Why is it that when you see a beautiful girl, you start investing in her opinion of you no matter what you tell yourself?
Why is it that you can’t seem to get her out of your head no matter how hard you try?
Why is it that when you tell yourself to be more confident, you actually seem less confident than if you were simply unaware of what confidence really is?
Why is it that when you approach without thinking about it, you tend to do better than if you analyzed what to say first?
Why is it that motivational quotes make you feel less motivated than simply picturing yourself being happy doing something?
For you see, a very large part of your brain is making automatic snap judgments before you realize what is going on. It’s acting on a set of predetermined impulses and behaviors, and the consequence of that is fairly predictable. It also does this so fast and so stubbornly that any attempt to subvert this process would be met with strong resistance, for it has its own set of reward and punishment system that you are probably completely unaware of.
In the vast majority of situations in daily life, this part of the brain is exactly the useful tool that you need in order to survive without burning out mentally. However, when it comes to acting boldly and generating attraction, this part of the brain is the very thing that holds you back.
The answer to conquering your subconscious brain is a combination of Jedi mind tricks, mental muscle building, and pure fearlessness.
To use your conscious brain to generate and channel emotions during seduction, you require a sneaky but elaborate method. I’ll show how the 2-brain system works, then why the traditional ways of changing minds are not at all effective, and finally my own personal method of performing a heist into your subconscious mind and rewiring it.
First, The Two Brains
To explain this phenomenon in practical terms, psychologists typically refer to our brain as split into two parts: the conscious and the unconscious. In Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence, Daniel Goleman refers to these as the low road and the high road. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Dan Kahneman refers to them as System A and System B. In short, one brain is reading the map and the other brain is doing the driving. When we are driving long distances, we want the part of the brain that’s doing the driving to simply drive, and drive, and… drive. This is daily life. However, when we approach a large unknown city, we want the driving brain to slow down and allow the mapping brain to figure out things out first.
Before I go further, I just want to clarify that your brain is actually made up of many parts that layer on top of each other like an onion. These layers were created out of the stages of evolution. You have the Amygdala, Pre Frontal Cortex, Orbitofrontal Cortex etc. Not surprisingly, since Consciousness was the last part of the brain to evolve, it has the longest and slowest path to the action control center.
However, this Consciousness has a backdoor to the mind that we hardly use – The Power of Suggestion. Instead, when we find that we are in uncomfortable situations, we try to kick down the front door and tell our subconscious what to do, and it doesn’t take kindly to that. My article focuses on how you can use the power of suggestion to achieve harmony between the two brain, as opposed to the conventional wisdom of using pure willpower to overpower your driving brain.
Imagine a situation where you had to do something that you know was right, but your brain simply resists your every desire to do so. In situations like this, you are encountering your driving brain’s internal inertia. Inertia is simply the momentum of a moving object that is resistant to change in direction. A wheel rolling downhill just wants to go straight and not fall over. This inertia is fed by an external force, which is like gravity for the rolling wheel.
Your subconscious brain is a machine that has a perfectly balanced internal motion driving a very consistent and predictable output.
This inertia keeps us alive and functioning without much conscious control input. However, this machine is a terrible seducer in two ways:
- First, it avoids a factor which equates to strong pornography for women – vulnerability. Because this machine is built to keep you safe and secure, it treats vulnerability like the plague and pulls you away from in.
- Second, it lacks the necessary level of Awareness required to get into the other person’s spirit to seduce them, since it wants to operate as autonomously as possible. It puts you in a zombie mode because it works more efficiently this way. It wants to do the least amount of work for the maximum amount of comfort and happiness.
Food for thought
This inertia requires a sort of fuel to run on, and you are all too happy to feed it. Just like gravity, you keep the inertia of this machine going when you fantasize about being with that special person and how awesome it would feel.
Your fantasies reward your brain for investing in others’ opinions of you.
You imagine that their validation, affection, or attention would make you the happiest you can ever be. Essentially, you are telling your subconscious brain that their feelings toward you, matter to your overall happiness. Because of this, your subconscious brain starts to call up the reserve of troops it needs to match the intensity of the situation when you actually interact with people.
But even more damningly, you also feed the inertia of this machine when you are resisting it. When you tell yourself to stop being nervous, afraid, or sad, you are sending signals to your driving brain to deal with being nervous, afraid, or sad, which makes it even more nervous, afraid, or sad.
A wonderful servant and a terrible master
As the saying goes, “The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.” This means that our minds are actually highly efficient autopilots. It’s a fire-and-forget missile. You simply pick a target, orient yourself to aim at it, then fire. It does the rest of the navigation and maneuvering for you. However, most people fail to pick a target and orient themselves. As a result, the fire-and-forget missile just does something else it’s designed to do: pick its own target and go for it.
