Life is far from certain.
- The economy could crash.
- You could make a mistake at work and be fired.
- You could play and win the lottery this week.
- You might be knocked down by a bus on your way home.
- You could ace that presentation you’re giving to your boss.
- You could meet the love of your life at the bus stop tomorrow.
We all know nothing is certain in this world, and yet we LOVE to think about it.
And because our brains know a negative experience is more dangerous to our survival than a positive one, we have a habit of focusing on what could go wrong rather than what could go right.
This leads to worry, anxiety, stress, nervousness and unhappiness, all of which are massive attraction killers.
The cliff experiment
Close your eyes and for ten seconds imagining standing at the edge of a cliff. Imagine the wind blowing your hair, the blue sky above you, and the green sea below.
Seriously, do it now, then come back to me.
Now tell me this.
Did you at any point imagine falling off the cliff?
If you are like most people you probably did, even if it was for the briefest of moments.
Did you imagine how beautiful the view would be, or how lucky you were to be outside on such a glorious day?
Imagining yourself completely safe when you are in a potentially hazardous situation (a cliff edge) would be foolish and likely to lead to you taking less care than you should.
Anxiety is a perfectly natural and HELPFUL response to a perceived threat.
The problem comes when we become anxious about things which we cannot predict the outcome of, but are NOT critical to our survival.
Imagining this time you are about to meet a beautiful man or woman for a first date. You cannot predict the outcome of the date or whether they will like you, and therefore the event is filled with uncertainty.
You become nervous. Your palms start to sweat and you feel a knot growing in your stomach. Your mind races through all the NEGATIVE things which could happen, and completely ignores the positives, because it is still operating on the logic that this situation could be fatal.
Worst of all, your date will sense this unease, making it difficult for your to build rapport.
Your brain has over-reacted due to ancient logic evolved from when humans WERE in constant danger from being eaten by a wild animal thousands of years ago.
We are not in serious danger on a date, and therefore we need a way to managing the negative feelings that arise in an appropriate way. We need a way to override our over protective safety mechanism, so that our attractive qualities can shine through.
How to deal with uncertainty
Whenever you feel anxious about an event due to uncertainty, take a moment to run through the following exercise.
- Remind yourself that this is not a life threatening situation. You are not going to die if your date isn’t attracted to you or you make a fool of yourself. Think “What’s the worst that can happen?”.
- Thank your brain for trying to protect you. Say out loud “Thank you for trying to help. I know you will be there when I need you. But in this situation there is no threat and no harm will come to me. I’m Okay”.
- Focus on what might go right. Visualise all the good things that may come out of the date. Perhaps she’ll be incredibly attracted to you. Maybe she’ll find you charming and witty. And she’s definitely going to like your sense of style. Because this is all in the future, and you don’t know what the outcome is really going to be, why not imagine a positive outcome instead of a negative?
- Take a few moments to concentrate on any remaining negative feelings in your body. Acknowledge they may never completely disappear, but by bringing your attention to them you will be able to temper their sting.
Practise this exercise whenever you sense yourself heading down the slippery slope of negative emotion caused by uncertainty.
With repetition you’ll begin to notice just how quickly you can reverse the tide, and start to resume your natural state of calm, confidence and exuding charisma.