At What Point Do You Give Up?
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
In response to my statement in “Real Empiricists Test”, uForia asked a follow up question on how you can tell the difference between something not working because you’re not getting right, and something not working because it simply doesn’t work:
“I think for most new guys, skepticism comes up when they follow your instructions but it blew up anyways, which questions your legitimacy. It is uncertain for many beginners like myself whether your method needs more practice or it’s just random PUA junk. Again, I didn’t say this to offend you or anything (I think you’re probably mature enough to not be offended anyways), as I’m sure you had difficulties finding what works and what doesn’t as well.”
In other words, when should you
This is a non-trivial question, and it’s one that’s pretty necessary to have some sort of an answer to. Because if you can’t tell when you’ve been tossing your time away on something that just doesn’t work, well... you can end up being that guy who goes and does 5000 approaches and still can’t get laid.
And you don’t want to be that guy.
The good news is that most people have a limit where they reach where they just give up without anyone having to tell them to do so... the bad news is that for most people that limit comes far too early, and for some it comes far too late.
I’m not certain offhand whether an article on how and when to give up vs. persevere is really all that important or necessary; I think it might be interesting, but I’d be surprised if it changed anything for anyone.
That’s because, from everything I’ve witnessed, whether you give up or persevere at something, or anything, is entirely dependent on you, and no one else.
I have seen guys right on the cusp of success, to whom I’ve said, “Stick with it! You are almost there! Success is just about yours!” about any number of things, only for them to throw in the towel in the last mile and pack it up and go home, back to mediocrity and averageness and wishing they could have those things they almost had but now never will.
Likewise, I have seen guys doing something over and over again that doesn’t make sense and that never works, no matter how many people I see doing it, and I’ve said to them, “Look, why don’t you take a short break – you don’t have to quit it forever – but just go try this other way, just for two weeks, and if it doesn’t work any better you can go back to doing what you’re doing,” but they just refuse, and keep doing that thing that isn’t getting them results until they realize on their own, sometimes years later, it was a waste of time and finally try something different.
And, I’ve been both of these guys myself at various times – waving the white flag when I’m five minutes from victory, and continuing far too long at stubbornly doing something that just doesn’t work.
The reason that pretty much everyone – you, I, and everybody else out there – is quite often terrible at gauging how near or far success is when using any given method on our own is because until you know how to achieve a certain kind of success, you will not be able to figure out how far away from it you are.
And you won’t know how to achieve a certain kind of success for sure until you have already achieved it.
Which means that, at least when you’re starting out, there’s a small
place for faith after all.
I Do Want Your Faith?
In the article about empiricism and testing, I perhaps was a little hard on faith.
Here’s what I mean.
When I first decided I’d approach getting good with women as a skill, I had no examples around me of any other man who’d ever done that. I’d never heard of anyone doing it, seen anyone who’d done it, or met anyone who had. The only thing that made me believe I could learn “girls” as a skill was because when I looked back on my life I’d seen myself having done it already with a variety of different things, some of them social, and I concluded that there was no way that succeeding with women should be any different.
Yet, there was no way for me to know this for sure, and indeed, in moments of doubt, I sometimes found myself wondering if something like this could ever really work.
Fortunately enough for me, I had enough early victories with my first few approaches that I felt like I was getting somewhere, but eventually you hit some plateaus where progress stalls out.
And at that point, when nothing seems to be working, and no progress seems to be getting made, and it feels like you’re weighted down with anvils on your shoes, the only thing that gets you through is pure, stubborn, old-fashioned hard-headedness, and not a little faith.
Faith in your theory of how things work, and faith in your self.
Does It Click or Does It Not
You don’t have to be someone with lots of faith to get good at picking up. You just have to be someone who’s either:
Had the past experience of learning any skill to a fair degree, or
Desperate enough that he’s willing to take something a little on faith
If you’re in one of those two categories, you’re the type of guy who hits a website like Girls Chase and says, “Yes! This is what I’ve been looking for – give it to me!” and then goes out and tries it.
But if you’re not... if you’ve never learned any skill to a fair degree with practice, discipline, hard work, and perseverance, outside of perhaps a trade that you developed through structured/imposed schooling or work... and you’re not so desperate for anything you can possibly try... you’re the type of guy who may well hit a site like this and say, “What a load of bunk. That stuff would never work in a million years, and you’d be better off trying to become a rock star or a millionaire if you wanted to get laid.”