The consequent is terrible, as you might imagine. The subconscious brain fails to take in so much information when it acquires its own target.
Think of a hot girl with the skinny midriff showing. Without a second thought, your brain is automatically locked onto her before even considering social and personal contexts.
Taking control without disrupting the inertia is the key to the Power of Suggestion.
As bullet proof and stubborn as this machine seems to be, it is actually very open to nudges and suggestions. Think of a hypnotist being able to tell people to do things seemingly against their own will power. He’s not controlling this person. He’s simply making very assertive suggestions toward this person when they are in a state of semi-consciousness. To train yourself to be a seduction machine, you must also learn to do the same, only with yourself. Then, and only then, you will be able to use your willpower effectively to assert yourself into vulnerable positions. Ultimately, it’s in these vulnerable positions that you find yourself in “glow” and become profoundly attractive to the opposite sex.
Why it’s not effective to wrestle with yourself
In the book Stumbling on Happiness, Dan Gilbert shows that our brain is in a constant process of “cooking the facts”, i.e. cherry-picking events and their interpretations, to keep us in a “semi-happy” state. It’s only semi-happy because it’s the level of happiness that’s just enough for us to function and move forward. It doesn’t give us enough confidence to act courageously, which is required in order to find true happiness.
More interestingly, under the chapter Immune to Reality, Dan shows that
When we try to consciously manufacture happiness (or confidence for that matter), we end up being skeptical of this process even if it’s factually true.
Let’s say that someone you just met were to say to you: “Wow, you seem like a really confident person”, suddenly, this innocuous statement has more weight in your mind than if you were to tell yourself that every day. The reason for this is that your brain MUST prioritize perceived reality over simulated reality. Otherwise, we’d be lost in our imaginary worlds and nothing would get done.
The upshot is that within all of our brains, we have a skepticism for everything that seems to be artificially manufactured. The driving brain is naturally skeptical of mapping brain. In fact, trying to rationalize your way into happiness takes an extremely high amount of concentration to slow down the driving brain. That’s why meditation is so difficult, and you probably won’t reach a state of mindlessness most of the time you do it.
So, to answer my own questions, when you attempt to cook the facts consciously, you end up contributing to the inertia of your driving brain. This is due to the fact that it understands a different language called subcommunication.
When you consciously tell yourself that you are confident, the driving brain interprets this as you sensing yourself to be in a situation where you don’t have enough confidence. It then calls up extra stress and adrenaline to fill in the gaps.
This makes you act nervously, and without the positive reassurance that you can handle the situation. Similarly, when you tell yourself to get motivated, it senses that you are in a state of depression and calls up extra endorphin to keep you from shutting down, which then turns off the desire for achievement. And so goes the pattern…
Normally, without much information to go on, the driving brain lives in a state called simulation. In this state, it fills in the blank automatically based on interpretations of past events. These interpretations are based on false beliefs and incomplete information. There are books that explain why it does this, but it’s more important to know that it just does it. Whether the plane crashed or the boat sank doesn’t matter. You are stuck on an island, and you need to get off of it.
The real answer for steering your driving brain is to allow your two brains to work together in the discovery mode. In this mode, the mapping brain can only merely suggest and reappraise for the driving brain, steering through questioning instead of force. This is where you are leading yourself to establish new beliefs and behaviors instead of wrestling with the old ones.
Just like any good heist, you need a game plan for breaking into your own brain. It goes something like this:
- Trigger and then silent the over-active alarm system. Triggering this alarm early on, means you deal with it effectively and it won’t come back later at a more inconvenient time.
- Distract to refocus the driving brain. To avoid target fixation and the natural inertia-building, you use a distraction device to refocus it, akin to the hypnotist’s pendulum.
- Insert suggestion device. Once you have your driving brain’s full attention, one powerfully assertive suggestion is all it takes for you to act and behave as you want it to.
- Rewire your brain. Breaking into your brain frequently is exhausting. You must leave a backdoor open for constant suggestion and calibration from your conscious brain. This can be everything from finding little pleasures in everything you do, to setting long term goals that get you up every morning.
The cognitive reappraisal – 3 steps to kill the alarm for good
- Anticipate the alarming situations
Before you go out, you mentally prepare yourself for the inevitable twists and turns of fate. Think back about all the times you went out before. How and when did you tend to get nervous? Who (what type of people) made you uneasy? You won’t be able to anticipate every moment and every situation, but developing a general awareness of when the subconscious alarm goes off allows you to stop it from getting out of hand. Keeping a log or simply just writing it down as you encounter it accelerates this process. This is part of the Social Cognition and Out-Of-Date Neural Alarm processes in the books Social Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence, respectively.
