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“Who lies more, men or women?”
This would start a conversation, and I would then have to continue talking.
Make jokes he told me I should use.
Since I was so awkward and anxious, I was totally in my head.
I feared I’d run out of things to say.
I feared the girl must think I was the biggest loser.
Or that people surrounding us must believe I was such a pathetic weirdo. And so on.
But I kept with it.
That first day I walked up -or was pushed into- maybe 25 girls and groups of girls.
Constantly the same routine way of going about it.
I felt a lot more confident at the end of the day.
Next day we would do this again…
I didn’t sleep that night.
I was so dead scared of the next day.
And when the second day came, I was so afraid and awkward that I couldn’t do it.
Instead I got advice on how to talk to girls while traveling.
Because I was going on a 3 month backpacking trip.
To “get outside my comfort zone”.
Long story short – I felt a lot more confident after that weekend.
But unfortunately, most of my new confidence soon left me.
For the next 3 years, I continued facing my fears.
I did a lot of weird stuff during that time.
I was told I could get “rejection-proof” if I’d get myself purposely rejected.
So I walked up to 20 different girls, or groups of girls in Amsterdam.
I said: “Hey, you like me. Give me your number.”
I was horrified doing it.
This actually deserves a whole story, as it’s a funny story and what I learned was profound.
But lets keep it short for now.
Basically, the first 10 times were massively painful and embarrassing.
After the 15th or so, I stopped caring as much.
After the 20th, I felt like THE MAN.
On top of the world!
But then 3 days later I lost all my painfully gained new confidence again.
I also did the thing I feared most: Embarrassing myself.
I put the brightest red lipstick on my lips and in circles around my eyes.
I looked like a freak.
I then went to the city center and started conversations with people.
I pretended there was nothing weird going on when they would ask me what’s up.
It was beyond awkward.
When they would say “what’s up with your face”, I’d ignore it.
I was mocked.
Made fun off.
The first 30-45 min sucked. Big time.
The last 15 min sucked a lot less.
At the end, I hardly cared. I felt pretty confident.
And a week later, I was almost back to square one.
My new confidence was gone again.
So I did face my fears…
…but it didn’t work.
Or at least, it didn’t work as well as I had hoped.
It took way too much time and energy to maintain.
So I went back to feeling awkward, but I hated it.
Every time I made plans to consistently do it, I came up with excuses.
I self-sabotaged. As we all do when we try to overcome our anxiety.
Because we’re anxious for good reasons.
I talk more about self-sabotage on the next page. Because there is a powerful solution to it.
Anyway, in 5 years of facing my fears, doing affirmations until I was blue in the face,
hypnosis, time-line therapy, changing my thoughts, journaling, NLP, and anything
self-help I could get my hands on, I made mediocre progress.
Sometimes it felt like I was going backwards.
I still had massive anxiety.
And then in early 2006 I stumbled onto this technique that changed everything.