Both of those first guys have some degree of faith – either prior history-based, like the guys who’ve built skills in the past and now look at the world through a skill-building lens, even for those things they have yet to try their hands at learning as skills, or desperation-based, where they’re so hard up for answers that they’re willing to try out anything that sounds reasonably persuasive.
To actually START something new, you’ve got to have some amount of faith it’s going to work. Imagine Henry Ford setting up the first assembly line for building automobiles, when nothing remotely similar had ever been done, or the Wright brothers thinking they could transition from bicycle makers to flying machine makers, when the world was souring on flying machines after a few decades of failed attempts across Europe and North America. There’s no way you could know for sure you can make some crazy idea like this work, and you’re either going to take it on faith that you can figure out a way to do so, or you’re going to say, “I’m not convinced that’s possible,” and you won’t. Most people are the latter.
So, there is a role for faith, and it’s a role that comes into play before you start testing things. Because, realistically, for you to go do any amount of hard work – and when you’re new to getting girls, going out and approaching is invariably going to be hard work – you’ve got to be sufficiently motivated. If you don’t think a thing is going to work, your motivation just goes right out the window.
When I’ve done something crazy and new, traditionally, I’ve preferred not to talk about it until it’s already done, because before that point, the Doubting Thomases around me have done their very best to dissuade me from doing it. I’ve reached a place in life now where most of the people around me have had plenty of experiences doing things everyone else tells them are impossible, so usually it’s safe discussing crazy ideas with them, but even then, I still find even open-minded friends will tell you things are impossible... so, usually better to just go do the things people will tell you are impossible first, and fill them in on the details once the impossible is already finished, handled, and in the bag.
I had a pretty good track record of taking guys out in-field during my live coaching days and getting them leaving with contact information from one or two girls they’d sleep with later, and sometimes with them leaving the session with a girl they’d sleep with then and there, or sometimes we’d pick up together. Sometimes these would be guys who’d previously talked about how they’d hit some plateau and couldn’t make it work and they were starting to wonder if they ever could.
These guys didn’t lack the capability; they just didn’t have a clear
roadmap for success in their heads since they hadn’t had much success,
and hadn’t clearly understood what caused their success when they had
had it, so they couldn’t figure out how to proceed until someone with a
better roadmap than them came in and told them where they needed to
Most guys who learn something about seduction throw the towel in pretty early, but so do most guys who learn something about anything. Most people who want to get good at singing give up pretty quickly, for instance.
But this isn’t American Idol (or Britain’s Got Talent if you’re across the pond or prefer the original). You’re not competing for one shot a season with a bunch of other ridiculously talented people (plus a few muppets), and if you don’t get it, that’s it. We’re talking about dating and sex; something that almost everybody does, many times with multiple partners throughout their lives.
It’s not rocket science. You’re not becoming a movie star or a billionaire here. It’s having sex with pretty girls... and there are LOTS of pretty girls, and LOTS of different kinds of guys of any infinite variety of characteristics having sex with them.
The Guy Who Gives Up Too Early
The Guy Who Gives Up Too Early™ is the guy who is not motivated to work hard.
He is the guy who wants everything in life to be easy, and becomes frustrated quickly when success is not given to him on a silver platter.
The Guy Who Gives Up Too Early™ shows up in pickup as the guy who says something like, “This stuff doesn’t work! I tried to move fast with a girl like you said, and now she won’t return my calls! It’s a waste of time,” or, “I’ve talked to almost 20 different women and still haven’t gotten laid. I don’t think this works for me.”
Which, if you know anything about game, is sort of like saying I’ve
tried 10 math problems and I still can’t solve these functions, or I’ve
played 40 holes of golf and I’m not golfing under par. What gives?
Not every guy wants to go be a cold approacher, of course; most men don’t. You can work on your fundamentals and learn game and get a handle on things like the Law of Least Effort and asymmetric returns and still do quite all right in these arenas, though you’ll probably never be great. But, there are a million different things you can learn to be great at, and you don’t have to be great to get a great girl. If you’re pretty good, you’ll get great girls at least some of the time, and because most people spend years going through different mates, chances are, being pretty good is all you really need to find a solid girl and hang onto her if that’s your objective.
