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Father's Day 2023

Hey guys. Tomorrow is Father's Day, and as a Life Coach for Men I feel a certain sense of obligation to write an inspirational post. I want to speak not only to the men who have kids, but to the ones who don't. Let me explain. We'll start with the ones who have kids. In the past decade, I've gone on hundreds of self-betterment journeys with men determined to level-up as husbands and fathers. In some cases these guys have great dads, and feel tremendous pressure to follow the seemingly inimitable examples their fathers have set for them. In other cases, guys had less-than-perfect fathers whose deficiencies now motivate these men to provide things for their kids that they never had. In more extreme cases, guys have shared stories of abuse, neglect, or abandonment; and these guys are not only determined to do better, but are terrified of repeating the sins of their fathers. I fall into the latter group. I always think when I'm working with these guys in private: No one sees this. No one understands how much these men go through. How much they worry. How terrified they are to fail and ruin their kids' lives. For as thankless a job as motherhood is -- and there's no denying that it is -- the role of the father is also a lot harder than it seems from the outside. Men aren't supposed to complain. We are culturally conditioned to man-up and manage our emotions rather than [quote] "being little bitches". But see, here's where myths about masculinity and alpha maleness really hurt us as men. Being in touch with your nurturing side, being aware of your emotions, and having empathy may indeed be traits associated with the feminine temperament; just as being reasonable, rational, logical, pragmatic, and poker-faced under stress are traits often associated with the masculine temperament. But the bottomline is that a good dad has elements of those softer qualities, just as a good mom has elements of those more rigid qualities. Just because you're capable of being tender, sweet, and caring doesn't mean that you're not also a bad-ass man when the situation calls for it. And though we know this, even now in 2023 I still deal with guys struggling with their masculine identities. They're unsure how to split the difference between being a firm authoritarian and an emotionally available support system for their kids; and it doesn't help that the term "toxic masculinity" has become a viral trope weaponized for the advancement of certain political agendas. What I'm seeing now more than ever is guys who want to be good dads, but aren't 100% sure how. After all, men learn from the examples set by other men. If all of the men you know are secretly unsure of themselves -- and I'm telling you, they are (keyword: secretly) -- then who's in charge here? Who's modeling what it means to be a good dad? This is where I humbly believe that coaching is extremely valuable. Not just my organization, but any coaching environment or men's collective aimed at facilitating communication, validating maleness without complicating it, and reinforcing appropriateness through brotherly love and undying support. In this environment, we all instinctively father the inner-child of a bro whom we see really needs it, which inadvertently teaches us to father our own inner-child in kind. And that's why I said that this message isn't just for men with kids. If you're a man, you are still a role model for other young men who look up to you.... and trust me, they do. We're all a bunch of monkeys imitating each other, whether we like it or not. It's how we learn: monkey-see, monkey-do. Even if you don't have kids, or ever plan to, the fact that you are male means you belong in the man-cave with the rest of us..... sons, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers. It is here that you contribute your unique male experience to the universal data corpus from which we all borrow ideas about what it means to be a good man. If you love your brother, you are fathering his inner-child without even realizing it. If you love yourself, you are fathering your own. This Father's Day, consider that it may just be alpha as fuck to let yourself feel love for your fellow man as well as for yourself. When you choose love and forgiveness over judgment and attack, you are exemplifying the qualities that garner respect and trust from women, children, and right-minded men. As for the wrong-minded men -- which is to say the truly toxic bros who clearly haven't figured it all out yet -- it's our job to father them too. And trust me, it isn't an easy job. But hey, it takes a village. Happy Father's Day, gents.


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