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Outcome Independence

March 10, 2012

From user handle YaReally:

I can’t control whether a girl likes me or not. But I can control whether I take action and approach her.

Will I base my worth, confidence, value, state, self-esteem, etc. on the reaction I get? No, that would be silly. I’ll base it on whether I took action or not.

Outcome independance: I’ll approach, because it’s important to me to take action. But if she doesn’t like me, that’s alright…and the fact that that’s alright is why she likes me. [Emphasis Mine]


This quote essentially ties up the loose ends of understanding outcome independence. The user obviously wrote the comment in the context of approaching women.


Note, however, that outcome independence easily translates to other areas of your life. Have you been trying to control how people react to you? How about trying to control the job you get, or the result you get in any type of competition? If so, you may be caught in a cycle that looks something like this:


::Strict Focus on Outcome -> Fear of Failure -> Failure to Take Action -> Undesirable Result -> Confidence Plummets::


If your focus is on the outcome, your fear of screwing it up may inhibit you from even starting. This is why you need to drop your outcome-based goals and develop action-based goals. Creating action-based goals following through with them, regardless of outcome, is the key to rock-solid confidence.


As the poster said, it is more important to take action and approach than to focus on whether or not she likes you. Likewise, do you have a goal for gaining muscle? Create action focused goals of lifting a certain amount of times a week and follow through with them. Want to lose a certain amount of weight? Drop the focus on the target number and instead develop goals of regular exercise and healthy eating.

In the larger picture, the outcome does not matter. What matters is that you have taken control of your life. Right now, write out 5 outcome-based goals that you may have and convert them into action-focused goals. Once you do that, be sure that you follow through with them.


Gaining solid confidence and creating a life of action is a greater benefit than any outcome you may focus on.


  1. Good stuff.

  2. Great concept that’s been pretty much crucial to pick up.

    I find that when I go out with sole intentions to get liad:I always come up short.When I do go out without any intention of banging some HB:I end up getting laid.I guess it’s a tell when a guy has “outcome dependency” on his mind.This applies to other fields too(employment,etc.)as you mentioned.

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