You are in a bar and see a gorgeous woman walk by. Nothing happens. She leaves. The end.
It's a short story (and a dull one) and most of us have lived it many times. We all want to change the script but something, a fear deep inside, stops us and keeps us cemented to the spot with our mouths firmly shut. That something is approach anxiety and it's probably cost you countless girls, ruined your nights out and chipped away at your self-esteem. Approach anxiety deserves to get its ass kicked!
There are two ways to go about this: the short way and the slightly longer way.
The short way is simple - go out and trample all over your approach anxiety. Every time you get that feeling in your stomach, get angry with it. Use it as fuel to drive you on. See a girl, move your feet in her direction and find out what happens.
Do this enough times and you'll notice two things:
If the short way isn't for you then don't worry. It will be. You just need to do some work to get you there.
First, make your day to day life your training ground. Speak to everyone. Start with people in shops, cafes or restaurants. They are guaranteed to talk to you. Usually they're so bored that it doesn't take much banter to brighten up their day. Step outside of generic, boring conversation patterns. Say the unexpected. Take a few risks.
Keep looking for ways to strike up conversations with strangers. People are happier to chat than you think. Your conversations don't need to go anywhere; just learn to become a social person.
Get used to beating your fears. Do things that scare you as often as you can. Run a marathon, take a boxing class or make a speech in public. Visualizing beforehand can help you do anything you find scary. If you feel fear, just re-label it as excitement.
Once you become a person who talks to everyone and takes risks you'll feel far more relaxed with the idea of approaching people in bars or clubs. If you speak to only one stranger the whole night and it's a girl then you're bound to feel self-conscious. If you speak to a whole bunch of people and some happen to be attractive women then it won't seem like such a big deal.
Find some decent opening lines that work for you, (there are hundreds in our Routines Manuals), memorize two or three, and keep using them. After a few times they'll feel natural and you'll be able to concentrate on getting your voice and body language right. Here are some more tips on making successful approaches.
Don't forget that approaching a woman is only the first step to seducing her. It is the most important - if you don't speak to her then your chances of getting naked with her are close to zero. But it's also vital to know what to say and do afterwards - you can read much more on that in our dating bible Magic Bullets.
Finally, expect approach anxiety to put up a fight. It may come back even when you thought you had it beaten. And sometimes, it may still get the better of you. It's okay if you lose some battles, just don't give up on the war!