Embracing change – the challenge men face.
August 29, 2019
I did an Insta live with @thisisamyrushworth last night & a topic came up again that I’d like to write about here. As we know, women generally tend to find it easier to be more in tune with their emotions than men – I am increasingly being asked by women how they can help the men in their lives embrace change & in particular, become more open, vulnerable (that’s vulnerable not victim – there’s a big difference) & emotionally connected. I’ll be honest, it’s a tough question to answer as there isn’t an easy way, but here is my perspective:
Firstly I should share that if it wasn’t for the challenge I faced in struggling to experience sexual satisfaction, I probably wouldn’t have ever changed or gone on the journey I have done. I would probably have stayed exactly how I was, ticking societies boxes whilst being emotionally closed & generally not letting anyone in to see me beneath surface level. The point I am making is that it is much easier to stay the same, than it is to go through change. Our ego doesn’t like the idea of becoming something different to what it knows, it will fight hard for us to keep behaving in the same way. For me the pain (around sex) of staying the same eventually outweighed the pain I would have to experience if I wanted to change, it’s because of this that I found the drive to embrace self improvement & slowly start to become a different version of myself. Most men don’t have a challenge like this or they bury their own difficulties so deeply they deny they exist externally (in which case they get eaten away on the inside). When men live in this space, it feels much easier to stay safely where they are. It’s also worth noting that if a man acknowledges he wants to change, it suggests something is wrong & that is then perceived as weakness – the biggest shame trigger for men.
The second part to this is that, without knowing how deep connection & real self-love feels like, the need for a man to go chasing it, isn’t very powerful. Speaking from experience, if a man experiences a sense of emptiness within, he is likely to put this down to their own healthy ambition & drive to want to achieve more in life. They believe that whilst they may not be feeling totally fulfilled within right now, they will be when they get the pay rise, bigger house, faster car, better holiday, etc etc. Men live in this constant stream of believing happiness is eventually available, they just need to achieve that little bit more & it will happen, but this chase never ends. For the record, I don’t blame men for believing this or living this way, it’s what society teaches us from a young age & it’s exactly how I lived. The truth is, deep rooted happiness / fulfilment comes from getting your mental health right internally to allow for deep connections & powerful love within. That doesn’t come from external possessions or experiences – they can be great fun, but they can’t fulfil us at a deep level. If we are looking externally for things to make us happy (because we think are ambitious people), we will always feel like there is something missing. I’ve been there.
So whilst change can’t be forced, what we can do is embody the benefit of being a different way & show the power & beauty behind being a certain way. Alongside this you can drop little hints or tips that may help them on their way (The Naked Professors Podcast Series 2 is focusing on all this stuff for example!) but fundamentally, change is more likely if we can see & hopefully feel the benefit from those around us. In short, be the change you wish to see in others, it can inspire the people around you to want what you’ve got.
One other thing, a lot of my change came about from experiencing the power of connection that I experienced on retreats, we have recently had two cancellations on our retreat this October in Ibiza & there are now two spots newly available, I’d love to see more men (especially) coming along!