I have been talking a big game yet my actions are far behind. Granted I have taken many steps forward but I am nervous to put myself out there and do my work. I know that I am not the only one who has gone through the internal and external challenges of being a man in this world, but I still fear the response to what I will put out there. I have good days where I make progress towards where I need to be but I also experience days that set me back to neutral.
I keep asking myself…
What is my block?
What is preventing me from playing BIG?
Why the hesitation?
Am I really worried about what others will say to me or about me?
I’ve been on an unconventional path most of my life, why stop now?
What I need and want to do is just dive in to the work thats calling out to me. Work that excites me and triggers me into serious day dreaming mode. Work that energizes and fills my heart. Towards work that feels more like play.
So what is the block?
I have waited so long to discover my passion and find something that I truly believe in but I’m feeling like a bit of a fraud. I feel like my experiences are not enough for others to gain value from. I don’t have any formal education. I’m three credits shy of a high school diploma. Who am I to teach others about building internal self confidence, expanding mindsets, leaning into fears and getting comfortable with the uncomfortable? Who am I too share what I believe it means to be a man in todays world?
Who am I to teach others how to date, approach women, how to communicate with them with honesty, respect and love when I myself struggle, I myself am unable to find a life partner, when I myself experience challenges in the dating world and inability to commit or identify what it means to have the right partner for me.
I know I’m not alone with these challenges yet at times it feels quite lonely. I admire and at times envy those who are in long term relationships, who have found life partners. I am scared. My parents were far from a functional relationship and growing up in our household was chaotic which quite honestly is an understatement. My model of a long term committed relationship is not a positive one.
Who am I to talk about relationships, love, companionship, respect for women whom I feel like I have messed up so many relationships myself. It’s really hard. A lot of times I think its better to be single because I don’t want to emotionally hurt anyone anymore, including myself. I don’t want to initiate breakups because I hit a block and need to step away. I find I always shut down at a certain point.
This reminds of a quote from Susan Piver’s interview at the Goodlife Project Camp in New York last year – “Buddhists monks live with an open broken heart”
Truth, I am not one to talk about relationships but I can share my experiences to becoming a confident man and how in August 2015 I reached my number one goal in life. To feel good enough.
There was a time I could barely look at a women I was drawn too, let alone talk to them. I would almost always be lost for words and if I was lucky enough to conjure up something it was usually gibberish and exuded the opposite of self confidence which is what all women are looking for, a self confident man. It took a perfect situation and some liquid courage for me to get comfortable with a women. Alcohol can be a nice little friend in breaking the ice but it can also be a mask that leads too false connections.
I was 25 years old when I first made love to a women. Why?
I was scared of…
* Going to hell if I slept with someone before marriage (this was a legit concern)
* Not performing in bed
* I had a romantic Hollywood/Bollywood ideation of relationships, love and romance, what women wanted in a man. I was miles and miles away from hitting the bar and meeting these false expectations
* Shitty at school, no formal education which lead to feeling that no parent would want their daughter to be with a guy who failed out of school and didn’t go to university
For a man, self confidence is linked to external factors such as how much money is in the bank, education level, job title, vehicle type and other external factors which I personally possess little to none of these things.
I chose to be alone a lot as oppose to go out into a world where I always felt partially excepted and an outsider who didn’t fit in any boxes and even judged at times (which I know now is mostly my perception). More then others it was me who didn’t except myself and it was me who was the harshest critic and who judged myself relentlessly.
It was two years ago that I began the next level of my self-development journey and began fully embracing who I am, the good the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. As mentioned above, August 2015 was the month that I accomplished the most difficult goal of all, to feel good enough with who I am and my place in this world.
I may still be struggling with finding that life partner. I may still have no high school diploma and after the last women I dated came to an end, I realized that I actually don’t have a healthy model of what a functional relationship looks like.
What I did have (and still do) was my father who has been an incredible male role model and my very first mentor. He is a man that even till this day continues to improve and challenge himself to become a better man and overall better human being. He never held himself back due to external factors. He dived into entrepreneurship with absolute zero support and zero community around him. My story is quite different. Today I have an incredible community and support structure. With social media providing multiple ways to stay connected, entrepreneurship is no longer a lonely game to play.
Just as I have sought out mentors and coaches in my life to improve who I am as an individual, to discover the depths of me, I will need to begin the process again, this time with my focus on what it takes to build a long term healthy partnership.
From the first time I made love to a woman till today I have been blessed to have crossed paths with the women who have been in my life, both romantic and platonic. They challenged me and made me a better, more confident man. I am more comfortable with who I truly am, I know longer wear multiple hats and put on show for others, I bring my authentic raw self to the game and I let others decide whether they want to circle in my orbit.
A friend recently said to me “romantic relationships are a pressure cooker for growth”. I couldn’t agree more.
I am who I am.
Although I have a lot to learn about being a boyfriend, a husband, a life partner, I have learned how to be a self confident man from the inside out, a self confidence that has no link to external factors. A self confidence that benefits me in all areas of my life. I have learned to dance between the internal and external worlds while staying true to myself.
While the search for a partner continues, I am making a commitment today to begin playing BIG by diving into uncertainty and sharing with others my life experiences with the hopes that I can inspire other men to begin the work of building self confidence from deep within.