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Issue #33: Witness to Thrive: The Power of Men’s Community

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If you want to be a man of integrity, a man of purpose, a man of worth and respect, you need to witness that in other men.

If you want to embody confidence, self-belief, resilience, courage, and a deep comfort within yourself – you MUST witness this in other men.

Whatever you want to embody, you need to see real-life in-your-face examples of it.

Anything else is just stab-in-the-dark guesswork.

Not only that, it’s having to overcome your deepest fears and insecurities. And those things have had years to set down roots, to get to know your weak points.

They know how to twist the knife and keep you small.

Your fears and insecurities – all the parts of you and your behaviours that prevent you from growing into new edges and new levels – they know ALL the right things to say to you to stop you from becoming who you can become.

They feel fear and fucking RUN.

 

They justify why things should stay the same.

They have what it takes to talk you out of anything because their self-interest is to survive. Growth is what will starve them of oxygen.

 

They don’t want you to grow – or they die.

So they have every incentive to keep you small and see your life run by their bullshit.

To be crystal clear, when I say “their” and “they”, we are talking about you.

If you stay only in the company of your insecurities and limitations yet hope you can grow to powerful and secure new places – you will continually be shutdown by the voice of this insecurity.

 

The voice of your insecurity
 

The ever-helpful voice of insecurity

 

Remember:

 

The Lone Wolf fights to survive. At best, he survives.

 

At worst, he dies.

Whereas the Pack – thrives.

Every day I see men convince themselves that they can become their best, get past their shit, their sabotage, and overcome their fears, frustrations, and doubts if they just find enough discipline and the right strategy.

All to keep ourselves safe from being seen and judged by others

 

To keep up the appearance of having it all together.

What an expectation to take on!

 

And what an expectation we continually portray and pass on to our boys and men.

It’d not MORE discipline. Or MORE strategy.

 

It’s better community and environment.

 

Consistent courageous implementation.

I used to be this man – the man who had to do it all alone. Well, be seen to be doing it all alone.

The man who didn’t want others to see my shit.

To be judged by others as less than competent, as weak, wrong, not man enough.

I also feared being in a growth-based environment where I could be challenged to face my shit and step towards the edge of what felt safe and comfortable – to actually step into the unknown.

And all my fucking power and potential.

Because that felt wildly vulnerable and insecure. I didn’t feel secure there, so I stayed miles away from it.

Essentially, playing out the all too common pattern of insecurities preventing me from becoming more secure.

This is the pattern.

 

Until we change it.

To truly change it – you will need to witness other men living in courageous experimentation, bringing their honest selves to the world, taking bold risks to live a meaningful and impactful life.

You simply can’t learn all that is available to you in isolation.

 

That is futile, fearful and naïve.

It’s also totally understandable.

But ‘understandable’ doesn’t create change. It needs to be challenged, to create a new understanding.

If you want to BE it – you must first find a way to witness it.

First-hand is best.

 

Being around men who embody the traits you want – this is the gold standard.

You can talk to them about it, learn by example, let it slowly sink into your psyche by sheer proximity and repetition.

After that – Second-hand is next best.

 

Watch people. Witness how they do and be.

Find men with the traits you want, and learn from them in ways you can – read what they write. Watch what they do. Practise it.

This can be powerful – it opens access to many more men. More examples.

Just remember, it doesn’t hold a candle to being in the presence of men with practised strength and openness.

So, regardless of who you are and where you are – go and find the men who can play this part in your life.