Stop Comparing Yourself And Start Accepting Yourself To Radically Boost Your Confidence
Do you sometimes question if you’re “manly” enough? As good as other guys? Or do you see yourself as somehow weaker or lacking?
In today’s episode you’re going to learn how to break that old pattern and step into accepting yourself at a higher and deeper level than ever before.
Click below to hear this episode!
It’s Not About What Others Think Is Manly, It’s About What you Believe
Hey! Welcome to today’s episode of Shrink for the Shy Guy. I’m excited to be with you here today because we’re going to be diving into something that I think stops a lot of men from fully feeling confident in themselves, from fully being able to put themselves out there, for you to put yourself out there in whatever ways you want to. From dating and relationships, speaking up at work, creating your own business, increasing your sales and marketing. Whatever is it that you want to do there’s this force that kind of holds us back this little nagging thing in the back of our minds and it’s not even necessarily related to the thing that we want to do. It could have nothing to do with that but what it relates to is inner confidence and inner self-esteem and that is this idea of being manly enough, being a man on some level, whatever we associate to that and you know this is the kind of thing where sometimes it might be right in your face, you might be walking round and noticing it all day long , lots of comparison to other guys , oh he’s better looking, he’s more attractive, he’s more manly, women like him more, he’s more dominant in the meetings. You know, you might be doing that day in and day out and if so, man, I’m glad you’re listening today because you’re going to get a lot about how to break free from that. Or, it might kind of be dormant. It might kind of just be in the background a lot of the time and you don’t really notice it, it’s not really that strong but then something happens and all of a sudden you get this wave of crushing feeling of not being manly enough.
In fact, that’s what was happening for me recently that’s why I wanted to record this episode is I’ve done a lot of work on this in the confidence to become more accepting of myself to let go of a lot of ideas and for example when I was younger I was constantly comparing myself to other guys and I had a very clear idea about how a man was supposed to be. Specifically he was supposed to be taller than I was and bigger and more muscular than I was, buffer than I was. And so, you know, I worked out, tried to get stronger, I did get stronger but it was never enough because I wasn’t getting any taller, you know. I capped out at 5’ 8-1/2”. And I wasn’t going to get a whole lot bigger I mean I or I was like, i didn’t want to take like creatine or other major supplements or I was like, I just want to be healthy, you know. I didn’t really want to be this kind of super jock and still I felt like I had to in order to be “manly enough.” And then what does that mean, really? Well that means be worthwhile, to be valuable, to be valued and desired by women, and also to be valued and desired by society by other men and that’s the belief that we carry. I got to be manly enough.
So I’m wondering as I’m showing that about when was younger where has that shown up in your life? Wanting to be manly enough, questioning if you were. And maybe you might want to look at what are some of the ideas I have about how a man “should be,” “How I should be as a man.” Like I was just looking at these physical features and thinking I could be stronger and buffer. And of course what that led to is, well, the reason I’m not getting the response that I want from women or the reason that I’m not being, you know, accepted into the social groups or approved of by other guys is because I’m not tall enough and I’m not buff enough. So we feel bad about it and then we kind of blame our situation on it or stuckness on it or social fears on it. And none of it is true.
Anyway, so I did a lot of work on that and I really don’t believe that anymore. I really don’t believe that all women want this sort of supermodel Men’s Health dude. And we’ll get into that in a little bit actually how to break free of that if that’s an idea that you have. But here’s where I noticed it coming up kind of randomly in my life is I went to the doctor for, it was a naturopathic doctor if you’re familiar with them. But they’re kind of like the hippie MDs. They’ll look at your diet and your digestion and give you supplements and they’re not so much hardcore into we’ll cut you open and give you a bunch of pharmaceutical pills. So they’re different modalities. But anyway I went to her just for general health, general checkup, make sure I’m doing good because I believe our physical health has a huge impact on just our happiness in our life.
