Life Skills

You Never Know Where The Confident Man Program Will Take You

One of the confidence-building activities that I recommend in The Confident Man Program guide is learning to play a musical instrument. Learning to play music is awesome because it's fun, it teaches persistence which is a valuable life skill, and it means you can ultimately join a band and jam with other musicians. Plus artistic skills like musicality are very attractive to women for evolutionary reasons; which is another way of saying that they make you an interesting, well-rounded man. You never know where learning a skill like music can take you. In my case, I learned to play music as an adult and my chosen instrument was guitar. Sure, it's taken a long time, but like any valuable skill the rewards lie waiting for the man willing to rise to the challenge of giving it a serious go. This year I even put on my first solo show, at the 2017 Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival. If you've checked out my story, you'll know that I used to be paralysed by anxiety in front of people; so for me to put together a full hour of original material and let go of worrying what the audience might think of me was a huge achievement. If you're looking for some inspiration or are just wondering what's possible for you, I think you'll enjoy watching the video here: (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

Using Music To Express Anger and Rage

Since the beginning of the year I've been studying Music Performance full-time at a local tertiary college, and the experience has been extremely healing for me. The interactions with teachers and other students have brought a lot of my unresolved adolescent insecurities to the surface: in some ways, going to college is like going back to high school. My fears about whether I would fit in brought up a lot of anxiety for me, coupled with a very strong desire to try hard to make other students like me. I often had to take a deep breath and remind myself to focus on what I was learning and just have fun participating instead. “Full-time” at the college I'm attending is only 2.5 days per week; although I spend pretty much all the rest of the week doing homework of various forms: learning to play new instruments, practising songs for our performance night, writing my own songs and getting them recorded. In the process I've found music an excellent way to express anger and rage. A lot of the songs I've been writing have a great deal of anger in them, inspired primarily by life circumstances and/or other people's behaviour. Writing, performing, recording and releasing these songs has been extremely cathartic for me and the feedback from the other students has been very positive and accepting. Over half my fellow students are straight out of high school and also have a lot of anger and rage to express. Although I'm more than twice their age, they get where I'm coming from. Finally, my inner teenager is beginning to feel accepted. [caption id="attachment_3220" align="alignright" width="300"] The Song To Play When You're Having A Bad Day[/caption] After six months hard work, I've even released my first single: a song titled Everything Is Fucked that I wrote in a yin yoga class in North Bondi at 6:37pm on 17th February 2017 while in Frog pose for seven agonising minutes. At the time, I had been suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for nine years and after five months pushing myself through three excruciating yoga sessions a week, wasn't getting the results that I had hoped for: I had totally failed to pick-up at a yoga studio full of gorgeous young women, I was rapidly going broke because my Life Coaching business had failed to take off (who wants a sick Life Coach?!?), both my elderly parents had been diagnosed with cancer, a sweet hot girl I met online and completely fell for had started going out with a musician who lived 12,000 km closer to her than me; and I was still chronically ill. When the dishwasher in my apartment appeared to have stopped working properly, that was the last straw for me. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

How To Deal With Other People's Jealousy

An interesting thing happens when we get out act together, drop our victim stories, start taking responsibility for our lives and getting what we want in life: Other people's response to us change significantly. The majority of people treat powerful, self-confident men with respect; but there will always be people who respond with hostility because they are jealous of our success. [caption id="attachment_3158" align="alignright" width="300"] Don't Get Trapped By Other People's Jealousy[/caption] The only real downside to letting go of our insecurities and learning to live life on our own terms is that other people's insecurities can start getting triggered by us. This happened to me today at music college when another male student walked up to a lighthearted group conversation I was having and suddenly said "Graham, you need to stop being such a cunt." That didn't feel good to me: I immediately felt deflated. When I thought about it later, I felt angry; but when I interpreted what he said in the context of possible jealousy towards me, I could see that his comment was really about him rather than me. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

Why I Got Upset In Guitar Class

I'm a full time music student at the moment, and I'm loving learning how to write songs, perform in front of people and express myself through music. Music is great because it deals with both the analytical and emotional side of our brain. [caption id="attachment_2994" align="alignright" width="200"] Becoming a rock star isn't all riffs and distortion. There's conflict with other musicians to navigate too.[/caption] However, the irrational nature of emotions means that they don't always arise just when we want them to. Most of us are still carrying unhealed emotional baggage from our past which can get triggered in what might otherwise seem fairly innocuous situations. This can make dealing with unexpected upsets challenging both in ourselves and in other people. In yesterday's guitar class, I got triggered by my teacher's response to what I though was a fairly intelligent question about whether the best way to improvise over a chord sequence in a major key would be by using the associated relative minor scale. My engineering brain thought that this would lead to less potential dissonance; but for any other budding musicians out there the answer turns out to be No: you use the minor pentatonic scale of the same key. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Life Skills

My Plan For Next Year: Become A Rock Star

One of the activities that I recommend in The Confident Man Program Guide is to learn to play a musical instrument. There are a whole host of benefits to doing this beyond simply being able to play music: You also learn a whole bunch of life success skills in the process such as:

  • Committing to a challenging task
  • Taking daily action towards your goal in the form of practice
  • Dealing with plateaus and setbacks
  • Overcoming your own resistance to success
  • Developing both sides of your brain: analytical and emotional
  • Expressing yourself on a deeper level
  • Having more fun!
Once you've got some basic skills under your belt you can also jam with other musicians and join a band where you'll also learn: (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

Are You An Angry Young Man?

