How to Really Get Over Sticking Points for Good

A lot of the time, the problems that men have with women and with game are psychological in nature.

I’m not talking about serious psychological problems, but rather psychological blocks, or “sticking points” that even emotionally healthy people have and which prevent them from really using the knowledge and skills that they already have. People who have sticking points often say things like:

  • I know what to do, but when the time comes to do it, I just freeze. 
  • I realize what I’m doing wrong, but I just CANT fix it.
  • I feel like I’m stuck in neutral, like I’m paralyzed.
  • I over analyze things and don’t take the action that I wanted to do.

I understand, because I’ve been there.

When I was just starting to learn how to pick up women, I would often get “stuck”. I would know exactly what I was supposed to do next to move things forward.

But I just wouldn’t do it!

Something was blocking me. I knew I could start a conversation with a certain girl, and I knew what to say, but I just wouldn’t approach. Or I would know it was time to make a move, time to go for a kiss, or turn things sexual, but I just wouldn’t do it.

And I would get frustrated.

After all, it’s one thing to try your hardest and make a good effort and fail; that can be frustrating enough, but to be given a golden opportunity, a girl that is giving you eyes in a bar, or a date that is going well, and then to choke – well that’s REALLY frustrating.

And the feeling is always the same, it’s like this little ball of energy in your chest, a feeling of tension that spreads across the shoulders and up into the throat. And a paralysis that seems to happen at the brain stem, the conscious mind is racing but every action seems to get vetoed by some process deep in your mind, and all your thoughts and plans and intentions just get held up, like your brain is stuck in neutral.

The knowledge is there, but your emotional mind is holding you back from taking action with the knowledge you have.

I’ve experienced that feeling of paralysis on a number of different occasions, in a bunch of different situations. Each time it was a good opportunity to learn a bit about myself, and the stuff that’s going on “under the hood” in my mind. Every time that happens, your mind is telling you something about your subconscious beliefs, and you should pay attention.

I remember one time I had that feeling, it was at the CN Tower in Toronto. There’s a glass floor there, where you can walk around in the air 500 meters above the ground, looking straight down to the earth below.

I knew the floor was safe, but as I put my foot out to step on the clear acrylic blocks, I felt that little ball of energy in my chest. Suddenly, my foot wouldn’t move.

Something in the back of my brain was vetoing my behavior.

I was stuck in neutral.

I stepped back, and pretended that I didn’t really want to walk on the glass floor anyways. After all, how embarrassing would it be to admit that I had choked, that I couldn’t even put my foot down on a perfectly safe glass floor.

But I was pissed off, and I was determined that it wouldn’t happen to me again. I was going to fix this sticking point.

What Happens when you Hit a Sticking Point


There’s an old analogy that says the conscious mind’s relationship with the subconscious is kind of like a man riding an elephant. The man (our conscious mind) directs and leads the elephant (our subconscious mind) and tells it what to do. This all works fine and dandy, until the owner wants the elephant to cross a stream, and the elephant says “nope”.

And that’s what happens when you choke; your conscious mind sets out a particular task, and your subconscious, animal mind says “nope”.

And the rider freaks out, starts pushing the elephant from behind, starts grabbing at the reigns of the elephant, trying to pull his elephant across the stream.

And the elephant just stands there. He’s not going anywhere.

They are paralyzed, stuck in neutral.

The Solution

The solution to this problem is to work on training that elephant. Your subconscious mind, like an elephant, needs to be trained rather than talked to. It needs to learn from watching, from experiencing, and from careful training that the conscious mind provides it.

Your Beliefs

A big part of this is your beliefs. I’m not talking about the regular, day to day beliefs that you get from reading books. If you read an encyclopedia and it tells you that the German Parliament is in Bonn, and then you realize a few minutes later that your encyclopedia is from 1995, and the German Parliament is now in Berlin, you don’t have any problems changing that belief. Your conscious mind is smart and flexible and for the most part, rational.

But your elephant has beliefs too. Its beliefs are more basic and primal, and mostly have to do with danger and desire and our basic emotions. An elephant might believe that water equals danger, or that the stream is too deep to cross. Maybe the Elephant tried to cross a swift flowing river one time and nearly drowned. He doesn’t know what the rider knows, but he knows he’s not crossing the stream.

Back to the CN tower, standing next to the glass floor, 500 meters above the city of Toronto, I asked myself “What is going on here”.

Of course, it was kind of obvious – part of me didn’t really believe that the glass floor was safe. Of course, I knew the glass was safe, but I didn’t believe it.

How to Change a Limiting Belief

The beliefs we carry around in our subconscious are deep seated, they’re emotional, and they’re hard to reason away. That makes them resistant to change. But you can do it.

First: Identify your Limiting Belief

The first step is to really recognize what is holding you back. What is the belief that is causing you to get stuck, that is preventing you from taking effective action towards your goals.

