Overcome Approach Anxiety – Exercises and Programs

By Marcus Neo | Dating Advice for Men

May 12

80% of your dating success is going to rely on how well you deal with approach anxiety. That’s because the number of women you’re able to meet dependent on how well you manage approach anxiety. If you can approach women effortlessly on the streets, you are going to get good in time. Yes, managing approach anxiety is one part, you’re still required to build up the required conversation to flirting skillsets to get the dating life you want. However, the majority of people fail here because the idea of going up to talk to an attractive stranger overwhelms them.

Overcome Approach Anxiety – Exercises and Programs

In my experience, the reason why people still deal with deliberating approach anxiety is because they haven’t made an internal decision. They either don’t feel worthy of success in women themselves, or their fear of rejection/ failure trumps the sweetness of success. You need to make an internal life decision. Now, and today. That you are going to risk rejection for success. There’s no success with risk, at all. Furthermore, is there really real risk involved? There’s only perceived risk. You don’t lose money, a leg or an arm for being rejected by some attractive stranger. There’s no real inherent risk.

Here’s how, you can overcome approach anxiety.

Step 1) Make an Internal Life Decision

You’re reading this for a reason. You’re on a dating advice blog for a reason. You like women, and you want to get better with your interactions with that. How many opportunities have you and I missed as the years went by. She walks by and you tell yourself: ‘I’ll approach the next one”. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands by the years.

Look, this isn’t a Disney movie. There’s nobody coming to save you. This is your dating life you’re talking about. You need to decide to win. If you’re half hearted about getting your dating life handled (or any aspect of your life for that matter.) You are simply not going to win.

I want you to take out a piece of paper, and write your goals for your dating life. Yes, get serious about it. Can you hold yourself accountable to your life values? There comes a point you need to pull the trigger and “just fucking do it”.

Step 2) Put Evolutionary Pressure on Yourself

How many of us make internal life decisions but end up not following through? That’s the majority of us. That’s because you are still in your comfort zone.

The way to force yourself out of your comfort zone is to put intense evolutionary pressure on yourself. You need to give yourself no alternatives. This can mean not texting girls that you’re so-so into and putting pressure on yourself to approach women that you’re into. This can mean deleting Tinder or any other forms of escapes or excuses that you give yourself.

I only started approaching after I signed up for a mentorship program with a dating coach. I put up skin in the game. If you can’t motivate yourself, then use psychology against you. If you pay up half your bank account for coaching like I did in my earlier twenties, I can guarantee you’re going to start approaching.

One other reason people procrastinate is because they lack sexual motivation. If you’re watching porn every single day and getting your needs met by porn, then there’s no reason to go out and approach women at all. You’re going to sit at home and procrastinate. The answer here is simple, cut down on your pornographic intake.

If all your friends mock you for attempting to better your dating life, then find new friends. In my later teens, I ran around introducing self help books to my friends. They ignored me. I responded by getting a coach, audiobooks and whatever material I can get my hands on. I haven’t regret that decision.  I also learned later in life that it’s pointless to discuss self development with friends and or family. It’s better to keep it to yourself and take action.

Step 3) Check Out my How to Approach Women Video

If you’re socially awkward and never had positive responses from people or girls in your life. Then let’s say you’re going to be crippled with not just approach anxiety, but social anxiety. By learning and mastering the basics of dressing adequately, and the ability to read basic social cues, you’ll mitigate this area by a huge percentage.

If you want to go out and do 10 approaches, then do not self sabotage by dressing extremely poorly. If you dress poorly, you’re going to end up giving yourself excuses to not approach. The cycle continues.

I did an entire Youtube video on how to approach women in a conservative culture such as Singapore.

You can check it out here:

If you’re prepared, you’re going to feel less anxious. Go out prepared.

Step 4) Exercises to Help You Desensitise

So, you have decided internally, but you realise going out and talking to the most attractive person you can find at the mall is daunting. So what you can do about it?

I found that desensitising myself to any form of anxiety helps. This is inclusive of approach anxiety. If you’re dealing with unbearable anxiety, here’s an exercise and a program that’s going to help:

  • Talk to 10 strangers, ask them for time and or directions (you can lie that your watch or phone is broken)
  • Talk to 10 women who are strangers, ask them for time and or directions (you can lie that your watch or phone is broken)
  • Talk to 10 women who are attractive strangers, ask them for time and or directions (you can lie that your watch or phone is broken)
  • Talk to 10 women who are attractive strangers, ask them for time and or directions, then give them a light compliment and walk away
  • Talk to 10 women who are attractive strangers, ask them for time and or directions, then give them a light compliment, then follow up by making a statement about their hair/ dress sense or anything you can observe
  • Tell 10 women who are attractive that you find them interesting and wait for their response…
  • Tell 1o women who are attractive that you find them interesting, try to push for a conversation and so on and so forth

There are no hard and fast rules here. You can tweak the difficulty settings according to your skillset level and your anxiety level. The progressive desensitisation method can be used across all anxieties that you’re facing from sexual anxiety, social anxiety and approach anxiety. It’s also a clinical researched method that’s use across many therapeutical settings.

