Get Over Social Fears, and Approach People Easily

A subscriber asked me, “Mitch, do you have any social advice? In particular, how to approach people without letting the fear of rejection hold me back?”

At first I thought this was a little outside my wheel house. I’m a fitness coach, not a social expert.

But then I thought, how you do anything is how you do everything. And getting over obstacles to build powerful, healthy habits is similar to getting over social obstacles and meeting new people.

So, I have 2 pieces of advice to get over social fears, and approach people easily.

1) Stoicism

Allow me to introduce you to the Roman philosopher, Seneca.

Seneca is quoted as saying, “Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared?”

What he’s saying is, in order to get over something, you need to experience it.

Go up and talk to someone, soak up the experience. When it’s over, take a deep breath, look around, and realize it wasn’t so bad. You didn’t die, you’re no less of a person (or, you may find you’ve grown as a person), and everything’s still OK.

Now that you’ve made the decision to experience your worst nightmare and realize it’s nothing more than a delusion of your mind, it’s time to prepare to actually do it.

2) Shut Off Mental Chatter

The biggest mistake most people make when preparing to do something intimidating is spend too much time thinking about it.

The less thinking, the better. So we need to eliminate lag time between inspiration, decision, and action.

When you see someone you’d like to approach, you’re inspired to talk to them.

Without hesitation, make the decision to actually do it.

And with no lag time at all, take your first step towards them.

It needs to happen successively, with as little time between them as possible.

Inspiration — Decision — Action.

Boom — Boom — Boom.

Listen guys, I empathize with this a lot. I was always a painfully shy kid, and the only way I got past it was by shutting off the chatter in my mind, and forcing it to happen.

In fact, this past year, I did a video series called Real Talk, where I approached strangers on the street and asked them Big, existential questions.

It was difficult, but it was a valuable experience in achieving what you’re trying to achieve right now.

I’ll link those below.

I hope that helps. If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.


Real Talk episode 1: Does Success Matter After You Die?

Real Talk Episode 2: Who Are We, and What Are We Doing Here?