your goals, all starts with resilience. When the going gets tough, the tough become even more dedicated and determined to win and never give up!

The Dating Game Trifecta

When it comes to dating and relationships, there are many factors that contribute towards becoming the “best version of yourself” and attracting the women you desire (or one particular woman that you would like to form a deeper long-term connection with). Most of this comes from “Inner Game”, believing you are worthy and acting in alignment with a newfound confidence and masculine value, but a lot also comes from specific examples of what to do or say in different situations.

After eight years of thoroughly exploring this school of thought on a theoretical and practical level, I believe it boils down to three main overarching factors that are necessary for any men to maximise their potential as a desirable partner, and therefore will consistently determine your results, regardless of your previous results and current level.


Experience

First and foremost, your current identity and circumstances will almost entirely depend on your history of first-hand experience. Men who appear to be “naturals”, exuding confidence and attracting women with ease, have already gone through the same process of exposure and gaining valuable reference experience. Taking massive action and persevering through countless setbacks and failure, as they organically learn more about themselves, the opposite sex, and how to achieve their goals.

This generally happens earlier in life, especially through school and work situations where the sexes are brought together for potential interaction, but if this was somehow missed or ignored (either incidentally or purposefully), there’s no reason the process can’t be consciously and consistently applied later in life. The whole pickup and dating community is based around this principle, designed for those who are actively seeking success/happiness they don’t already have in this department, as long as they are willing to change and accept what is required (ie. focusing on more of the long-term journey instead of a “band-aid” solution).

And when you inevitably become familiar with the identity of someone who you think is “naturally good with women”, even if that was previously a foreign concept that has required forcing yourself into unfamiliar situations and faking parts of your personality initially, you will automatically act in alignment with these behaviours and thoughts, and honestly believe you are this better version of yourself. Believing that you are worthy of attracting the woman you desire (no longer simply feigned self-esteem and entitlement), and knowing you developed the competency to achieve this, based on positive feedback you have gained over time.

 

Momentum

If you’ve never believed you were naturally good at meeting or attracting women, and want to become that person soon as possible, momentum is the “secret sauce” that will set you apart from the average Joe. It is the bridge between practiced technical ability and deep-level identity change, supercharging your “game” in the short-term and creating much better opportunities and results in the long-term, as long as you understand what it means and how to apply it. Even after so many years, I still wouldn’t personally consider myself a “natural” – I might feel weird or act strangely or mess things up, getting bad feedback and soforth, but overall I have changed a lot (beliefs and behaviours) and gotten great results. Doing whatever it takes to get into a “good state”, which ideally benefits me and the people in my life, whether it’s friends or romantic interests.

Social momentum refers to consistently taking action, starting with smaller actions and goals before progressively amplifying what you’re capable of doing and achieving – a process of becoming less anxious and more confident to act “in the moment”, letting go of irrational fear and self-doubt. For some, this is all they require to truly shine. Most people use alcohol to “loosen up” and quickly become more comfortable in unfamiliar social settings, especially when confronted with the prospect of meeting women – and while there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that method, it can often develop into an over-reliance where awareness and cognitive function decreases. On the other hand, developing momentum and freedom might be difficult at first, but has more profound and sustainable benefits to one’s confidence and abilities with the opposite sex.

I understand that energy and mood fluctuations will always exist, based on a combination of circumstances in the field and life in general, at different points in time. We’re all human, so it happens to the best of us. Some things you can control, others you can’t – but that’s entirely irrelevant, because we all have the capacity to accept our situation and make the best of it. This is where momentum shines – even if it feels forced initially, the more action you take, the more you get “out of your head” and start enjoying yourself to some degree. And the more positive energy you can generate and bring to others, the more it will create a positive feedback loop that results in some unexpectedly positive outcomes. Momentum is the process, so the more you can persevere without making excuses, the more you will benefit from your faith in momentum being rewarded.