Anyway, we’re doing some blood work and she just want to make sure everything was fine and everything comes back pretty fine. My cholesterol was a little low so she recommended I, you know, stop eating like such a sissy and eat a steak once in a while. Best suggestion from a doctor ever. Vitamin D was low, no problem she’s going through the list. I’m like, yeah, yeah, whatever *0:05:42 MD. Okay take some supplements and she’s like, yeah, looks like your testosterone is a little low. And I was like, what? And that was very different than your vitamin D is a little low. I was like, what? What? T-testosterone is low? Because in my mind immediately that was like, so your vitamin D is low, looks like you’re not a real man and you’re kind of a wuss, oh and your cholesterol is a little low too, right? It was just like that’s how my mind instantly interpreted it. It’s like low testosterone, not a man. And I was shocked really. I didn’t even, I was even to the degree that affected me. Because I don’t even know that that was a trigger about not being manly enough because it never come up in my life before. And I actually didn’t even know like in that moment I was kind of like, huh, and I asked her some questions like why is it low? How do you raise it? And all that stuff.
And it was somewhat affecting me but I wasn’t fully aware how much it was affecting me and then I put my wife after that appointment met her and my son we went out to dinner and I was sitting there nervous like, how was your doctor’s appointment? And so I started telling her about it and I got to the testosterone part and she was really curious. She was like, oh, well, you know, why? What did she say? How about this? How about that? And I noticed I got like crazy defensive like, why are you asking me so many questions, woman? Just fucking let me eat my dinner in peace. And that’s when I realized like, ooh, shit. Like I have a lot of shame around this. Like I’m really embarrassed about this it makes me feel like I’m not a man. So, I talked about that with her because and I hope this for you someday as well you want to have a woman whether you’re dating or whether it’s your partner that you can talk about shit with. Because if you have to hide it and if you have to pretend like you don’t feel it and it’s not there, I mean, your relationship is going to suck basically because you can’t be you.
So I talked about it with her. I was like, well I noticed I have all these ideas about what it means and so let’s sort of begin this process but then I realized there’s a lot more to do. I was like, oh, well, I got to heal this shit up so I don’t feel this way, I don’t feel so messed up just because something out of my control is happening with my body. And that’s what inspired me to record this episode of the show I want to, whatever your thing is, whatever your testosterone is, maybe *0:08:11 have low testosterone maybe it’s something else. Maybe you’re losing your hair or you don’t have the body shape that you want, or you don’t assert yourself in every situation or you don’t close enough sales, or you don’t date enough women. Whatever your thing is that makes you go, ugh, I’m not a real man. If I was a real man I would’ve told that guy to shut up when he was, you know, giving me a hard time. Whatever you get down on yourself for by not being a real man, that’s what the show is focused on and that’s exactly what we’re going to dive into.
I’m going to take a quick break right now and then we’re get into how to shift this, how to break free from that feeling that you’re not manly enough because when you do, man, life gets a lot better nd you just like yourself more.
We’re going to dive in on how to heal this, how to let this go, how to let go of this pressure on ourselves to be more manly however we’ve defined that. There are two other things I’ve just thought of though during the break that I wanted to bring up better often triggers for guys to feel like they’re not manly enough. One is having any sort of anxiety or fear. So if you’re nervous before giving a public presentation, a sales meeting, you’re nervous about speaking up in a meeting in the first place, you’re nervous about leading a meeting, you’re nervous about talking to her, your nervous about whatever it is there’s this sense of like, oh God no one can see that I’m nervous because that’s not manly enough. I’m weak and pathetic if I’m nervous. And that’s a deep hell belief that a lot of people that I work with have and I know I had that for years, too. And so that can be a trigger of not being manly enough.
And another huge one is sex and sexual performance and do you get an erection? Can you maintain erection? Do you lose the erection? Does the condom affect things? All that stuff can be such a massive trigger about not being manly enough and there are some great stories there maybe I’ll tell in another episode. But basically anytime everything doesn’t go exactly perfectly how we imagined it should go or any reason then there’s this wave of shame. God I’m not manly enough. I’m terrible. I suck. So I just want to add to those two in because you might relate to those I know those are the experiences that I had both the anxiety and the sexual challenge at different times where it creates the sense of I’m not a man. So is all the triggers that I could think of in this moment. They’re probably more but how do we deal with this? Because it’s one thing to notice like, oh wow, I feel like not a man. But then we got to overcome that, we got to let that go, we got to free ourselves, we got to liberate ourselves. Because you don’t want to walk around your whole life feeling like you’re not manly enough. So let’s talk about how to do that. I mean, the simple short answer and that’s what we’re going to build on for the rest of our time together here today is to love yourselves.