Yet, if you’re going to base your opinions off of 20 approaches, well, I did several thousand in my first year of being very active, while holding down a full time office job, and though I haven’t done quite as many in any subsequent year (I don’t think...) as I did in that year, it does take a certain number of approaches to really get a feel for meeting women. Because you’re using this site, the amount of approaching you’ll have to do before you reach similar milestones I reached at various places is dramatically reduced, but it still isn’t zero. You’re not going to get in 20 approaches to where I got in 2000 approaches, no matter how well educated you are.
The Guy Who Gives Up Too Early™ stops martial arts after three classes because it’s too much running around; he quits piano lessons after going five times and still struggling with chopsticks; and he hangs up his approaching spurs after 20 approaches and still no dates.
It’s not that he lacks the capacity to succeed at anything; it’s simply that he lacks the motivation. He either:
Doesn’t believe in his capacity to make a given system work, or
Doesn’t want the end result bad enough to put the work in that’s required
If it’s the former, he will externalize it and blame it on the thing itself: “Basketball’s just too hard to learn if you aren’t seven feet tall with really big hands” or “Pickup is nonsense because it only works for guys who are really good looking” or “You have to have musical talent to learn piano”, even though these are just excuses and examples abound of people without these advantages who’ve mastered the skill in question.
But deep down, what differentiates The Guy Who Gives Up Too Early™ from those men who do not is that The Guy Who Gives Up Too Early™ either doesn’t care enough about a thing to bust his chops and make it work, or he doesn’t believe in his own ability to make something work, while the guys who make a thing work look at that thing and say, “I’m going to make this work if it’s the last thing I do,” then proceed to do just that.
(which is not to say you need to commit to learning seduction, or
any skill set for that matter; I’ve dropped out of far more skill sets
than I’ve stuck it out with, including piano, karate, snowboarding,
acting, billiards, every language from Spanish to French to Japanese to
Korean, Lean Six Sigma, darts, and a bunch more I probably can’t recall
that I spent some time learning and thought I really wanted to learn
well, but abandoned; in my case, whatever the method being taught, I’ve
always fully believed I could find a way to make it work, I just...
didn’t care enough to make the endeavor a priority over other more
important things to me)
The Guy Who Doesn’t Know When to Give Up
The opposite of The Guy Who Gives Up Too Early™ isn’t the guy who sticks it out just right, but rather The Guy Who Doesn’t Know When to Give Up™. Where The Guy Who Gives Up Too Early™ could use a good infusion of motivation and/or faith in his own ability to make things work, The Guy Who Doesn’t Know When to Give Up™ is in serious need of a dose of reality.
The Guy Who Doesn’t Know When to Give Up™ does not know how to work smart.
These guys are harder to work with than the ones who give up too early. When a guy gives up too early, it’s usually because he’s never had ANYTHING in his life he’s achieved outsized success in, and doing so is just something that sits outside his reality and seems like an impossible hurdle to overcome. When you can work with a guy like this in the field, all you need to do is take him out, throw him into interactions with women you can tell are open to meeting someone, arm him with a few specific things to do, and suddenly he’s doing things he thought were completely out of reach for him, and they’re a lot easier than he expected they would be.
And then you have him do it with another girl. And then another. And
another. And his previous reality is shattered.
But The Guy Who Doesn’t Know When to Give Up™ is a different case. That’s because THIS guy will not listen to you at all. He is so certain that he is on the right path that he will just do the same exact thing over and over and over and over again, with it never working, under the assumption that his approach is only going to get better if he just keeps repeating this thing without changing anything.
Fact is, you should be changing things every time you try them out, and
writing off stuff that doesn’t work after a certain amount of time.
no matter how much material you consume and how detailed that material
is, you only ever have a partial picture of what you need to do;
you must constantly be tweaking your approach, changing things,
modifying, and customizing it to find something that distinctly suits you.
Most people understand this, but there’s a minority of men that this
does not make sense for; I don’t know if it’s a lack of creativity or
what it is, but the only thing they do is the same exact unchanging
thing, again and again and again.
