There is a fundamental theory in psychology you need to grasp before approaching any inner game strategies. It's the ABC's: Affect, Behavior, Cognition. Each of these influence the other. The key to successful inner game exercises is to either use exercises that attempt to change all three or use a cluster of exercises that target them individually. I'm going to give you a brief introduction followed by concepts used and examples, so you can understand the processes at work.Journaling
Journaling is a pretty powerful tool in attaining inner game. Field Reports/Lay Reports are part of this journaling, but journaling is much broader than that. One writes of any experience that is important, both in a positive or negative way. What you write about is really important in this. If it's positive, you want to outline how much you've improved from where you started at. If its negative, you always must point out ways to improve for next time.
You can also do a daily journal in addition to event journaling, where you list 5 positive aspects about yourself or things that happened that day. This constantly primes a person to more positive things that happened, that they may have taken for granted. If 5 is too easy, you do 10. The subject of these lists changes depending on what the person needs to improve on. It's been shown to work by doing Thankful Journals, Positive Traits, etc.Quote about this:
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make our world.
“Write continuously about the most upsetting or traumatic experience of your entire life. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or sentence structure. In your writing, I want you to discuss your deepest thoughts and feelings about the experience. You can write about anything you want. But whatever you choose, it should be something that has affected you very deeply. Ideally, it should be about something you have not talked about with others in detail. It is critical, however, that you let yourself go and touch those deepest emotions and thoughts that you have. In other words, write about what happened and how you felt about it, and how you feel about it now. Finally, you can write on different traumas during each session or the same one over the entire study. Your choice of trauma for each session is entirely up to you.”Finding of Journaling About Negative Experiences:
• Coping through writing (Pennebaker, 1997)
– reduced anxiety
– 50% drop in visits to doctor
– immune system and overall health improved
– general emotional well-being increased
– became more social
– found gender differences
– replicated across culturesLinks to contribute to knowledge of effective journaling:http://law.jrank.org/pages/1124/Excuse- ... shing.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_p ... d_optimismhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-efficacyhttp://michaelgr.com/2007/04/15/fixed-m ... e-are-you/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schema_Self Concordant Goals
There has been a recent rise in the Field Report section of various “Learning Journals.” As a result, it made me remember research regarding goal setting that I skipped over when compiling this post about journaling. Research shows that the more meaningful a goal is, the greater potential it has for increasing our overall well being. Self concordant goals are long term goals which are intrinsically motivated. When one sets a goal that is both meaningful and congruent what they want – not what a PUA Forum or society expects, they not only are more likely to achieve their goals but also increase their levels of happiness/wellbeing, are more successful in future endeavors, and experience an increased motivation which lowers procrastination.
Sheldon and Houser-Marko wrote:
"those who began the semester with goals that matched their implicit values and interests were better able to attain those goals over the semester, which in turn led to increased adjustment. Goal attainment yielded an additional benefit in that high-achieving participants felt a greater sense of self-determination in their second-semester goals, which in turn predicted even higher levels of attainment during the second semester" (pp. 160-161)
It has been found the more meaningful the goal, the larger the possible impact. This was hinted at 870’s post of aligning yourself with who you want to be. Meaningful means the goals are pursued out of deep personal conviction and/or a strong self interest. These goals are free from the desire to impress others.
Tal Ben Sha-har in Happier wrote:
Many people in enlightened democracies spend much of their time feeling enslaved -- not by the regime but by extrinsic factors that are self-imposed, such as prestige, a desire to please, obligation, or fear. They experience life as more or less a series of chores that they have to carry out rather than activities that they want to engage in. "Have-tos"...are not self-concordant...
At the foundation of this all, it deals with our goals aligning with our needs, values, and our self concept of ours self. These kinds of goals, unlike extrinsically motivated ones, have been shown to increase levels of well being AND help become more successful at achieving goals. What this means is that internally you will benefit in a way other types of goals lack, while experiencing an increased motivation and success in future outer game pursuits.