- Stopping the alarm bells
Once the alarm has been triggered, you can stop the panic from spreading. You do this through a mental process called the “cognitive reappraisal”. In this process, you are simply introducing new information to the subconscious brain so that it reconsiders the alarming situation. You can’t simply convince yourself with this new piece of information, however. Remember that your subconscious brain doesn’t like you cooking the facts for it. It requires you to introduce the information as if it was outside stimuli.
You do this by putting your brain into discovery mode by asking yourself a series of why questions.
Why do you treat a hot girl differently? What makes her different from other people? Why do you feel you need to be interesting or confident to talk to her? Why do you have to act like every other guy in the room? The key to posing questions to yourself is having questions that are biased toward how you SHOULD feel, such as: why do I feel so sexy right now?
Naturally, you’ll discover that the things that triggered the alarm were just false beliefs you had in your mind. Once you get to the root of the problem, your subconscious brain will feel rather ridiculous for setting it off the alarm in the first place. It will start to de-escalate the toxic reaction and starts to feel normal again.
You will start to discover what stops the alarm for you personally. For me, I always remind myself of a past event where my over-emotional investment in a situation seemed ridiculous. In this event, I had spotted a girl from behind, and without even seeing her face, I made up my mind that she was going to be the prettiest girl I’ve ever approached. Having done so in a nervous way, I found out that it was actually a close friend that I already know (and didn’t find as attractive). So now every time I see a silhouette of somebody whom I think can be very attractive, I think back of that situation and my interest in that person starts to feel rather ridiculous without approaching them first. By associating with the fact that she could be a close friend in the future, I feel my nervousness to approach discredited.
In fact, the reappraisal process is so powerful that it has been used to treat social anxiety disorders.
- Removing the triggers
Stopping the alarms is not enough. If you don’t pay attention to it, it will go off again in the future. Perhaps she will say something that triggers your insecurity. You must work constantly to identify the alarm triggers in your mind. Slowly but surely, you will start to allay them one by one.
Distraction and refocusing – opening your brain to suggestion
Your fear is so front and center and you’re forced to react to it. By distracting your over-active Amygdala, you can start to deal with the actual cause behind the fears. Your fears may be real or imaginary. However, you don’t know until you’ve tested yourself.
Think about it this way: fear is a positive force when it protects you from danger by forcing you to deal with the danger, but it’s a negative force if you don’t do something about it. The problem is that you don’t have a real sense of the danger until you push yourself to the edge of it. To do so, you must acknowledge the fear, then move away from it and toward the danger itself. If you are unable to move away from the fear, then you can’t effectively deal with the danger. You do this by distracting yourself, then refocusing on reality.
Blasting between blind corners on my sportbike, the danger is very real! There is no way for me to escape it. However, instead of focusing on the fear of the danger, I want to deal with the danger itself. I do this by imagining a game that I play with my brain. I estimate the number of lane markers between each corners. I try to remember the last time I went through those corners and what I did to effectively negotiate them. These mental exercises distracts my brain from the fear but doesn’t take it away from the presence of the situation
When I’m going out and hitting on girls, I distract myself from my fear by zoning in on the clothes they wear. I wonder where and how they got them. I imagine them being human by wondering if they look fat in certain dresses. They provide good topics for discussion, as well as preventing my imagination from going wild by thinking about the worst possible scenario.
Refocusing expands on your brain’s discovery mode. But instead of asking “why”, I’m asking myself “what if”. What if she was compatible with me? What if she’s looking for someone like me? What if she has a cute friend that she wants to introduce me to? These are positive scenarios that the brain in simulation mode fails to recognize. It refocuses on making these scenarios come to life.
The key to this process is constantly and consciously disrupt the negative inertia by resisting external emotional contagions and generating internal validations. When you are at a party where all your buddies are too busy working for hot girls’ attentions, you disrupt this mood from effecting you. At the same time, you bring out your internal emotional well-being by refocusing on the positive aspects of your life. Just to be clear, you are not trying to convince yourself that you are self-invested, you are actually self-investing in that very moment.
In discovery mode, the subconscious brain is grasping for something to grab a hold of. You give it that very thing by taking an amazingly bold action. Now is the time for a pep talk.
Be fearless. Break the pattern. Act against all your impulses. Declare unceasing war on your beliefs. Distant yourself from them. Your beliefs are not you. Challenge and destroy them like they were your worst enemies. Prove your own self-doubt and reservations wrong by doing the opposite of what it’s telling you to do.
