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Category Archives: Masculinity
Hey there, it’s Graham from The Confident Man Project, and today I want to recommend this book to you. It’s called The Way of the Superior Man. That’s a pretty cool title. I mean, who doesn’t want to be the superior man, right? Well, let me tell you a couple of things that I really like about this book. But first I’ll read to you a little bit from the introduction:
The newly evolving man is not a scared bully, posturing like some King Kong in charge of the universe. Nor is he a new age wimp, all spineless, smiley and starry-eyed. He has embraced both his inner masculine and feminine, and he no longer holds onto either of them.
He doesn’t need to be right all the time, nor does he need to always be safe, co-operating and sharing like androgynous Mr. Nice Guy. He simply lives from his deepest core, fearlessly giving his gifts, feeling through the fleeting moment into the openness of existence, totally committed to magnifying love.
Well, that sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? A little bit airy-fairy perhaps, but let me tell you a couple of things that I got out of this book that I really like.… Continue reading…
I've noticed a strong pattern in the lives of a lot of guys who I've been talking to lately who have had issues with self-confidence, especially around women: the combination of a dominant, controlling mother and a passive father. It's the disastrous duo for a boy's confidence growing into a man.
One of the unfortunate realities of life is that controlling women tend to attract passive men. So if you have a controlling mother, you're likely to also have ended up with a passive father as your primary male role model.
Controlling women attempt to dominate the men in their lives in order to assuage their own inner anxiety about the unpredictable nature of life and their lack of trust in healthy masculine power.
Confident, powerful men don't put up with this sort of behaviour: they assert themselves and if necessary walk away knowing that there are plenty of other fish in the sea. So controlling women tend to end up left with passive men who are willing to be pushed around because they don't know how to stand up for themselves.
Unfortunately that means that if you had a controlling mother, you probably also had a passive father, which is a double-blow to your developing masculinity.… Continue reading…
One of the most powerful things I've done in the last 12 months to continue building my own confidence is to join a men's group. Our fortnightly gatherings allow me to connect more deeply to other men and in doing so, connect more deeply to my own masculine power. My experience of other males at my all-boys high school wasn't a particularly positive basis for me to build trust in men. So my men's group is a valuable opportunity to learn trust and mutual respect amongst men who are prepared to be vulnerable and real about what is going on in their lives.
With this in mind I was keen to interview Brett Churnin from mensgroup.info, who is at the centre of a loose collective of men's groups all founded with the intention of growing more confident, capable, loving, powerful and honest men.
Brett first become involved in a men's group after he and another desperately single male friend discovered David Deida's book The Way of The Superior Man while looking for more powerful ways to relate to women. They came to realise that being a man was very different to what they had thought, and started to explore the notion of masculinity and how to develop themselves as men.… Continue reading…
No man is an island: If you want to grow into a mature confident man, you need good male role models and mentors around you. Ideally you'd come across these mentors naturally in your father, uncles, extended family and community where you grew up. But if the men around you weren't fantastic role models or lacked something that you needed... then you need to look further afield.
One such mentor for me has been Paul Blackburn, also known as Coach Curly, from Australian personal development company Beyond Success. I first met Paul at a 3-day Think And Grow Rich conference in Sydney, Australia. Plenty of speakers spoke that weekend about all aspects of wealth creation, but Paul's message about connecting with my heart resonated most with me.
The first thing that was obvious about Paul was that he's an extremely entertaining speaker. His stories are funny and engaging, and I could really relate to where he was coming from. He also seemed very real; he didn't seem to be hiding behind the façade that a lot of speakers use to protect themselves on stage. Either he'd honed his craft to the hilt, or the guy really was just being real up there.… Continue reading…
I've been fascinated lately to discover the work of Joseph Campbell and his book The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Campbell's life work involved analysing the myths, legends and stories of every nation, culture and religion to identify common themes and patterns between them. He found a striking commonality between the stories of different cultures and identified a pattern which seems etched in the human psyche that he called The Hero's Journey. Think of any major blockbuster movie or movie franchise like Lord Of The Rings or Star Wars, and you'll see elements of The Hero's Journey. I also see a remarkable parallel with the adventure that every man is called to in growing from a frightened boy into a confident man.
