How to Un-Learn Your Bad Behaviors and Beliefs

by Joseph Matthews

I'm going to talk to you about a very common problem a lot of guys have today.

Did you know that a great many people learn bad behaviors and develop bad beliefs as a result of their experiences growing up?

In this particular circumstance, I am referring to behaviors and beliefs that involve social interaction with women, and our own self-esteem.

Most of these beliefs and behaviors are unconsciously learned by us and work counter to our goals of success. Things like:

  • I'm too old, ugly, or fat, no girl would want me
  • I get too nervous to talk to women
  • I'm afraid of rejection
  • Whenever I talk to a girl, I say dumb things
  • I don't know what to do to get a woman into bed

The list goes on. But all of the above are beliefs or behaviors that HINDER us from getting what we want.

In order to have success, we must change how we behave and think to a more positive direction.

But how are we supposed to do that? It's easy to SAY you have to change, but to actually do it is FAR more difficult.

But it can be done.

A while back, I used to be PETRIFIED to approach a woman I didn't know for the purpose of getting her phone number for a date.

Ask any of my friends, they'll tell you -- I was a wreck!

I'd do anything to keep from approaching a girl. But eventually, I was able to break through that barrier and readjust my behavior so that it became FUN and EASY to meet women.

In my book, The Art of Approaching, I lay out a "bootcamp" plan to help train men to overcome their fear of approaching women (because let's face it guys, if you don't approach a woman, they're never going to talk to you. That's the sad truth).

This bootcamp was specifically designed to help you retrain yourself to go from being scared of approaching women, to being able to do it whenever you want. But when you retrain yourself, you can't just learn new behaviors and expect to change.

You have to UNLEARN what you had learned before.

But how do you unlearn a behavior? Aren't those things ingrained in your being? The answer to that is a big, fat...


Behaviors are just learned responses to certain stimuli. If you're afraid to meet beautiful women, sometime in your life, you LEARNED to associate fear with talking to a beautiful woman.

One way you can change your behavior is by adopting "Reciprocal Behaviors."

Reciprocal behaviors are reactions that compete with each other. If a reciprocal reaction can be evoked in a situation that usually elicits a different response, the old reaction can be weakened. Learning occurs as the new response grows stronger and the old response grows weaker.

For example: Relaxation is reciprocal to anxiety, assertiveness is reciprocal to shyness, and positive thoughts are contradictory to negative thoughts.

These reciprocal reactions will weaken their less desirable counterparts only if they can be evoked under conditions that would normally elicit the old reactions.

For instance, let's say you go out and buy an eBook or course on how to improve your love life. You may read and approve of the book while continuing to behave as you always have, with no real change taking place.

A course or a book contains alternative sets of reactions. If these reactions are not practiced in contexts where they can compete with already established reactions, those established reactions will NOT be displaced.

In other words: The real life application of what has been learned will be lacking!

If you really want to change, you have to go out INTO the field and apply the behaviors that you want to instill within you. To do this, you must engage in situations where the old feelings and behaviors spring up.

Change is a step process. You must first figure out what situation evokes what negative behavior or feeling, then expose yourself to varying degrees of that situation until you feel completely comfortable with it.

Then, advance to the next level until it, too, has been mastered and, finally, to the situation that would normally evoke the most powerful negative response.

For instance, let's say you can't ask a woman for her phone number because you're just too scared. What you can do is start by simply making eye contact with women you find attractive. After you're comfortable with that, make eye contact and smile. After that, make eye contact, smile, and say "Hi." After that, ask them what their name is. After that, add in an opener you memorized. Keep adding in behaviors until you master being able to get her phone number.

The systematic aspect of his desensitization technique is critical to your success.

Sink-or-swim methods like "throwing you into the flames" that most people abide by can be less successful and much more stressful. Moreover, sink-or-swim methods may make the symptoms worse by re-enforcing your negative beliefs.

However, it is not always practical for someone to be desensitized by confronting real situations.

Real-life hierarchies can be inconvenient to arrange and difficult to control. Fortunately, it is not always necessary for you to confront real situations in order to change your behavior in these situations.

If you have a vivid imagination and respond to images of a situation in the same way you respond to the situation itself, it's possible for you to re-educate yourself at home or in the office.

It is still important, though, that you not imagine situations that are too intense! To do so would risk eliciting and reinforcing the old reactions instead of practicing the new ones.

Instead, a hierarchy of imaginary situations must be developed so that the you can effectively evoke the beneficial reactions at each level. So in the example above, you imagine making eye contact with ten women with positive responses, then imagine making eye contact and smiling, etc.

What these exercises do is level the playing field. They give you Tabula Rasa (Latin for "blank slate") from which you can create your own behavior and responses.

It's a long, hard task to undertake, but if you can do it, it can be very rewarding.

If I could so it, so can you!

Wishing you success with women,

Joseph Matthews