 

Practical Ability

This refers to properly expressing yourself, understanding and applying attraction theory, critically evaluating the outcome of your actions and making adjustments when necessary. Developing a sense of confidence, freedom and entitlement through momentum is pointless if you aren’t actively seeking to learn about female psychology and implement increasingly effective communication, on different levels. Even after reducing social anxiety through exposure and believing you’re a man of value to the opposite sex – if your presentation and wordplay isn’t suitably good enough to convey that, you won’t receive the attention you deserve.

Of course, “how” you say something is generally more important than “what” you say (non-verbal vs verbal), but you still have to be mindful of the content. If I notice men saying something dumb (ie. not giving value or showing too much interest before its been earned), I usually recommend some lines and routines they can use, along with explaining why they are more effective than what they have previously been doing. Training wheels. Pick-up and dating is like a dance… momentum is the energy behind it, but the words and behaviours are the dance moves themselves – perhaps rusty at first, but you need to constantly learn and refine!

Seven Game-Destroying Newbie Mistakes

When you’re new to the world of self-improvement and the “dating game”, it can seem confusing and difficult to get started. You want to become a better person and improve your attractive qualities, but don’t know where to find the right information or how to put things into practice.

Even for someone who’s been “doing it” for a while, you will continue to encounter conflicting information and repeatedly make crucial mistakes, losing sight of the fundamental rules and mindsets that give you the best chance of success. Case in point: Recalling my early experiences and beliefs, while putting this list together, I was reminded of several key points I’d forgotten (or started underestimating their importance) over time.

To learn faster, you must be humble/open-minded – looking back to the changes and strategies that were implemented in the past, and seeing if these are still relevant for growth at your current level. In particular, things that were learned to overcome novice mistakes and gain a better understanding of real-world attraction. Below I have outlined the seven biggest mistakes that newbies make, and how to correct them. Common mistakes I’ve noticed that can make or break your game, in the short-term and long-term.


  1. Not Taking Action

First and foremost, the most important part is taking action… therefore the most destructive habit of newbies is failing to start taking action. Massive and consistent action. It might sound obvious, but from someone’s who’s been dedicated to getting his “elbows in the mud” and seeing personal growth from experience, it’s quite surprising how many guys don’t go out, and wonder why they’re not improving much in this area.

Or maybe they’ll start going out a few times with initial interest and enthusiasm, but don’t see the improvements straight away, or don’t get the results they want/expect, then quickly lose interest – completely failing to focus on the long-term journey and crucial learnings that everyone must go through.

A good mindset here is realising that even “bad action” is better than nothing, teaching the value of putting yourself out there – while learning life lessons such as resilience and handling social pressure. Indeed, as a newbie you should always set your criteria for success low and celebrate the small victories, as these will always lead to better things in the future. For example: Self-esteem (believing in yourself), being more comfortable in different situations (not stifling your self-expression) and using the right skills at the right times to achieve your goals.

  1. Perfect Line Syndrome

As the old saying goes… it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. When it comes to creating effective and lasting attraction between men and women, the mindset of “always needing to say the right thing” should take a back-seat to improving your internal state, along with having the social freedom to express yourself in the moment, rather than trying to impress women on a surface level. You’ll be surprised with what can “work” when you do it properly.

Most guys without much experience with women tend to over-analyse every situation, which leads to more anxiety and focus on the wrong things, instead of accepting the truth and realising that good non-verbal communication is more important than a perceived good verbal communication. In summary, focus more on aspects of body language, vocal tonality and eye contact – emotionally engaging and drawing the woman into your world on a deeper level.

  1. Needy Behaviour

You might have already heard the “don’t buy her a drink” rule, which entails that buying things (ie. drink at bar) for women you just met and barely know comes across as needy and approval-seeking behaviour. Especially if you haven’t already developed a mutual attraction and given her a chance to earn your affections, because you ideally want praise and gifts to be sub-communicated as a reward for her meeting your standards, and treated as a normal part of the relationship. In other words, when you reach that stage, there’s no agenda when you “give” without purposely trying to get something.

