The Pandemic of Insecure “Successful” Men | Ep. #7

Play episode
Pandemic insecure successful success

Intro: Men. We are not simple chest-thumping, rock-smashing, fire-starting barbarians. We have depth. We intensely feel. we are scared, yet brave. We love to have fun. We’re imperfect and make mistakes. We’re compassionate and loving. We are multifaceted. Let’s explore the reality of masculinity together.

00:30 Today we are going to be diving into something that I figured I’d jump in here and just give you a little heads up about, and that is a fair warning. You may be triggered today. The reason is because we’re going to be diving into two of the primary pillars that successful men stand on to hide their insecurities. So if you don’t like to be challenged or maybe confronted in certain ways, then you might want to skip today’s episode. Now the fact that you subscribed and clicked on this episode tells me you’re probably not that person, but I just wanted to give you a heads up ahead of time so that by the end of the episode I could say I told you so. And secondly, if any of these episodes have been helpful for you, I have an ask. And that is to just take a few minutes and leave a review. It is by far the number one thing that you can do to really help this message of healthy masculinity get out. And I can’t do it alone and I need your help. All right, let’s go ahead and dive into today’s episode.

01:50 Alright, lets see. Is this mic on? Yep. Okay. Nothing’s worse than doing a recording and realizing that your mic wasn’t turned on. So the reason that I titled today what I titled it, in the sense of this pandemic of successful yet insecure men, is because when you have a culture of masculinity that is pursuing success in a warped definition of it, as well as abandoning certain key elements internally, what happens is- well, within the workforce you have a lot of people jockeying for position, not trusting one another, not trusting yourself, which is damaging to a culture within a business. But then you also have people that are in a constant state of reaction or being triggered rather than maintaining connection within either the workforce or your business or relationships. And so, today I want to kind of distill the reasons why that’s happening as well as give you a few things that you can do to kind of challenge or confront that.

02:51 And like I’ve mentioned before, one of the bigger things is this whole concept of chasing the wrong definition of success. I can’t stress how important it is for you to have a clear internal definition of what does success look like for you. And I’ve given this exercise to myself as well as other people of literally sitting down and writing that out. When you don’t take the time to do that or when you’re living out of a state of reaction to let’s say, you know, this happens a lot where parents try to live vicariously through their children and so in order for you to feel loved and affirmed and believed in from your parents, then all of a sudden success is connected to essentially fulfilling their dreams for them where they didn’t have the courage or the circumstances to be able to pursue them for themselves. That’s just one example of how if you have the wrong definition of what success is for you, you can exert a lot of time and energy pursuing something that ultimately leaves you feeling unsatisfied or empty at the end. Or extremely insecure.

04:02 You may be asking yourself, “but why does that happen? Like, why is it that I have achieved either my definition of success or my parents’ definition of success or society’s definition, regardless of what it may be, but I still feel like something’s missing, or I still can’t find connection with my spouse like I thought I could if I had just achieved X, Y, or Z?” Well, that’s because when you’re chasing that wrong definition, in order to achieve that, you have to abandon both your heart and your internal King. We’re going to get into those two concepts here in just a second, but that’s the piece that feels like something’s missing. Or that maybe you don’t feel satisfied or still really unhappy or lonely, even though you have what others may perceive as success. And the other piece of it is it’s really draining emotionally to pursue something that your heart is not connected to and that you’re not actually letting the King from within you guide you into the healthy definition of success.

05:04 So you arrive at this place of quote unquote “success,” but it’s still feels exhausting. And I’m not just talking about, “Oh my gosh, I worked 60 hour weeks for three years and now I’m tired.” That definitely feeds into it, but there are some people that can do that and not be phased. The people that can’t do long-term exertion of effort towards a goal are normally the people that are pursuing the wrong goals. And that’s draining because it sucks the life out of you. It robs you of creativity. You know most people to be able to be successful, you have to access a certain level of creativity. And I’m not saying you have to be an artist or anything visually creative. I’m involved with a lot of marketing, and you have to be really creative to know how to approach that in a way that’s effective.

05:52 Let’s go ahead and use an extreme, math. You may say, “well, there is no creativity in math whatsoever. It is two plus two equals four.” I’d be willing to guess that if you talk to a mathematician, someone who’s dedicated their life to it, it actually does take creativity to look at the things that have been predefined as the norm, to then find something that’s hidden within it or a different approach to math. My point is it doesn’t matter what field you’re in, you need to be able to be connected to creativity and if you are emotionally drained because you’re pursuing the wrong goals, it’s really hard to find that creativity that moves you towards healthy success. And when you do all of this, then what happens is you arrive at that end point, whatever that end point is for you, you feel alone or you don’t trust your ideas and opinions and you’re constantly second guessing yourself.

