By your parents. By your teachers. By the media.
Like “bad lines of code” inputted into your brain, these destructive lies now shape your reality.
They make you feel immense pressure to perform.
They make it hard to be vulnerable with others.
They make you feel stressed out and anxious.
Thankfully, that can be changed.
Over the past 2 years, I’ve gone on a powerful journey to study with spiritual teachers around the world (shamans in Peru, healers in California, tantra masters in Bali, etc), and I’ve been able to rewrite these lines of code in my own consciousness.
The results have been staggering, and I’m now on a quest to share what I’ve learned with other men.
In this article, I’m going to tell you what these 3 lies are, and you can (finally) free yourself from them and start experiencing effortless confidence and more meaningful success.
#1 The Lie: “Showing Weakness is Bad”
From an early age, most boys’ biggest fear is being perceived as weak.
Who wants to be made fun of for crying at recess?
Who wants to be called a sissy (or something worse)?
No one, of course.
So we learned to be overly stoic.
Never show weakness.
Don’t cry. Don’t complain.
Be tough. Man up.
As we get older, this attitude stifles our potential and makes it much harder to handle life’s difficulties.
Because while developing grit is essential, not expressing vulnerability or asking for help is devastating.
It makes us feel alone.
It prevents us from connecting deeply with others, and stops us from asking for support when we need it most.
To overcome this, you need to delete the old line of code that says “Don’t show weakness, just be tough“…
…and replace it by a new one:
“Showing weakness is a sign of strength.”
Now, let’s make something clear: I’m not suggesting you go around whining and bitching about everything. No way.
I grew up in Canada as a high-level swimmer (and I’ve braved many early mornings, freezing winters and excruciating workouts). I take pride in being gritty and having uncommon toughness when I need it.
But I’ve also learned that this doesn’t mean I need to keep a “brave face” all the time.
Here’s the deal: when you are faced with an obstacle, give it your best shot… and if it’s not working, or you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to ask for support from someone you trust.
It will make your life a heck of a lot simpler, and it will show the world that you’re comfortable enough with who you are to ask for help (instead of pretending you’ve got it all figured out…).
Here’s something to remember: no one has it all figured out.
I recently spoke with Tim Ferriss, and he mentioned that learning to ask for help was the most life-changing upgrade he’d made in the last year.
Are you ready to do the same?
#2 The Lie: “You Need to Perform to Be Loved”
This lie is huge, and overcoming it has been major part of my own journey.
Early on, we’re taught that our value as a man is based on 3 things:
Our athletic performance: Star athletes are generally the most popular kids in school. Why? Because Western society values this above all else. If you sucked at sports, you were fighting an uphill battle. If you were good at them, you were put on a pedestal.
Our financial success: We’re brought up to admire top athletes, celebrities, CEO’s and other wealthy men. We equate having lots of money with success (no matter what it takes to get it).
Our sexual conquests: We’re taught that being popular with girls makes us “the man”. Losing our virginity is a huge deal (remember American Pie?) and taking a girl home is the signpost of a successful night for many.
Because we’ve been taught this is so important, we feel enormous pressure to succeed, whether it’s through training obsessively, taking a soul-sucking job because it pays well, or sleeping with a random girl to feel validated and to have a good story for our buddies.
Society’s game is set up in such a way that it’s very easy to sacrifice our integrity and wellbeing in the name of achievement and approval.
How could we not? We’ve been conditioned from the start to believe that who we are isn’t enough unless we perform spectacularly.
That’s a big burden to carry every day, isn’t?
The solution is simple yet challenging: we need to fall in love with who we are.
Our flaws, our brilliance, our quirkiness, our insecurities, our psychotic thoughts. The whole spectrum.
We need not only to be OK with them but actually appreciate them.
We need to replace the line of code that says: “I won’t be loved unless I’m constantly performing at a high-level“…
… by this one:
“I’m amazing just as I am. I don’t need to prove my worth. I am loved just for being myself.“
This is mission-critical. The moment you change this line of code, everything will get better in your life.
Interestingly enough, several men are afraid that by taking on this new line of code, they’ll get lazy, stop working hard and start failing in their job.
In my personal experience (and from guiding several high-level clients through this process), I’ve found that it’s actually the opposite: you’ll feel more relaxed and have deeper confidence in yourself, which will allow you to achieve more…with a fraction of the effort.
#3 The Lie: “Feminine Qualities are Bad”
As boys, we all wanted to avoid being called “a girl” by our friends.
While this might seem like an innocent schoolyard phenomenon, it created a BIG PROBLEM in our psyche (and society):
Most men now stay away from anything resembling feminine behavior: expressing their feelings, crying, letting go of control, etc.
I remember vividly wanting to cry when I was upset as boy but feeling like it was wrong. Like it would get me in trouble. Like people would laugh at me.
The issue is, developing feminine qualities such as compassion, kindness and tenderness is necessary to being a good man.
Even crying is important. It’s a natural response to strong emotions and without it, our feelings get bottled up inside and we end up feeling tremendous tension.
In the Taoist tradition, the core teaching is that the key to our full potential is to balance our Yin (Feminine) and Yang (Masculine) energies.
When we’re out of balance, for example by focusing too much on masculine qualities (ie, hard work, strength, achievement) we get stressed out and exhausted.
Why? Because masculine qualities are generally connected with the mind while feminine qualities are connected with the heart.
We become robotic, we lose perspective, and deluded in our thinking.
We overthink things. We stress the small stuff. We focus on the wrong things.
We forget the Universe has our back.
We forget to be kind to others.
We forget that life’s supposed to be fun.
For the last 2 years of my life, I’ve been actively developing my Yin side (growing up as an elite athlete, I’ve always had plenty of Yang), and it has made my life a lot enjoyable while also making me a better entrepreneur, athlete and boyfriend.
Here’s what I learned:
Remember that you’re a part of something much bigger than yourself.
You’re on Earth with 7 billions of your brothers and sisters.
We’re all on the same team.
You’re a part of a gigantic, magnificent Universe.
You’re connected with all of it.
You need to remove the line of code that says:
“If it’s up to be, it’s up to me. I need to make it happen” by this one:
“In every moment, I’m co-creating with the Universe and I’m always supported.“
Take a moment to feel it.
You’re not just a human floating on a rock in space.
You’re a divine bad-ass incarnated to play the game of.
You’re here to live your dreams, be kind to others, and have a blast every day.
Why not make the most of it?
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