Inner Confidence vs. Outer Techniques: What To Focus On?

single man walking woods

Fake body language

You walk into a bar and spot a gorgeous looking girl and you want to approach her. Your hands start sweating, your heart starts to pump like crazy and you feel hectic and nervous. Your body language is a mess. You know it’s a high-stakes situation so your body is putting you in “approach anxiety” state. But you shrug it off by taking a deep breath and approach the girl.

Boom! It is a disaster – she just turns away from you like you don’t even exist and that makes you withdraw from the situation, go home to your cave and contemplate on the unjustness of life and man-to-woman interactions.

Sadness and grief turn into anger and conviction – the ego’s favorite meal. So you tell yourself “I will show her. I will become the master of picking up girls.” And you start learning the techniques to do it.  That’s how most of us started getting better with girls, including me.

But let’s see what’s happening while we learn the techniques and body language.

Outer techniques

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 20 years old and this girl, a friend of mine, told me that I should pick up a book called The Game by Neill Strauss.  Her words were something like “This could help you with the ladies. A lot! And you really need it.”

So I checked the book out and boy was she right! The book was simply amazing, filled with sexual encounters of a guy who couldn’t pick up milk from the shelf yet alone a girl from the bar – into becoming one of the most prominent pick-up artists of all time.

And I was hooked instantly. I started looking deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of pick up and body language techniques that were just named in the book.

It took me about 2 months to read 7 books about picking up girls, filled with techniques, routines, different kind of openers, body language positions, eye contact tricks, jokes and tricks learned by heart etc.  I was like a magician (and there is one in The Game) with a handful of tricks in my sleeve, great body language and all designed to get from point A to the girl’s pants.

And the stuff worked. Especially the body language. To be honest, I had no idea why they worked but I didn’t even care. I just knew they worked and that was the only thing that mattered.  I had so many girls in my life that I started to feel invincible. The problem of approaching a girl on the street or in a bar, disco or the coffee shop was non-existent. The results kept stacking and stacking and I was living every single teenage boy’s dream.

Until I wasn’t.

See, our minds play a trick on us. They make us believe that we want something to be happy and then when we get it, we suddenly realize it wasn’t the thing that would make us happy.In fact, it made us even more miserable.

And the same thing happened with me and my invincibility streak. I was no longer motivated to go and chase girls because they didn’t provide me with the real change I wanted. It all seemed so fake – fake tricks, fake body language, fake everything. The tricks I learned were something I had to constantly memorize and apply and after a couple of months, the question in my head finally couldn’t be ignored.

“What if I just behave as I truly am? Will that get me the girl?”

And I already knew the answer to the question. I have focused only on memorizing the techniques, tricks and the body language moves and it’s no wonder that not a single girl stuck around. They all left when the facade of techniques feel down like a house of cards.

And that moment I knew it was time to focus on my Inner Game.

Inner Game

Outer techniques just masquerade the causes of problems you have. They put a paint on the rotten walls and pretend that everything was alright. Inner Game uncovers the paint, looks critically at the walls and clearly express which are good to keep, which need to be fixed and which are so rotten that they need to be torn down.

And this process is always painful because you are dealing with your biggest character and personality flaws and insecurities all the while having your ego on your shoulder, nagging to you like an annoying relative.  But trust me, the results of work far exceed the pains of the process.

I will divide this process into 3 different categories: Emotional State, I am Enough and Self Efficacy

Emotional State

The first thing to understand is that there are things you can fake and body language is one of them. You can, as they say, fake it till you make it, but the problem with faking it is that it catches up to you. Your body language is just an expression of your emotional state. That is literally the definition of body language. So if you fix your emotional state, your body language will immediately follow through.

Emotional state is the cause, body language is the effect. So if you want to have a confident look, stand up straight, look people in the eyes and talk with conviction, it needs to happen from your emotional state. And the most important thing here is to understand that you can’t control which emotion will spring up in you, but as sure as hell you can control if you are going to react to it.