06:44 You may come across as really confident and competent, but inside I’m talking about your inner world and another big factor in all of this is if you don’t have that clear definition of success for you, what you’re going to do referencing back to the previous podcast, if you haven’t listened to it yet, just go to multifaceted masculinity, search for episode number five where we talk about maturing and masculinity. But one of those three key components within maturing and masculinity is finding the right mentors. If you’re looking to the wrong mentors because you’re pursuing that wrong definition of success, well, in order to achieve your goals, then you have to continue to abandon your heart. And that all ties into when you’ve arrived, then you feel tired, exhausted, alone, or questioning yourself. Now, there’s nothing wrong with mentors. We’re going to get into that, but it’s important to make sure that you find the right ones to learn from.

07:36 Let’s go ahead and take a step back here and look at the inner heart, your heart, and I’m not talking about the thing that pumps blood through your body. What I’m talking about is that inner child, that inner source of creativity where your passions lie. And when you are chasing success and doing it so by abandoning your heart, essentially what you’re doing is you’re aborting the connection with your inner child. And it’s really hard to feel fulfilled in life when you don’t have the connection to the very thing that God gave you as the source of your passion and your creativity. The more distant you become, the more that you can feel like a fraud or the more harsh or brass you become. And the goal in this life that we get to live is not to arrive at a point where we are dead inside and have all kinds of things around us.

08:28 The goal is to maintain connection, not just with other people but also with ourselves. And when you’ve lost that connection or you haven’t nurtured or maintain that, then you question whether or not what you’re doing is right. Or you partner with self hatred and you’re constantly chasing a measuring stick that you never measure up to. You know, another indicator that maybe you are falling into this category that we’re talking about is if all of your definitions of success or the goals you’re pursuing are exclusively tied to money. You know, obviously people say it all the time. Money is the root of all evil. Money is not evil. But when it is the root of your desires and your dreams, it becomes evil because of this severing of the connection to your inner heart and your inner child. And when you have that severing of connection, then it’s also really hard to maintain connection with God.

09:15 Another simple question you can ask yourself is, “Is my success- whether it’s where I’m at or where I’m headed, it’s all discipline and you know, forcing myself to and willpower and changing mindsets and-” again, with any of this stuff that we’re talking about, there’s nothing wrong with these, but they become something wrong or something bad when they’re taken to the extreme at the cost of maintaining something healthy internally. Because what happens when everything is disciplined, driven and forced and almost militant internally? Well then you can achieve certain successes in life, but it’s not sustained growth because it’s not organic growth. And when I say organic growth, I’m referring to that natural progression that we go through in life where we learn more about ourselves and learn how to celebrate ourselves, give ourselves grace, fall in love with ourselves. And out of that, let it be a life-spring of loving others and maintaining connection with others and pursuing that healthy definition of success for yourself.

10:21 Now that is one aspect, right? There’s really two core drivers of this that I want to touch on. One is that connection with your heart, with your inner child, with your creativity, and the other is building a relationship with that inner King, that King that lies inside of you. It mentioned several times in the Bible how we are royalty. Well, what is royalty for a man? It is a King. For years. I tried to achieve all of these things, but I never actually looked to that King from within to learn how to grow as a man in pursuing my goals and dreams, learning how to embrace my royalty, embrace my inner King. How can you measure whether or not you’re doing that? Well, I mean there’s a couple of really simple things. One of them is- going back to mentors, if you can only make a decision based on what they would do, what that means is you’re abandoning your voice and ability to make a decision.

11:19 Kings are surrounded by counsel, but they ultimately make the decision. And what does that lead to? Well, that leads to you not trusting yourself. So if you find yourself always questioning your decisions or you need validation from other people, you know, it’s like, “I can’t do X, Y, or Z until I talk to my friends or till I have someone review this.” Again, I don’t want you to hear the extreme of this. I’m not saying that those are bad. I’m not saying mentors are bad or I’m not saying having counsel is bad. Those are wise things to do. But when they trump your ability to have relationship yourself, then ultimately you don’t trust yourself. So that’s what I mean when I’m referring to this pandemic of successfully insecure men. Well, if you take our culture that we have today and look at the landscape, a lot of men are chasing the wrong dreams.

12:09 They’re chasing the wrong definitions of success. They’re looking to the wrong mentors. They’re just going after that dollar bill and at all costs. I mean, that’s why you have so many marriages where on the outside they’re successful, but the wife feels completely alone in the marriage because all she’s longing for is to see inside of her man’s heart. But he doesn’t even know how to connect to that for himself, let alone let her into it as well. Thus divorce. Or you have two strangers that live in a home. And so when you are not nurturing that relationship with your heart, with your inner child, and you’re also unwilling to begin to trust yourself and build the relationship with your inner King, well, you may have millions of dollars in the bank or you may have the latest and greatest tech toys or the cars or whatever, and yet internally, more than likely you don’t like yourself.

