Nov 09, 2013 / Inner Game Is Learned In The Field
Inner game is best learned implicitly, in the field, through outer game.
Those of you who are involved in the "PUA" or "seduction" community will find this article controversial, perhaps even shocking. However, I believe it is accurate. Despite the limitless supply of inner game articles, books, and coaching out there (and their whopping success), I believe that inner game is best learned "in the field", by going out there and interacting with not just women, but people in general. Despite the hundreds of thousands if not millions who have been helped by inner game content (<a href="http://www.joshsway.com/articles/all">articles</a>,<a href="http://www.joshsway.com/ebooks"> e-books</a>, etc.), I still believe the most powerful inner game learning tool is the real world.
<h4>Inner game is not just about you</h4>
One of the main reasons learning inner game is best done out in the world is that contrary to popular belief, inner game is not just about you. Strong inner game isn't about being able to psych yourself out to go out. Strong inner game isn't about looking in the mirror and being happy with what you see. Yes, those things are helpful, but true inner game is a reflection of your inner strength in your actions and the way people perceive you. After all, we are talking about "game" here, and "game" involves other people (women!)! All other definitions of inner game, those definitions which do not involve others, are pretty much reserved for those with severe depression and/or self-esteem issues, and are thus limited to only a particular subset of people. (Naturally, for that subset, overcoming depression and self-esteem issues is hugely important).
<h4>We learn from feedback</h4>
Our minds are wired to learn the following way: repetition, feedback, behavioral change, repetition. I talked about this in our <a href="http://www.joshsway.com/articles/view/the-sting-of-rejection-is-good">Sting of Rejection</a> article. When you read about inner game, and think about inner game, and "practice" inner game in front of the mirror, the all important feedback element of learning is missing. Getting actionable feedback, by virtue of interacting with others is a fast track to making the right behavioral changes that will yield the desired result. Perhaps you remember in math class how much easier it was to learn how to solve something when you could see worked examples versus trying to figure problems out from the lectures alone? It's the same thing when it comes to improving your inner game.
<h4>Success breeds confidence, and inner game is mostly confidence</h4>
Another reason inner game is best learned in the field is that much of inner game is simply "confidence boosting" in disguise. Heard of the common saying: "Success breeds confidence?" Well, not only is it true, in the world of dating, the world of "game", success means success with women, and that CANNOT happen by reading a book, by rehearsing in the mirror, or anything that doesn't involve actual women! Being successful with actual women will increase your confidence which in turn will dramatically increase your "inner game". A natural corollary of this is that outer game (specific techniques used during dating/courtship) will actually help significantly improve your inner game!
<h4>Inner game can be learned implicitly, through outer game</h4>
Just as confidence is a somewhat 'vague' notion, particularly when it comes to it's outward expression, so is inner game. Unlike outer game advice, which is generally very concrete and easily actionable (you can just go out and try some new opener or different kino/eye contact technique), inner game advice is often not directly actionable.
Because of this, one of the best ways to build strong inner game is to "implicitly" develop it. What I mean by implicitly developing inner game is instead of "learning" inner game as a series of traits, thoughts, and behaviors you must have, learn inner game indirectly, by defining it implicitly as "the behaviors and thoughts" that lead to my desired result (success with women). Essentially, you are learning inner game by working backwards, by focusing on success "in the field" (which outer game can assist you in) and then by virtue of success you will have naturally "developed" inner game. It seems like a backwards and inefficient approach, but just like in mathematics, sometimes the most elegant proofs, solutions, and definitions are implicit ones.
<h4>Strong outer game leads to strong inner game</h4>
In conclusion, I firmly believe (and recognize the controversy) that the best way to develop strong inner game, is in the field, implicitly, through improving your outer game. The combination of the natural way our brain is wired to learn with the success bred confidence developed by infield practice will lead to extremely rapid development of inner game; in my opinion, much faster development than you can learn from any book, website, or article. So stop reading and get out there!