Have you ever been in a bar with your buddies on a Friday night, and you see “that guy?” You see that middle-aged guy standing in the corner. He is usually either there by himself or there with one friend. He’s dressed a little bit like you, but the clothes don’t seem to fit the same way.
You watch this guy. You see him looking around ogling women. He checks them out, but is never talking to any of them. As the night goes on, it seems like his face gets longer and longer. You think to yourself, “Man, I never want to be that guy.”
I mean, here you are in your 20’s or your early 30’s. You’re in what I call the “adult adolescence” period of your life. That is the point in your life where you are learning about yourself and when you have infinite opportunities. Every night you have an option to meet any woman you want. Every day in the business world, you are learning so many new things about who you are and what you are all about.
So as you’re thinking to yourself that you never want to be “that guy” across the bar, you need to take advantage of the freedom and the options you have right now in your adult adolescence. The key to taking advantage of your adult adolescence is to have the right mindset about it.
From the time you get out of college at age 22 to about age 35, you are going to learn so much about yourself — about who you are, what your place is in the world, what type of job you want, how you are as a businessman and what kind of relationship you want. As you’re dating during your adult adolescence, you might sample different kinds of relationships. You might try living with someone. You might decide to just date a lot of different women while you are figuring out who you are. You do this so that you do not end up being that lonely guy at age 47.
You don’t want to beat yourself up during this time. So many guys during this period of their life tend to beat themselves up because they feel like they should get everything right on the first try, or that they should be achieving certain things by a certain age. They will think (about every part of their life), “When am I going to get this?!”
The wonderful thing about your adult adolescence is that you ARE getting it. Every day you are learning something. Every day you are embracing a new lesson. You are developing a complete picture of how you want your life to be.
Approach Rejection As A Learning Experience
It is true that one part of your adult adolescence will be experiencing your fair share of rejection. Do you know what I say to this? Get rejected over and over.
Approach rejection as a learning experience, because really there is no such thing as rejection. Say you see a woman you find incredibly attractive. You want to meet her, so you walk over to her. You say the exact “right thing” and she does nothing but walk away. You need to look at that as a learning experience, not as a rejection.
There is no such thing as rejection. Rejection is really all about a fear inside your own mind. Think about it. That woman doesn’t know you or what you’re all about. She doesn’t know what a great person you are. So really, when you feel rejected in that situation what you are doing is rejecting yourself. You did nothing wrong.
I remember when Kurt Warner threw an unprecedented five interceptions in one game against the Panthers, and then in the following couple week he went out and threw 4 touchdown passes. When a reporter asked him how he did it, he told the reporter that he has a short-term memory.
You need to be like Kurt Warner when it comes to rejection, and you need to have a short-term memory. The quicker you forget about it, the quicker you move forward.
Acknowledge That A Date Is Just A Date
Another part of enjoying your adult adolescence is embracing the idea that a date is just a date. It’s a chance for you to get to know somebody, and for someone to get to know you.
So don’t over-think your dates. Don’t go into dates with the mindset that a woman is hot and you need to make her your girlfriend.
Instead, your mindset on every date should be this: I am a strong, powerful, amazing person. I am going to be open. I am going to be honest. I am going to be myself. If this woman likes me, that is fantastic. It doesn’t matter though, because I might not even like her.
Don’t try to sell yourself. A date is just a chance to get to know someone. If you like her, then ask her out again. That’s really all there is to it. It really is that simple.
It’s all about your mindset. This woman with whom you are going out on a date is not a fantasy girl – at all. A fantasy girl is just an imaginary person you build up in your mind.
A date is really nothing more than an opportunity for you to spend time with someone to see whether you have mutual chemistry. That needs to be your mindset about your dates from now on.
Cast A Wide Net
During your adult adolescence, you need to cast a wide net. This applies to both your work and your personal life.
If you’re having trouble meeting women right now and the only place you’re going to meet them is bars and clubs, then you need to start thinking about trying to meet women in other places. Make a list of five places you really like to go. Places where you already like to go are great places to meet women, because it will be easy for you to have a conversation about something in which you’re genuinely interested.
Also, start thinking about going out with different people. Start expanding your social network a bit. If you don’t like your job, for example, then start talking to new people and going to events where you can build up your network.
Cast a wide net, because your life is only as powerful as your network. The more people you contact every day, the greater chance you have of succeeding every day.
Stop Looking At Your Friends’ Successes
One thing so many guys do in their adult adolescence, is to compare their lives to the lives of their friends. Stop this immediately! Stop looking at your friends’ successes. Don’t compare yourself to them – in terms of work or your personal life.
Don’t compare yourself to the friend who is dating three women right now. Don’t compare yourself to the friend who is making a lot more money than you are right now. They are on a totally different path.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Do not compare yourself to other people. At this moment, you may have friends who are dating more women or making more money than you. Be happy for them! The important thing is that you are embracing YOUR wins every single day.
Let’s say you have trouble approaching women, then start by approaching five women a day to overcome your approach anxiety. If you’re looking for career success, start thinking about what you want to do and how to meet the people so you’re able to get the job that you want. Every day take a step forward, and never compare yourself to anybody else’s success.
When I look back at my 20’s and early 30’s, I realize that some of the greatest times of my life happened during my adult adolescence. Unfortunately, I always wanted to be someone else during my adult adolescence. There were so many times when I just wanted to learn a lesson once and for all, and not have to keep trying to learn it over and over again.
As I look back now, though, I wouldn’t change anything that I experienced in my adult adolescence because they were some of the most carefree, amazing times of my life. They were also some of the most important times of my life for what I learned.
Whether it was the times I had to search my couch cushions for quarters so I could afford to buy a box of pasta for dinner, or that “most amazing” woman who never called me back, those experiences made sure I would never be “that guy”.
Some of those experiences felt like the end of the world when they were happening, but in reality they were just part of a growing process. They taught me a lot about myself, and they were some of the best times of my life.
So enjoy your adult adolescence. Don’t beat yourself up or compare yourself to anybody else, because this is your journey and that is what makes it magical.
Previously published on davidwygant.com and is republished here under permission.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: Istockphoto.com