How to Love Yourself
The way out is to love ourselves and to see right through this, to see right through it. And here’s what it is. It is a mental construct. It is something that is created in our minds. Actually it’s not even created in our minds, it is absorbed by our minds from the world outside of us, from general society, from what people have said, from what that kid in middle school said, from what you watch in TV show, from what you interpreted in a movie one time and don’t even remember. All of that comes together to form this idea structure in your head about how I should be and what’s okay and what’s not okay.
The first thing we get to do is we get to see through that. It isn’t true it is constructed. It’s not a fact of life, it’s made up. And then we have to decide am I going to buy into that or no. Am I going to be a sort of unquestioning drone who absorbs what society teaches me and just follows along without even questioning it or am I going to liberate myself? Am I going to wake the fuck up and say, whoa, there’s a lot of messed up stuff that were taught and it is my responsibility to reject the stuff that does not serve me, to reject the stuff that is not healthy. And there’s a lot of ideas and concepts in our cultures that are not healthy. I mean there are some great stuff in there, too, but we all know that every culture has got some messed up shit, right? Whether it’s like extreme aggression or this obsession with looking good and saving face or always being on top and dominant.
I mean, every culture has got its own kind of messed up stuff that we need to have a radar out for and say, you know what I don’t buy into that. And that’s a really big thing it’s just I don’t buy into that. And I was talking about a client who every time we went to the gym he felt not manly enough. And I was like, oh God I relate to that, right? Because I look over there and there’s a guy whose arm is freaking bigger than my leg and he’s curling and looking on his bicep going (grunts). And I got like my 12-pound weight (grunts), right? So I look over and oh my gosh, you know, I’m not manly enough. And then furthermore I mean, his case was women in the gym aren’t going to want to talk to me, you know. But it doesn’t have to be about women, right? If you’re married or whatever and you’re not looking at that you can still feel not manly enough even if you’re not going to talk to a woman there. It’s just in general I should be bigger, should be stronger.
And the key there is just to not bite into that and it’s really a choice. You might say, why I don’t, how do you do, I can’t, there’s, I have to buy into it, right? And that’s just your brain staying in the familiar and you not realizing that you have choice, you have choice of what you want to buy into or not. So when you decide, hey listen I don’t need to buy into that I just want to take care of my health and take care of my body. I don’t need to be a supermodel And you know what? I’m going to choose to not buy into the idea that every woman wants some Men’s Health fitness guy. And guess what? That’s true. Not every woman wants a guy like that. I mean, just think about that. Unless she is like that why would she want a guy like that because they have totally different lifestyles. He’s like always working out, always athletic, totally on his diet all the time. So unless she is like that think about that for a second, really think about this. This will help you break free of that idea that I got to be this supermodel buff guy in order to get a girlfriend or be attractive to women. I mean, just think about that.
Imagine you’re with a woman and I mean she look great she just awesome shape, beautiful body, right? At first you’d be like, yeah, that’s amazing and it also makes me look good to other people, yeah. Right? But then you can’t go out to eat because she doesn’t want to go to any places you go to. She always wants to work out and she’s always kind of on your case like, why aren’t you working out more. I mean on some levels she kind of be looking at you if you’re not at the same level of fitness and be like, come on, dude, what’s going on with you? On some level she will question what you eat too, right? She’s going, oh, dude, why . So unless you’re on the exact same path as her it’s probably going to get old after a little while and that’s the same thing for a woman with a Men’s Health fitness guy, right? It’s like we want to, there’s a match for everyone and you want to find a woman that’s a match for you and everyone does not want that, it’s this concept of focusing on that external stuff and if you could justtrust me I don’t need to keep explaining it just trust me and realize that it’s not true that’s just some story you tell yourself to keep you safe from going over and just freaking talking to her.
Because I was telling that client he’s like, oh yeah I can’t talk to them at the gym because there are buff guys there. I’m like, if you put me in a gym and said you got to get a date, you know, today and I was just in the gym all day, no doubt I could do it and just talk to every woman that was there and have a friendly conversation with her, flirt with her a little bit, be playful, challenge her, be interested in her and curious, and then ask for her number. And I could be just how I am now. I mean I think I don’t know, I’m in decent shape, can you know run a 10K and do some pushups, but I’m not, you know, Hercules, and it doesn’t matter because I don’t buy into that anymore and the less you buy into that the more free that you’ll be.
