Pop culture created an image of a perfect man. He’s handsome, strong, powerful, and wealthy. In reality, only a handful of men live this kind of life.
Well, that wouldn’t be a problem if this wasn’t a lifestyle constantly promoted in the media. While its plausibility is one thing, it’s totally another what it does to man’s psyche. It’s harmful and it pushes the people away from what being a real man is all about.
The Real Man
The real man isn’t Superman with Warren Buffet’s portfolio of investments.
It’s totally the opposite. Being a real man isn’t about how much money you got or how much you can lift in the gym. Being a real man is about how you deal with different situations in life, and whether you can grow from them.
A real man accepts his flaws and works on becoming the best he can be. That’s exactly why it’s so hard to be real. You see this in all walks of life.
Protective Work Gear
All journeys start with a single step, and it’s even better to make them in great footwear like Overlook Caterpillar boots. These boots are waterproof, with steel toe reinforcements, and they are made of composite, durable materials. Of course, you can always renovate homes in flip-flops or sneakers.
Well, most men do it because they find protective work gear restraining. They are exhilarated to show a cut or a bruise from doing manual labor. And, they prance around pridefully, believing they are doing a service to their manhood. That is the stereotype you should disown.
Stepping on a nail on a hot summer day is a horrible experience. While wearing protective gear may feel like uninvited accommodation, you wear it for a reason.
No matter how strong you feel, there’s a limit to what your body can do. Still, a lot of people don’t work in manual labor, but they tend to overextend their physical ability.
Taking Care of Your Body
When a man walks into a gym there’s an explosion of confidence. Whether it’s weightlifting, martial arts, or CrossFit, an exercise in all forms makes the men feel good. But, men tend to not prepare as they should. They skip the warm-up.
Then, the muscle strain leads to injuries leaving them incapacitated to work out. Worst of all, they leave it be, as they see overcoming pain as a manly thing. Even though learning about what are the best braces for injury prevention is a few clicks away, they don’t want to know..
That’s because there is a strong sentiment that man should be a machine. He doesn’t need protective gear, regardless of work or sport. There’s a whole industry aimed at telling him who he should be.
Believe it or not, that’s unachievable.
Accepting Your Limits
The truth is that the contemporary man is too afraid of limits. Each day, there’s a new way to earn money from passive income. Or, to lose more weight and gain more muscle. And, to have more success with the ladies. Ending with you having a better car and a bigger house. Real masculinity comes when you accept you can’t have it all and focus on what matters.
Most men are scared of admitting that they have limits. It’s ok if you can’t fix everything in the household. Or, if you can hit that bench press as hard as the next guy. And, you shouldn’t feel bad if you can’t pull a Kimura on that guy in your BJJ class.
Let it go, you don’t have to do it all. Instead, realize that becoming the best you can be is what makes you a great man. With enough luck, you could buy a lottery ticket and become a millionaire. A great character isn’t a thing you can buy. It’s something you earn.
Admitting Your Shortcomings
One of the hardest things for any man to do is to admit they have flaws. It’s okay to say that you have flaws. It’s not ok to hide from them and avoid fixing them.
But, when you look at the pressure society puts on men, it’s not understandable why they avoid it. Admitting it makes you look weak, insecure, and vulnerable. It’s much easier to put on a mask of fake masculinity.
That’s rather shortsighted. Just because you are trying to hide it from others doesn’t mean that it won’t surface at the worst of times. Take marriage as an example. You can hold secrets for a time period, but those character flaws are going to expose you.
Don’t let yourself utter words like you need that drink, or that you don’t need to work out. Or even worse, that it’s acceptable for you to live a life filled with short-term pleasures. Instead, look within and find out why you crave such pleasure.
Exploring Your Emotions
Exploring your emotions is a necessary step when you want to grow. You can’t move up in life if you have baggage holding you down. That, of course, doesn’t mean you should go to your work and cry in the office.
It means you should take the time to spend alone and face your demons. Whatever is holding you down, whether it’s a past trauma or an unresolved conflict, go through it. Find why it’s haunting you and make you do the things you don’t like.
If you act like you are always fine it doesn’t mean you actually are. Men are taught that this makes them weak. But, without looking deeper inside you’ll never grow, and you won’t become a better man.
You may say that you are doing fine. But, those around you who you care about know better.
Seeking Professional Help
Thus, there’s the last point. Men feel a lot of shame when they seek professional help. Just like they view protective gear or warm-up as a sign of weakness, they view therapy even more so. The worst myth about men is that they should grind themselves into dust to be a man.
You don’t. Whether you are an office worker or you work in mines, it doesn’t matter. Taking care of your life, body, and soul, is equally important. It’s ok to feel like you can’t hack it from time to time. Weakness is a normal human state. It’s bad when you don’t try to be stronger. But, it’s even worse when you try to act like it’s all fine.
Whatever is happening in your life, don’t try to be Superman. Be who you are, but always strive to be better. That’s what makes a real man.
Be A Better Man
Now, it all comes down to what you really want. If you want to continue living a lie that’s fine. It may take you far.
But, being a real man is priceless. Not just for you, but those around you. Make it last for them, and you’ll discover a new form of happiness.
Pinstripe Magazine Staff
Online Men’s Lifestyle Magazine on Gear, Grooming, Girls, Gadgets