If you need an additional dose of valor, read about Victoria Cross heroes. What you are trying to force here is a sense of freedom and personal power. I simply don’t know any other way of achieving this than putting your balls on the line. Despite all your planning and analyzing, every heist has its moment of profound personal risk, and you have to meet it with a dose of personal courage. What matters most is not that you have an answer for every question. What matters is that you just do it. And do it now. Without hesitations.
When the brain is focused on reality, it has to do what it’s naturally inclined to do: shape it. The only way you can shape reality is to accept all of your vulnerabilities and act boldly. You are now the biggest fan of yourself, but you may not be the only one. She might be one also.
She’s rooting for you to be that courageous, strong, and honest person that she always dreamt about.
If she doesn’t, then you will find out the answer very quickly.
The key to a hypnotist’s success in commanding his victims is the strength of his assertiveness. The more absolute his commands, the more power it has. You must also seek the same assertiveness in yourself, and the only way to do this is through massively bold actions. You’re the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.
With this assertion, you find yourself in harmony. Your two brains are now working together to achieve a common goal. You are no longer at odds with yourself. You are truly free to act and handle any consequence that comes along. The suggestion is almost complete, except for one fact: without a complete reprogramming, your subconscious brain will go back to its inertia eventually.
Complete rewiring of your brain
Imagine yourself being in the bank vault of one of the richest banks in the world. It is your brain, a device which holds unimaginable powers that people tend to ignore. You have finally broken in. But planting a suggestion device is not enough. You need to take over this bank and make sure it pays dividends for as long as it exists.
Below is a list of methods you can employ to ensure that the new powers that you now have will last:
Realizing the power of now
this topic has been discussed ad nauseam. The only comment I will add is that this power, if not practiced every day habitually, will slip away quite easily.
saying words like “sexy”, “cool”, and “funny” will subconsciously cause you to think of ways to become sexy, cool, and funny yourself. It’s a well-known scientific phenomenon. Think of a few words that describe how you want to project yourself, and repeat them on a regular basis. You’ll find yourself behaving in ways that align with these words.
meditation provides a way for your subconscious mind to quiet itself in simulation mode. It reduces the constant chatter that plagues most people in their daily lives. It makes the brain more conducive to its own power of suggestion.
as mentioned in the book The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, Dr. Nathaniel Branden outlines a basic practice for acquiring awareness, responsibility, conscious-living, assertiveness, purpose, and integrity. I cannot recommend it enough. It only takes 20 minutes a day, and the doors it opens are indescribable.
make it a practice to write down things that you did that made you feel validated as the person you want to become. Having a self-validation routine will prevent you from seeking external validation. The truth of the matter is that only you know yourself, and only you can most objectively validate yourself in the long run.
perhaps the only long term solution is to set goals for yourself. Setting goals, above all else, aligns all your values and life-force into one single purpose. With this purpose, you work with all your psychic energy to achieve it at all cost. These goals starts the self-investment mechanism, and lowers any external emotional investment.
As far as suggestions go, goal-setting is the most powerful tool to drive your subconscious brain.
It lays out a long-term plan that requires you to focus and act on a regular basis. Goal setting allows you to detach from day-to-day emotions and attach yourself to a bigger cause – your precious limited time on earth. It breaks the automatic investment in others’ opinion of you. It reprioritizes and give meanings to values. It aligns actions and consequences. It seeks feedback and suggestions. It gives command and control to the fire-and-forget missile. It provides a targeting system to a perfect seeking-and-destroying system.
Conclusion – Skepticism
In the nebulous world of self-help, the term confidence has been thrown around quite carelessly. Some define it as believing and trusting in yourself. Mark Manson describes it as having a little more skepticism in yourself. Here is my take on it:
The problem is not that you don’t trust yourself, it’s that you don’t trust yourself the right way. Consciously, you must learn to be a little more skeptical of your subconscious brain, to know when to disrupt it and reprogram the autopilot. Subconsciously, you must learn to trust your conscious brain.
This is the hardest thing to do, since you have less control over it than you actually think. However, with the right method, practice, and mindset, this too becomes easier and achievable. Once your two brains are harmonized, get ready for some awesomeness, because you are about to enter Flow. My next article will cover how Flow will maximize your potentials by turning them into pure kinetic energy.
Latest posts by Quan (see all)
- Increase Your Social Capital with the 3-Stage Leadership Method – Initiate, Coordinate, Penetrate - August 17, 2016
- 10 Tyrannies That We Torture Ourselves With - July 7, 2016
- Age Is Not a Thing – A Guide to Getting over Your Age - January 28, 2016