Links for further information:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/don ... -happinesshttp://lifetwo.com/production/node/2007 ... e-of-goalshttp://academic.udayton.edu/jackbauer/P ... 20copy.pdfMindfulness Exercises and Exercise
A lot of inner game issues are depression and anxieties. Meditation and exercise have both been shown to change the physiology of the body, enabling the person to feel better. Exercise is actually shown to be the more effective treatment for depression. Meditation has been shown an effective treatment for social anxieties and other things that hinder the progression of PUAs. Meditation changes the structure of the brain, while exercise releases useful chemicals into the system. This make someone more confident, less easily aroused and stressed, and more calm in new situations. Meditation is the best example of mindfulness exercises, but it can be done with anything, including music, dance, exercise, etc.
“In a way, exercise can be thought of as a psychiatrist’s dream treatment. It works on anxiety, on panic disorder, and on stress in general, which has a lot to do with depression. And it generates the release of neurotransmitters—norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine—that are very similar to our most important psychiatric medicines. Having a bout of exercise is like taking a little bit of Prozac and a little bit of Ritalin, right where it is supposed to go.”
“Studies of short-term mood indicate that positive affect is more related to action than to thought, such that it is easier to induce a state of high positive affect through doing than through thinking... Two broad classes of activity are particularly conducive to elevated positive mood: (a) socializing and interpersonal behavior and (b) exercise and physical activity.”Links about meditation and exercise:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broaden-and-buildhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_app ... meditationhttp://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamer ... rcises.htmLink on how to meditatehttp://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/The_ ... rahmavamsoActing Confidently
This doesn't need explaining. This is the classic Mystery "Fake it till you make it" strategy. Notice the reason it's not really affective is it only focuses on Behavior. But when combined with exercises that target Affect and Cognition, it proves much more useful.Links about fake it or make ithttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-perception_theoryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonancehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_it_till_you_make_ithttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_feedbackReframing Thought Patterns
Force yourself to look at things from other perspectives. Example of thought patterns that need to be changed:
The Ten Cognitive Distortions (David Burns)
1. All-or-nothing thinking
3. Mental filter
4. Disqualifying the positive
5. Jumping to conclusions
6. Magnifying or minimizing
7. Emotional reasoning
8. ‘Should’ or ‘must’ statements
10. Personalization and blame
Here is a list of common Cognitive Distortions, always challenge your own thoughts.
We take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. For instance, a person may pick out a single, unpleasant detail and dwell on it exclusively so that their vision of reality becomes darkened or distorted.
2. Polarized Thinking (or “Black and White” Thinking).
In polarized thinking, things are either “black-or-white.” We have to be perfect or we’re a failure — there is no middle ground. You place people or situations in “either/or” categories, with no shades of gray or allowing for the complexity of most people and situations. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
In this cognitive distortion, we come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something bad happens only once, we expect it to happen over and over again. A person may see a single, unpleasant event as part of a never-ending pattern of defeat.
4. Jumping to Conclusions.
Without individuals saying so, we know what they are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, we are able to determine how people are feeling toward us.
For example, a person may conclude that someone is reacting negatively toward them but doesn’t actually bother to find out if they are correct. Another example is a person may anticipate that things will turn out badly, and will feel convinced that their prediction is already an established fact.
We expect disaster to strike, no matter what. This is also referred to as “magnifying or minimizing.” We hear about a problem and use what if questions (e.g., “What if tragedy strikes?” “What if it happens to me?”).
For example, a person might exaggerate the importance of insignificant events (such as their mistake, or someone else’s achievement). Or they may inappropriately shrink the magnitude of significant events until they appear tiny (for example, a person’s own desirable qualities or someone else’s imperfections).
With practice, you can learn to answer each of these cognitive distortions.
Personalization is a distortion where a person believes that everything others do or say is some kind of direct, personal reaction to the person. We also compare ourselves to others trying to determine who is smarter, better looking, etc.
A person engaging in personalization may also see themselves as the cause of some unhealthy external event that they were not responsible for. For example, “We were late to the dinner party and caused the hostess to overcook the meal. If I had only pushed my husband to leave on time, this wouldn’t have happened.”
7. Control Fallacies.
If we feel externally controlled, we see ourselves as helpless a victim of fate. For example, “I can’t help it if the quality of the work is poor, my boss demanded I work overtime on it.” The fallacy of internal control has us assuming responsibility for the pain and happiness of everyone around us. For example, “Why aren’t you happy? Is it because of something I did?”
