How To Overcome Anxiety By Flipping From Inward Focus To Outward Focus

When you’re inwardly focused, it’s your internal dialogue or self-talk that’s controlling you.

When you’re inwardly focused, you’re consciously weighing risks, analyzing the situation, and basing your actions on preconceived judgments, which usually translates into hesitation and fear.

Now being able to inwardly focus is an incredibly useful skill to have when say, writing a research paper or working through a personal problem in your life. Being able to inwardly focused and not being distracted by outside stimuli can mean better success at school or at your work.

However, when approaching women, that inwardly focused state really isn’t that useful. Approaching women requires an outwardly focused state of mind, getting outside your head, where your focus isn’t on thinking about the situation, but rather acting with it.

Here’s the difference. When you’re inwardly focused, you’re paying attention to the self-talk going on inside your head. But when you’re outwardly focused, you’re paying attention to what’s right in front of you and outside your head.

When you’re inwardly focused, you’re thinking about a goal or a result, like “I have to get her to like me.” But when you’re outwardly focused, you’re acting.

When you’re inwardly focused, you’re nervous or trying to whip up confidence. But when you’re outwardly focused, you’re relaxed and natural and outside your head.

When you’re inwardly focused, you’re analysis oriented and reacting to the situation. But when you’re outwardly focused, you’re action oriented and leading the situation.

When you’re inwardly focused you think about all the things that could go wrong or what you should say. When you’re outwardly focused, you run on auto-pilot and are relaxed in knowing that whatever you say will make a good impression.

Think about it, everyone spends part of their day at least outwardly focused so it’s a state you’re already familiar with. For example, when you’re hanging out with your best friends, you’re not concerned about what they’re going to think of you if you do this or if you say that. It’s just natural, you’re just comfortable with them. You’re not thinking to yourself, “Okay, so what do I say next.” The conversation just flows on its own.

When you walk, you’re not inwardly focused on where your legs are moving. They walk one in front of the other, naturally and you’re outside your head. It’s not a conscious process, you’re not dedicating that internal voice, that self-talk to directing your legs. That internal voice doesn’t say to you, “uh oh what if I fall down, then what.”

Here’s the killer. You might spend most of your day internally focused, you’re job might require that you spend most of your time by yourself doing a repetitive task over and over again, or a thinking task that requires almost no distraction. So you get a lot of practice at being internally focused, and it can be hard to break out of that pattern when it’s that time in the day that you want to go out and meet women.

Flip the Switch – Use A Throwaway Opener

So when you go out to approach and open women, and you may tend to have all this internal self talk going on inside your head that’s creating doubt and hesitation. You’re internally focused inside your own head and you can’t get out of it. You need a fast, quick, reliable way to install inner game, to switch from being inwardly focused to being outwardly focused where you’re just running on adrenaline and action.

I could give you all kinds of exercises for installing inner game to relax you, to up your confidence, but the fact is, any kind of mental exercise I would give you would in itself be an internally focused exercise having to do with being inside your own head.

What you need is a way to FLIP the switch of inward focus to outward focus game instantly at once, in an outwardly focused way.

Let me tell you a story about a friend of mine who had trouble getting outside of his own head. He always had this hesitation about approaching women because he was so internally focused, which was good most of the time because it allowed him to be successful in business and make a lot of money, but it would always freeze him up when it came to approaching women.

Well he told me this story that one night he tried a feel good drug that made him feel really warm and empathetic toward everyone around him, and on that night he and his friends went out and he ended up approaching and talking to over 20 groups of women. He said that voice inside his head that normally held him back was completely turned off and he just felt friendly and open and natural in saying hello and he got the best responses from women he had ever had.

The feel-good drug was like a violent FLIP of the switch between his internal focus state and his outward focus state for installing inner game.

Now I’m not saying to go out and use drugs because there’s a much more natural and safe way to get the very same effect of installing inner game. And it’s not alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant and with most people actually makes them more reserved and less talkative.

The best way to rapidly and reliably flip that switch, to go from internal focus to outward focus, is to actually do an opener.

Or what I like to call a throwaway opener.

The first opener you do, you’re going to be in the wrong state of mind. You’re going to give off the wrong kind of energy. Most likely you’re going to come across as less than eloquent to women, perhaps nervous sounding, almost as if you’re fighting yourself to go through with the interaction.

But a really amazing thing happens after that first opener when you’re out meeting new women. No matter what kind of response you get from the woman, good or so-so, your brain switches into a pumped up, adrenaline packed outwardly focused state of mind that makes the next opener much, much easier to carry through.

And then, after the second opener, you’re even more high and the third and fourth openers become even easier and easier.

By the time you reach ten openers, you feel like you’re on top of the world, like you can do anything and it doesn’t even matter if the next woman doesn’t give you the ideal response because you know it’s a breeze to approach the next ten women.

However, it’s that very, very first opener that’s the hardest. That’s the dillema. You want to be in a great, playful, take action kind of state when opening women. But it’s damn near impossible to get into that kind of state UNTIL you do your first approach meeting new women.

So everything hinges on getting past that first approach. And to take the pressure off, I like to think of that first approach as a “throwaway opener” in that most likely it’s going to be garbage. On that first approach, I know I’m not projecting the best state to that first woman. I know that I may even stumble over my own words and forget everything I’m supposed to remember. I know that nothing is going to come out of that first interaction.

But that’s okay. The first opener for meeting new women is always the throwaway. The first opener you can always expect to suck. Don’t worry about it, just make it a piece of garbage, have no expectations of the outcome. After all it’s your throwaway.

The only point of the throwaway is to FLIP that switch, to get your brain from internal to outward focus, to get the hormones and serotonin levels, the natural drugs of your own mind, up and flowing.

So I’ll do a first opener, eject, and then think to myself, “okay throwaway done.”

Now one thing to keep in mind that this barrier, this issue of hesitation on the first opener of the day, will never go away. Every morning, no matter how many approaches you did the previous day or night, you start the next morning back at zero. Because after you sleep, the mind has a tendency to go back into that internally focused state by the time you wake up the next morning.

So every day you’re going to have to do that throwaway opener again when meeting new women just to get back into that outwardly focused state. That’s normal however, and it will get easier and easier with time.

11 thoughts on “How To Overcome Anxiety By Flipping From Inward Focus To Outward Focus”

  1. Just happened to me tonight. I totally made an idiot of myself in front of a group of people. Im sure they thought I was some creepy dude. Now I know how to warm up better

  2. Amazing article. I love the way you step back and look at analyzing, it’s ironic in a way but beautifully worded. I heard something today that has given me a lot of healing along with the article you wrote. It is: think outwards, feel inwards.

  3. Living inside my head is definitely one of my big problems. I wanted to know if you had any other tips besides throw away openers. I find that I’ll do all the right things and end up having girls start to show that they are interested in me, but as soon as I see a little of that I lose all the momentum I had and become outcome dependent and screw everything up. Any tips would be appreciated.

  4. Have to constantly develop living outside instead of (inside) your head. Maybe some notes about exercises would be good.
    Its about living life!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *