It may seem counter-intuitive, but you’re not about to read a definitive set of rules about how to become a gentleman. Being a gentleman isn’t about box-ticking or trying to fit in with anyone else’s ideas or stereotypes. In fact, it’s not about trying at all. It’s about being: being your authentic self and being the best man that you can be. The journey to that place is one of rediscovery, and each man’s journey is as individual as he is.
I’d like to share three things I believe can help you to unlock the gentleman within, and lead to a fulfilled, joyful and boundless life.
1. Honor who you are, and never judge yourself
This is the bedrock of all that follows. Honoring you means liking and respecting you — the real, authentic you — with no shame and no apologies. The authentic you is you without the mask of trying to be someone else. It’s you with your barriers down. It’s you at your most vulnerable, and your most powerful. It’s all of your history, and it’s every choice you’ve ever made. It’s you when no one is watching. It’s you in this moment.
Being able to unapologetically be you and like you can come in an instant or it can take practice. Start by noticing how you speak about yourself, out loud and internally. Are you critical of your appearance? Do you beat yourself up over what you have — and don’t have — in your life? The number one piece of advice I can offer is that you stop judging yourself. Stop labeling, stop concluding, stop giving yourself a hard time. This goes for everything: how you look, how you act, for your thoughts and for your choices — wherever they take you. Develop a sense of gratitude for all you are and all you have. Take time to notice what’s pleasing about you and your life.
Self-acceptance is the foundation for everything else that follows: a sense of peace, meaningful relationships, and a whole load of happy. It’s essentially the platform on which you build the life you desire.
2. Trust your awareness
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that letting go of judgment makes you a weaker, more passive person who doesn’t acknowledge when someone is out-of-line. Not true. As a gentleman, you’re absolutely 100% aware when someone is out-of-line, and you can call them out. The key difference is that you no longer attach value to their behavior, and so it doesn’t get to you.
As a gentleman you’re strong, you have clarity of thought. And with your lighter approach, you handle life in a totally different way.
Trust that you have a knowing, an awareness, of everything.
3. Be curious and open
The less judgment you have in your life, the more curious and open you become. The willingness to ask questions rather than draw conclusions is a key part of being a gentleman and it works as a catalyst for amazing change. When we understand how much choice we have in our lives, doors appear that we never imagined were available to us; and we choose to walk through them with ease.
No longer restricted by judgment, by other people’s ideas of who we are, or by our past — we are totally free. We embrace all of ourselves, even our ‘mistakes.’ We get really comfortable with the idea of messing up, because we know how to laugh at ourselves and we’re not concerned with how we appear to others. Life is so light, so full of possibility, and so created by us.
Being a gentleman is not another role for you to play. Take what feels interesting, or light, from this article — because mostly, being a gentleman is about carving your own path.
Where will your path take you?
P.S. For even more tools and tips, please check out my new book called Return of the Gentleman! It’s a start of a different possibility that we as men – and as women – can choose if we are willing to give up the stereotypes of men, and go beyond the points of views of this reality. Go here to find out more! 🙂
P.S.S. And for the full article in Men’s Axis, please visit here.