by Niall Doherty

I’ve been asked a few times now why I care so much about getting better at dating/pickup/flirting, whatever you want to call it. Why do I play the game?

The short answer: Because that’s where the fear is.

I still have a lot of fear and anxiety around meeting and attracting women. I tend to view such fear as a signpost, pointing me towards massive growth opportunities. Some people seem capable of making peace with their fears without trying to overcome them, but I’m not one of those people. I can’t back away from a fear and feel at peace. It eats away at me.

It’s not about the girl

Last weekend I met a great girl and hung out with her and some friends Friday and Saturday evening. I let that familiar internal resistance get the best of me and never made it clear that I was interested in her. On Sunday I told a mutual friend about the situation and she offered to try suss out if the feeling was mutual. But I asked her not to.


Because I knew I had to confront the fear head on. That was the real challenge, the real goal.

See, for me, it’s not about the girl. It’s not about getting laid. Sure, if I find the girl especially attractive then I experience more fear, more anxiety, but the battle remains internal. If it was just about getting my rocks off I could go find a massage parlor and upgrade to a happy ending. I could list the transaction discreetly in my next finance report. Nobody would ever have to know.

Except me, that is. I’d know that I’d wussed out, that I’d run from the fear instead of confronting it. And I simply can’t stand that.

What it’s really about…

For me then, success in this whole game is when I show up true and authentic. It’s when I go after what I want, assertively, without apologizing for it. It’s when I represent myself well and keep in mind the best interests of others. It’s when I tune out that asshole lizard brain and just start dancing, letting go, having fun.

Doesn’t matter if I dance like a three-legged deer on ice. Doesn’t matter if I get rejected by the hottest girl in the club.

When I push my edge and stay true to myself, I go home happy. When I succumb to that internal resistance, not so much.

The larger lesson

Similar story when it comes to money. I’ve done really well income-wise these past couple of months, but I see the extra cash as a by-product of having faced some select fears. I had to overcome a hefty dose of self-doubt every time I considered raising my freelance rate. I had to embrace uncertainty and experiment with some alternate income streams. I had to abandon some limiting beliefs and develop a more abundant mindset.

It hasn’t been about the money at all really. It’s been about the lessons learned and the confidence developed from facing those fears and insecurities I had regarding money.

This can apply to any irrational fear. It’s not about getting laid or earning $5k a month or having perfect six-pack abs. All those things are secondary. The real reward is the person you become as you do battle with your fears, your insecurities, your limiting beliefs.

That’s what I play for.

So that girl, from last weekend?

Sunday evening, I flipped my internal resistance a middle finger and told her how I felt. As it turned out, the feeling wasn’t mutual. No worries. I went home that night perfectly at peace. I had everything but the girl, and that was all I needed.