Digging Deep: Fighting Through Self-Doubt

If you read these posts regularly, you may notice a theme developing. Lately the message has been: “Bro, don’t quit. You can do this. If you fall down, get up. If you feel afraid, push through. Keep going. GRIND. Trust the process.”

These inspirational posts are informed by back-to-back sessions — 6 days a week, 8-12 hours a day — with guys ranging from tradesmen to professionals, all quietly dying inside trying to stay afloat in the face of our current economic and political crisis. As a Life Coach for Men with an International clientele, I can assure you that EVERYONE is experiencing burnout right now…. it’s not just YOU.

Things began shifting in 2020 with the onset of CovID-19, and we all know it. We are living through a major historical event, and like it or not, the “old normal” is behind us. We quarantined. We got shots (some of us). We wore masks (some of us). We put our heads down and pushed through to 2021. We waited for a break. We waited for things to get better. And now, as we close out Q2/2022, there’s a global phenomenon occurring. Guys are dropping from exhaustion. They simply can’t continue to clench their jaws and say “this is fine” indefinitely. They’re not fine. They’re tired. They’re scared. They’re directionless. They’re experiencing “boiling frog syndrome”, where the almost imperceptible graduation of our societal situation from calm to crisis — by subtle increments — has hit finally hit a tipping point. Guys are giving up en masse. It’s fascinating, but also alarming, and now more than ever counselors find ourselves on the front lines boosting morale.

And that’s what this post is all about. If you’re reading this, and if you fall into the category of dudes too tired to fight but too scared to quit…. if you find yourself systematically shutting down, and mentally checking out despite your best efforts….. if you feel yourself giving in to the gravity of despair, and beginning to accept defeat…. I have a message for you:

It’s okay to be tired. It’s okay to be scared. If you need to take a break, take it. If you need to stop and take a breath, do it. Breathe. Fill your lungs, exhale, repeat.

But no, you will not give up. You’re a winner.

You will not give up, because you have untapped reserves waiting to be accessed. You have strength you haven’t even begun to understand, and sometimes it takes having someone cheer you on to force you to dig deep, mentally lock onto your goal like a pit bull, and put one foot in front of the other again. And again. And again.

When you’re THIS tired, THIS frightened, THIS hopeless and you STILL somehow manage to grind anyway….. bro THAT is where real MAN-STRENGTH is developed. THAT’S the furnace in which steel is tempered.

Reader, we feel you man. I feel you. So do all the guys in this organization. This shit isn’t easy right now. We’re carrying our families on our backs through some wild times. Keep going.

You’ve got this.

– Dennis