There is a term called emotional hijacking which tells us that strong emotions hijack a person’s body and make it do actions that the emotions require.  An example is a situation where someone pushes you – and you respond by hitting the person. In that moment, you didn’t make a conscious decision to hit the person, but your emotion of anger hijacked your body and made you react that way.

arrogant man skeptical

But you can control this process because there is a small space between the things you feel and the actions you do.
You just need to be aware of that space. The same thing is with the feeling of nervousness when you have to approach a girl. You need to acknowledge the feeling and just it let go through your body and it will be gone soon. Then, you can follow up on your first intentions and walk up to the girl without feeling nervous.

Remember: You can’t control your feelings, but you can control if you will follow up on those feelings.
You can’t hide from your feelings. You need to acknowledge that they are there and let them go through you.

These are simple steps, but they are not easy. It will take you years to master them, but it will be worthy. It will feel weird and awkward at the beginning and you will doubt that you can do it in the first place. And because of that, I will introduce you to the second aspect of the Inner Game and that is Self-Efficacy


Self-efficacy is defined as a judgment of how well you can execute on a certain matter. It is connected with the notion of coping and thriving which I talked about in an earlier article. Self-efficacy is the belief that you can do it and if you can’t, that you are able to learn to do it.

This goes mostly against the things we have been taught in schools and families. The sentences like “You will never be creative enough to be a writer, painter or a musician.” or a sentence focused on our, at that time, limited cognitive or physical abilities like “You will never be good at math/sports/chess/talking.” makes us believe that our capacity and potential is limited when in fact, it isn’t.

This even works with picking up girls – a skill set that can be learned.

A scientist named Carol Dweck talked about two mindsets people have: A fixed mindset which believes that our abilities and potential is set in stone and that we can’t change it, and a growth mindset which believes that we can’t measure our potential and that, with enough deliberate practice and repetition, we can master any skill we want to.

What that basically says is that everything is learnable…if you invest time and proper training into it. So when we get back to talk about emotional state, you need to know that yes, it will be and feel weird not to listen to your emotions in the beginning, but that you can do it.

“If you believe that you can, you are halfway there” as the saying would go. People who are doing it right now are no different then except the amount of time they invested in their skillset. And you can be there if you invest time and practice too.

But the last thing we need to talk about here is much deeper than the mindset that we can learn things. It is connected with the perception and image we have about ourselves, where we tell ourselves what we should and shouldn’t deserve in our lives.

And it is a problem of the rich and the poor, of the privileged and underprivileged, of the first and the third world countries and that is the concept of “I am enough.”

I am Enough

I am enough means that you are, at this moment, enough as a person and that you fully accept who you are.
Paradoxically, only when you fully accept everything you are, will you be able to change any part you wish you the change. Because it comes from the mindset of acceptance, not repugnance.

I am enough is an enormous problem today because it limits our potential for the things we can do, be and achieve by thinking that we are not enough and that we don’t deserve it.

I’ve had this for years, coming from a broken third-world country. I believed that I should be where I currently am and that I can’t aim high because that isn’t something we do.

You suck with girls? Well, too bad for you.
You are poor? That is just life and you will struggle for the rest of your life with it.
You are fat? Your metabolism is like that and there is nothing you can do.

When I accepted that I am enough and that I can be whatever I worked for to be, I lost the notion of not being enough and embraced who I am completely.

Then, and only then, was I able to achieve the success I desperately wanted. A real success, coming deep within me, from a changed emotional state and the ability that I can learn every skill.


The techniques and fake body language were fun to do in the beginning, but at some point, they just become something you must do to cover your true self. The real change happens deep within you, in the inner self and that is what you need to focus on to achieve change and great, ever-lasting results.

The exterior results will follow the interior successes. Those are the principles that govern the world, my dating life and your’s as well.

The only question left is, will you follow them?

About Bruno Boksic 20 Articles
Bruno Boksic writes about men's interest topics, including self-improvement, dating, relationships, productivity and success. His goal is to help readers just like you to become the best version of themselves. Be sure to follow Bruno on Facebook