It’s clear that something has gone terribly wrong with men striving to be Man Enough.
We see evidence of this everywhere, and it begs the question: What can men do about it?
This article offers men a blueprint for cleansing themselves from the pressures of toxic masculinity and forging a path to self-actualization.
Choose Your Social Circle
One noteworthy step in my spiritual progression occurred when I decided to clean out my social closet. This was prompted by one simple piece of advice that came from a fellow man I met online. To paraphrase his main point:
“When you don’t want to take part in a social norm, the greatest and only power you have is to walk away. And if you’re afraid of being alone, you don’t even have that.”
When he said this, I suddenly realized how much power could be gained from overcoming my fear of being cut off or isolated from others.
From that moment on, I raised the bar for the kind of people I wanted to surround myself with, favoring inspiring books over fake friends. You can do the same.
Stop Being a Hero
As men, we desire a sense of certainty about how we understand the world and choose to navigate through it. The cliché of men not wanting to ask for directions comes from our instinct to lead others.
Programmed to view the role of “follower” as emasculating, we all grab frantically at the helm of humanity, failing to synchronize with each other or our female counterparts.
We do this because making a change and taking directions from others means admitting that we don’t have all the answers and need others to help us find our way. It also means forgiving ourselves for being imperfect.
If we truly want to be of service, we need to start by giving ourselves some slack and listening to others.
If you want to make a lasting change, it’s important that you don’t just leave this article without setting an intention. Start your transformation by putting pen to paper, writing down your own takeaways from the following points:
If you feel like people in your social circle are negative and putting pressure on you to conform, start letting them go. Letting go of them is how you will begin to let go of who you think you are.
Recognize that it’s perfectly acceptable not to know who you are or who you want to be. Not knowing is a state of emptiness that empowers you with the receptive capacity to discover and choose who you want to be.
Find your heroes and follow them. These are people you aspire to emulate and connect with. It doesn’t matter if you connect directly with them. What matters is that you listen to them. By doing this, you’re forging a relationship with those heroes and using their example as a model to live by.
© Michael Brewer