I opened the front doors of my apartment building to be greeted by the sharp, cold winter air. It’s August 29th, I’m hungry and Sunterra Market is calling my name. My Ipod headphones are in as my walk seems to be mindless now, as if my mind knows the steps to walk and my feet walk there without conscious direction.
Sometimes, I’m afraid to go out in public. I put a lot of pressure on myself, being an intern at Kingpin Social. I believe if I’m going to be teaching Social Dynamics, that my skills have to be on point, at all times. As my feet bring me closer to Sunterra, I use my eyes to see the cute brunette walking towards me. Instantly the mental chatter started, restraining me to my own mind.
“She’s not your type man. She’s busy.”
I continued walking to Sunterra without saying a word, as I mentally cussed myself for retreating from another potential opportunity.
I went a long time, with the same mental patterns that caused me to self – sabotage. Knowing how to meet people is a blessing and a curse, you want to meet everyone but your time is limited. How do you know who to meet, and where to meet them, and how to meet them? Knowing who to meet is setting your priorities straight, but knowing who fits into that category is a different skill set altogether.
The way our brains have been hardwired is an interesting topic for me. I believe that naturally, most of us look for reasons not to fail, instead of looking for reasons to succeed. They seem like the same thing, though? Polar opposites.
Looking for Reasons Not To Fail
The way you do something, is the way you do everything is the best thing I’ve heard all year, I believe quoted by Kevin Choo.
“I would approach, but she’s not my type,” was the phrase that ran through my mind countless times. Before the Social Gym experience, my mind would constantly look for reasons to fail. My mind would constantly look for reasons to make excuses, to justify my inaction, to feel good about my laziness. I love the skill set of meeting new people, it’s a great way to bring to the surface the other bad habits that slip your mind throughout the day. I found that this mindset wasn’t just keeping me from meeting new people, but it was keeping me from going to the gym.
“I would go to the gym, but I don’t have enough time to get my article done,”
Every chance my mind got to make an excuse, it took it.
Looking for Reasons to Succeed
Reprogramming a bad habit and ingraining it into your thinking patterns is one of the most difficult things to do, if you do not have something to constantly measure your new mindset by.
“Hey man, real quick! I love those shoes, where’d you get them?” The Social Gym has blessed me with a newfound awareness for meeting new people, and I want to give you the value my struggle has given me. One of the tools that I’ve used to get me through my Social Gym experience is the idea of finding reasons to talk to people.
Just as easily as you can find 1000 reasons not to talk to somebody, you can find 1000 reasons to talk to somebody. You just have to use your mind to consciously pick out those reasons.
Change “She’s not my type,” to “She’s got a unique sense of style for her look,”
Change “I don’t have enough time to talk to her,” to “I’m going to go make her day quickly, and introduce myself,”
Change “I don’t talk to dudes,” to “That guy looks like he knows some good dubstep places around here,”
I have a method that you can apply the next time that you’re out on the street, or in the club to instantly improve your conversation skills. The best part about training your awareness, at first, is that you don’t have to actually approach right away for it to be effective! You’re just reprogramming the way your brain sees the world. The only time you should approach, is when your awareness tells you that this is the kind of person that you want to be meeting.
Three Steps to Increased Awareness
The First Step is to look for the things they’re carrying. Tim Hortons, Starbucks, a shopping bag are easy conversation starters if you’re first starting out meeting new people. The key is to make it easy on yourself, for the first steps. If you enjoy the first step, you’ll seek out the second. Before you move on to step 2, make sure you’ve tried out step 1 a few times.
“Excuse me, really quick. How do I get to Tim Hortons from here?”
The Second Step is to look for the articles of clothing that they’re wearing, and ask yourself if it screams something unique about them. Maybe you actually do love the shoes they’re wearing, and you wonder where they got them. Maybe a bracelet that they’re wearing caught your eye, and you wanted to come over and compliment them on it. Before you move on to step 3, make sure you try out step 2 a few times.
“Hey dude! This is kind of random, but that jacket is sick. Where’d you get it?”
The Third Step is to look at their overall look, and see if it says anything about their personality. Myke says that “their external image is a direct reflection of who they are internally,” so use their external image to your advantage once you’re at this stage. Combine all of their external elements of clothing into one image, and cold read them based on that image.
“Excuse me. This is kind of random, but I love your sense of style! The black cardigan mixed with the diesel jeans screams creativity and class at the same time. Are you an artist?”
Re – training your awareness to look for reasons to talk to people will do more than just improve your conversation skills. The way you do something, is the way you do everything. That means that when you re – train your awareness to look for reasons to succeed, you’ll do this in other areas of your life too. Instead of skipping the gym to write my article, I’m looking for ways to make them both happen. Instead of looking for potential problems in my vision, I focus on the work that will get me closer to the solution.
Hope this helps! Comment, and subscriiiibe