This superb article was kindly written for Mr Perfect by Luke Fenwick. (you can find out more about Luke at the bottom of this article).
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval”.
What would your world be like if you….
Stood up, you were present and learned from those around you to evolve, developed and understood you are not alone.
Opened up, conversed, explored. Valued words and thoughts from others to impact life for the better.
Forged genuine relationships that enabled you to share, give and evolve as an individual. Providing validation or development of thinking, especially during challenging or uncertain times.
All of this comes from connection, with ourselves and those around us.
It sounds like bliss? And simple, right?
So why is it so difficult for many men to have a genuine connection with others in a way that goes far deeper than the surface level stuff that makes up the “he’s a good bloke” narrative?
Maybe we truly do not understand why this matters and helps or is it because we are not clear on how we are wired?
Evolution of us
We know that connection with others has always been vitally important for our existence.
We are social creatures, we communicate in vast ways, we write, we speak, we use body language including our hands, arms and face to articulate our thoughts and emotions.
Our need for belonging takes us back to early evolution, and the need for security within a community to keep us safe from the opposing village, or the wild animals looking to eat us.
We wanted to fit in, to make sure we stayed in.
Connection + proven value = safe from being left out in the cold.
Yet flash forward millions of years and we are probably further away from true connection than ever before, and given our connectedness via technology, why is this so?
Are we actually disconnected and just skimming the surface of life and relationships, looking for the next click or are we no longer interested in those around us?
I think the disconnection is a front to not show up, because if we go deep and expose ourselves for what is really going on, well that is a whole different issue to face and so many just don’t want that heat.
In one of my previous blogs MEN, WORKING YOUR SHIT OUT BY YOURSELVES, DOESN’T WORK! I talk to the importance of men using those around them to work out the things that hold them back and provide a roadmap of what you can do. The importance of connecting with each other to make things simply better.
So if we agree that connection goes all the way back to our early evolution, along with knowing as men, we do not naturally connect with ease but do benefit from it, then what is holding us back?
What is the disconnect?
Could you be avoiding connection?
Let me ask you, have you ever had the following flash through your mind and halt the opportunity to really get into a deeper conversation with another?
“Damn, we are in competition with each other, so I better hold back".
“I am not here for fluffy conversation".
“I need to win in this conversation, I am right, he’s wrong...I ain’t having this chat".
“I know this conversation is going to end in confrontation, so I am going to get there first".
“I just don’t want to share all my secrets, thoughts and fears...what if I am found out?!”
If any of these thoughts have flashed across your mind, it could be because ego is really steering your actions. Holding you back from connection because it is looking to keep that tight grip, on you.
But how can connection truly help us?
From all of my work as a life coach we all at some point crave or require certain things in life.
Clarity of ourselves and our position in this thing called “life” is certainly high up on the list.
Another is clarity of a plan as to what to do next.
And without connection + conversation to those around us, we will struggle with both.
You see, if you do not know, then you do not grow and having people to connect with and talk to, gives us a mirror to reflect in that would rarely be achieved by ourselves, unless living in a cave involved in deep inward reflection.
So what to do?
If connection is something you struggle with, then explore these thoughts:
- Practice self care and self love. Give yourself approval and confirmation, that you might not be perfect but you are looking to evolve. This will give you a level of confidence that you aren't a finished product and that is ok. In-turn being open to connect as you are, not years down the track when you are “finished”.
- Look at each conversation as a way to listen and bring the best to the situation. How do you share and impart knowledge from a place of good and giving vs looking at this as a competition that you must win or hold back in order to ensure “the competition” doesn’t get the upper hand. If conversation is important to you, check out Is your communication style, your problem?.
- Be authentic, be you. Be all that you can be in each and every situation that is presented to you. You do not serve the world being a lesser version of you, so connect and give as often as you can. Over time, the feeling of going all in your natural way will be energising, rewarding and compounding with positivity.
"Vulnerability is the only bridge to build connection"
In closing, deeply understand the people around you and the relationships that exist and how they impact you is essential.
Do you know where people fit into the below? Do they:
These don't have to be one and the same person and each has its purpose in life.
Take stock, look around.
Be vulnerable with your inner circle, share what you love, what scares you. Your vision for the future in both mind and body. When you share that with others you draw on them to be a participant in your life and you in theirs.
Vulnerability may be a scary word for men to hear but it is often one we wished our fathers were with us when we were growing up.
Connection enables us to feel the sense of being seen and heard.
So give, share, love, talk, be vulnerable and be the change you seek in the world. Be the reason the next generation evolves into something you have struggled with but know the purpose of, the beauty, fulfilment and power of connection.
About Luke Fenwick
For more content from Luke Fenwick as he looks to impact 1,000,000 lives by 2025, head to www.lukefenwick.com and follow the links to his content, socials, sign up to his newsletter or download his free workbooks.