“What’s the cab number, bro?” I asked my friend after I’ve gathered all my luggage from the car.
We just drove over 8 hours to another city for work, and I guess a little bit of vacation. I didn’t know where I was exactly and I definitely didn’t know anyone. I knew I was only going to be there for 4 days, I might as well make the most out of it. I was feeling adventurous so I asked my friends, “Hey, let’s go out.”
They shook their heads. “Nah dude, we’re tired” they replied.
“That’s cool.” I said nonchalantly.
I’m sure going out is the last thing in their minds after a long ass road trip. Fair enough.
The cab finally came. I ran outside, solo.
I got in the cab and I’m not gonna lie, I was a little bit terrified.
I do fear the unknown and I’m by myself.
I still experience approach anxiety, just like everybody else. We’re all cut from the same cloth and I’m definitely not a special snow flake. The only difference is, I have better awareness and understanding of how my feelings affect my decisions.
I know how to deal with the emotion of resistance.
It’s easy to feel like the fuckin’ man if I go out with all my cool and jacked friends at a venue where everyone knew me. I had massive social proof and I didn’t feel the need to put myself out there as much. Familiarity builds comfort. I knew the staff and the bouncers therefore the whole night club was a giant comfort zone. I knew that if I get rejected or blown out, I had the social safety net of my friends and bar staff to back me up.
That said, I felt a lot of emotional resistance going out that night by myself. My ego was trying to protect it’s identity. It didn’t want to get hurt. What if I’m not the man that I thought I was?
All the more I wanted to go out and do it because I wanted to know.
Cam would always say, “Accept the feeling of resistance for what it is, remain unreactive and choose to act regardless.”
“I’m scared. Oh well, I’m going to do it anyway.” I said to myself. I took a deep breath, and started taking small, positive action. I was in the cab, might as well chat up the cab driver. I was socially warming up. I knew I had to keep doing it until I’ve built positive momentum. I understand that if I go through the fundamentals, I’m guaranteed to have a good time.
I made a decision to have fun that night, and I was going to do it regardless of how I felt.
Going out solo made me an independent person. I became someone that rolls to his own beat. I called my own shots instead of being lead all the time. I learned how to be aware of my surroundings and be assertive at taking action. Showing up at a club by myself left me with two options: I can have a great night or a lame one, plain and simple. I can man up and proactively meet new people or I can be a wall flower and sit by myself at the corner of the bar nursing my drink. I’m responsible for how great my night will be and the quality of connections I can have with people that I interact with.
Nowadays, I’ll make plans and invite people along the way. Whether they show up or not, it really wouldn’t matter. That wasn’t the case back in the day, I’ll tell you that much. If my friends didn’t want to go out on a Friday night, I’m screwed. Uncontrollable things happen so they call last minute and say “Sorry dude, I just don’t feel like it.” Do you know how many times I’ve stayed home because of that? I didn’t know how to take responsibility so I didn’t have a lot of choice.
Ever had that happen to you?
Going out by yourself feels liberating. It’s a good measure to see where you’re at and what you’re made of. Having the ability to connect with others definitely creates options. It also taught me to develop a relationship with myself. I genuinely think I’m a cool guy and everyone should meet me. I’ve learned to quiet that voice in my head that says “I’m not good enough.” If you like yourself, then you’ll have no problem going out on your own. Your goal should always be to learn and get better. The mere fact that you’re taking more action than the average person means that what they think of you shouldn’t matter.