Divide your life up into chapters. Usually when I hear sad sacks of shit whine about how much their life sucks, they’ll say something like “I’ve always been an introvert or I’ve always been in bad shape, etc…” One way to snap out of that is to pick some arbitrary point and make that a “new chapter” in your life. David Brooks of the New York Times did an informal survey of old people to determine what made people happy and/or sad, and he noticed that one of the differences between happy and sad people was that sad people saw their life as one unbroken thing and happy people saw their life as different “chapters.” What I like to do is pick some arbitrary date (my birthday, the New Year, coming back from a vacation, etc…) and I decide that on that day a new “chapter” in my life will start. I rearrange my apartment, redecorate, delete some negative people out of my phone, sacrifice a small animal, immerse myself in holy water, and then start a afresh!
Engage in “practices.” Basing his work on Aristotle, the philosopher Alasdair Macintyre basically has said that the key to happiness is engaging in “practices.” A practice is basically an activity with standards of success that you can get better at. Basketball and chess, (or even PUA), are practices. Watching TV and masturbating are not practices. Success in practices boosts your confidence because you overcame some challenges and also because now you have some skills you previously didn’t have. True happiness is when you engage in a practice for its internal reward (i.e., those specific to the practice) rather than external rewards (fame, money, etc…). Basically, getting immersed in a practice teaches you to become outcome independent.
Meditate – When I say meditate, I don’t necessarily mean Buddhist meditation. By “meditate” I mean engage in some kind of activity (preferably a practice) that requires all of your thoughts and emotions and forces you to completely focus on one thing. It’s hard to find anything truly meditative, but once you do it, you feel great because it flushes out all the other worries and anxieties you have and makes you feel like you have purpose and confidence. If you’re ever in the pits of oneitis (or any kind of depression), meditation is basically your only way out.
Do something creative. Creativity is a great release for your emotions and girls love guys that do anything artistic (as long as you don’t become a pretentious douche about it). The main reason I would guess that people don’t do something creative, even though everybody wants to, is that they are afraid they will suck. Well, who cares? You are doing it for yourself – not for anybody else. Just as your supposed to be outcome independent with girls, be outcome independent with your art. Just work on it by yourself and don’t show anybody until you are proud of it. I’m a lawyer who also does art on the side and I can honestly tell you that girls are much more interested in my art than my job (and most of them end up never even seeing my art anyway unless we get very close). Also, please keep in mind that art is more about hard work than talent. Most of you guys are dudes in your early 20s. Think about it: if you spent a few hours a week working on your art after 3-4 years you will be legitimately good!
Put one foot in front of the other. Here is my problem with self improvement and it probably applies to a lot of other people: I see a movie or read a thing on the internet that gets me motivated and pumped to do something and then when I actually start doing it I run into a snag or I realize its harder than I thought it would be and I lose my momentum. The solution to this issue is to just take each step at a time and realize its going to be a long process. Here is where outcome independence comes into play again – you can’t see a bodybuilder in a magazine or a famous guitarist and expect to become like them overnight. Everybody has different challenges and a different timeline. Don’t freak yourself out if you’re not on “pace” to meet your goals: remember: everybody is different and you can’t make it to the top of the mountain without going over every rock. One of the nice things about self improvement is that there are no requirements to achieve anything by any date, so you can do it all on your own pace.
Practice being nice to random people. In fact, I would suggest this: randomly message 5 girls you know on facebook and just say something nice: “Hey I haven’t talked to you in a while. Just saying hi! Hope everything is well for you!” No ulterior motive, no weirdness, just a nice introduction. Also, resist the temptation to ask them to hang out if they respond. This is just to build your confidence as a genuinely NICE PERSON. There is nothing more irresistible to women than a guy who is just seriously honestly nice with no ulterior motives whatsoever. 99% of “nice guys” are not like that at all – everybody can tell that they want something.
Read some books on spirituality. I know reddit hates religion/spirituality, but the world is a crazy fucked up place and by engaging in PUA you’re going to be putting your emotions (BTW, the strongest emotions human beings have) through the ringer. You need some kind of spirituality to ground yourself, be it meditation, prayer, or just philosophical contemplation. Also, you need to have some spiritual knowledge because that is a great topic to discuss with girls.
Get interested in some particular aspect of art or literature. For example, 19th century Russian literature is fucking amazing and I would recommend it to anybody. I have personally found that focusing on one particular era is more satisfying and enriching than reading a bunch of random shit from all over the place. Also, I know this sounds douchey and pretentious, but it is more impressive to girls to know about one particular thing in depth rather than a bunch of random shit in a shallow way. There is nothing more embarrassing than bringing up Shakespeare in a conversation and then running out of shit to say about him.