I have always desired to have a world where both men and women were empowered to create something greater and where everyone received nurture and care. A world where we were not defined by our gender. A world that included everyone. A world the excluded no one. Yet, as I looked around, there really were no role models to show this different possibility. So, I tried to be what I thought a man was supposed to be.
Now is the time to know that there is something else possible, to recognize that you contribute by your very presence. To know that just because you don’t fit some image of what others say a man is supposed to be, you are not wrong. Someone else’s idea of who you are supposed to be is nowhere big enough for who you really are. It’s time to stop pretending to be something you’re not, and just get to be you. It’s so easy to be you.
The return of the gentleman is all about that. It’s about being the best we can be as men. It’s about acknowledging our greatness with no shame, no wrongness and no apologies. It’s the place of honoring everyone. It’s where you honor you. You honor women. You honor kids. You honor your commitment. You honor our future as a planet. Being a gentleman is about including everything and judging nothing. Yes, even you! Especially you.
If you would like to choose to be you, if you are interested in a new take on what it means to be a man and a true gentleman, here are 4 tips for you.
Ask the question: “What would make me happy?”
We are not taught to choose for ourselves. We are not taught to ask, “What would make me happy?” In fact, we are taught the opposite. Give up you. Consider everyone else. Sacrifice for the good of others. Have you ever noticed this doesn’t actually work? You are a gift to the planet. You are a contribution to everyone you meet. When you cut off any part of you in order to make someone else happy, we all lose out.
If you desire to be a gentleman, you have to start including You in the creation of your life. What do you desire? What makes you happy? What makes you come alive? Whatever it is, do those things. Choose those things. When you honor you and choose for you, everyone around you benefits.
Do you trust yourself as a man? For most men, that is a resounding no. From early on you get the projected lack of trust from mothers, sisters, aunts, and all females because they see what they have come to define as true: they can’t trust men. All too often, you buy that point of view and come to believe that you as a man cannot be trusted.
No matter how much someone else may be judging you, that judgment cannot affect you when you have value and trust for you. It’s only when you don’t value and trust you that you believe that the judgments of others are true.
Start to see that you have value. Start to recognize that you contribute. Acknowledge that you are a gift to the world, just as you are; not as anyone else says you should be. Start to trust you.
Be grateful for You
Real men like themselves. They are grateful for who and what they be. What if you woke up in the morning, looked at yourself in the mirror and had no judgment of You? What if you practiced gratitude for You – all the time. Even when you mess up. Even when others are unhappy with you. How much more fun would your life be if you could laugh at yourself when you do something stupid rather than taking yourself so seriously. Be willing to be you – unapologetically.
What we acknowledge grows bigger. When you start to focus on the things that you are grateful for, more of those things show up. A great way to be more aware of the amazing gift of you, is to start a gratitude journal and actually write down the things about you that you like and are grateful for.
Each day, write down 3-5 things. The first few days might be easy – or maybe not! We are so used to judging ourselves rather than choosing gratitude. As you choose to deliberately put your attention on what you admire about you, you will have more joy, more satisfaction and more of you.
Be willing to do it wrong
In case you haven’t noticed, perfectionism doesn’t exist. This idea that we are supposed to have all the right answers and that we are supposed to always get it right, leaves so many men judging themselves relentlessly.
What if you were willing to do it wrong? What if you were willing to mess up? What if you could even laugh at yourself when you did? When you are being you, you have total ease no matter who you are around. You even have ease with the “mistakes” you make. The next time you say something stupid, what if you could stop for a moment and rather than judge you, laugh at the stupid thing you said and choose to be grateful for you?
Where have all the gentleman gone? We are still here. The more that men know that it is okay to be who they are, the more they choose to let go of the images that have been projected at them, the more they start to show up. That’s what the return of the gentleman is really about. It’s about you being you. Get clear on what makes you happy. Start to choose for you. Be willing to mess it up and get it wrong. Trust you and don’t apologize for the kindness, the care or the potency of you. When you allow yourself to be all of it, you become an invitation to something greater in the world. You become a gentleman.
P.S. For the full article in Ask Men, please visit here.
And to be a part of the conversation and movement of the ‘Return of the Gentlemen’ with me, visit here.