One thing men commonly have trouble with is self-doubt, particularly as it pertains to game. They struggle to work up the nerve to talk with women and wonder if it’s possible to ditch that noise and develop greater self-confidence in its place. The answer is yes, with mindfulness and conscious effort, it’s certainly possible.

The first thing to be mindful of is that anything having to do with self also has to do with identity, and that’s what this article is about. The extent to which you can increase your self-confidence depends on how much you allow your true identity—the foundation of self-confidence—be influenced by your false identity, which is the basis for self-consciousness.

What is true identity?

True identity refers to how you see yourself independent of how you believe others see you. It’s how you would see yourself if you lived in the forest in complete solitude apart from the rest of civilization. It’s extremely important to develop and maintain a strong true identity because it’s the foundation upon which you develop the aspects of “self” that make you resilient to others’ negative feedback, e.g., self-confidence, self-assuredness, self-esteem, self-efficacy, etc.

What is false identity?

False identity, on the other hand, refers to how you see yourself based on the vibes you pick up from others. It represents a constant threat to your true identity because it puts your self-worth at the mercy of others. Left unchecked, other people’s negative feedback can make you feel self-conscious. You begin to question what you think of yourself, and this fucks with your self-confidence.

Identities interact

The level of confidence you carry into a given interaction with a woman depends heavily on the extent to which you allowed past setbacks of your false identity erode your true identity in the present. Some men seem like they are naturally more sensitive to these past setbacks, compared to others.

Take my old Army buddy, “Malone,” for example. Malone was a 6’6” self-assured badass “nerves of steel”-type motherfucker as an Airborne Ranger, but when it came to spittin’ game at a chick—even just a 5 or 6—he was about as smooth as a one-legged cat trying to bury a turd in a frozen pond. It was embarrassing for him, for the girl, for me, and for any other bystanders forced to bear witness to that shitshow.

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Despite what those witnesses probably thought, Malone was not a retarded person suffering from cerebral palsy and a speech impediment. Nope. Malone’s problem was that he had faced a few rejections in the past, and he let that shit get in his head. He internalized those girls’ negative feedback and became self-conscious. This, in turn, compromised his self-worth in terms of mate value and fucked his confidence with women well into the future.

How a man sees himself—his true identity—will always be affected by the feedback he picks up from others to some degree, but the key to preserving self-confidence is to mentally quarantine the negative shit before it makes you feel self-conscious. If Malone had been aware that those girls’ feedback was not a direct indication of his mate value, he wouldn’t have automatically owned it as part of his true identity. As such, his self-confidence wouldn’t have been compromised, and he would have had much better game with women in the future.

Conclusion

A man who has a weak true identity lives in a state of uncertainty. He’s not sure who he is, and he bases his self-worth on a false identity cobbled together from information he gleans from everyone else. That’s a vulnerable head space to live in, and instead of taking risks, his mindset is to avoid risks at all costs. The last thing he wants is for a woman to crush his self-worth by rejecting him.

A man who has a strong true identity determines his own self-worth for the most part. He’s not immune to negative feedback from others—nobody ever is—he just doesn’t let it overwhelm him to the point of feeling self-conscious. That’s what preserves his self-confidence into the future. Unlike Malone, “having something to lose,” isn’t even on his radar. He focuses on what he has to gain and deals with rejection in stride.

Now that you know what to be mindful of, it’s time to take on step two: Do something. You can sit here being mindful of shit all the live-long day, but until you get your ass out there and do something, your game will not improve. Keep in mind that if you’re actually out there doing something, you will most definitely be on the receiving end of negative feedback, i.e., rejection. That’s just how the world works. Just don’t be like Malone. Remember that those skanks’ incorrect opinions of your worthiness mean nothing about who you are as a man… that is, not unless you decide they do.

Read More: 9 Immutable Laws Of Game