The content in this article builds off of the ideas discussed in the first post of the Shy Guy series; there’s no reason to read this until you’ve read Shy Guy I: Mindset Reset & The Leap of Faith. In fact, not only should you read that article before reading this one, you should put the ideas in the first article INTO PRACTICE before you even bother taking a look at this one.
Why? Because if you do otherwise, this article will not only be a waste of your time, but it will make you feel like shit. Reading this without having applied the concepts in the first article would be like sitting in a parked car in a locked garage and steering the wheel. Adjustments only have meaning when they are made in the context of ACTION. Don’t let your brain fool you into thinking that you’re just ‘gathering knowledge until the moment comes that you feel ready to get out there’; wrong, you will never be ready if that is your approach. Your mind will always need more, and the mere belief that you need anything at all is at odds with the fundamental truth that you already have everything you need. Yeah, that sounds almost sentimental, so to balance things out, here’s some blunt, hard love: Don’t be a little bitch: action first, principles second. Calibration without action is mental masturbation.
On that lovely note, let’s get to it.
You’ve been scraping around in the abyss long enough to decide that you’ve found yourself in the trenches: you’re stopping random girls (or guys) you find attractive in the street and in the club, and yeah, the metaphor seems uncannily apt: honestly, it all feels so painful, awkward, and frightening at this stage, like there’s a constant risk of getting your head blown off.
But this is not a war of attrition, and it won’t serve you any good to keep seeing it as one. It’s brilliant that you’re out there, it’s brilliant that you’re slogging it out despite how it feels, but it’s time to evolve. The reward of perseverance is acclimation.
Ironically enough, it all boils down to a matter of focus. Let’s get our heads out from below the sandbags and take a look at how the shift goes down.
Sound familiar? When you first start taking responsibility for your life and for your sexuality, are the details of every interaction agonizing in a way, even if they’re positive, because they are variables and as such can only ever be a threat? Do you monitor every moment for signs of ‘success’ and signs of ‘failure’? God forbid, do you feel — on some level — that when you meet someone you like and things work out great, that you ‘got away with something’?
That’s some serious walking-on-eggshells and laser-beam tripwire shit. Obviously, even if you’re living the kind of lifestyle you want to live, that execution isn’t ideal.
I want you to consider another paradigm.
The most important difference between these two paradigms is one of focus: both men voluntarily engage in dangerous behavior in the pursuit of a singular goal, but the way that they interpret their actions could not be any more different.
The thief is fixated on outcome, whereas the skateboarder lives for the process. He enjoys every aspect of what he does, so much so that he subjects himself to all the types of torture that the urban terrain can muster.
Sure, the moment of flawless execution is breathtaking, but it is always fleeting; luckily for the skate rat, it is the process, with every experience that it entails, that enthralls him. He’ll be out there in the cold, battered and broken, yet still ecstatic. He has made an art of the minutiae. ‘Success’ isn’t the outcome, it’s engagement in the activity. The same could never be said of the thief.
Obviously, only one of these mindsets is conducive to long-term happiness and sustainability ‘out on the grind’; the grind can no longer be seen as a grind. So then, how does one adopt the new paradigm?
Start with self-examination; whenever you’re taking action, ask yourself afterwards whether or not the experience was pure torture, or whether it was pleasurable in and of itself. The answer will betray your focus: if you are obsessed with outcome, the process will be miserable, whereas if you are enamored with the process, the experience will have been amusing regardless of the outcome.
If you discover that you share a greater affinity with the thief than with the reckless punk, here’s an easy (but outlandish) fix to force yourself to enjoy the process:
Intentionally sabotage every interaction that you have. Come up with a few outlandish things to say that will be guaranteed to ruin any conversation. I’m not giving you any ideas, as I want you to create your own little quips that you yourself find amusing. Keep nuking every approach you make — full scorched earth, no redemption, no numbers, no explanations, no half-stepping — until you start to enjoy it. Deny yourself the possibility of a positive outcome. After being exposed to brutal failure after failure with no reprieve, your brain will become numb to the negative stimulus, and will eventually RE-WIRE itself to enjoy or at the very least be indifferent to the environment it’s in. Trust me, you WILL FEEL THIS HAPPEN (Check out this quick article on the Opponent-Process Theory of Emotion). You will experience a pronounced physiological shift wherein tension in your body that you did not even recognize will simply vaporize, leaving you feeling weightless and inexplicably happy.
Once you have cultivated this ability, bring back the humanity and the intent behind your actions. You will be able to pursue outcomes without having any attachment to them. I don’t think I need to describe what kind of person you’ll be like when you manage to make this happen; for now, I’ll simply leave you with this: I’m excited for you.