glad my posts are helpful to you!
Thank you again for your time and help. I want you to know something. I consider you my role model when it comes to inner game/attaining mastery over one's thoughts. I can tell in how you write, and in the stories you've told about your challenges that you've overcome, that you have a rock solid head on your shoulders. Your mind is calm, cool, collected, strong, and forged through hardship. I haven't met anyone in person with such mastery of their thoughts. I enjoy every single post you make on this board, and I hope to one day overcome my issues and have a mind like yours.
I originally read your reply early this morning, and during the day I had a thought about your 'working state' concept. Could this possibly be described as simply not overthinking what you're trying to cognitively solve, and also not overworking?
It's much simpler than that. The idea is simply to stop letting emotion run the show, and start using rationality to build a clear concept of what the problems are and how you can succeed.
You can't turn off your emotions. That's not what it's about, and trying to force emotion away is counterproductive (it simply makes the emotions bury themselves outside of perception and then and emerge outside of your control). What it is, is disconnecting the emotion from the concept you have of the situation, what is wrong, and what can be done.
The truth is that what someone believes will eventually reprogram their emotions, for better or worse. Trying to transplant beliefs (I am good vs I am no good), in my opinion, doesn't work at all. Instead, the idea is to examine the problem rationally in terms of cause and effect on a moment to moment basis, and when you see a cause for a negative effect, you can say "well until I correct this, I have no basis for believing any other reason why I have this problem". Since this is logical it is very hard to un-believe it.
For example, you say that you don't feel happy approaching girls, and that you feel actually quite negative when you consider approaching. That is a loud and clear cause for the negative effect of a rejection. So before you make any other conclusions you can simply accept "well as long as I am approaching in a bad mood, girls will probably not want to be part of that and I will get rejected, so I cannot make any judgements about the rest of me until I at least approach in a good state of mind". So now, you have a clear goal that is outcome independent - approach a girl in a positive state of mind.
If you then approach a girl and you get a rejection, delay your emotional reaction. Simply accept that it happened and ask: did I approach in a way that was clearly enjoying myself? If not, then the question is, how can I start enjoying myself? Why am I not always enjoying myself? Do I have problems with my self-image? Etc.
You can see how you end up with a branching set of possibilities for fixing the problems and improving your abilities without the crushing emotional reaction and judgement of 'I'm not good enough' overruling everything, simply by putting the negative emotion in the waiting room and focusing on what the next thing is that you can do to give yourself the best chance.
The idea that crossed my mind today is that I think I've overdone it lately. One of my faults here is lack of patience, so for the last month or so, I've tried dedicating as much free mental time as possible to working on my negative thoughts. This has an obvious drawback: If you spend a lot of time each day on your negative thoughts, you're going to be spending a lot of time each day thinking about your negative thoughts. You'll be spending a lot of time in negativity. This isn't good. You get help by adding positive thoughts.
Agreed 100%, this is my experience as well. Action to solve a problem, even a tangential problem, is better than thinking about an intractable problem.
There's also just not that much to think about:
You identified the negative belief? Check.
You identified the rational thoughts and positive beliefs to replace it? Check.
Then that's it. There's no more thinking to be done. No more dwelling or ruminating. No more consciously exploring. Just stop thinking and start 'taking the medicine' that you identified.
Not sure if this is exactly what you're describing with your 'working state,' but I think it's close. You're able to make progress when your mind is at peace. Not when it's being dragged down in negative emotions.
The main thing is determining a problem and beginning work on it, not trying to replace beliefs.
Beliefs are not easily replaced. Bad beliefs come from a combination of truth that is not processed correctly and bad habits from previous experiences. The mechanisms for forming them are not simple to understand or oppose. The best thing is to focus on the actions and reactions, cause and effect, not the beliefs.
Agreed completely and I believe we've discussed something like this before. I've tried to find this out my entire journey, and I have to be careful because this is a very easy rabbit hole to fall in and start dwelling on appearance and believing I'm 'not good enough.' Here is all I have at the moment:
- My problem is not my wardrobe/hair/visible hygiene. I'm never the most fashionable guy, but I follow all the best practices, and when I've asked multiple people (even coaches) for feedback, nobody has ever said that any of these are an issue.
- Therefore, as best as I can tell, that leaves only two remaining things: Girls see my short height, and/or girls see bad body language/anxiety/tension.
Obviously there's not much that can be done about height, so I've been working on these possible visible anxiety cues for as long as we've been discussing it. So, I don't know what else to do here other than keep working on it.
Unfortunately not. I have yet to meet a guy like me (mainly, a guy as short as me) that does well with women. Haven't seen it with my own two eyes and I'm always looking because I would LOVE to be friends with that guy and have a mentor like that.
But to your point, I do believe some solution exists, and the best I can think of based on all my knowledge is that my only pathway is, what feels like to me, is spam approach. The logic being, hot girls aren't going to give an IOI so all you can do is assume girls are interested but are afraid to show it, approach every hot, single-looking girl you see since you have no idea if they're into you or not, then just hopefully you find one that hooks after the approach.
