Our culture is facing a masculinity crisis, and we need to redefine societal views and expectations around manhood. There is so much confusion around the role of men. Many men are put into a box – either falling into a Harvey Weinstein category or being labeled a SNAG (sensitive new age guy).
If a man somehow manages to fit into the box of the macho, alpha male or the box of the sensitive new age guy, he is miserable because he has cut off so much of himself to accomplish that. And, if he doesn’t manage to shove himself into the box of what everyone else says his roles are, well, then he is simply not good enough. He is wrong.
Sound familiar? Part of the problem is that men don’t have a lot of role models for how to be a true man. The difficulty is the separation we have between what is supposedly a man and what supposedly isn’t.
Real men can be strong and have someone’s back, we can desire sex and still desire women’s rights, we can back our friend in a fight, and still be the shoulder for somebody to cry on.
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 yourself. 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 a different possibility as a man if you would like another perspective on masculinity, here are 5 tips on how to be a gentleman:
Stop judging you. Start liking you.
Real men like themselves. They are grateful for who they are. What if you woke up in the morning, looked at yourself in the mirror, and had no judgment of yourself? What if you practiced gratitude for yourself – 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 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 yourself, you will have more joy, more satisfaction, and more of you.
Ask the question, “What would make me happy?”
You are a gift to the planet. You are a contribution to everyone you meet. When you cut off any part of yourself in order to make someone else happy, we all lose out.
If you desire to be a gentleman, you have to start including yourself 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 yourself and choose for yourself, everyone around you benefits.
Choose the life that works for you.
Perhaps you have been told your entire life that choice for you is selfish. The opposite is actually true. When you choose what works for you, you are able to contribute more.
What would you like your life to be like? What would be fun for you? The choice is one of the most powerful things on earth. When you recognize that you have a choice and start using it, you can change anything. If you’re a little rusty on actively choosing, here’s a great tool. Choose in 10-second increments. Here’s how it works: You have 10 seconds to live your life.
What do you choose? Ok, that 10 seconds is over, now what do you choose? Every 10 seconds. Choose something else.
Living in ten-second increments is how you learn to choose. If you only choose for ten seconds, you can’t really make a mistake.
If something doesn’t work for you, you can just choose again. Choosing in ten-second increments eliminates judgment. If you truly get that you can choose something else ten seconds from now, why would you judge that choice? You’d just move on to something else.
Stop self-protecting. Drop the barriers.
Vulnerability requires that you have no barriers to anyone or anything and no judgment of anyone or anything. Have you ever been around someone who didn’t judge you? Have you ever been around someone who was in the total allowance of you and your choices, no matter what? No judgment is the place of vulnerability.
It is where you exist with no barriers, no walls. And in that space of no walls and no barriers, you have total potency, total power, total capacity. Only by creating yourself as invincible, un-vulnerable, or judgmental, that you can create roadblocks in your life.
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.
The most important aspect of being a gentleman, the new take on masculinity that will change everything, is making the choice to be you; authentically you. People want to be around others who are being themselves. Women are attracted to men who are authentically being themselves. You will have more fun, more joy and more satisfaction in life when you are being you.
The return of the gentleman is really about you willing to be you. When you are willing to stop judging you and start liking you, when you get clear on what makes you happy and then choose for you, when you trust yourself, when you choose vulnerability and when you don’t apologize for the kindness, the care and the potency of you but allow yourself to be all of it, you become an invitation to something greater in the world. You become a gentleman.
Dr. Dain Heer is an internationally renowned author, speaker and facilitator of consciousness and change. Co-creator of Access Consciousness, Dr. Heer invites people to embrace their true greatness—people from every culture, country, age and social strata of society.
Originally trained as a chiropractor, he has a completely different approach to healing by facilitating people to tap into and recognize their own abilities and knowing. He is the author of 9 books including, Being You, Changing the World, which is now an international bestseller. A guest on hundreds of nationally syndicated radio and TV shows including Fox News and Gaiam TV, Dr. Heer also hosts a regular radio show called Conversations in Consciousness. Follow @dr_dainheer.