However, being needy and trying to “take value” from women goes deeper than this superficial example, represented in many different types of behaviours. For example: texting/calling too frequently (without enough reciprocating contact), failing to properly screen for connection and chemistry, and being too available/eager to see her again.

Not to mention physical escalation occurring too rapidly and obviously, without realising she’s not attracted or compliant enough to welcome your advances (although reading signs and calibration does come with experience). It’s a fine balancing act, but you always want the girl wanting you a little more than it seems you want her. Not “willing to lose the girl” instinctively tells her that you’re coming from a place of scarcity instead of abundance, in regard to your values and how you perceive the world. Women are generally drawn to confident and secure men who show their clear intent, but don’t necessarily need women to make them happy.

  1. Thinking Attraction is Logical

Similar to “perfect line syndrome”, logically persuading women into liking you is a destructive (yet alarmingly common) mindset and will generally lead to failure. It’s a key point, but can seem vague and intangible to the inexperienced man. It’s something you better understand from regularly going out – there’s a structure to the process, but pick-up and attraction is more of an art than a science, since we’re dealing with humans instead of robots. Emotional attunement and situational adaptability.

Basically, you want to “change her mood not her mind” – give the girl an emotional experience (mostly positive but negative expression can also be engaging), and sub-communicate attractive qualities. Instead of logically convincing her that you’re a man of value, because women are very intuitive in reading others, and generally understand that men of true value and worth don’t need to prove anything or gain approval from others.

  1. Not Being Open-Minded

Being open-minded to change and new ideas is the biggest advantage for long-term growth – being humble and realistic about your current situation will allow you to better identify sticking points and see more future potential for improvement. This, in turn, will provide more leverage for social freedom and willingness to push your personal “comfort zone” when taking action.

Most guys don’t realise how much they need to change, or how much they will eventually change during the learning process. Much like the ongoing journey of life, advancing your identity and getting good with women is a constant journey of self-discovery and change. Just as long as you are consistently seeking the appropriate information (relating to the right ideas and mindsets), applying and testing that information, making mistakes (naturally encountering problems and setbacks), seeking feedback, and making the right adjustments when necessary.

Similarly committed, open-minded friends and mentor figures will significantly assist with this process, as everyone can learn from each other, having different strengths and weaknesses. Despite the fact you’ll probably encounter a wide range of different personalities and styles. There are underlying principles, yet different ways to communicate and interpret them. Even as a relative “newbie” to the school of pick-up and self-improvement, in many ways you can still be offering value to others. As the old saying goes… give and you shall receive!

  1. Not Being Process-Oriented

It’s common that many people get into the community thinking they can learn a few things and suddenly achieve anything, but the truth soon becomes apparent that you only get results from the work you put into bettering yourself and practising the right things over time.

Unfortunately there’s no short-cuts to achieving anything, and certainly no “Magic Pill” to immediately realise your full potential – but by constantly taking action, you are always developing and improving in some way, whether or not you realise it. Initially it can feel like a leap of faith, but that’s what separates those who understand the value of consistency and working hard from those who aren’t willing to invest their time and energy.

When it comes to pick-up and having a dating lifestyle though, it’s all about accepting and enjoying the natural ups and down in the process of learning, gradually building crucial reference experience. Which will naturally change your beliefs, behaviours and lead to increasingly better ability and outcomes.

  1. Signal Syndrome (Not Closing)

The last game-destroying newbie mistake refers to closing – rather, an absence of attempting to close when perfectly legitimate and reasonable opportunities present themselves. And if you’ve started getting a decent handle on your fundamentals (approaching and mid-game), which obviously includes no longer making the previous six deadly mistakes, many great chances will start coming your way.

Why is this such a common self-sabotaging occurrence for newbies? It’s called “Signal Syndrome”, basically waiting for specific arbitrary indications from the girl to completely justify their actions – in other words, needing overt permission rather than opening the window and jumping through while it’s open. There are certainly patterns in terms of different women sending signs to different people (consciously or subconsciously), based on how they feel – but once again, attraction is more based on a shared emotional experience, rather than logically convincing each other to be attracted.