That doesn’t mean you write off an entire skill area because you tried one thing and it didn’t work, like The Guy Who Gives Up Too Early™. That’s like trying to paint a tree by spotting oil paint on canvas for leaves, producing a crummy-looking tree, and saying, “There. I knew I couldn’t paint. Those damn paint gurus trying to tell me I could learn this... what a load of BS.” Instead, it means you try painting that tree, it comes out crummy, and you say, “Okay, that sucks. What should I try to do differently next time? Maybe I can try spotting the paint while holding the paint brush at a different angle.”
The common theme between both The Guy Who Gives Up Too Early™ and The Guy Who Doesn’t Know When to Give Up™ is that neither guy asks what he’s doing wrong and what he needs to change.
Instead, The Guy Who Gives Up Too Early™ throws his hands up and says, “It doesn’t work. I quit!”, while The Guy Who Doesn’t Know When to Give Up™ strokes his chin and said, “Hmm, it didn’t work. I’m sure I did it right though... let me just go do that another 5000 times until it starts to work.”
(worth noting: it’s been my observation that the majority of the
guys who run into this problem specifically with seduction tend to be
extremely tightly-wound “by the book” types who follow a life pattern
of taking whatever they get from an authority figure and following it
to the letter with no deviation or experimentation; many of them doing
this in seduction also seem to be of Indian or Pacific Islander
descent... maybe because these cultures have strict,
do-not-challenge-your-better hierarchies? Not familiar enough with the
cultures to say for sure, but my understanding of them is that strict,
unwavering adherence to instructions from an authority figure is the
way people from these cultures are raised, which if that’s accurate may
be why they seem to gravitate so much to very structured methods of
game, then fail to learn the things structured teachers do but don’t
teach, like most fundamentals, since these typically aren’t part of the
It’s the Man, Not the Method
Head on over to a bodybuilding forum, and you will find a thousand different methods instructing you how to eat and how to train to build a great body. You could spend years trying to figure out which one you should listen to. Yet, you’ll notice if you pay much attention that most of the guys harping all their different methods, and ragging on the other guys whose methods differ significantly from theirs, all of them have pretty decent physiques – it’s a bunch of muscular men telling each other their muscle-building method is better than the next guy’s, but clearly they’ve all built muscle.
And it’s the same thing with teaching math, or martial arts, or seduction.
Yes, the right teacher helps. And the right method will expedite your learning and make things faster and more natural for you.
But you know what? Almost all of the writers on this website came from a different school of seduction, and yet we all ended up in the same place, and all of us get results.
It isn’t the METHOD that makes you successful; it’s the MAN. It’s you.
Success comes from doing. A good method can make it easier; a bad one can make it harder.
But not even the worst method in the world can prevent you from getting good at something if you want, and not even the best one can make you great at something if you don’t do the work, or aren’t smart about how you do it.
If you’re worried about whether you’re doing things right... quit worrying so much about the method. If you’re following a method that you think is flawed, and you can’t find anything better, then hey – maybe throw the method out altogether and teach it to yourself.
Because you know what? A lot of guys out there teach themselves game every day. It can be done. Much of what I learned I learned on my own; teachers and mentors and role models helped, but there was all kinds of stuff I had to piece together from random people in my life or clues from guys who were good with girls but couldn’t fully explain what they were doing (like: deep diving, chase framing, eliciting values, emotional cresting, how to build sexual tension properly, etc.).
I will never begrudge a guy for teaching himself anything. I try to
seek out mentors when I can, but I’ve had plenty of things I’ve said to
myself, “Screw what everyone else is teaching, their stuff doesn’t work
for me; I’ll just figure it out on my own.”
If you’ve got a method you believe in that makes it easier for you,
that’s great. But if you don’t? Just
go do the thing until you
make it work. In our case, that means just go talk to girls
until you’ve got girls all figured out. You don’t have to follow Girls
Chase, or any other site, guide, or method. Some of the most original
styles of game I’ve seen have come from guys who figure out their own
unique way of bedding women with little influence from others.
So long as you are working hard (that is, doing a thing frequently and with dedication) and you are working smart (you’re constantly adjusting your approach, analyzing why something didn’t work, and testing a possible solution), you will succeed.
Just don’t be the guy who throws his hands up after 20 approaches,
or the one who robo-approaches 5000 girls without changing hardly a
thing, and you’ll probably be all right ;)
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