Josh Sway
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/ Don't Let Variance Get You Down

About cold streaks and the true meaning of being outcome independent


For many men, the mental challenges of dating are more difficult than the physical ones. For instance, the difficulty men have with approaching women isn't that they don't know what to say or don't know how to physically walk up to a woman and blurt out a statement. The difficulty is overcoming the mental obstacles in the way of performing the action. These mental obstacles include but are not limited to variants of "If she rejects me I will feel depressed so maybe I shouldn't approach so I don't risk feelings of depression, failure, and anger."

The Cold Streak

One very common mental roadblock that may be hurting your ability to succeed with women is an inability to recognize a cold streak as anything more than what it is: natural variance in the game of dating. Instead, too many men believe that a poor run with women over a short period of time is a sign that their game is somehow fundamentally flawed, that they are ugly, or that they must be doing something wrong. This in turn leads to a significant confidence hit, unnecessary (and sometimes detrimental) tweaking of dating technique, and even loss of interest in pursuing women. Don't let a cold streak do this to you Failure with a particular woman could be due to many reasons entirely out of your control. You can fail with a woman even if you do everything right. This is the nature of seduction. What it also suggests is that failure rates on a per date basis, and definitely on a per approach basis are somewhat high. Now, if failure can be due to no fault of your own, and failure rates can be rather high even on a per date/per approach basis, even for experts at seduction, it follows from simple math that a streak of 3,5 or even 10 dates (and much more with approaches) that do not result in any significant success could occur due to random luck alone. And randomness should not lead to changes in your game.

Outcome Independence

Many of you may know about outcome independence. You'll also know, if you have been reading articles on Josh Sway, that I rarely ever use the term. There is a reason for this: too often I see outcome independence being confused with "not giving a fuck". Too often I see people misinterpreting outcome independence as I wrote about in my newsletter. But that is not what outcome independence is about. Outcome independence is about avoiding the situation I described earlier in this article. It's about not letting inevitable cold streaks impact your future game. That's it. There is pretty much nothing more to the concept of outcome independence.

When failure is your fault

The natural problem with writing off a cold streak as a function of variance; so called being outcome independent, is that there's a chance that your cold streak is not due to random luck. There's a chance your cold streak IS indeed due to fundamental flaws in your game. While it seems impossible to tell if a cold streak is variance or flawed game, it's actually not as hard as it seems. There are a few simple guidelines you can use to help you determine if your cold streak is due to luck or mistakes. First of all, have you had success in the past? Is your cold streak really a cold streak or have you never been successful with women and your cold streak is a continuation of the long term trend. A cold streak is a 'blip' in the trend, not a trend in itself. If the trend is failure, then you need to make the necessary improvements beyond "being outcome independent" to change that. Another indicator that the recent streak is more fundamental than random is whether or not there has been a big change of some sort since the streak began. Did you dramatically change your appearance (haircut, clothing)? Did you start taking girls to a different date spot than before? Did you move? Did you change the type of girl you started going for? This seems obvious, but before you chalk a cold streak to variance, make sure you didn't make any major substantive differences in your approach.

Separate the noise from the substance

At the end of the day, variance is noise. It's annoying noise that can interfere with your ability to focus on the substance that matters. Don't let it. If you've been successful in the past, and hit a little rough patch, don't let it get you down. Keep at it. If your luck doesn't even out after a little while, then start thinking about making changes.



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