A significant number of men struggle with low self-esteem. I would argue that many of the conflicts we witness at the hands of male leaders stem from a lack of confidence. We don’t love ourselves and believe it is necessary to respond with violence or other forms of aggression to strengthen fragile egos.
We can learn to appreciate ourselves. When we begin to love ourselves, we will no longer find the need to perform physical, verbal, and other forms of abuse against girls and women. Self-love is the starting point to make a positive impact in this world.
On Friday, Chicago police officers arrested musician R. Kelly for his alleged involvement in multiple cases of sexual abuse. When the Lifetime network released the documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, I wrote a blog entry in response and had numerous conversations about power, violence, and masculinity. Similar to other men, R. Kelly suffers from a lack of positive self-awareness and seeks validation through sexual exploitations.
To build confidence and to disrupt toxic masculinity, I offer two from a plethora of possible strategies.
1. Engage in activities for your body, mind, and spirit.
Create a schedule with time dedicated to prayer, exercise, eating healthy foods, practicing yoga, mindful meditation, journaling or similar activities. Praying can help you discover the greatness placed inside you by your Creator. Exercising and eating nutritional foods can help you build muscle and maintain healthy body weight. Practicing yoga can strengthen your mind and body. Meditation offers you the opportunity to reflect on your thoughts. When you make these activities a priority, you can witness improvements in your self-perception.
2. Create solidarity with a progressive movement or start one.
Men should support #metoo, #muterkelly, or make an effort to start a new movement. Perpetrators of sexual violence alongside their accomplices must be held accountable for their actions. It’s crucial that we find value in activities aligned with recognizing women as full human beings. I am encouraged by the organized barbershop talks in the U.S. that offer opportunities for men to have a critical conversation with other men and boys. We must do what we can to make a positive influence in the lives of our families and communities.
I share these two strategies with you, not because I believe I am perfect. There are moments when I have to check my behavior and stop myself from engaging in self-destructive actions. I offer this advice to you because I know it works.
Change begins with awareness, confidence, and developing the courage to take action.
When we can acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses, we are ready to begin the work of developing positive self-esteem. Feeling good about ourselves can lead to making better contributions to our society. With appreciation for our gifts, talents, skills, and abilities, we can improve leadership.
With this post, I would like you to commit to at least one of the two strategies suggested in this piece. In the comments, let me and others know what changes you will make today to enhance your life and others.
Here are more ways to become a part of The Good Men Project community:
Request to join our private Facebook Group for Writers—it’s like our virtual newsroom where you connect with editors and other writers about issues and ideas.
Click here to become a Premium Member of The Good Men Project Community. Have access to these benefits:
- Get access to an exclusive “Members Only” Group on Facebook
- Join our Social Interest Groups—weekly calls about topics of interest in today’s world
- View the website with no ads
- Get free access to classes, workshops, and exclusive events
- Be invited to an exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” with other Premium Members
- Commenting badge.
Are you stuck on what to write? Sign up for our Writing Prompts emails, you’ll get ideas directly from our editors every Monday and Thursday. If you already have a final draft, then click below to send your post through our submission system.
If you are already working with an editor at GMP, please be sure to name that person. If you are not currently working with a GMP editor, one will be assigned to you.
Are you a first-time contributor to The Good Men Project? Submit here:
Have you contributed before and have a Submittable account? Use our Quick Submit link here:
Do you have previously published work that you would like to syndicate on The Good Men Project? Click here:
Photo Credit: Ridofranz on iStock