Pushing Your Comfort Zone
The other day, some guy asked me about contradictions that he runs into. NLP people tell you to “Mirror” body language and then somebody else tells you to stand sideways, backwards, or to lean back. Someone tells you to push your comfort zone, and another tells you be relaxed. Well, one issue at a time:
There is advice out there to the tune of, “You gotta be comfortable when you approach women. You want to come across as cool, confident, and relaxed.”
Then there is advice to the tune of, “You gotta push yourself past what you think is comfortable. You must be uncomfortable. Push your boundaries. Push your comfort zone to new limits!”
It seems so contradictory. To make matters even more confusing, sometimes that advice comes from the same guy!
And in this case, that guy is ME! WTF?
So what’s the right path? Which is more important? What should you implement? Let’s break it down in an easy to apply manner. Ultimately, you want to approach women looking like you’re comfortable in your own skin, as the cliché goes. I always say the perfect approach is one where you’re so relaxed, so confident and easy going that she is actually confused as to whether she has actually met you before. This is the equivalent of the “Hole in one” in the game of golf (And I really can’t even stand golf).
Then why push your comfort zone? Because not too many people start out with that level of comfort. You have to build your comfort level step by step to get there, and that may come in baby steps. For a lot of men, initiating a conversation with a woman they’ve never been introduced to is a frightening task. It’s a scary proposition to walk up to her and open up dialogue. Fear and internal dialogue consumes most men, “What if she doesn’t like me? What if I embarrass myself? What if she finds out I am interested in her? What if she figures out the actual reason I am asking her “Why are you reading that book?” is really because I intended to ask her out on a date? What if, what if , what if….”
For some guys, their level of comfort starts and ends with asking for the time.
-Guy interested in woman: Hey, do you know what time it is?
-Woman: Yeah, It’s 3:30.
-Guy interested in woman: Thanks.
-Woman—- Keeps moving on with her day.
I bet 90% of men have tried this approach with a woman at some point in their lives. The other 10% are gay. Asking for the time is safe. It does not involve risk. It’s innocent, and heck she may even think that you have some business you have to rush to. It’s great! They’ll never discern that you magically hoped that it would turn into a date. They won’t know that the ideal interaction you sought would have been:
-Guy: Excuse me; do you know what time it is?
-Woman: Why, it’s 3:30 but never mind that. I’ve never met you around these parts. Do you care to grab a cup of coffee and perhaps get to know each other?
-Guy: Well, absolutely. Why, I usually never ask a cute woman for the time, but I am glad I did this time. Hahaha,
Fantasyland is great. Hey, I’ve tried the “What time is it” approach too once or twice. It didn’t work. But let’s assume that you are one of those guys. Let’s assume you are terrified of approaching women to strike up a conversation beyond “What time is it?” How do you get to the comfort level that I discussed earlier? One step at a time. This is where you push your comfort zone. The terrified guy could ask a question beyond just what “time it is.” For him, the next level may be something a little more involved, such as, “Hey, I am trying to pick out a gift for my sister/niece, etc… Which of these do you think works best?”
Yes, it’s still playing it safe, and it’s still low risk. It also may not get him anywhere as far as getting that date or her interest, but he has accomplished something: He has surpassed his previous self. He has taken the interaction one step beyond “What time is it?” Gradually, you build on that by pushing your comfort zone A LITTLE BIT FURTHER every so often.
If you were going to be a public speaker, you probably wouldn’t start off speaking in front of a crowd of 20,000 people. You’d speak in front of 50, then a few hundred, and once that was somewhat comfy, you’d speak in front of a few Thousand and so forth. It’s no different for that guy than it is for the NBA Basketball player who is playing in Playoffs for the first, and the next year playing in his first NBA Finals. He has to meet the challenge head on. It’s either that or he isn’t going to be much of a ball player.
So push your comfort zone until you can get to a place where you feel you have a baseline of self-comfort. However, you have to push yourself to get there. Pictured below are two Martial Artists who happen to be considered two of the all time greatest MMA Fighters. Do you think these guys were comfortable the first time they stepped into that ring or octagon?
It probably was pretty damn frightening, but they did it anyway. It was scary. The problem is that a lot of guys think they can meditate 5 hours a day for 3 years and one day, they’ll wake up with no social fears. It doesn’t work that way. There is a certain desensitization that takes places with repetition and facing fears. It starts with pushing your comfort zone just a little further, step-by-step.
The opposite extreme is the group of guys who approach 1000s of women but don’t get desired results because they don’t take time to address their social skills not do they make an effort to eradicate their need for constant external validation.
The answer falls somewhere in between. Do improve your overall social skills and do discover what makes you happy with who you are as a person. In the meanwhile, remember to push your comfort zone every so often to get to the next stage.
When you’re starting out, be comfortable with a bit of discomfort, and be uncomfortable for settling down for comfort.
PS. The articles on this blog will have a profound impact on your dating life. Please realize that they are supplementary and supporting material to what I discuss in my expanded work. Get a copy of my Ebook here: Building Attraction with Women