So, let’s talk more about how to free ourselves from these toxic ideas. So when you feel that I’m not manly enough what you’re feeling is shame the sense that there’s something wrong with me. I’m somehow insufficient and therefore I’m not worthy, worthy of love, worthy of belonging, worthy of acceptance. And I actually go deep into that in my book, The Solution to Social Anxiety and if you haven’t checked out go get that. Get yourself an audio version. You could hear me yammering on for 6 hours or the Kindle for like 10 bucks but just, I mean read that that will really help you. If this is the first time that you’ve come into contact with me that’s the best place to start. Because it’s really low investment, really easy, and will give you just a massive amount of insight into what’s going on for you and how to be free.
But in there we talked a lot about that shame, that not good enough thing and so we have to learn how to heal that and one of the more powerful ways to heal that is to not buying to the stories and tell us we suck and then honestly we got to talk about it. That is the fastest way out of shame is to talk about it with people that are good to talk to. Don’t talk to your buddy who can’t handle any emotions and just says, dude, man up and get a drink. You know, find someone who actually talk about shit like this that’s real and then to them about it. Like so what I did I got a buddy who’s a personal trainer and so I didn’t want to do this, I really didn’t. I want to know when to know. I want to know when to know that I was this not man who didn’t have testosterone. But I was like, you know what? I know that covering up shame only makes it fester and worse and I got a, you know, what if I didn’t believe that this meant anything bad about me? What if I didn’t but into it at all? Well, then I text my buddy who’s a personal trainer and be like, hey, what are some natural ways to increase testosterone? And so we got into a conversation about it and we talked about it. And there was a part of me that’s like, oh God I’m so uncomfortable shit, you know.
But, whatever. You go to put it out there with people, you know, not with everyone because maybe there’s someone who’s going to make it worse by making fun of you but you want to find someone who you can trust, who has earned the right to hear you reveal more about yourself to be more authentic, but you got to take the risk. So a close friend and I talked about with several people because partly to get their thoughts but partly to do exposure work to like not buy into the BS stories. And check this out. I’m recording a freaking podcast going out to thousands of people. I mean, hey, how’s that for revealing? But that’s how much I don’t buy into this stuff. As soon as I realize I was buying into this I was like, oh, that’s, I’m not going to do that, I’m not going to live that way. And that’s what I’m hoping to inspire you to do as well is to not live that way. To decide right now in this moment as you’re listening.
Look, change does not happen in the future someday it happens right now, like now, as you’re listening to me you can decide. Hey, I’m not going to buy into that stuff. I’m going to accept myself for who I am. I don’t need to be anymore. And sure, emotions might come up, you might falter, I’m not saying that this decision eliminates all of those feelings but it does shift something in you and the way that you relate to those feelings when they do come up. You see what I’m saying there? So, when you make that decision right now something really powerful can shift in your life.
You know the funniest thing, though, about the testosterone thing is so I started eating more butter and red meat, I increased my vitamin D, got my cholesterol back to normal because I’ve been eating such like weird hippie raw vegetable stuff that I think it was lowering the cholesterol but so I did that and then I went and get checked out later and everything was back into the normal range. Still in the lower end of the normal range. So, you know, not old for a testosterone but, you know, at least it was back in the normal range. And I was like, great, okay, it means I’m healthy, there’s nothing wrong. But I was so glad that that happened because it highlighted this whole thing and help me just realize that I still have this stuff to work on like we all do and it helped me want to record this for you guys.
So, I’m excited to hear what this does and you can always stay connected with the show, Go to facebook.com/socialconfidence that’s where we’re doing everything now on Facebook and you can also go to shrinkfortheshyguy.com and share, leave a message, tell me about what you learn, your experience, and for today before we go we got to end with your action step.
Your action step for today is simply, you might have already guessed it but it’s two, okay there are two options. One is to find one of the stories about how you should be more manly one facet of it like a real man should do ___. Just find one of those standards or expectations you have for yourself and decide right now to drop that shit, to not buy into it. And use your force, use your will, use you strength to say, you know what? A real man is not going to buy into that, that BS. A real man thinks for himself and I’m not going to choose to absorb some toxic idea. All right so that’s one option. Option B is share it. Find someone that you can talk to about this challenge and see if you can get them, you know, have an interesting discussion about how not to buy into it. Right? Because most likely they might be struggling with something like that or similar as well. Trust me, everyone is.
So those are your options. It’s a multiple choice action step for today. So go ahead and get out there and take that action step because that’s what’s going to set you free and until we speak again.
My you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome. I’ll talk to you soon.
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