Anger is one of the emotions that I have found most difficult to deal with in the past. I grew up in a house where anger was handled in ways that I found very frightening, leading me to become very afraid of conflict. This meant that I made a decision fairly early on in life that anger was a "bad" emotion that I should suppress at all costs. I became very ashamed of anybody knowing when I was angry. I ended up internalising a lot of rage and unhappiness. I just didn't know how to let anger go and how to get it out of my system. It wasn't until the last few years that I even realised just how angry I was deep down. I now know that anger is not "bad" emotion; it's just a signal that our needs aren't getting met. Anger provides energy for us to act assertively in situations where people are treating us in ways we don't like. If we've learned to be passive in the face of our anger, that energy gets trapped in our nervous system. Because I have many years of internalising my anger, the situations where I would have liked to act assertively have long passed. Yet I'm still carrying that anger in my nervous system. So the question becomes: How to let it go? (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Self Esteem

Get On Stage At An Open Mic Night

Hey, it's Graham here with another confidence expanding tip for you. And today I want to talk about the suggestion of getting up on stage at an open mic night, performing your musical talents if you have any or your comedic talents if you have any or whatever talent it is that you have, doing it up on stage and getting outside your comfort zone which is of course the way that you build confidence the fastest. Any big city will have comedy clubs and entertainment venues that have regular open mic nights, typically on Tuesdays or Wednesdays because those are the nights where it gets a little bit quiet and a lot of the professional acts prefer to perform on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights. So Tuesdays and Wednesdays are often open mic nights where anybody who has a bit of talent that they want to develop can go along and tread the boards, get up on stage and have a go at entertaining people. I recommend that you give it a go. Like, this will make your heart race like nothing else. If you're a bit of a funny guy and you've got some good wise-cracks, a few jokes that you want to run, I recommend that what you do is you work out some stories from your real life that have made you laugh that you think have been funny and that you put them together into a little five-minute comedy routine. http://youtu.be/LTV--V9l0WY (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

Music For When You Feel Depressed

When you're feeling low, listening to music that describes exactly how you feel can help you get more deeply in touch with, and hence process, your raw emotions. So long as you avoid creating a story about why you feel bad that just reinforces the feeling, listening to music you can relate to can help you to move on from unpleasant feelings.

Here's a list of my favorite music for when I'm feeling sad, depressed or discouraged:

Soul Asylum: Misery

Misery loves company. Great for relating to frustration.

Linkin Park: Somewhere I Belong

If you're feeling lost and just don't seem to fit in, you'll relate to this one.

Evanescence: Going Under

For when you're feeling overwhelmed, like you're drowning.

Lily Allen: The Fear

Feeling anxious? You might as well acknowledge it... other people will be able to relate too.

Eminem: Lose Yourself

We all struggle with self-doubt from time to time. Just remember: success is my only motherfucking option, failure's not.

Gwen Steffani: What You Waiting For?

You've felt bad for long enough now; take some action to change it. What are you waiting for?

Add Yours

How about you? Do you have a favorite song for for when you're feeling low?… Continue reading…

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

Music To Make You Happy When You Feel Sad

When you're feeling sad, listening to positive, encouraging music can help you break out of it.

Here's my favorite music for turning sadness into happiness and optimism:

Chumbawumba: Tubthumping

I get knocked down. But I get up again. No, you're never gonna keep me down. Words to live by.

Paul Colman Trio: Turn

Gotta turn this life around, turn this life around. Catchy jingle about beating hard times, if you can ignore the kitsch religious undertones.

Steve Winwood: While You See A Chance

While you see a chance, take it! Great advice Steve.

En Vogue: Free Your Mind

Confidence is a lot about how you think. Free your mind!

David Guetta featuring Kelly Roland: When Love Takes Over

Want to feel more love in your life? Get it here.

Dutch featuring Crystal Waters: My Time

This is my time, this is my time.

Jimmy Cliff: I Can See Clearly Now

A classic song for emerging from difficult times.

KT Tunstall: Suddenly I See

For that "Aha!" moment, when you realise you've now got the confidence you always wanted.

Vanessa Amorosi: Shine

Everyone's gonna shine.

Steve Winwood: Back In The High Life

That's where you're going to be: Back in the high life again.… Continue reading…

By Graham Stoney, ago
Therapy

Primal Therapy

You spent over a decade being socialized by the school system: told to sit down, shut up, keep your feelings to yourself and be a good boy. Sure, you're a social being and a member of the tribe... but really deep down you're an animal. Primal therapy gets you back in touch with your animal instincts and your primal roots through a combination of anger expression exercises, chanting, dancing, and other primitive tribal rituals.

Advantages:

  • Hugely cathartic

  • Learn to express and release anger

  • The next best thing to an exorcism

  • You get in touch with your power as a man

Disadvantages:

  • How well would a raging beast of a man really function in today's society?

  • Some research suggests that expressing anger just makes you more angry

  • Disturbing the neighbors

Continue reading…

By Graham Stoney, ago