Just Do Something
In my past two blogs I have been giving a lot of advice about self-acceptance, being ok being alone, and the need to be able to interact with women and handle rejection with a playful attitude. These are important characteristics to cultivate in your personality and essential ingredients for success in dating and creating a strong, lasting relationship. Let me get a little more specific this week.
To develop this playful attitude in your interactions with women the first step is learning to play in your own life. In the meantime, between now and finding your ideal partner, take up a hobby (and once you do find her DON’T STOP doing it). Not only will you find something you enjoy doing with your free time, but you also will be giving yourself something to talk about when you do interact with and meet women that interest you, and in the process you will be showing women the interesting side of yourself as well. Having something that you’re passionate about makes you distinguishable from the majority of other men who do not have something in their life that drives them. Having something outside of your relationships and interactions with women gives any woman you meet some idea of what you might bring into your relationships, and seeing you passionate about other things makes her curious about what it would be like to feel that passion in a relationship with you (remember that word ‘curious’). Whether it is from something you describe about yourself or a brief sentence on an on-line dating profile you want to be able to have stuff going on in your life that you’re excited about, and it is that intrinsic excitement that makes a woman curious to know more about you!
Let me give you some examples...
After I graduated from college, during my first year of work at a residential tx center for emotionally disturbed children, I had the itch to travel. I tried to convince my friends to go with me, I had no takers. We were only 1 year out of college and had our whole lives ahead of us to settle into a career and be serious about work, but no one would budge. The idea of going to a whole different continent all by myself was daunting. To be honest it was completely nerve wracking, and I was freaking out before I left. This had nothing to do with finances since, mind you, at the time it was dirt cheap to travel around Europe. The dollar was strong (remember those days?), the exchange rates were great (the Euro had not yet gone into effect), and I found a great deal for a round trip flight for under $500! The thought of spending 30 days alone in foreign lands not knowing what to expect at all had my adrenaline pumping. Once I got onto the plane, my nervousness turned into excitement; I felt exhilarated. Maybe it was the accents of the beautiful British Virgin Atlantic flight attendants that gave me the lift I needed, or the fact that they were serving wine on the flight (as I’d never flown internationally before). Either way, it was on! To make a long story short it turned out to be THE most incredible experience in my life. Though I had been more shy and on the socially anxious side of the spectrum before this I met a ton of new people. I became so comfortable interacting with others I started approaching strangers that seemed interesting to me without hesitation and made a lot of new friends, some who I still keep in contact with today. I really came out of my shell. I learned more about myself and the world than I had at any other time in my life, and I came back a much different person, more confident in myself, and did not see the same limitations for myself as I had before this trip. All of this because I faced my fears and decided to do something that was way out of my comfort zone, something that seemed impossible that did not fit my character at all at that time (or so I believed). Looking back I was bursting at the seams, wanting for something new in my life, but I did not know what at the time. The only thing I had to go on was this inkling of an intuition that I wanted to travel. Had I dismissed this intuition I would have missed out on the single most growing experience in my life. But so often we do have that intuition and simply ignore it.
Going on an adventure like this, or a Vision Quest so to speak, is the quickest path to self-actualization. If your daily life doesn’t allow you to do something like this then make a commitment to yourself to do something new in your life, something you’d never thought you’d do, or do something that you have always wanted to do but put on the back burner for way longer than you should have, or something that you used to love doing that you haven’t done for years. Make a commitment to just do something on a consistent basis that pushes you out of your comfort zone. This is the only way you will grow as a person.
Now that the life I’ve chosen doesn’t give me the flexibility to travel as much I have made a point of keeping things fresh in my daily life by intentionally pushing myself out of my comfort zone. In the past few years I’ve sampled a ton of new activities and from sampling things that I never thought I’d like I’ve established friendships with people I’d never thought I’d be interested in and created practices in my life that have really helped me grow as a person and propelled me on my journey. I tried out a ton of different styles of yoga and to this day still practice the one that I thought beforehand that I would not connect with at all. I have taken a basic curiosity about music and developed that into writing and mixing my own music, pushed my snowboarding to a new level, dabbled in film making and editing, challenged myself to make a commitment to keep up with running consistently as well as improving my times, tried classes in Muay Thai, and of all things to do in New England I took up surfing this past summer and am hooked. Just because I can’t up and leave the country for 30 days does not mean that I can’t experience new things and myself anew.
My point is that although there can be real limitations in life, the majority of the limitations we see are self-imposed. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is not only a great way to deepen your relationship with yourself, but it almost always serves as a reminder of the ways in which we are holding ourselves back. Yes, we all do need comfort and familiarity as well, but if you spend more time on auto-pilot than challenging yourself beyond your own perceived limitations, you run the risk of stagnation and becoming the limitations you believe you have. The question I always ask is are you working to be your best self or are you just... working?