I have a very simple philosophy about body and mind. My body is simply a tool, an expendable one, and my mind is what rules it and the reality around it. Even if something happened to my body, my mind would have to make up for it somehow, build a reality around it that supports its weaknesses and bolsters its strengths.
Imagine that you get dropped in a jungle full of tigers somewhere and you need to survive. Let's say the guy next to you is given a machine gun, and you only get a knife. What are you going to do? Your mind will decide the outcome, not the tool that you are given. The tool will affect a single situation to a degree, but the mind can make up for any deficit as long as you don't lose control of it, when it is fully capable of planning, strategizing, and adapting, without being hijacked by overwhelming emotions. It's the mind that is the most powerful tool, do not let it go to waste.
There are guys who walk around with machine guns, so to speak, with so little control of their mind that they quickly lose the game of life. And people who have only the knife, so to speak, who end up building a tree house in the jungle and having all the animals penned underneath.
Man is the weakest of all the animals. No claws, small teeth, soft everywhere and virtually useless one on one with even the smallest predator. It is his mind that elevated him to what he is now, capable of planning his way to success against beasts who could go through a hundred of him before he put a scratch on them. Size and strength were certainly not in his favor - and that's probably why he became what he is now.
Women are instinctive creatures. Of course they respond to things like height and relative advantages or disadvantages that a man has, because on first impression, that's the only difference that can be seen. But every woman knows when she is in the presence of a man who has saddled his mind and made it work for him, she not only feels it emotionally, but knows that it is very rare and incredibly advantageous. But if she sees on the face of a man with disadvantages a crestfallen, defeated look, she can only conclude that they got the better of his mind, and if a man has neither the best tool nor the mind to make good use of a lesser one, what is there for her to surrender to?
Focus on building your mind until it is powerful and capable of making up for any disadvantages.
No, at the moment approaching girls doesn't make me feel happy. It feels like work. Like a box I have to check to have a prayer to make progress in that department. Maybe I can't tell what negative emotion I'm actually feeling. It's a down, sinking feeling. My best guess is it's a belief that the interaction for certain won't go anywhere, even if I get her number, even if I get a date, even if I pull her. Throughout my journey, it's been so incredibly rare to find a legit hook - a girl that doesn't want me to leave. I've also explored if it could be a belief that I'm not good enough for hot girls, or not capable of being the man they want, or not deserving of having a hot girl. Again, can't tell exactly what the emotion is.
Well that is your problem, not anything else but the fact that your state is bad.
It's when I notice she's hot/cute and the kind of girl I want to meet. I kind of have to force myself to make eye contact, and remind myself to smile (overcoming habits here of not doing these). Interestingly, I still feel weird just trying to talk to her even not trying to pick her up or say anything flirty. It's that face they make that's just such a dagger. That disturbed/judgy face that feels like it's saying 'you? seriously? ew. no.' And it's not just the face it's the body language. It just screams that they don't want to talk to me and they're just doing it to be nice. The body language that says they're uncomfortable the more I hang around and engage in conversation. Seeing them turn partially away, or just never fully turn to and engage me. Then I watch when an 'attractive' guy walks up. The girls' faces light up. Huge smiles. Body language directly at the guy. I've seen this when me and a buddy are talking to a girl. The girl seems to always LOCK eyes with my buddy, and she usually won't look at me again unless I say something.
Interesting how deep that went
Why can you not enjoy this situation? I enjoy every rejection, no matter how bad. The worst ones are when she simply pretends I don't exist, but even those are funny enough to laugh about.
When girls stares daggers at me, I look her in the eye and smile. It's not like it always works, but I enjoy the feeling of my mind being a fortress against the raging seas. And they see me somehow enjoying it, and even if they really don't like me, it short circuits their programming and they usually end up with some combination of curiosity and petulance on their face.
If she walks away I just laugh and say to myself "probably angry-horny" and move on. But often if you stay relaxed and engaging, moving forward on the basis that she is reacting strongly to you, she will give windows for more.
But the main reason I do it? Because there is nothing better to do, nothing more positive I can experience in that situation.
And besides, what kind of man allows his strength and self-confidence to be sapped at will by a silly, emotional woman? This is an article you need to internalize: https://www.girlschase.com/comment/7098
So yeah the rest of your questions here are what I've been doing when going out the past couple weeks. I've been trying to pay attention and notice when that sinking feeling emerges. It's been going well. The cognitive work I've done has helped me tell when it kicks in. I've noticed it of course when girls blatantly give a harsh rejection, but now I've been able to notice its presence even in far subtler situations.
Anyway, I don't know if you were asking for answers to these questions or more so being rhetorical. Either way, I figured I'd reply to hopefully just open up and see what happens.
That dagger response was sure interesting. Definitely goes back to childhood of seeming to never be a part of the cool kids and never learning how to properly interpret the behavior from others I was receiving. Not sure if this adds much, as either way I still plan to work on all these identified negative, irrational beliefs and replacing them with positive, rational ones.
Thanks again Will. You're the man.
We were all never part of the cool kids group
that's why we figure things out the hard way. But when we have it figured out, we can make far more use of it than someone just collecting whatever they are given.