People always say that wanting something really badly can be a good spur to productive action.
If you want to stop smoking, for example, you’ll probably fail unless it’s something you really want to do.
With this in mind, you probably think it’s great that you really want to build your confidence with girls.
Surely it’ll make you super motivated to get this part of your life handled?
Surely it’ll spur you to get out there approaching women and making conversation with strangers?
Surely it’ll get you out and into the bars and clubs, when all you want to be doing is having a beer and a Mad Men on the sofa?
The Problem with Wanting
The problem with wanting something, in our case wanting confidence with girls, is that you end up with totally the wrong focus. If you want something, it means you don’t have it. Wanting reinforces the negative.
In old-fashioned English, want and lack actually meant roughly the same thing: “he did not want for anything” meant “he did not lack anything”.
Think about a guy who wants approval. The more he thinks about wanting approval, the more aware he is made that he lacks approval. So he feels worse about himself. He starts to act in ways designed solely to get approval: he’s needy and self-conscious. People don’t like him. He doesn’t get approval. And the cycle starts again.
Don’t Want to be Confident
So the answer to the teaser in the title is that wanting to be confident is what’s killing your confidence. If you’re constantly aware of really wanting to be confident, your focus is on the fact that you aren’t confident right now.
It’s the same with wanting anything. If you want more money, your focus is on not being rich. If you want to relax, your focus is on how stressed you are. If you want to fall asleep, your focus is on the noise from the pub next door. In each case, wanting sabotages the goal.
So don’t focus on what you want. Focus on what you have and how you can build on that.
If you’re not the most outgoing guy in the world, that’s ok! Don’t worry about being more comfortable with approaching new people – think about what you have to offer instead. Everyone has desirable qualities and confidence naturally shines through when you embrace them – not when you’re constantly driven to act on what you’re lacking.
And maybe you’ve made great progress anyway! Maybe you’re far more confident than you were six weeks ago. Maybe there are things you can do socially that would have been impossible not long ago. Build on it. Embrace what you have. Scale successes. Don’t want.