Of course, thoughtful judgement and timing are important when it comes to building attraction and escalation, but the more experience and positive beliefs you acquire, the more attuned to every situation you become and will naturally make the right decisions anyway. Even in vague or ambiguous situations, it’s sometimes better to make the move and fail, rather than constantly hold back on clearly showing your intent and not trying to consummate a potentially romantic relationship.

Just to clarify, “Closing” refers to the outcome at the end of interactions – whether it’s getting phone numbers for time-bridging purposes (meeting again later or another day), making out with a woman, moving the woman around (bouncing) for logistical compliance testing, or going to a more private seduction location for sex to occur. Women generally won’t make the first move, so it’s the man’s role to be assertive and start testing the waters early as possible.

First Impressions: Five Tips To Open Effectively

The topic of creating and maintaining interactions applies to many situations, in our personal and professional lives, but (as usual) this article will specifically address meeting women on the relationship side of things. Without a favourable (enough) response to initial communication, it can be difficult to develop a productive communication for any purpose, let alone building romantic connection with a member of the opposite sex. Below I have outlined my five main things to consider when “opening” to increase your chance of making the best impression.


  1. Heighten Situational Awareness

Making a preliminary assessment is of the utmost importance, particularly in cold approach situations where there’s less accurate knowledge of the existing circumstances prior to active communication. I often encourage spontaneity and expressing yourself “in the moment”, yet also believe in mindfully taking certain key factors into consideration, from an environmental and social standpoint.

For example, what is the appropriate behaviour for the environment? What are the social dynamics involved, regarding the people you’ll potentially meet and the woman you’re specifically interested in? What are people doing, what is their most likely state of mind?

Of course, you would rather be taking action than thinking too much… because that often leads to “analysis paralysis” taking over (for the more inexperienced folks). But as far as the initial meeting is concerned, you give yourself a big advantage (and less chance of potential problems/trouble) when you make an effort to properly calibrate your approach. Along with building confidence, acting despite fear and handling new or difficult situations, you must also become more socially savvy.

  1. Calibrate Persona and Energy

Extra awareness not only applies to opening, but should continue well beyond the approach and into the interaction. Gaining attention and leading the conversation is of primary importance, but to some degree, you also need to “fit” into their subjective reality for any chance of connecting and relating to each other. If you aren’t relevant enough, or are seen as a foreign entity from a totally different world (particularly with cold approach), then you probably won’t be “accepted”, even if there’s nothing necessarily wrong with your presentation and personality.

So after putting in the initial effort and managing to reach the “hook point” (becoming the focus of conversational investment), you have to build genuine rapport, actively seeking to understand and resonate with her “vibe”. This is done through various channels, such as mirroring body language and assuming familiarity (making a strange situation seem “normal” as possible), along with asking transitional questions that bridge the gap between opener and normal conversation. Most importantly however, is adapting and maintaining a persona that will allow her to feel safe and comfortable moving the interaction forward with you, which depends on the environment and gauging how she responded to your initial approach (whether to increase or decrease energy after the opener).

  1. Be Mindful of Body Language

Most communication is non-verbal, especially when meeting someone for the first time, because without prior communication/knowledge they have limited cues to form an accurate impression within a short time. You should always care about the quality of your words, but it’s equally important to recognise and effectively use your body language, tonality and timing – which can often be very revealing of one’s true personality and level of confidence when handling social situations.

In other words – no matter what you say, if you’re not physically presenting yourself properly from the beginning, there’s less chance you will be given the opportunity to hook and engage (moving past the opener into proper conversation), and therefore less chance you will get to know each other. And it’s more than just your appearance, it’s the attitude and self-belief behind the way you move, the way you speak, and generally seeming comfortable in relating to the opposite sex (a sense of healthy male entitlement that comes through experience).

Some common mistakes are: Not standing up straight (instead of assuming strong posture with a relaxed stance), speaking too quickly and fumbling over words (instead of breathing properly and controlling your pace), stifled facial expression (instead of smiling to help the other person relax), and looking around nervously (instead of controlling eye contact to create a more engaging a personal connection). Fortunately these can be easily recognised and corrected, even moreso from an external point of view, like when I’m coaching and providing immediate feedback.

  1. Minimise Self-Imposed Pressure

One of the main reasons people have difficulty approaching – awkwardly hesitating, making excuses and becoming nervous around the opposite sex – is the risk of failing to achieve a desired outcome. Whether it be properly initiating a romantic relationship, or even just “proving your worth” by gaining any ego-validating approval, men will often experience bad emotions upon failing to achieve immediate and sustainable success.

Which unfortunately makes their mindset and approach worse upon future attempts, in a downward spiral, sometimes to the point where they completely stop taking action, because they seemingly can’t even “get the ball rolling”. Opening is essentially the easiest part of the process (regardless of whether you “hook” them into further conversational investment), but you must understand there’s never a guarantee of success, even if you feel like you’ve made the best effort in the circumstances.

Therefore if merely approaching/opening causes you stress, a change of perspective is required – as long as you’ve taken the appropriate action, you are giving yourself an opportunity to meet and screen potential partners, which means no downside to failure and only an upside if you happen to “click” and something progresses further. Experience breeds comfort and familiarity, creating an upward spiral of self-belief and competence, which is how you ultimately succeed in maximising your “opening” potential from an inner game standpoint.

  1. Be Prepared to Continue

A common sticking point I frequently observe is men failing to continue their interaction with a woman beyond the opener, in situations where they have approached well and created good opportunities to confidently explore where things can progress. They are surprised things are so going well, confused about where to go next, and feel compelled to leave on a “high note” instead of taking risks and attempting to move things forward – in terms of deeper connection, escalating attraction and closing.

However, sometimes they don’t even realise how well things are going, greatly underestimating the level of interest and attraction they have managed to receive within a short time. This is particularly prominent with newbies, who have less experience with the opposite sex and therefore a lower sense of entitlement, unable to accept that a woman they like might also genuinely return the interest and give them attention (as opposed to a “natural” who takes it for granted and never questions it).

Overcoming this stifling behavioural pattern requires recognising it, removing ego, not making excuses and taking accountability your fear and lack of preparation. As you become more familiar with opening, encounter a variety of people and especially those you click with (mutual appreciation and intrigue), you need to continue working on developing other areas of your “game” beyond opening, instead of only focusing on the first (and technically easiest) part of the process, and resting on the validation of achieving that goal.

Once hooked, transitioning away from the opening topic/theme is usually the most effective means of changing gears and holding someone’s attention and engaging them more deeply, which should be done soon and smoothly as possible. Depending on the person and situation, they could be confused and “spooked” if you make any drastic moves without getting to know each other properly and building comfort first, especially if you’re not alone and there’s an immediate social pressure burden from their peers to contend with. Either way, exposure to different situations is crucial, and paying attention to the feedback, as long as you’re always making positive assumptions and giving her the “benefit of the doubt” to continue the interaction (unless there’s clearly no return interest or scope to generate it).

Inner Game: Five Tips To Master Your Mind

There’s usually a bigger focus on outer game, referring to one’s actions (the practical “mechanics” of the process), but I believe inner game is frequently overlooked – one’s beliefs and mindsets about themselves and interactions with women. The fundamentals of your identity and world-view will automatically guide your natural behaviours, on many occasions. Fortunately, correcting some of the most common “inner game” sticking points is easier than you might expect, putting your mind in a better place to correctly approach the dating scene.


  1. Be Aware of Perception Differences

How you think about yourself – in general and how you come across in certain situations – is often different to how other people view and interpret you. They don’t know your experiences, history or beliefs, neither can they read your mind. The only evidence is what’s presented to them, which might be influenced by your history, beliefs or natural personality, but if you do enough to come across in the right way (for the right person/situation), even someone with limited experience with the opposite sex can be perceived as more interesting and attractive. Regardless of whether you have developed enough genuine confidence through experience yet. In other words, you might already be “good enough” for others (especially for attraction and dating purposes), even if you don’t believe it.

  1. Understand What “Confidence” Means

Being confident is an important part of developing social skills and being more appealing to the opposite sex, but the meaning is frequently misinterpreted. It has connotations of fearless, almost narcissistic bravado, striving to dominate others and prove you’re an “alpha male” – when in reality it’s simply the ability to handle social pressure and be “yourself” in different situations that might otherwise have affected your comfort and emotional state of mind. Trying too hard often communicates a lack of confidence, so it’s important to find a balance that suits and works for you, based on how you operate and the responses you receive.

  1. Accept The “Numbers Game” Reality

I’ve already written about this, but it’s definitely worth repeating as far as inner game is concerned. No matter how much you learn and improve your ability to meet the opposite sex – there will always be some who like you no matter what, and some that don’t like you no matter what, with everyone else falling somewhere in between. You never know who you’re going to encounter in any situation. Does this mean you should stop trying to become more attractive and actively seek potential partners? Absolutely not, because the “game” is all about learning through experience, expressive value and personality, and ultimately knowing how to handle yourself and relate to women when suitable opportunities arise (yet being happy and not giving up whenever they don’t arise).

  1. Lower Your Criteria For Success

In terms of being more resilient and maintaining positive emotions in the face of adversity, this is a big one! Contrary to popular belief, even the “best” will generally fail more than they succeed – which is completely normal, yet complete honesty without embellishment is detrimental from a marketing standpoint (even if there are good intentions behind what is initially deceiving). Increased pressure to perform is increasingly stifling, therefore lowering your criteria for success is liberating – enabling the expression of your true self that isn’t outcome-dependent.

It’s a combination of smaller victories that always build into something bigger, as long as you keep taking action and trying to reach the next level without “stagnating”, of which constantly occurs on a macro level (the overall journey) and micro level (ie. within one particular social occasion). This doesn’t mean you should stop striving for the best results you deserve in the shortest time possible, but instead of setting high expectations (then experiencing a loss of self-worth and motivation when failing to achieve them), focus on enjoying yourself and handling the mechanics of the process, which will ironically increase chances of success anyway.

  1. Learn From Others

This final point doesn’t directly pertain to improving your relations with the opposite sex, instead referring to how you view and interpret members of the same sex. Particularly those you believe are doing “better” than you – happier and/or more effective in living up to their potential (in terms of dating or any areas that are important to you). Instead of potential confusion, envy or even resentment for their success, you must seek to learn from your peers as a positive influence, instead of becoming upset or discouraged, due to your comparative lack of success.

The key to this is a fundamental willingness to change, removing ego from the equation and being open-minded as possible, yet always thinking for yourself by always questioning and testing ideas (properly determining what helps or hinders your progress). Then by seeing results, gaining reference experience and developing your own thoughts and practical advice, everyone has the opportunity to give value to the community and perpetually collaborate for mutual benefit. Instead of what might otherwise occur – not properly applying yourself, not contributing, not seeing the bigger picture and falling into a “victim” mentality where others are the enemy (instead of your allies).

Never Be Lost For Words

Throughout my history in the dating game (and being a mentor for others who want to meet and attract women), a sticking point concern that regularly arises is “I don’t know what to say”. Or maybe “I can start a conversation with a woman, but what do I say after the opener to keep it going and make her interested?” Mind going blank, panic setting in… most of us have felt that at some point in our lives.

This is generally men with less experience with the opposite sex, who believe that simply becoming more confident and saying some perfect lines/routines will always create attraction – they just haven’t reached that point, and don’t know how to get there. Or perhaps they were always told “just be yourself” and get frustrated when it never seems to “work” as expected. Which creates a downward spiral of negative feedback, withdrawing to the point where they don’t say anything – believing nothing will ever be good enough. A weak sense of reality and fear of rejection.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with mindfully planning and practising verbal communication, analysing feedback and fine-tuning interactions, but when one becomes overly concerned about exactly what to say (and what not to say) in every situation to achieve a desired outcome, you become stifled and will always have a misguided focus that detracts from being able to cultivate an attractive core identity – strong “inner game” and consistently communicating the best version of yourself into the world. It’s big-picture thinking and the underlying principles, not getting caught up in trivial external details, that will guide you towards the best course of action. Essentially starting from the inside, having a clear and solid foundation, knowing who you are and what you want.

