What does it take to be a “real” man? Does he need to hunt and fish? Does he drive a particular car? Does he have to be able to grow a long beard? Does he need to be married to a woman or have children?
In reality, the only thing that makes a man is his DNA. It’s not about his anatomy or that he can pee standing up. It’s not about his interests or his facial hair. It’s not about who he loves. Men are men, because they are men…not because of what society says, what family thinks, or how friends believe. Tweet This!
Recently, I’ve come across a few men helping guys become better men. I believe it’s not about them being better men. I think it’s about helping men be themselves and to mentor them in becoming better versions of themselves…not in becoming better men. Because who decides what it takes to “be a man?”
Many boys grow up thinking they must have the job title and make a certain amount of money. They need to be rough, tough, and strong. When reality doesn’t match their blueprint, they think they aren’t “real” men. Then they may go out and do things that they’ve been taught “real” men do…drink beer, fish, or fight. They pretend to be something they aren’t in order to reiterate to themselves, they are in fact real men.
Society instills in men it’s their duty to provide and protect. When they lose their job, they feel “less than” a real man, because they are no longer providing in the way that society says or the way they’ve been taught. So men feel inadequate, less than, or not enough and many times will numb themselves to these not so good feelings.
They go out drinking, do drugs, watch porn, or gamble. They will pick their poison of choice, because just about anything is better than dealing with those uncomfortable feelings. There is this inner conflict between who society thinks they should be and who they are. And it doesn’t help if their buddies conform to society’s pressure of “what it takes to be a real man” and pushes those views on them. They feel the stress to conform too and end up being pulled in two different directions which leads to feeling stuck, unfulfilled and lacking purpose, without knowing why any of these exist.
When your friends, society, peers, or family are in your ear about being tough, strong, don’t cry, make this much money, drive this car, have this job title, it makes it harder and harder to fight against these pressures and be who you are.
Yet at the end of the day, if you’re not true to yourself, those inner conflicts will never dissipate. You’ll always be pretending to be someone you aren’t. Share This!
Your real self is longing to get out. Your true self wants to be seen and deserves to be heard. After all, you’re already a real man. There is no need to prove it to anyone. Do you have the courage to stand up for yourself and let the real you stand up?
I know you do. Now is your time to show the real you. That is the only way to become a better version of yourself. And you deserve it!
Jessica Rector’s mission is simple: inspire and transform the lives of millions of men. As someone who attempted suicide at 17-years-old, had a lot of self-judgement around being a single mom, and has a brother who committed suicide, Jessica is all too familiar with shame. She knows personally how shame manifests in everything: relationships, communication, parenting, leading, living, and loving. Through her own experiences, she now helps men walk through the process to free themselves from their inner struggles. As a thought leader, keynote speaker, and author of two books, Jessica is able to help people create massive change in a short period of time. She also works with men to build more freedom, more confidence, and more success! Get Jessica’s soon to be released third book, Breaking the Silence: Taking the Sh out of Shame and find out more about her at JessicaRector.com. Follow her at Facebook.com/JessicaRectorSpeaker.