The hero of every man's story is ourselves. Not necessarily who we are now, or who we think we are; but our real self that only emerges as the journey progresses. It's the journey from boy to man, but also the journey of self-knowledge, stepping into our own power, being more authentic and ultimately being free. So here's how I see men growing up fitting into the framework that Campbell identifies for the every man hero:
Initially, we live in the protected world of childhood.… Continue reading…
I turned up to the Tantric Blossoming Being Man retreat with a sense of excitement about experiencing more of this “Tantra” thing that I'd heard about in my interview with Tantric Practitioner David Anderson. It was clear to me that Tantra had to be experienced rather than merely talked or read about, and I felt ready to dive in. From what I knew about David and his co-leader Martina Hughes, I figured there would be some great experiences in store.
At the same time, I also felt tremendously relieved just to be able to take some time out from my not-so-normal life. The panic attacks that I had experienced only a couple of weeks before were still very fresh in my memory; they had seriously undermined my confidence and the lingering fear of their possible return weighed heavily on my mind. Being overwhelmed by fear and anxiety seemed the antithesis of where I was trying to head in my life, and I wasn't happy about it. Confident Man, my ass; the previous few weeks had felt more like panicky, fearful little boy to me.
By comparison with the panic attacks, my usual thoughts on meeting a new group of people faded into insignificance: “Would I fit in?”, “Would I get on with them?”, “Would they like me?” barely even crossed my mind...… Continue reading…
Regardless of how you currently feel about yourself and your confidence as a man, all of us have an inner warrior with genuine self-esteem, inner strength, a sense of purpose, a mission in life, and the self-confidence necessary to go after what we really want. The question is how to get in touch with your inner warrior? The answer is to go on a heroic journey of initiation, self-discovery and growth towards your authentic self.
We can't undertake this journey alone, so I recently spoke to Boysen Hodgson from The ManKind Project to find out more about what that organization offers men seeking more confidence, clarity and direction in their lives. Here are some of the lessons from this interview:
To connect with the warrior within, we need to go on a heroic quest of adventure. It's normal to resist the call to adventure initially due to our fear of being seen for who we really are, but the challenge is necessary to discover the resources within us that we aren't currently aware of.
We decide during childhood who we need to be in order to be accepted, and then get stuck in that childhood decision as an adult long after it has been useful to us.… Continue reading…
We all have challenges sometimes; challenges that are real and can seem overwhelming.
But a little perspective can go a long way. If you think you've got challenges and would like a little inspiration, check out this guy:
Check out Nick's book: Life Without Limits: Inspiration fo a Ridiculously Good Life… Continue reading…
I've been interested lately in how Tantra can help me take my own confidence to new levels, and recently interviewed Tantric Practitioner David Anderson from TantricBlossoming.com to discuss how you can use Tantric techniques to boost your sexual confidence and become more confident in relationships with women generally.
Many men are afraid of women and don't show up as a masculine man around women. We're often particularly afraid of women's emotions, and this all stems from being stuck emotionally back with mum. When we were a boy we sought love from our mother, and the fear was that if mum didn't love us we'd be alone and we'd die, so we did anything we could to get love and attention from her.
We run stories about our mother in our heads that keep us stuck in this pattern which we project onto all the other women in our life. The most powerful way to break out of these stories is to be honest with ourselves and our mothers about how we felt towards her growing up. When we start taking responsibility for our mother issues we start attracting different women into our life.
Women often put men to the test to see what we're made of and whether they can trust us.… Continue reading…
You might think that the Harry Potter series are just children's books, but there's plenty of adult wisdom in them if you look more closely. Their incredible popularity means that they've obviously struck a chord with millions of children and adults alike. So what can we learn from Harry Potter about the Path of Confidence?
Warning: contains minor spoilers...
You're A Wizard
In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry learns that he's a wizard. He just didn't realize because he's been brought up as an orphan in a family of muggles (non-wizards). It's a similar situation to many other men I know who lack confidence: we were brought up in families with low self-esteem and poor communication skills, and we internalized this believing there was something wrong with us.
You're a wizard too. You just don't realize because your unique gifts weren't valued in the environment where you grew up. Once Harry enrolls in Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he's finally in the right environment to flourish and discovers that he's already famous. It's the same for you: once you realize that you're a wizard and get into the right environment, you'll flourish and your old feelings of lacking confidence will be a distant memory.… Continue reading…