If you pay attention to mainstream media you may have concluded men are the bad guys. We are constantly bombarded and inundated with stories of men behaving badly. We see stories about domestic violence, sexual assault, infidelity, the #metoo movement and toxic masculinity to name just a few of the stories about men doing unscrupulous things.
Rest assured, in no way do I mean to deny or minimize these issues. Without question, these are important issues that definitely need to be addressed, but my question is; are men really to blame? On the surface it appears men are the problem because men actually do commit the overwhelming majority of acts related to violence. But once again I ask; are men the real problem?
I believe the answer is an emphatic NO! Men are actually not the problem. As I see it, the real problem is too many men are trapped inside of an antiquated paradigm of masculinity that definitely has a negative impact on how they behave in this world.
To fully understand what I’m saying let me share my definition of paradigm. A paradigm is simply “a rigid way of believing, thinking and behaving.” By changing the way men think and what they believe about masculinity we can then change his actions, which ultimately will change his outcomes.
To do this we must engage men in a new conversation. A conversation in which men learn new ways of being and relating as men. Let me explain what I mean.
In our current culture men are taught and conditioned to believe they have three primary responsibilities. I call them the 3 P’s. Provide, Protect & Procreate. When a man is trapped in this culture he will believe he is supposed to have the house, the wife, the 2.5 kids and the white picket fence and he will be happy. This is the American Dream (or Canadian Dream as well). Once a man settles down and accomplishes this dream he then attempts to find fulfillment in material things and possessions and then he kicks back and waits for the societal safety net called retirement.
Speaking from personal experience I bought into this artificial dream hook line and sinker. At the age of 23 I purchased my first home, I was happily married, I drove nice vehicles and took nice vacations. On the outside my life looked perfect. Within a approximately a 6 ½ year time frame my dream turned into a nightmare as I experienced divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure a deep state of depression and I was homeless for two years living out of a car.
During the darkest period of my life I asked myself a question that would change everything. “What does it mean to be a man?” Obviously I didn’t have a clue because I had done everything I thought a man should do to be happy and I was absolutely miserable. So that single question propelled me to begin an “inner journey” of transformation.
It began with my willingness to admit that I needed help. Which unfortunately are probably the three most difficult words for any man to say. My willingness to ask for help guided me to a therapist who supported me in uncovering why I was having such difficulties in my life. I discovered there were some unresolved emotional conflicts and trauma that occurred in my childhood, which were still having an impact on my life as an adult. By addressing these issues head on I was able to heal those emotional traumas and break free from being a people-pleasing codependent that didn’t know how to take care of himself on an emotional and psychological level. By making peace with my past and healing my heart I became free. I no longer needed other people’s approval to feel good about myself and I actually learned to love myself unconditionally, which is virtually impossible for many men to do.
After years of personal growth and development I was able to rebuild my life and now I am living my version of an extraordinary one. I have been happily married for 17 years, I am in excellent health at age 58, I have a career that I absolutely love as a author, speaker and radio show host and most importantly I am truly happy with myself as a man and I have made it my life’s work to share the lessons I’ve learned with other men to support them in living extraordinary lives.
During my transformational journey I discovered there are 5 illusions that cause the majority of pain and suffering in a mans life and I’d like to share them with you right now in hopes that you wake up from them and not allow them to sabotage your life.
- To be a man you must be non-emotional and disconnected.
2. To be a man you must use sexual conquest as a gauge for manhood.
3. To be a man you must have money and material possessions.
4. To be a man you must have titles, positions and power.
5. To be a man you must constantly compete with and try to outdo other men.If you’re struggling in any area of your life right now chances are you’re trapped in one of these illusions. Your job is to wake up from it and make sure you aren’t acting consistent with it. Once you become aware of it, it will no longer have control over you. It all begins with your willingness to have a new conversation with men that wakes you up and empowers you to live an extraordinary life.
Are you willing to join me in this new conversation?
Coach Michael Taylor is an entrepreneur, author (7 books), motivational speaker and radio show host who has dedicated his life to empowering men and women to reach their full potential. He knows first hand how to overcome adversity and build a rewarding and fulfilling life and he is sharing his knowledge and wisdom with others to support them in creating the life of their dreams.