12:58 More than likely, whatever it is that you get is not enough. You constantly have to chase something else, whether it’s to improve in yourself or improve the size of your bank account or improve the size of your house or improve your investments and the list goes on. See, I actually had a client that he has played at the highest level of the sport that he was involved with. He had a dad who was really successful. He was also his coach growing up and taught him everything he knew, trying to set him up for success. And what happened? Well, he got to that highest level. It lasted for a period of time, but it didn’t last forever. And ever since then. He’s constantly been this individual that from the outside looking in is extremely successful. He’s got a great family, he’s got a beautiful wife, he’s doing well financially. And yet, he and I are talking through- you know, I asked him, what’s the one thing that you want to take away from a certain session that we had and he said, well, I want to understand why I feel so insecure? Because everything around me says that I’m successful, and yet I feel insecure.

14:02 Now there’s a lot of factors obviously tying into his specific, but two of the big drivers were that he had no relationship with his inner child, his heart, and so very easy to connect to performance rather than to relationship. And obviously that was cultivated as a child where he learned how to find love by performing for his dad. And then the other piece of it is he doesn’t trust himself. He doesn’t have a relationship with that inner King. He has all these mentors around him that are really successful and so is he, and yet he feels really insecure. Now, if some of these things are resonating with you, you may be asking yourself, “okay, great, Josh, you know what? You’re right. Now what? Just telling me all these things, it’s great to hear, but what the heck do I do with it?” Gaining clarity and the reality of what’s going on is the first step. Because you have to identify what’s driving you internally before you can actually start to make change.

14:56 And this relationship that you have with your heart, with your creativity, with your inner child, and the relationship you have with your King. Those are just that. They’re relationships. And so if you realize that you’ve been doing something in a very intimate relationship that’s been hurtful or costing connection and intimacy, what do you do? Well, you start by asking for forgiveness. And some of you may say, well, that sounds silly, Josh, why would I do that? Why would I forgive myself? Well, if that’s your response, more than likely you’re really good at beating yourself up and being emotionally abusive to yourself. So why not be willing to try something that’s a little bit more uncomfortable, but also compassionate and kind to yourself, which is to ask for forgiveness. And once you’ve done that, just like any other relationship, what do you have to do? You have to rebuild trust with that heart of yours, with that inner child of yours, with the creativity, the source of creativity.

15:47 And you have to rebuild or maybe even not rebuild, but maybe you have to begin to build a relationship with that King and that may feel really freaking scary and you know what? It is. I can tell you from experience, it’s scary. It’s not comfortable. But if you listen to more than one episode, you know that I’m not a big proponent of just staying comfortable. So you have to be willing to risk asking yourself, your inner King, “what would I do in this moment in this decision?” There’s nothing wrong with mentors, but I would encourage you to pull characteristics that you see from them, not exclusively their voice in place of yours. You can say, “you know what? I have these mentors in my life. What is it that stands out about them? X, Y, Z. You know, they’re really humble, they’re committed, they’re consistent, they’re willing to take risks.” Whatever those are. Those are characteristics.

16:45 So take the characteristics. Lean into those that you admire, there’s nothing wrong with that. But begin to be willing to risk trusting yourself, trusting that inner royalty that you carry, but most of the time aren’t willing to connect to. So ask yourself, where in my life have I let someone else’s voice trump my own internal one? Or where in my life am I too afraid to make decisions for myself? And I have to get validation and affirmation from others. If you identify some of those, then you’re probably beginning to identify the areas where you’re not trusting your inner King. And guess what? You are going to make mistakes. It’s impossible not to. And if that feels really hard to hear or scary in and of itself? Then you have to begin to ask yourself, “well, why is fear of failure your core driver for pursuing something that you deem as successful in life?” Respond to the cry of our culture, which is, “where are the men who are willing to remain connected to their heart, to be willing to show empathy and compassion, the quote unquote “underbelly” of who they are to those that they. And yet, also equally be willing to have a clear definition of what success is and embrace their inner King, their royalty, their strength, and be able to trust the decisions that they make in life?”

18:06 And for all of you dads out there, your boys or your girls are looking up to you as the model of what masculinity is. So you have to ask yourself, “what kind of masculinity am I passing on to my children?” Hmm? You want to set them up for success? I don’t know of a single dad who doesn’t want their kids to succeed more than they have in life. You want to see that success? Then learn how to lean into your inner heart and child and also trust your inner King. .

More from this show

Episode 6