Hacking Confidence: The Secret to Inner Game is One Bold Move Away
Remember this sentence: Weak men look for permission; confident men give themselves permission. If you understand that, you can understand how to get inner game. By “get inner game” however, I don’t mean an academic understanding. Instead, you need to understand that sentence emotionally.
An emotional understanding will only come when you’ve accepted the stakes of confidence. You must accept that a good portion of the emotional education you learned from your parents, school, and society is wrong. While they meant well, everyone who educated you as a child educated you to “get permission” first. Think about how many times you’ve heard:
So much of the advice we’re given—and especially the advice we’re given as children—advocates a “play it safe” decision-making process. We’re taught to dip our toes slowly into the pool rather than just jump right in. That makes sense if you want a safe, mediocre life. If you want to be “just like everyone else.”
But I know every guy reading this doesn’twant to feel that way. Though you’re probably wondering: how do I change? How do I reverse a lifetime of being told to act in a certain way? In a way that necessitates asking permission each time you want to take a step forward.
Lots of people have tried to answer that question: psychologists, self-help gurus, and even spiritual advisers. And while their advice is good intentioned, rarely does “inner game” advice come with a game plan. It’s usually about making you feel temporarily better without actually changing your behavior. And, more importantly, it doesn’t actually give you an emotional education.
You need an action plan. You need specific steps that will give you an emotional understanding of why confident guys give themselves permission while everyone else waits for permission from others.
So here it is: do stuff that scares the shit out of you. Now, I’m not saying live dangerously nor should you do things that jeopardize your safety. Also, I’m not advocating you do dumb shit just for the sake of doing dumb shit. I am, however, advising you to act in a way that’s congruent to your highest self. By “highest self” I don’t mean some weird spiritual manifestation of yourself; instead, I’m referring to the self you want to be. The self who lives without fear.
Now the obvious applications of that are with women: approach girls who are super hot (regardless of how frightening they appear), speak to them freely without worrying about what “they might think,” make moves on them without hesitation or invitation, and don’t hide who you are or what your intentions are just because you feel it might be rude. As my buddy Zack Bauer says, “Do you, daddy.” Great advice. Do you, daddy.
But if you’re only “doing you” around women then your lifestyle is going to be incongruent. You can’t be a romantic all-star one minute, and then a weak sycophant the next. The Clark Kent/Superman character is cartoon for a reason: real people can’t act like that. If you’re going to live the confident lifestyle, you have to go all in. You need to give yourself permission every minute of every day.
For me, this was a game changer. Over the last year or so, I’ve made decisions that required more balls than I had at the time. I quit my 9-to-5 job even though I didn’t have a sustainable cash flow at the time, I coded an iPhone app even though I had absolutely no experience in coding or computers, I traveled to foreign countries alone without speaking the language and refusing to stay in the touristy parts of town.
I could keep listing the decisions I’ve made, but you get the point. I didn’t make these “ballsy” decisions because I had strong inner game; instead, I got strong inner game by making ballsy decisions. Consider the ramifications of that sentence. While most guys sit around, trying to build up inner game in order to make ballsy decisions, I just go out and make ballsy decisions trusting that my inner game will follow.
And it always does.
Now, I’ve listed a few of my ballsy decisions that worked out well for me. Understand though, I’ve made plenty of ballsy decisions that did not end up well. I’ve had things backfire, get out of control, and screw me over. But I don’t regret making those decisions. Because when you’re building your inner confidence and character, you win even when you lose. We always come out stronger than we were before—even if we don’t come out as successful.
More importantly, living your life like this will eventually bring you ultimate victory. Even if you’re struggling now, and even your decisions aren’t working out now, they will. You’re strengthening your inner confidence and becoming a more independent person. You’re unwiring all the bad education you got in the past, and you’re preparing yourself to rise above the mediocrity of “everyone else.”
Be proud of that. Feel confident in that. And don’t ever ask for someone else’s permission when you want to do something that you want to do.
Do you, daddy.
>>>To Learn More From Rob, Check Out “The 4 Elements of Game” where he breaks down game into four simple adjustments.
About Rob J. Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.