Be A Better Man!
It’s time to be a better man and to step up your game! Now is the time to take action by improving who you are so that you can be better in all facets of you life. This includes both your personal and professional life. Being a better man requires A-C-T-I-O-N.
How real are you? Do you show your true self to others or do you wear a mask? I ask because being authentic with your self and others is one of the first steps to becoming a better man. It is being honest with who you are: your strengths and weaknesses, your good and bad parts. Being authentic, real, and honest with self and others is necessary for growth. Change will not happen as long as you continue to deny who you really are and hide. In other words, you will become a better man when admit your weaknesses and allow others the chance to love and help you. Being accepted and guided by others, even in your imperfections, is an important aspect of growth.
Every man experiences fear! This is not the issue. Rather, it is how you deal with your fear that really matters. Do you run and hide? Do you explode with anger? Do you freeze and lock up? Fear can keep you from reaching your potential. The late great Nelson Mandela had this to say:
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
I couldn’t agree more. Being a better man means facing fear in your life so that it loses its power. Courage also means recognizing that no man can do it alone. Surrounding yourself with trusted others is key to facing fear. The truth is that we are all stronger when someone has our back. Having the courage to reach out, ask for help, and to show your authentic self is how you will grow into being a better man.
Many of you reading this often find it difficult to express your emotions. You find it difficult to show empathy and care. I get it. You probably did not receive a lot of care in your own life. You probably grew up with messages such as, “Suck it up,” or “Don’t cry.” The truth is men experience a wide range of emotions. Men feel anger, fear, sadness, hurt, loneliness and all the other emotions. If you are honest with yourself you will admit that no matter how strong and independent you are you know that deep down inside you have emotions. If you are honest with yourself you will admit that you needs too. You need comfort, care, and love. It is NOT a weakness to feel emotions and to have needs. Nor is it a weakness to ask others to help meet your needs. It actually takes a lot of authenticity and courage to be vulnerable and express your emotions and share your needs.
Tenderness also involves being there for those who need your comfort and care. It is knowing how to lovingly and gently join with others who are in pain. Yes, I agree it is difficult to give something that you may have not received a lot of growing up yourself. But this is where it is all about being a man, stepping up, and getting what you need so you can give to those that matter the most to you. It is your responsibility to take charge of your life and get help. You can stay stuck in excuses or actually do something about it. The ball is in your court. What choice will you make?
Do you have the initiative to be a better man? Are you finally fed up with living a mediocre life and not reaching your full potential? It’s about initiative which means finding the fire within to create the change you want. Effective leaders have a dream and take the initiative to do whatever it takes to make the dream into a reality. Stephen R. Covey had this to say on the topic of initiative:
“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a ‘transformer’ in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.”
I believe that the “transforming leader” can be all in aspects of life such as career, home, church, and community. Do you want to be this kind of leader? I do. Remember that no one can do it alone. Effective leadership involves all the components we have discussed so far and a couple of others yet to come.
Are you open to others? Can you take constructive criticism and feedback? Being open consists of many of the traits we have already discussed such as authenticity and courage. It also means admitting that you do not know it all nor can you do it all. You need to adapt to a lifestyle of learning and growing. Recognize when you need support and find someone who can help. This could be in business. For example, maybe you have a problem relating to your employee. For some reason he or she just rubs you the wrong way. Being open involves processing your thoughts and feelings with someone you can trust. The reality is you have blind spots that others can help you to see. Maybe this person reminds you of your crazy Uncle Eddy who always got under your skin. Identifying the issue by being open will help you to modify the way you interact.
Being open to feedback can also be in your personal life. Talking to a coach, counselor, or trusted friend about your relationship with your mother, son, daughter, or wife is a great way to help you work through the complexities of your thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants.
“Never Say Die” Attitude
Finally, adapting a “Never Say Die” attitude is imperative to success no matter if it is in personal relationships, business, or some other aspect of life. Never give up the process of becoming a better man. The responsibility to grow is on your shoulders. No one else can do it for you! There are certainly others who can help and support you, but there are certain things you can only do for yourself. This includes taking charge of your growth by doing activities such as reading a book on a subject matter you do not know anything about. You could attend a lecture or watch a documentary. You can intentionally connect with other men who are like minded and want to grown into better versions of themselves. You can develop a practice of exploring you inner-world as much as your outer-world. This might involve meditation, mindfulness, and taking inventory of your thoughts, feelings, needs, etc.
Men: Take A-C-T-I-O-N! Do it for you. Do it for those who matter. Do it because life is better when we live with purpose and when we are in close relationship with others. Surround yourself with men who are on the same journey. We need brothers who will join us in the trenches and that have out back. As Proverbs 27:17 says: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Are you ready for change? If you are ready to be a better man then consider Crossroads Counseling’s process groups and individual men’s counseling. To learn more about the men’s process group click here. To learn more about men’s individual counseling click here.
Blessings to you as you journey towards being a better man!