I have found meditation is a really good way to get a perspective on what is really going on “under the hood”, and what your subconscious mind is actually thinking. So I’ve created an Inner Game Meditation page that you can check out with exercises and advice on how to meditate and use meditation to gain insight about yourself and get in touch with your emotions. The Sticking Point Meditation is specifically about identifying the real emotional barriers to taking action (it’s often not what you think).

For me in the CN Tower, the limiting belief was the belief that the floor wasn’t really safe. I *knew* it was safe, but I didn’t really believe it. 

When it comes to dating, some common limiting beliefs are:

  • That women don’t really like sex, so you’re being a pest by making a move.
  • That liking sex is bad.
  • That women are terribly picky/you’re not worthy, and you need more “attraction” before making a move.
  • That people don’t like talking to strangers, so you shouldn’t approach.
  • That you’ll get punched in the face for some reason.
  • That pursuing your self interest is in some way wrong, and you should serve other people’s interests or be a “bad” person.

Keep in mind, these beliefs are often subconscious  – you might intellectually think liking sex is perfectly fine, but still subconsciously carry a strict catholic attitude in your subconscious. This is one of the reasons that sticking points can be so hard to overcome.

Second: Create an Antidote

Once you have identified your limiting belief, you need something to replace it. What is the reality of the situation? Look around you, and look to evidence for the solution. I say look to evidence, because your own judgement will often be clouded by your subconscious limiting belief.

So you might have the antidote belief:

  • Women like sex, and they like men who confidently make a move when the time is right.
  • That liking sex is great.
  • That attraction is rather easy to get, and most guys screw up by not approaching, not escalating smoothly, or getting psyched out.
  • That people like talking to strangers and meeting new people.
  • That the existence of the odd exceptions to the rules above doesn’t make them any less true.
  • That you won’t get punched in the face as long as you’re not a total buffoon.
  • That every living thing has evolved to pursue it’s enlightened self-interest and there is nothing wrong with respectfully going after what you want.
Third: Train the Elephant

If you had an elephant that was afraid of crossing a stream, what would you do? You’d try to train it to no longer fear water. Maybe you’d get it to cross a smaller stream, then a bigger one and a bigger one until it realized that streams weren’t dangerous.

In confronting our own limiting beliefs, the strategy is the same: gradually condition yourself until your subconscious mind is no longer freaking out over minor things.

You can also use visualization. One of the advantages of visualization is that it allows your conscious mind to create a perfect little training scenario for your emotional mind.

Take your antidote belief, and imagine that it’s true. You’re out with a girl and she is DYING for you to make a move on her. The great thing about using your imagination is that you can visualize things that go beyond reality – such as an ability to read people’s minds.

So you:

  • Visualize that you’re on a date and the girl you’re with is DYING for you to make a move.
  • Visualize sex being GOOD. And the good energy it brings.
  • Visualize women being attracted to you.
  • Visualize women WANTING you to talk to them.
  • Visualize yourself pursuing your self-interest and asserting yourself, and people respecting you for it.

Up on top of the CN tower, I closed my eyes for a second, and visualized that the glass floor I was walking on was made of diamonds. I visualized it being incredibly strong and indestructible. I needed to teach my subconscious mind that the glass floor was nothing to be feared.

Fourth: Get Experience

The final step is out into that open space that your deeper mind tells you is dangerous, but your reason tells you is safe. You need to walk on that glass floor and experience the disconcerting illusion of danger, and the gradual deep satisfaction of realizing that you took another step out of your comfort zones and you’re still safe and alive and all is good.  You need to go out and get the experience required to really solidify your new, more rational beliefs. You need to go out and approach women, you need to make a move and you need to regularly, and consistently, make an effort to get outside your comfort zone and do the very things that make you feel the most uncomfortable.

That’s one of the main things I focus on in my bootcamps – taking action to change our beliefs. That’s what the routines and gimmicks we teach at Love Systems are really all about – giving guys a safe, effective, supportive environment to get outside their comfort zones and take action that will re-shape their beliefs about themselves, about women, about sexuality and social dynamics in general. Once your beliefs are in line with your reason and reality, you can ditch all the gimmicks – and most guys do.

It’s only by continually pushing yourself, and confronting your limiting and negative beliefs that you can achieve real self confidence and live the kind of life where you feel free from these irrational beliefs holding you back, free to pursue the goals you want, and to unlock the full power of your mind and your personality.

You need to train that elephant.


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About Chris Shepherd

Chris Shepherd is a dating coach operating out of Montreal. He is a founder of Love Systems, the world's largest dating coaching company for men. He likes Led Zeppelin, greek philosophy and Hemingway, and hates bad dates, mediocrity and douchebags. He recommends the book Magic Bullets for men who want to improve their success with women.


  1. Good, solid post. Im glad I found this site


  1. […] or beliefs that are affecting your actions in a particular situation, which might be of help: How to Really Get Over Sticking Points for Good In the end, insecurity is caused by beliefs – either about yourself, or about the world – that are […]

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