8. Fallacy of Fairness.
We feel resentful because we think we know what is fair, but other people won’t agree with us. As our parents tell us when we’re growing up and something doesn’t go our way, “Life isn’t always fair.” People who go through life applying a measuring ruler against every situation judging its “fairness” will often feel badly and negative because of it. Because life isn’t “fair” — things will not always work out in your favor, even when you think they should.
We hold other people responsible for our pain, or take the other track and blame ourselves for every problem. For example, “Stop making me feel bad about myself!” Nobody can “make” us feel any particular way — only we have control over our own emotions and emotional reactions.
We have a list of ironclad rules about how others and we should behave. People who break the rules make us angry, and we feel guilty when we violate these rules. A person may often believe they are trying to motivate themselves with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if they have to be punished before they can do anything.
For example, “I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.” Musts and oughts are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When a person directs should statements toward others, they often feel anger, frustration and resentment.
11. Emotional Reasoning.
We believe that what we feel must be true automatically. If we feel stupid and boring, then we must be stupid and boring. You assume that your unhealthy emotions reflect he way things really are — “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”
12. Fallacy of Change.
We expect that other people will change to suit us if we just pressure or cajole them enough. We need to change people because our hopes for happiness seem to depend entirely on them.
13. Global Labeling.
We generalize one or two qualities into a negative global judgment. These are extreme forms of generalizing, and are also referred to as “labeling” and “mislabeling.” Instead of describing an error in context of a specific situation, a person will attach an unhealthy label to themselves.
For example, they may say, “I’m a loser” in a situation where they failed at a specific task. When someone else’s behavior rubs a person the wrong way, they may attach an unhealthy label to him, such as “He’s a real jerk.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. For example, instead of saying someone drops her children off at daycare every day, a person who is mislabeling might say that “she abandons her children to strangers.”
14. Always Being Right.
We are continually on trial to prove that our opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and we will go to any length to demonstrate our rightness. For example, “I don’t care how badly arguing with me makes you feel, I’m going to win this argument no matter what because I’m right.” Being right often is more important than the feelings of others around a person who engages in this cognitive distortion, even loved ones.
15. Heaven’s Reward Fallacy.
We expect our sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if someone is keeping score. We feel bitter when the reward doesn’t come.
Link to cognitive distortions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_distortionExamples of other Cognitive Reframes:
• Challenge or threat (Tomaka et al., 1997)
• Arousal as euphoria or anger (Schachter & Singer, 1962)
• Cooperation or competition (Ross & Samuels, 1993)
• Volunteering as privilege or duty (Lareau, 2004)
• Relationships about being known or being validated (Schnarch, 1997)
• Failure as opportunity or disaster
• Work as exercise or choreLinksapproach-anticipation-excitement-vt35880.html?highlight=approachhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 125257.htmhttp://michaelgr.com/2007/04/15/fixed-m ... e-are-you/http://www.enotalone.com/article/5412.htmlhttp://health.discovery.com/centers/men ... imism.htmlSleep
Sleep is critical in so many things. Basically it'll affect performance on skills and even which events you remember (Sleep deprivation makes people forget the positive occurrence but remember negative). This subject is too diverse for links, just trust me.
“Effects of sleep deprivation on health and well-being have been documented by research. Cognitive skills and physical performance are impaired by sleep deprivation, but mood is affected even more. People who get less than a full night's sleep are prone to feel less happy, more stressed, more physically frail and more mentally and physically exhausted as a result. Sufficient sleep makes us feel better, happier, more vigorous and vital.”Self Efficacy
This is learning that one is able to achieve the goals they want to. The basic way to cultivate this is to go outside your comfort zone and try new things. Once you fail, you cope with the failure, try again and succeed. Ultimately what breeds the confidence isn't the successes, but rather the realization that one can cope with failure. That's when self efficacy is developed.Links about Self Efficacy:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-efficacyhttp://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/BanEncy.htmlhttp://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index ... f-EfficacyBuddhism
It's increasingly being found that a lot of Buddhist principles are very similar in restructuring thought patterns, by changing cognitions and behaviors. Not all are really useful in PUA, but several are.
