How Can I Be a More Authentic Man?

Jul 14, 2021 by Rick Broniec

How Can I Be a More Authentic Man?
 

My friend, Rita, confided to me her frustration at looking for a male partner. She asked, “Why are men so inauthentic?” 

 

She wasn’t the first woman to ask me that question. I knew immediately what she was referring to: Many of us men have a propensity to exaggerate, lie, not take responsibility for our mistakes, and protect our fragile egos at all costs.

 

“And what can I do to find a man that is more authentic in relationships?”

 

“You asked the $64,000 question!” I told Rita. “Most men who come to me for coaching are mystified themselves by their own lack of authenticity and integrity! The truth is, it’s hard work to discover the source of our male programming, acknowledging it and then change that program.” 

 

Speaker Tony Porter calls the behavioral norms and expectations we men are trapped in the “Man Box.”  Like most men, I have had to break out of my own Man Box. It takes time and persistence to deal with the strong messages we all got as boys.  Messages like:

  • Boys don’t cry!
  • Man up!
  • Don’t be a pussy.
  • Don’t ever back down.
  • And so on …

 

It is a lifetime’s work to bust our way out of that powerful Man Box, but it CAN be done. To do so requires us to peel off our hard protective armor—a truly scary process!  But the rewards for becoming more authentic are well worthwhile! 

 

Authenticity pulls us deep within to discover our truths. It requires us to recognize the physical sensations, feelings, and thoughts that we are experiencing and then express them clearly and directly with maturity. Authenticity then becomes something we are, not something we simply do.

 

Authenticity involves truth, honesty, realness, vulnerability, reliability, and genuineness. It requires self-awareness and self-disclosure. We cannot speak our truth if we do not actually know, feel, and acknowledge it.

 

How can a man be more authentic? Here are six tools:

  1. Notice your armor.
  2. Find a safe place to peel off the armor.
  3. Find the lies you were taught about who you are and rescript them to reflect the truth of who you are.
  4. Welcome feedback from other men.
  5. Stay in integrity with yourself and others.
  6. Be accountable—say what you do and do what you say.

 

None of these steps is easy, my brothers. And here’s the rub: You cannot do this alone!  It takes the support of other men doing the same work. Yet the rewards are incalculable. Many men and women, like my friend Rita, are waiting!