Don't Shave For A Week

Hey, it's Graham here from The Confident Man Project. Today, I have a suggestion for you which you might notice I've got a little bit of facial hair going on here and that's because I haven't been shaving for about a week now. So I've got about a week-long growth.

If you want to make a big change in your life, one of the big ways to do that that's pretty easy and dramatic is to make some change in your personal appearance. For instance, if you've never had a beard, well, try growing one. If you always have a beard, try shaving it off. If you've never had a mustache, try growing one of those. If you always have on, try shaving it off.

Continue reading…
Posted in Masculinity | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

My Feelings on the Executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

I had a lot of mixed feelings this morning after hearing of the executions in Indonesia of convicted drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran overnight. For readers outside Australia and not familiar with the case, they were sentenced to death in 2006 by an Indonesian court after being found guilty of attempting to smuggle more than eight kilograms of heroin to Australia via Bali. Their arrest in Bali came after a tip-off by an Australian lawyer to the Australian Federal Police was relayed to Indonesian authorities. The court found Andrew and Myuran to be the ringleaders of the group often described in the Australian press as "The Bali Nine". Their case had received a great deal of coverage during their trail and leading up to their impending executions, with many pleas for clemency being made on the basis that they appeared to have rehabilitated and been model inmates during nearly 10 years on death row.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

I didn't know Andrew or Myuran; my only real association with them is via the media, and the fact that I grew up in the same city they did. Nevertheless I do feel a lot of conflicting emotions about what they did and their resulting execution; and since the healthiest way to deal with emotions is to express them, here they are:

Mostly, I feel a great sadness for their friends, family and loved ones left behind.… Continue reading…

Posted in Emotions | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Manage Anger Constructively

I grew up in a home where anger wasn't handled well. Let me take you back there:

Do Other People Push Your Anger Button?

Do Other People Push Your Anger Button?

Now, don't get me wrong. My mother lets her anger flow freely, but she rarely uses the actual words "I am angry". Instead, her anger comes out as hurtful criticism, put-downs and emotional bullying.

My dad isn't any better. He bottles his anger up so badly that he often seethes with resentment so loud that I can hear him muttering under his breath when I'm playing in the next room. It's frightening.

All it takes is for mum to walk in and say, "What's wrong with you, you stupid creature?" and, bang, next round of World War III is back on again.

What I learned from all this was the idea that anger was somehow a bad thing, that it was a bad emotion that I should never feel, because it always seemed to be expressed destructively around me.

As a result, I learned to push down my anger very hard, to suppress it. In fact, I pushed it down so hard that in the end I barely even felt it.

Posted in Emotions | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Your Emotions Work

Hi, I'm Graham. I had 18 years of formal education - that's 12 years of primary and high school, and then another six years at university studying engineering - and during that time, I learnt a lot about how to think but very little about how to feel or how my emotions worked.

In fact, I can't remember in that entire time a single class where I sat down and had a teacher teach me how my emotions work.

Now, possibly maybe in art classes or in music classes or maybe even in English they might've come close, but really nothing all that direct and concrete.

And that's a shame because, fundamentally as humans, we're all driven by our emotions. All our behavior is an attempt to either move towards pleasure or move away from pain.

So emotions are absolutely key to getting what we want in life. They're also the key to a successful relationship, especially with women.

So in the rest of this article, I'm going to give you a quick introduction into how your emotions work.

Posted in Emotions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Develop A Strong Point Of View

Hey, it's Graham from The Confident Man Project here again and today I want to talk to you about the concept of developing a strong point of view. Now, this is a concept I've borrowed from the acting world and it's very applicable I find to guys, particularly when we lack self-confidence. Often we've given up on having a really strong point of view.

Perhaps our opinion in the past hasn't really been validated or hasn't been valued or other people haven't respected our point of view and we've learnt over time to just become kind of bland and neutral in our ideas about everything.

Posted in Mindset | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are You Addicted To Your Own Drama?

I'm sitting in a Youth Hostel in Melbourne, Australia where I'm staying for a couple of weeks while visiting the Melbourne International Comedy festival. I've just had breakfast and am sitting near the kitchen area chilling out before heading out for a day on the town. While I'm not one to eavesdrop, I can't help but overhear snippets of the Skype conversation of the woman sitting next to me.

Are You Addicted To Your Own Drama?

Are You Addicted To Your Own Drama?

And what I hear is: drama. Drama, drama, drama. "She did this", "he did that", "she said this", "she said that", "She thinks I'm a bad influence", "they don't like me", "she hated it", "it sucked", "it was awful"...

Ok, you get the idea.

If there was heaps of space, I'd simply move and get away from the negative energy; but it's pretty crowded this morning, and the conversation reminded me how easy it is to get addicted to our own drama, and the dramas in other people's lives around us.

Now it would be a different story if the woman was debriefing about her emotions regarding the drama she's describing, but I'm not hearing many words from our emotional vocabulary like "sad", "angry", "scared", "happy"; nor phrases like "I felt ...", "I feel..." etc.… Continue reading…

Posted in Mindset | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Want To See Me Doing Stand-Up Comedy Live On Stage?

One of the things I highly recommend for facing your fears in The Confident Man Program is getting up at an open-mic night and performing in front of a live audience. You'll feel the excitement beforehand and the adrenaline rush when you're up there, and the elation afterwards knowing that you've conquered most people's biggest fear. From then on, it becomes really fun.

Given that I like to walk my talk, here's the video of my recent graduation gig from a stand-up comedy course that I did recently. My biggest fear was losing the plot on-stage and forgetting my material. Everything was going great until about 5 minutes in... when I lost it completely! The results was hilarious. I know you'll enjoy it:

Posted in Communication | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Get Some Cool New Clothes

Hey there, it's Graham again from The Confident Man Project, and I want to teach you this week about how to go out and get yourself decked out in some hot new clothes, not anything like what I'm currently wearing, ironically enough. But that's okay because I'm going to tell you what you need to know here.

So basically the story is that if you are still wearing the sort of clothes that your mother dressed you in when you were a kid, that's probably not the latest fashion of today and it's probably not what you want to be wearing when you hit the town when you're out strutting your stuff, meeting new people and just having a bit of fun.

Posted in Life Skills | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learn To Say "No"

Hey, it's Graham here again and today I want to teach you about learning to say no. This is a basic assertiveness skill that a lot of guys like myself who are recovering nice guys tend to struggle with. It's the whole being able to say no when other people request things of us that we don't really want to do.

Often we've had a lifetime where we've been taught that the nice thing to do is to say yes to people, to help people out, to be the nice guy, to give other people what they want, and sometimes we take it too far and we end up doing things for other people at our own expense.

Posted in Assertiveness | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How To Ask Your Boss For A Raise

Hey there, it's Graham from The Confident Man Project with an idea for you and here's something I never had the guts to do back before I worked for myself, but that's okay. I can still suggest it. You might want to do it. And that is to be able to go and ask your boss for a raise.

This is particularly important if you feel that you're not being paid your worth and you're a hard-worker. You do a really great job and you just feel as though maybe you deserve a little bit more in your paycheck and you want to push your comfort zone, step outside and do something that's a little bit challenging; then it's a great idea to go and ask your boss for a raise.

Posted in Communication | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments