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The Art of the Pickup : Swim Your Way to Success

"Swim Your Way to Success" / January 11th, 2007

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Swim Your Way to Success
by Jay Valens of The Art of the Pickup
January 11th, 2007

I want to share something with you today.

I just started learning how to swim.

That’s right, at 34 years old, I am just now learning how to swim.

Somehow I managed to get through 34 years of life without once ever enjoying what most people take for granted – the ability to swim.

Just recently I finally was able to swim on my own halfway across a lap pool. After a few classes, I was able to reflect on how this relates to our Pickup Arts newsletter and the mountain of advice in “The Art of the Pickup»DVDs.

A lot of our readers and DVD owners are just now starting to learn how to “swim” in the dating world, learning how to meet and attract women, and how to improve success with women. I’m sure you can relate. Maybe you’re even around my age or older! Even you young guys feel the need to learn to “swim” in this endeavor.

So how do my recent swimming lessons relate to this?

I’m glad you asked! I’d have told you anyway, but I’m still glad you asked :)

The point is I didn’t know how to swim. I could watch others swim yet I could not easily emulate. The human body should naturally float without effort yet I also had a fear of drowning. Every time I thought about it, I just couldn’t get myself to even try to take a risk. I would go to the beach with friends or be at a pool party and see others swimming and the best I could do was wade my feet in the water. I couldn’t enjoy what I constantly saw others enjoying.

Does this sound familiar to your dating life?

There are some things we see others doing in a way which seems effortless and we wish we could do it as effortlessly and wonder why even when we think to do something about it, we back out and avoid taking risks.

That’s how I was with swimming. I kept telling myself either I could get by without ever learning, or I would get around to it “some day”.

Finally I realized that “some day” would never come unless I made “some day” into “today”. So I posted an online ad and found a swim coach and committed to some lessons. That was the first step.

My first lesson was kind of pathetic. I needed 2 floater boards to feel comfortable wading in water deeper than my chest and kept feeling like I couldn’t stay afloat at all unless I had those foam boards clenched in my hands. I couldn’t let go.

I knew, logically, I needed to let go, or at least prepare for it, but it was tough.

Swimming forward by kicking my legs with the floaters in front of me was tiring but I did feel like it was progress.

Still, I was afraid of the water. I was afraid of going under, of drowning.

I kept saying to myself, “This should be FUN” but it felt like work.

After a couple more classes, I was able to work down to just a small noodle floater under my stomach to be able to swim forward but whenever I had to adjust myself, stop, or go more than a few feet forward I would freak a little and simply not be able to progress.

I was stuck in this stage for a while. Learning a little here, a little there, but never losing that fear which kept me from doing what I’ve seen countless others do effortlessly.

Then it hit me.

It’s not effortless; it’s just that they’re not afraid.

I realized that what was holding me back was my fear and not 34 years of never swimming before. I asked the coach to help me get comfortable being under water. We switched gears from showing me the motions of swimming to having me do what I was deathly afraid of – being under water on my own. Facing the fear of drowning.

It was a little hard at first but I finally just “let go” and got myself to understand that nothing bad was going to happen so long as I relaxed and went through the motions that I knew logically should be simple. Most importantly, I let go of the fear.

Within a short time, I was not only comfortable under water, but I understood something I never could never fully understand before – that it’s actually HARD to stay under water. It’s HARD to drown. This allowed me to release all my fears and within moments, literally, I was taking all that I’d learned from previous lessons that I wasn’t quite “getting” and finally swimming with much more ease that I ever had before.

For the first time in my life, I was able to swim halfway across a pool on my own with no floaters, both above and under water. All those motions that I just knew SHOULD be easy were finally coming with ease.

Am I an Olympic swimmer now? Not yet :) But I am starting to finally do what I’ve seen so many others do and can finally start enjoying something I’ve been missing and wanting to do for so long.

Learning “pickup”, or ultimately even just meeting and getting women interested is a similar process. I’m sure you see some guys with girls and wonder “How?” You may see them and think they do it with ease and then wonder why it’s so hard for you. Or maybe you’re starting to do alright but still crave a certain lifestyle that always seems out of grasp because you just can’t seem to go for it, or hesitate, or hold back.

I bet sometimes you even see certain successes of others and feel that you SHOULD be able to do what they do but still can’t for whatever reason. You go to do something about it, then chicken out – for fear of “DROWNING”.

But you know what my friend? That is the key. That ever-present fear is the greatest thing which holds you back. Ultimately, you must face the fear and actually do what you are deathly afraid of. You must embrace the fear. You must dominate it.

The only way to keep the fear from owning you is to own it first. OWN your fear.

You own the fear by looking into its face and telling it that it doesn’t own you. It is your property. It’s your bitch.

So, there you have it, how my recent swimming lessons are related to improving your love live.

Don’t forget that “The Art of the Pickup»DVDs are just as central to improving your love life – the coach for your “swimming lessons”!

Helping you stay afloat,

Jay Valens

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