Why men have such a problem with being honest with themselves
It’s said that “ego is like dust in the eyes. Without clearing the dust you can’t see anything clearly”.
For guys, that ‘dust’ stops them from seeing themselves clearly. That "dust" is their unhealthy ego.
Let’s be honest. It’s not overstating anything to say that ego is the single most monumental challenge to men achieving happiness, success, and well-being in life. As men age it becomes even worse. They start to have a deluded idea they are still who they were when they were in their twenties. Obviously since our business focuses on middle-aged guys, that’s the angle I’m coming from here. I know in my business it’s the one thing we always butt up against as the limiting factor in men improving their life.
Think of some of the issues that a man’s ego gets in the way of sorting out, or causes:
And a million other areas.
Don’t get me wrong. Some ego drive is necessary in life. It keeps us going forward. However, when a man’s ego starts having negative affects on life its time to take a long, hard and honest look in the mirror.
As the Psychologist and Writer Wayne Dyer says, “The ego is only an illusion, but a very influential one. Letting the ego-illusion become your identity can prevent you from knowing your true self. Ego, the false idea of believing that you are what you have or what you do, is a backwards way of assessing and living life”.
The problem is not that we have an ego, it’s that we allow the unhealthy parts of the ego to take over and rule our lives. The unhealthy part is that voice inside you that can’t help but say “I know that”, or “she’ll be right”, or any one of the myriad phrases that mean the same thing.
So how does an unhealthy ego affect a man’s life?
Firstly. An unhealthy, misguided, and misplace, ego stops a man from acknowledging the truth. Facts and reality absolutely go out the window. It’s hard to say whether for an individual man this is a real absolute belief in the delusion he has created inside his own head; whether it's what he tries
to convince himself of out of denial, or the lie he tries to convince everyone else of. Whichever it is, it’s a lie he tells someone because he’s too scared to face the truth. Or to be more precise, his ego is scared for someone to see his reality. From experience I can say that “false bravado” get’s worse in middle age with with a man’s increasing need for BS as he tries to convince everyone of his deluded notion of self. Usually some projection of who he was and he was capable of thirty years ago. The fear being, “what will people think of me?” Or worse, “what will I think of myself?”
The second consequence of an unhealthy ego I experience regularly, in the gym. I’ve been training for many many years and like to think I still train hard. I’ve got a background as a Trainer so have a clue of what I’m doing. Since I give exercise advice as part of my business I guess it’s a good thing. I’ve had injuries, recovered, managed them, and train smart to prevent them. I can’t count the number of times I’ve offered advice, to guys who see me regularly, only to be blown off because they know what they’re doing. Oh, I suppose that’s why they get no results or injure themselves.
Men can’t be told anything. Whats the standard male response? “I know that”, “I know what I’m doing”, or some profane version of “go away”.
Try to give a guy advice or feedback and he just can’t handle it. To me, it’s more important to be effective, than it is for your ego to feel it’s right.
Whether in the gym or in life in general, why not do something the best way? Of course you have to be open to new ideas and ways of thinking.
Finally, while a man’s delusions are bad for him as a person, preventing him from taking the actions he should to help his own life, a far more dangerous affect is ever present. Men don’t ask for help!
Even when they know they could do with it. I’m not saying men won’t ask for help, but the situation has to be quite dire before it gets to the stage of asking. Let’s face it, a man won’t go to hospital even if he knows he’s dying. How nuts is that? And if you’re laughing right now it’s because you know it’s the truth.
Men have this delusion (they seem to have a lot of these) that he is less manly if he asks for help. Guess what, you are where you are in life based on what you currently know. Therefore, if you want something you don’t currently have or be someone you currently aren’t you’re going to need help. Or, you’re where you are, and that’s where you’re going to stay.
With all this negative ego stuff going on inside his head I don’t know how any middle-aged guy survives. Oh wait, refer back to the list at the start of this piece. We don’t survive as long as we should. It’s a well researched fact that stress effects life expectancy. So if you don’t work to reduce the stressors from different areas of your life you will die younger than you should. With less quality of life while you’re waiting for it.
Let’s not forget the affect of just plane bad choices. Of course we can all make bad choices. I’ll be the first to put my hand up. As long as you don’t make them because your ego is, what’s the saying, “writing checks your body can’t cash”.
I have a mate who is a mix of all three of the above. At 59 I’m sure he still tries to convince himself he’s the sexual conqueror he was in his twenties. Pssst. I was there, the stories are BS anyway. He still has keeps trophies hanging on his wall from thirty years ago he’s taken from house to house, and still stands and admires, as if he was still capable of the same feats. Psst. I was there, the feats weren’t that amazing. He’s not really XXXL, it must be a small size. Psst. Yes he is.
And he will argue any bit of reality check anyone tries to lay on him.
So, he’s unhealthy, unfit, delusional, makes excuses for not following up on his goals, which means he doesn’t have a career, treats his relationship like crap, drinks too much, yet thinks he’s God’s gift to women and the world in general.
Wow, sounds like a lot of middle-aged guys.
All this based on what? Nothing that remotely resembles him at this very moment.
So what can a guy do?
It comes down to one, simple, yet challenging choice.
Let go and be honest!
Or to be blunt. Grow some balls and face facts!!!
I mean be brutally honest. It’s ok to give yourself credit for factual based things about yourself, AS YOU ARE NOW. It’s perfectly fine to acknowledge the positives about yourself as you are now. It’s perfectly fine to acknowledge there are facts about your past and it’s even ok to feel a degree of pride about them. There are things I’ve done in my past the some would consider impressive. I don’t feel the need to remind the world, or more importantly myself of them as if I’m some kind of hero.
It’s one thing to know the positive facts about your past and who you are now, as they are part of you, but they do not define you today. It’s a completely other thing to pump your chest out and rest on ancient history as if it’s who you are now. I’ve earned awards in the past and in no way am I capable of replicating the achievements now. I can talk about what I did and achieved, but with humility, as a matter of fact. The achievements speak for themselves without me needing to “big note” myself.
What it comes down to is that if you are always living out of ego you’re not living for you now as an authentic person. It’s all BS.
Therefore no choice you make is the best one for you as a person today.
Make the choice to face the truth no matter how you feel inside. It’s only from confronting reality that true life changing things can happen. Don’t lie to yourself that you’re completely happy with life.
It’s not about feeling you’re right. That’s your ego talking. It’s about taking in all the information you can, evaluate it and yourself critically, then take the right action.
It’s better to be effective than for your ego to just feel you’re right.
I think it’s better to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. I for one won’t let an unhealthy ego get in the way of that. I absolutely won’t allow my ego to get in the way of me being truly happy in life.
Guys, don’t die… younger than you have to.