Outer-game is cool. In fact, I think one of the best ways to change your inner-game is to practice good outer-game. It’s like the whole “Fake it till you make it” thing.
But here’s the problem. Especially a problem you see with a lot of pickup artists.
They’re all outer-game, and no inner-game. They’ll spend lots of time learning routines and lines. And you know what? They’ll work. But all that focus on outer-game is like a woman putting on a lot of make-up. She might look good, but once the makeup’s off… not so much.
If you’ve got no inner-game, you’ll have a hard time keeping her around. She’ll like you for your lines, not for who you are behind the mask.
Besides, if you have a strong inner-game, the outer-game will flow out of you more naturally without having to memorize routines. Don’t get me wrong. You definitely need technique. I’m just saying if technique is all you’ve got, you’re gonna be an empty shell.
That’s why I wanted to share with you this idea about self-esteem. High self-esteem isn’t about “feeling good.” It’s about being able to cope with the challenges life throws at you.
And it’s about knowing you’re deserving of happiness. In other words, you don’t need the outside world to esteem you. You don’t need approval from women to feel esteem. You don’t need compliments to feel esteem. Esteem comes from within.
It’s like a strong immune system. People with high self-esteem get sick less often. And when they do get sick, they bounce back from it faster. It’s a strong inner-game.
That definition of “self-esteem”… and the term itself… was invented by a psychologist named Nathaniel Branden.
His classic book about it is called “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem.” I thought it might be useful to share what those six pillars are.
They’re actually six PRACTICES. They’re not meant to be done once. They’re meant to be done over and over again for the rest of your life. Like brushing your teeth or taking your vitamins. Practicing these strengthens inner-game. It’ll build your house of outer-game on rock, not on sand.
Here are the six practices:
1. Living Consciously.
A lot of us walk through the world as if we’re in a room with the lights shut off. We can’t see what’s in front of us, so we bump around. If someone asked you, “Do you want the light turned on?” Of course you’d say yes! Living consciously is like turning the light. With light, you’re more aware of the world and yourself.
This is accepting the warts, weaknesses, insecurities and dark shadows of your soul, as well as the good, strengths, confidences and virtues. Not trying to be “perfect.” Accepting yourself as you are. How can you leave a place if you don’t you know where you are?
You don’t blame others. Instead you look at yourself to see how you may have been a cause. Relationships are a two-way street. If something goes wrong, it’s not that she’s a bitch. Or outside a relationship, he’s an asshole. It’s looking at yourself and seeing what I can do better next time.
This is about standing up for yourself and standing up for what’s right, even if you might get ostracized. Asserting what you want and like, even if you get condemned or made fun of. Having the ability to say no, even if a person doesn’t like it.
5. Living Purposefully.
Having goals in your daily actions. It’s not just having goals but creating an action plan. It’s not just having an action plan, but executing it. It’s not just executing it but looking at the outcome to see if you’re on the right track or not. Having goals gives direction.
Consistency between what you think, say, and do so they all match. If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. If you have a certain belief, don’t just preach it, do it. Integrity is honesty. Having what’s inside you be what’s on the outside.
I first learned about these practices when I listened to David DeAngelo interview Brandon on his “Interviews with Dating Gurus” series.
I thought it was fantastic. I asked myself which pillar was my strongest and weakest. I found assertiveness was my weakest and have been working on strengthening it ever since. And I’ve been getting better.
Here’s a question Branden offered to help us strengthen a practice. He suggests asking yourself: “If I could bring 5% more <pick a practice> into my life, then I would <an improved action>…”
For example, “If I could bring 5% more assertiveness into my life, next time I talk to friends about a movie I like, even if they don’t like the movie, I won’t deny I like it, but I’ll say I like it. Even if they make fun of me.”
The great thing about the question is it doesn’t say “Be more assertive!” That’s meaningless. It asks what small step can you do today to increase assertiveness.
The other great thing is the question helps us find the answer to what’s holding us back for ourselves. Instead of an outside force… like a psychologist or teacher… telling us what to do, we can discover it for ourselves. By thinking for ourselves.
So, what’s your weakest pillar? Your strongest? And how can you bring 5% more of these practices into your life?
If we strengthen what’s behind the mask while tweaking our outer “mask,” we’ll sub-communicate AND communicate an inner-strength and light. And the difference between the two of them might fade. Talk about attraction…