Outer game is about your behaviors, inner game is about your beliefs. Mastering one of these will lead you to naturally master the other – the question is which comes first, inner game or outer game?
Those who think inner game is most important argue that your mindset is like a seed that grows and determines your future actions. The philosophy of inner game is based on the premise that even if you know all the right things to say and do to attract women, your limiting beliefs and negative patterns will prevent you from getting success – unless you change them first.
Basically, if you’re not attracting women, your outer behaviors are symptoms of the problem, but your inner beliefs are the cause.
Say, for instance, you have trouble holding eye contact with a girl when you approach her. Well, you could practice holding strong eye contact. But what if your inability to hold strong eye contact is actually a reflection of your mindset? What if your eye contact is weak because you don’t believe you’re attractive?
If this were true, you should focus on the root cause of the problem – your beliefs – and in so doing, the symptom – weak eye contact – would correct itself.
The fundamental assumption made by proponents of inner game is that attracting women and having sex will happen naturally when you have the right beliefs. Cavemen didn’t need to learn techniques or tricks to attract women, they relied purely on their instincts. And if that was enough for our ancestors to get laid, why should it be any different today?
Essentially, the only reason we fail to attract women is our own limiting beliefs. We think we’re not good enough, then we act like we’re good enough. But if you believed you were good enough, you would act like you’re good enough, and you would get out of your own way – attracting women would be effortless and natural.
There is a lot of truth to this philosophy. Your beliefs are incredibly powerful. But there is a problem with focusing on inner game: how can you change your internal beliefs without directly changing your external actions?
The Problem With Inner Game
Let’s say you learn that you should believe you are already good enough to attract beautiful women. It’s true that this mindset may help you, but is reading something enough to change your belief system?
You can tell yourself, “I am confident, I am confident, I am confident,” but without evidence that this affirmation is true, will you ever really belief yourself, or will you know that you’re telling a lie?
This is where proponents of outer game criticize the philosophy of inner game: they argue that game is something you do, anything that isn’t results oriented is mental masturbation.
You can meditate for 5 hours a day, and maybe you’ll get to be extremely present, but that being enlightened isn’t going to get you laid. If you want to get results, you must go out, approach women, and follow a specific set of steps that will lead those interactions towards sex.
You can tell yourself you’re good enough to attract beautiful women a thousand times, but you won’t believe it until you gather real life evidence for that belief. Once you start asking girls out and getting some results, then you’ll start to believe you are attractive – because you have evidence.
The Truth About Inner Game And Outer Game
So, which belief system is correct? Is it outer game that matters, or inner game?
It’s not one or the other, it’s both.
Your inner beliefs and outer actions reinforce each other and create either an upward (or downward) spiral.
If you learn an outer game strategy for attracting women, you can practice it and you may even get some results. But if you interpret everything that happens through a negative mindset, it’s going to be difficult to make sustainable progress.
Let’s say you approach 5 girls, and from those interactions, you get one woman’s number – but she doesn’t reply to your texts. If your inner game is shaky, you might think, “I only got one girl’s number and she didn’t even go on a date with me. What a waste of time.”
When you start thinking things like that, it’s going to be easy to make excuses to avoid approaching women in the future. Your outer game strategy might have been good, but without working on your inner game, you’re likely to feel like you’re not making progress, and eventually, you may give up entirely on the idea of approaching women.
Inner game concepts can teach you to interpret rejection as a positive thing, to focus on the things within your control instead of the things outside your control, and to believe in your own ability to become more attractive to women. As you practice outer game techniques, the state of your inner game largely determines whether you will learn and improve or fall into self-victimization.
On the other hand, outer game practice is necessary to fully internalize the lessons you get from inner game content. When you go out and approach women, some girls are going to respond positively – they’ll laugh at your jokes, flirt with you, give you there number, etc.
As you get these reference experiences, your inner beliefs will start to change, you now have proof that there is a reason to feel confident in yourself. Yes, you will get rejected, but with a positive mindset you’ll start interpreting those rejections as a beneficial experience that you can learn from.
Inner game and outer game are inextricably linked. Inner game without outer game is pointless: you must have a clear idea of what action steps you should take if you’re going to get any results. Similarly, outer game without inner game usually leads to self-sabotage and frustration.
If anything, outer game should be prioritized because inner game can become an elaborate form of procrastination (I’m watching these videos to change my beliefs, then once I have the right beliefs I’ll start taking action.) But don’t neglect the importance of your mindset, it can either make progress a natural extension of action taking, or it can lead you to fall into self-defeating patterns that make your efforts seem meaningless.
Instead of focusing on one or the other, use outer game to know what action steps to take to get measurable, real results, and use inner game to identify and root out the limiting beliefs that come up as you take action. The combination of both will create a powerful upward spiral in which your results rapidly improve.
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