As a man, depending on your geographical location, culture, circle of friends and country. The definition of what it means to be a man or a ‘successful man’ can seem very conflicting. Interestingly enough, in many cases the expectations can also be very contradicting and confusing. Growing up my father displayed a very strong old school masculine role and the Australian culture I was part of was adapting to a more expanded and emotionally tolerant expression of a man.
Through years of researching the way in which the perception of manhood has been defined within history, I quickly discovered that regardless of the period within time, the less evolved a culture is, the more polarised and fundamental the roles between men and women are expressed within that society. The more advanced the culture is, the more androgynous the expression of our masculine and feminine expressions become.
There is a clear link between evolution and embracing both sides, instead of unwisely aiming to play a one-sided stereotype.
So, which is correct and which is incorrect? The truth is neither.
You can express either and still be authentic and live a highly fulfilling and inspiring life.
The key is to understand that each has its benefits and drawbacks, pains and pleasures, support and challenges.
What do I recommend as a human behavioural specialist that has worked with hundreds of men within the past 11-years? I recommend that you learn to appreciate and express both your masculine and feminine parts of your psychology and utilise the strengths that both have to offer. Today we can clearly see that our mental health and wellness as men can deteriorate considerably quickly if we internalise our emotions and shy away from expressing and understanding them, but we can grow and prosper and evolve when we discover how to embrace, express, understand and control them. In nature, anything that isn’t evolving is dying. We as men are also here to evolve and strengthen through our evolution!
You can be strong and expressive, masculine and soft. You are part of a revolution that is throwing away past stereotypes and creating new associations within society of what it means to be a healthy, strong and successful man. Honour your authentic self and continue to have the conversations that matter and embrace the challenges that come with expressing the truth behind men’s mental challenges that may have existed for centuries. Our connection to ourselves and others grow, as we take the things we keep in darkness and bring them into the light. May we grow together stronger as a group and utilise the strength in numbers for overcoming our greatest challenges within all seven areas of life as men.