This is why I frequently tell people to having some patience and focus on the process, not the outcome, if they want to actually grow and sustainably attract people into their lives. This also explains why I generally shy away from giving too many specific lines and routines, instead providing ideas and examples of relevant principles in certain situations – which crucially opens up their verbal channels, generating more capacity and self-trust to speak freely and “move things forward”, ultimately leading to unprecedented success for students in a short time.

By giving them room to exercise their critical thinking potential, laying out an adaptable framework of experiential advice that doesn’t rely on promises of a pinpoint-accurate process, this not only lowers the pressure and increases the willingness to take action, but through trial-and-error they will draw their own conclusions and make more appropriate/effective decisions (in a natural and organic way). Sometimes failing, but sometimes learning from that and getting it right. It’s a journey of self-discovery, never a “magic pill” solution mindset.

In a more practical sense, particularly when there’s no one around to offer guidance and moral support, here’s the bottom line – saying something is better than saying nothing (at least when it comes to starting conversations and trying to “hook” your audience). Men who are naturally “good” with women don’t sit around pondering the right thing to say – they understand the more you talk, the better you get at talking, and have likely already reached as point where the skills of genuine self-expression and verbal communication have been sufficiently mastered. These people have also developed a healthy self-esteem and sense of entitlement, and are able to “trust in the process” more without second guessing themselves at every turn.

In conclusion – if you’re struggling with starting and/or leading social interactions, feeling uncomfortable and perhaps intimidated by the prospect of talking to attractive women, perhaps you need to further lower your criteria for what you believe is acceptable and effective. As with many things, guys often worry about going too far (crossing the line) which leads to never going far enough (reaching the line). In this case, you’re not even giving yourself a chance to begin the process and see what happens.

As with any aspect of personal development and attracting women, you start with the basics and work up to greater proficiency – if you put too much pressure on yourself to become proficient too early, you will collapse and recede from unrealistic expectations, instead of recognising and celebrating your progress as it occurs. You might even gain positive feedback sooner than expected, and realise that your ability to talk and generate interest from others is already better than you gave yourself credit for.

One more important point I forgot to mention – it’s more about how you say something, rather than exactly what you’re saying. There’s a combination of many subtleties behind verbal communication that say more than the actual content of the sound eminating from your mouth alone. This is, once again, where the aforementioned strong inner game comes into play – when you’re feeling good inside your body, build momentum naturally and express yourself in a genuine, non-needy way, you will automatically become more interesting and attractive to the opposite sex, even if you’re not saying anything particularly special.

On the other hand, you could say something seemingly great and shouldn’t technically “fail”, but weak sub-communication means there’s a greater chance it won’t be well-received and possibly even feel contrived and inauthentic. This is because the spontaneity didn’t arise from your genuine identity and emotions, but instead generated on a logical level with a feeling of needing validation or approval. Choose your words carefully, but choose your mindset and path to self-development even more carefully.

Either way, don’t be afraid to meet people and be open-minded – keeping in mind that not everyone is going to like you, regardless of what you say and the feeling behind it. Such is the dating game, and such is life. However, who you are and what you have to say is probably already good enough for many people to enjoy and become interested in – believe in your abilities, and there’s a greater chance other people will believe in you too.

This is where “fake it ‘til you make it” factors into this topic – not being a fake person, but rather plowing through the process no matter how you feel, realising there’s plenty of scope for growth and success when you stop holding back and worrying about “what to say”. Introduce yourself, demonstrate value within your personality, show genuine interest and – most importantly – have fun and don’t take your conversations too seriously. When you shift the focus away from overly self-monitoring your speech, and give yourself permission to act and learn from different conversational experiences, your ability to meet and attract women will greatly improve.