Life Coaching for Men: A Real Challenge For Men
Why do some men choose to become life coaches and work only with men?
I often get this question a lot, and when women ask me this question, I will usually receive some sort of comment like, what, women aren't important? Of course, women are important, but once I share my story they understand why I only work with men.
I'm a life coach for men because I am a man and I understand the struggles men are facing today.Men are being told they need to stop being aggressive and they need to start talking more about their feelings, be more vulnerable, and I say this is bullshit!
The Heart of a Man
What men need to do is to stop thinking and start doing! This may sound a bit harsh, but it's the truth.
I spent 7 years in therapy dealing with PTSD, anxiety, and depression after my deployment to Iraq. I went through several different therapists throughout the 7 years. One therapist moved away. I moved away from the area I was living in twice, and one therapist was plainly inadequate.
It was the last therapist that asked me a question no other therapist had ever asked me. What kind of relationship do you have with your father, he asked? What was your childhood like?
What kind of relationship do you have with your father?
What was your childhood like?
Honestly, my father f#@k up my childhood. Before I could develop any kind of self-esteem or confidence, my father eliminated that option from me.
My father was a very mean and aggressive person, especially when he was drinking. I couldn't do anything right. He expected that I conduct myself like a grown adult when I was just a child and he humiliated me for it. He once threatened to have me walk home, which was about 4 miles away, if I didn't learn how to tie my shoes right. This was the least of his threats.
Trying to learn something new is very difficult when dealing with fear, uncertainty, and threats, especially as a child and by the person who is supposed to love and care for you.
Adverse Childhood Experiences - ACEs
After this session with my therapist, I realized I had some thinking to do. I went back home and began to research all about childhood experiences and how they can contribute to difficulties as an adult. I found a couple of good books about the subject and every bit of it made sense to me. It was as though someone handed me a book written about my life and the struggles I have faced as an adult.
I also learned how the brain can develop after living in these conditions as a child. To deal with constant fear, physical and verbal abuse the brain releases chemicals to stay alert and hypervigilant. The way my brain functions, I’m at a higher risk of developing anxiety, depression, drug addiction, and even suicide.
I went on thinking about my deployment to Iraq, my divorce, and having to deal with the aftermath of them both at the same time.The ground was perfectly set for me as a child to struggle with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty focusing, low education levels, self-doubt, unsatisfied career and relationships, and on and on.
The Heart of the matter
One thing I come to realize, and this is the most important, is that I cannot change the past. However, nothing was going to change unless I reconfigured my thoughts and beliefs and learn how to change the way my brain functions.
It was also time to STOP thinking and talking about my issues and start taking massive action towards my goals and dreams.
I eventually had my brain scanned, where I discovered my brain was currently wired to be hyper-alert and hypervigilant, among other things. I figured my brain developed this way to cope with my father's outrages and insecurity, something I learned from the books I read about this subject.This laid the groundwork for me to be a higher risk for developing PTSD. Before the war, I do not recall having such a difficult time mentally. I had my struggles with life and job satisfaction, but the hypervigilant and the hyper-alert was something different.
Time to take massive action
I began to take massive action towards goals I had always wanted to accomplish. On the top of my list was finishing my education. For two-years I only took online classes. However, I eventually transferred to Oregon State University. I eventually accomplished one of my biggest dreams, completing a bachelor’s degree. Nevertheless, I was not done. I continued for a master’s degree. Something I never could have imagined achieving.
After completing my master’s degree, I took a position as a health educator in south east Alaska. I loved my job. Everything I learned in college I was immediately applying to what I was tasked to do. I loved it!
Eventually, I conducted a men's health workshop during the month of June. June is men's health month and I wanted to give a presentation about men's health. My boss was completely onboard. She gave me all the support and finances to make it happen.
It was the feedback that I received from this experience that led me to begin reflecting on my own life; from my childhood, the war, my divorce, my own struggles, and then my health education.
I realized there was very little I could easily find that was encouraging men to develop the skills in order to live a healthy and fulfilled life. It was like everything was out to keep men down. Men are being told they are too aggressive, too mean, too violent, and too hateful.
The truth is that many men are not happy with themselves and they do not know what to do or how to improve their life, which includes their health, relationships, career, and personal well-being.
You take a man who is happy and fulfilled, he will be aggressive when it appropriate to be aggressive, because there are times when it is appropriate to be aggressive. For example, when someone is trying to injure someone or when someone is trying to take a life. Being aggressive would be very appropriate even for a woman who is trying to protect her child. So, there are times when it is appropriate to be aggressive for men and women, so aggression is not the problem.
As men, we can often get into our own heads and we do not know how to handle this, and this certainly does not mean we have a mental health problem.
What often is the case is we don’t have the skills to handle stress, deal with setbacks, relationships issues, and doubts.Many men will watch hundreds of hours of motivational videos, read self-help books, and listen to hundreds of hours of podcasts, but none of this does nothing to improve his life. He may get a motivation energy boost for the moment, but that doesn't do anything to improve his overall life.
have you fallen into this trap?
What will improve your life is taking action no matter how small towards your goal. If you really want to take it to the next level, get a coach.
We need to be accountable to stay the course. With self-doubt and so many distractions today, it is very easy for someone to quit and never give the time it takes to accomplish certain goals and dreams. It is very important to realize this.
All of these are reasons why I became a life coach for men. I know the thoughts men have about not feeling like they’re not living to their full potential. Self-doubt, lack of confidence, struggle focusing, and the never-ending pursuit of finding their purpose.
I know what it is like to go through a real fucked up childhood. I know what it is like to come home to an empty house after coming home from a deployment and getting a divorce shortly after. I know the thoughts that roam through our heads because I have spoken to enough men and war veterans about this.I also know what it takes to change. The time for watching motivational videos, audios, and reading books is done!
It is now time to take massive action and to be accountable. There is no other way.
Yes, it can help to go to a retreat and take some ayahuasca, which I did in the jungles of Peru, or go to a 10-day silent meditation retreat, which I also did, but nothing is going to take the place of taking action.
You can go into the woods and chop some wood, kill a bear and skin it with your own hands, but you still have to come back home and start taking action towards what you really want.
What action, you might ask? Any action! Take any action you think will get you there. Then learn along the way until you get to your destination.
There are no direct routes to where you want to go. There are paths that can get you to where you want to go that someone may have already taken, for example, getting a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It takes years to accomplish and everyone’s journey to black belt is different, but there is no secret on how to achieve this goal.
Stop thinking about the past and what you have not accomplished. You can't go back. Enough said. Enough thinking about it.
My father might have spanked the shit out of me, yelled at me, and made me feel like a piece of shit when I was a kid and it fucked me up as an adult, but he is not hitting me now. It’s done! It's over. You can decide to continue to sit in the shit or you can get out and clean yourself off and create a life you can be happy about.
Man Challenge 2020
If you want to stop sitting in the shit and start taking action towards building real skills that will help you for a lifetime, I want to challenge you to do something about it. I want to challenge you to take the Man Challenge 2020.
The Man Challenge 2020 will challenge you mentally, physically, and test your heart, but the challenge is really about you and developing the skills that will serve you well as a man for life.
Join me in 2020, to build these skills that every man should have. You will be tested in every way but staying the course you will build the confidence and skills to be your greatest self.
Each month there will be a new challenge that will last for 30 days. Each challenge will progress in difficulty with the final challenge being one that will test your heart, mind, and soul. You will feel proud to have lasted the year with me and to witness the changes you will have made.
Let this be one of your best years yet! Join Me today in this challenge that starts January 1, 2020.