And the 10 grave precepts from the Zen tradition:
Affirm life; Do not killLinks about Buddhism's Applications:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Prece ... n_Preceptshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_psychologyPositive Psychology
Be giving; Do not steal
Honor the body; Do not misuse sexuality
Manifest truth; Do not lie
Proceed clearly; Do not cloud the mind
See the perfection; Do not speak of others' errors and faults
Realize self and other as one; Do not elevate the self and blame others
Give generously; Do not be withholding
Actualize harmony; Do not be angry
Really useful field filled with tons of inner game help. Be careful though, as psuedo scientists love to use the label to propagate their self help junk. Positive psych is what drew my attention to Buddhism.Link to Powerpoints of the classes I watched on the internet:http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?ke ... .page69146Cultivation of Self Esteem
These are the things that have been researched and shown to cultivate self esteem. They are located in the self esteem powerpoint from the Harvard Lectures.
Slave to passions
This is breaking up the final goal into small, measurable goals that show the progress the person is doing. This can then be journaled about. Commitment and consistency is big here. If you say your going to do it, especially to a PUA coach, you'll feel obligated to do it. Goals and the pursuits of goals should have this:
• Clear sense of direction
• Immediate feedback
• Written plan (Claypool & Cangemi, 1983)
• Specific goals (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1982)
• Setting lifelines (Tami, 1999)
– goals in-spire
– goals are life-enhancing
• Go public (telling people so they hold you accountable)
Also, making sure goals are self concordant. This means basically if you had a vin diagram of the below three questions, your goals would fit into where the circles over lap. 870 mentioned this and correctly diagnosed why it work.Three question process
• What is meaningful to me? What is important to me?
• What is pleasurable to me? What do I enjoy doing?
• What are my strengths? What am I good at?Visualizations
870 mentioned this above. While from what I remember, it doesn't really work for the reasons 870 mentioned, it doesn't change it works. This is the only tool I don't use and as a result, I don't remember much about the research or ways of utilizing it. I do know that in one study, one group visualized getting an A on a test, while the other group visualized working hard and getting an A on a test. That simple intervention yielded significantly higher grades for the work group. It may have something to do with visualizations leads to beliefs, which creates cognitive dissonance. It's basically a more realistic version of "The Secret". Sorry I can't tell you more about this though.
I borrowed a lot from the Positive Psych lectures to keep my thoughts organized. I hope I remembered all of them, but this should give anyone tons of tools they can select from. I personally think mindfulness is one of the easiest yet effective ones, from both research and my life. I still do the mindfulness and journaling, but have done all these of varying degree and continue to do them. You can never have too stable of an inner game IMO The below were added after the initial post, to keep information in one place.Systematic Desensitization
The basic method in systematic desensitization is teaching a student a coping mechanism for their stress -- like relabeling that emotion or deep breathing -- coupled with gradual exposure to the stimulus which causes the anxiety, stress, worry, panic, etc. Instead of trying to do things like go to a club and sarge, an AFC may be much more able and willing to do an approach during the day just saying Hi. As the anxiety of those approaches decreases, then another goal is set that has higher level of anxiety. You use these escalating goals in the direction of the final goal (sarging in the club), so that your becoming desensitized to all the things leading up to that. By the time you achieve the final goal, you've improved drastically on your social anxiety. This can be applied to many things, but AA is the most common method.Example:
Approach old men and women. Get comfortable doing it, then move onto next step.
Approach ugly girls your age. Get comfortable doing it, then move onto next step.
Approach attractive girls you are. Get comfortable doing it, then move onto next step.Linkshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systematic_desensitizationSarging
After reading this thread today, I realized I didn't discuss sarging! Many people like to try to get inner game first and outer game second, but this simply isn't how it works. Getting experiences that affirm your cognitions of "I am a cool guy" or "I am an attractive guy" is very important in this ABC model. Even if you think your the bomb, if you keep getting rejected you're going to get very uncomfortable psychologically. Even if you met your future wife, I'd advise you to stay single and keep sarging for a time period (it is your choice how far you go in those sarges).
The reason is you need the experiences to shape your world view and break your old one, which is going to require time and patience!