I can’t figure out everything on my own, but I can connect with people who have already walked the same path. So can you.
I’m a man and I’ll fix it myself. I don’t need a map, I don’t need help and I don’t need anyone else’s advice.
I realize these statements seem a bit extreme, but if you are like me, you’ve felt every one of them many times in your life. They have kept me from reaching goals and slowed me down in the pursuit of success. The results have been lost income and damaged relationships. Here are four reasons being too macho is holding you back, and what you can do to move forward.
1. Spending too much time on valueless pursuits.
We are men. We watch sports and action movies. We create fantasy teams and spend money betting on our selection skills. We waste hours every week tracking what happens to our (and our competing friends) players. In the end, we win (or more likely) lose money. We also lose a great deal of time.
These seem like harmless pursuits. We do them for entertainment. But they aren’t getting us anywhere. Nothing of value is being learned.
I know you want to have more success in your career, business and relationships. Then come out of the man cave and spend time in the study. Read books that will help you grow, watch Ted talks to expose yourself to new ideas, in the car, listen to podcasts that will teach you how to move forward. Let’s face it, you are beyond the point of playing professional sports yourself, and you can’t get rich in fantasy football. Grow your mind and see your success drawing closer every day.
2. Trying to fix everything.
I’m a lousy handyman. My plumbing work often causes floods, and it can take me days to repair a ceiling fan. But I’m a man so sometimes I still try to fix issues like these.
My strengths include writing, speaking, teaching, running, information technology and relationships. These areas not only bring me great joy, but they also make or save me cash! If I spend my time doing things where I am clearly weak, then I am wasting both time and money. I can hire people who are better than me to fill in my weaknesses while I focus on my strengths.
Do what you do well and find others to handle the rest. There is no shame in letting something go that clearly isn’t for you.
3. Expecting that you are to always be the sole (or primary) provider.
I know a couple who run their own business. They help married people with their finances. When they first started, they both held down full-time jobs, but his job was toxic. It was causing him great physical pain.
They ran the numbers and decided that he should quit his job. They lived on her income alone for many months while building their business.
Just because you are a man, your wife doesn’t necessarily expect you to keep a job no matter the cost to your health or sanity. Your marriage is a partnership. Work together for the success of your family. It’s truly not all on you. Share your burdens with each other, you’ll find they are lighter than you believed.
4. Going it alone.
For a period of time, my wife and I wanted to start a business related to working on and offline to help others. We researched and spent money for courses and books. We learned a lot but didn’t have progress. Working on our own seemed to be failing.
Then we attended an event in Tennessee with like-minded people. We made contacts and started building relationships. Soon afterwards, I hired a coach, someone who had walked the path before me to help with specific issues.
The difference has been astounding! My writing is now exposed to tens of thousands of people every week, and new opportunities are opening up frequently. Trying to be a man and do it myself kept us back for a long time, but reaching out to others has been the best possible choice. When you ask for help, you will grow and eventually be able to pay it forward to guide others on their journey.
I don’t know all I need to know, but I can learn. I can’t fix everything, but I can find people who have skills I don’t. I can’t figure out everything on my own, but I can connect with people who have already walked the same path. So can you.
It’s time to improve your life and that of your family. Let’s all stop wasting time and energy on irrelevant pursuits and trying to do it all ourselves. Together we can help each other succeed beyond what we ever thought possible.
Photo: Flickr/ Emiliano