Note, if you’re having huge issues with even talking to strangers asking for time and directions. You should not be studying dating advice. You need a therapist and/or talk to a professional mental health. However, if you aren’t then progressively moving your way up the ladder is going to help. I myself use it when I feel overwhelmed at times.

Step 5) The Reasons Why People Don’t Approach

In my experience, the reasons why people (or I myself) don’t approach is not only because we fear rejection the girl itself, but because the act of approaching is unconventional.

You approaching a woman directly is completely out of our identity and culture. Yes, approaching is an unconventional behaviour. However, success is unconventional. How else are you going to outperform if you did everything similarly 99% of the male population aren’t able to direct approach an attractive lady on the streets, much less alone a night club or a bar. If it was easy and common, then everybody is going to be successful with women. Unfortunately, it’s not easy. Fortunately, it’s not that common either.

However, that is good news. If you’re able to be competent in this skillset. Then you’ll outperform 99% of the men out there. This is true of many other skillsets not related to dating. For example, building a business ground up is extremely difficult. That is why only a small majority of the population are business owners. The option of owning a business is not readily accessible to everyone. This is true of business success and dating success.

Let’s assume you are an engineer or an introvert that do not really have any other options. You aren’t also fan of the quality of women you get from online dating apps such as Tinder. I know for sure in Singapore the quality of matches I get on Tinder is way less than the ones I am able to cold approach. There isn’t any other alternative right? How many interest groups and networking sessions do you wish to join and partake in till you meet enough women to convert them into dates, and then into results? It’s going to take a lot of time investment.

You’re only able to get good at scale through cold approaching, by overcoming your approach anxiety. That’s it.

Step 6) Accept Rejection

I’m going to be a little philosophical here but bear with me. Out of most of your approaches, 5 out of 10 times you’ll get lukewarm responses. IF you’re doing it right. The rest, are plainly going to ignore you, or maybe give you a negative response. Of those 5, perhaps 1 is going to be interested, and be willing to exchange contacts with you.

Let’s say you approach 20, and out of 20, 2 are slight interested, you go out on a date with 2, and 1 fall through and you’re left with one. Yes, those are the statistics from my experience. The sooner you accept that the majority of your interactions are going to go nowhere, the better off you’ll be.

The reason why people hesitate and procrastinate over ONE approach is because they have this fantasy that every approach has to be perfect and that every girl is going to fall head over heels for them. In reality, most girls aren’t going to barely bother. This is from experience. However, with the ones that do and capitalize on the opportunity.

The more approaches you do, the more you do not want to waste time either. Sooner or later you’ll get a rough feel of who is interested and who is not. You’ll also want to screen in your approaches. You don’t want to be trying to ask for every girl’s number. There’ll be women that give out their numbers for no reason. There’ll be women that text you for no reason and won’t go out with you. So, stop feeling overtly anxious about approaching and come from a higher value frame. You are screening her as much as you are approach her.

There’s something to be said about acceptance. The acceptance that you’re not going to be attractive to the majority of women at any given point of time. Only when you acknowledge that, then you’re free to being rejected. It’s not personal. It’s not about you. It doesn’t say anything about you, your successes, failures or your identity. it’s just the economics of dating, some luck, a lot randomness and chance. Let go of the idea of a non rejection proof life, and you’ll feel better about it.


Furthermore, by going through hundreds of interactions by cold approaching, you’re forced to be good at improvisation. You’re forced to be able to improvise on the spot. You need to be able to tease, flirting and understand social cues right there and then. It’s great practice. It’s not only the most direct way of getting to meet more women, it’s also a great way to practice other skillsets that’s required for dating success.

The anxiety you feel when cold approaching an attractive woman is the same anxiety you feel when you lean in for the kiss. By training that muscle and willpower of cold approaching, you’ll be able to get better at other areas of your ‘game’ as well.

I am a huge advocate of cold approaching and learning how to manage your approach anxiety. If I could turn back the clocks, I’ll have focused a lot more on this area. I only started focusing when I had no other alternatives as an entrepreneur. That took years. Yes, the procrastination is real.

Ultimately, there’s no such thing as approach anxiety, there’s only perceived risk.

About the Author

Enjoys writing about dating, relationship, business, and psychology. Introvert yet extrovert. Likes martial arts and music, but never got around to the latter.

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