What Other Choice Do You Have?

August 19th, 2014 by Nick Notas 13 Comments

What choice do I have?

 

Think of an important goal you wish you could achieve. 

Something that really intimidates you. Something that you haven’t begun working towards because it challenges your comfort zone.

That could be…

Getting a job (or a better job). Making more friends. Getting in shape. Writing a book. Or meeting more women – both in-person and online.

So why haven’t you taken any steps to reach that goal?

Whenever you undertake a new endeavor that makes you feel vulnerable, your mind runs wild trying to talk you out of it. Your self-doubt becomes deafening and all you can think about are the worst possible scenarios.

This usually plays out in a series of hypothetical “Am I doomed?” questions. Sometimes you ask them to yourself and sometimes you reach out to me.

“Why should I even apply to this job…won’t I just be rejected?”

“What if girls don’t like me because I’m too short/overweight/ugly?”

“Will I be a loser at online dating because I’m Asian/Indian/Muslim?”

“What if I ask her out and she says no?” 

You’re looking for the answers before you’ve even taken action.

Why does a guaranteed outcome change your desire to achieve your goal? More importantly…

What other choice do you have?

Be broke or stuck in a dead job? Stay “forever alone”? Settle for the first person who shows you interest even if they’re not a good fit?

That’s the quickest way to a life of misery and self-loathing. And it just doesn’t make any sense.

I know you’re afraid of putting yourself out there and failing.

But if you don’t even try, there’s a 0% chance you’ll get the results you desire. It’s the old Wayne Gretzky quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” You’re the one ensuring your own failure.

What you’re really doing is protecting your ego.

If you don’t see yourself actively failing, you can stay in denial. You can make excuses to justify why you didn’t take the shot. You can avoid judgment. And you feel in control of your failure because you didn’t give someone else the opportunity to reject you.

You’d rather pat yourself on the back and believe that you could have won. There’s still that hope.

For some of you, you’ll just beat yourself up instead. You’ll constantly tell yourself you’re not good enough and that you’ll always be a loser.

And what, exactly, is any of that doing for you? Is it bringing you any closer to your goals? Is it making you happier?

You’re thinking short term. This is not a productive strategy and you’re setting yourself up for much more pain in the long run.

Do you think your needs are just going to away? They won’t. Do you think you can ignore them or push them away for the rest of your life? You can’t.

You may protect yourself from failure in the short term by not trying, but it won’t last. Eventually, regret and a lack of fulfillment will always win out. And in 1, 10, or 20 years from now, the only person who has to deal with it is you.

Here’s something reassuring though…

I have an option that guarantees success.

Start now and take as many shots as you possibly can! Then take some more — they don’t run out.

Because whenever you take a chance and it doesn’t work, you still ALWAYS win. You’re gaining something, even if it’s not obvious to you in the moment.

The sense of loss or embarrassment is all in your head. This is the strategy which puts you on the path to personal happiness. 

You’ll…

  • Learn a lesson or receive feedback to refine your approach for next time.
  • Gain a reference experience that reinforces you’ll be okay and it wasn’t that bad.
  • Develop emotional resilience for future situations.
  • Discover alternative methods that are more effective and efficient.
  • Feel a sense of accomplishment that you took action regardless of what happened.
  • Form a habit of challenging your comfort zone.

This is how you build a strong mind and create opportunities to help achieve your goals.

So please show up. Pursue your passions and ambitions tirelessly. And never accept defeat.

It’s the only logical choice you have.

  1. Tanner on August 19, 2014

    Damn this is the first time I’ve ever been confronted with my own bullshit. I know I’m not going to be happy staying single forever. I just keep putting it off and hoping something will change.

    • Nick Notas on August 19, 2014

      Happy to be the bearer of blunt news :) You can do this man, you just have to start.

  2. Serge on August 19, 2014

    When you let that little voice of doubt in your head take over, everything is SO HARD! I think it’s important to act and silence that doubt as soon as you can.

  3. Robert Sykes on August 19, 2014

    Thank you! I really needed this today. I was having a hard time after a woman I met over the weekend did not return my text. I did resist the urge to text again. Well sort of. I have a new strategy in order to keep myself from texting again. I simply text one time and delete the thread and the contact. This insures that I do not text again and if they text back, then I have the number and all is good.

    Thanks again Nick! Everyone of these blogs has helped me in some way.

    • Nick Notas on August 19, 2014

      You’re very welcome Robert!

      I think forcing yourself not to chase women who aren’t interested is a solid idea. Although I may suggest you attempt reaching out more than once. I always give it a second shot. At that point, I leave the ball in their court.

      • Robert on August 19, 2014

        Thanks for the advice again. I actually remembered her number. I text her one more time and she responded! Thanks again for the advice!

  4. Pat on August 20, 2014

    Nick, this is hands down your best article so far that I have read from you. Sometimes you just have to stop over thinking things, and just go for it. When I have to either apply for a job or approach a girl, I’ve been telling myself lately “What do I have to lose?”. Like the quote you mentioned, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Just go for it!

    • Nick Notas on August 25, 2014

      Hey Pat, happy to hear the article resonated with you so well. Often the most important advice we need is the simplest. “Just go for it” can’t be repeated enough.

  5. José on August 20, 2014

    One thing I find helps: I think about it in terms of what sort of person I want to be. “Do I want to be the sort of person who doesn’t or can’t do ____, and is bothered by what happens if I fail… or do I want to be the sort of person that can, and that tried, and doesn’t let failure and the small shit get to me?” Often when I run my reluctance through that filter, I realize how silly I’m being, and I’m much more willing to give it a go.

    The trick, of course, is remembering to do so in the depths of your thoughts. :)

    • Nick Notas on August 25, 2014

      Great idea! It forces you to think about the bigger picture. As you said, you just need to consciously ask these questions in the moment.

  6. Mark on August 24, 2014

    A life lesson I learned early on was that whenever a task seems too daunting, break it down into smaller steps. If striking up a conversation with a beautiful woman is so nerveracking that you freeze up, try a smaller steps. Hold the door for her and give her a big smile and eye contact as she walks through. Or just complement her on something she is wearing. Or ask her where the nearest coffee shop is. Remember to always smile and look her in the eyes. It shows confidence and is very attractive. After you have done these things 10, 50, 100 times for lots of women you will feel much better moving on to a real conversation. “Have anything fun planned this weekend?” Or “Have you seen that new movie? Did you like it?” Remember, no one goes to the gym and goes right for the 120 pound dumbbells on their first visit. So why kill yourself trying to seduce your dream woman right now? Your not ready to meet her yet anyway. Practice on every woman you meet. Say hello, be friendly. Make friends. You will become more confident, guaranteed. And one other thing I’m always reminding my friends. When you meet a beautiful girl and you find out she has a boyfriend, become her friend. Guys with beautiful female friends always have a huge advantage when it comes to dating.

    • Nick Notas on August 25, 2014

      Yep, small steps to success :)

      Whenever I have a challenging goal in mind, I think about how I can break it down into manageable pieces. What steps can I take which will still force me out of my comfort zone but not overwhelm me? At every point you become more confident and acclimated. Soon enough, you’re taking the big leap and hitting your goal.