Authenticity Is A Key Ingredient Of Being A Man

Being a man is means being authentic. It means being true to who you really are.

I’ve described this in the past as being congruent – all the parts of you are in agreement.

The people around you can see who you are. Your family, your wife, your girlfriend, your children, your boss or co-workers, and your friends can all see who you really are. And over time they learn to see through you.

If you say one thing and do another, that’s not being authentic.

When you behave one way in public and another in private, that’s not being authentic.

If you’re not authentic, the people around you will see through you and they’ll lose respect for you. That applies to your kids, friends, family, co-workers and significant other.

In short, you need to be true to yourself, be who you really are and be yourself all the time, no matter what and no matter who you’re around.

If you say you hate sports but then gush about football when you’re out with your buddies, that’s not being authentic.

If you don’t like someone at work but pretend to like them in front of your boss, that’s not being authentic.

To be authentic, you have to be yourself, your true self, all the time.

That’s harder than it sounds. We all have pressures that push us away from being our true selves. Pressures from others, pressures to succeed, peer pressure, internal pressures, and more.

It’s easier to be authentic if you know who you are (and it’s better).

Because if you know who you are inside: what your values are, what your priorities and goals are, know your boundaries, and have confidence in yourself then it’s easier to stay true to those things.

We aren’t taught how to be authentic. And we aren’t taught how to know who we are inside. Plus society pushes all kinds of thoughts and ideas and pressures to conform at us. Advertising alone bombards us with thousands of messages a year about what being a man looks like, how to be popular, how to appeal to women, how to be successful, and what we should want to be happy. Plus other media like music, tv, movies, games, and news outlets are also feeding us images of how they define manliness.

It’s no wonder it’s easy to be confused. But we have to reject those images and define ourselves by what matters to us instead.

Being a man requires being authentic. And that starts with you getting clear about who you really are.

– Weston Henry

Questions:

What role model do you have for being authentic?

What could be better for you if you were more authentic?

Character – It’s what being a man is all about

Being a man is all about character.

It’s really about who you are. Are you mature, dependable, trustworthy, honest, transparent, and giving? Do you have high integrity?

Or are you immature, unreliable, dishonest, untrustworthy, selfish, and two-faced?

Modern western culture is warping our attitudes and values so that we think being a man is about being cocky, violent, rich, arrogant, disrespectful, and famous. Children are growing up exposed to these cultural stereotypes constantly. No wonder there is so much confusion about what it really means to be a man.

Just look at examples of famous people from American culture for examples: Movie stars are selfish and narcissistic. Athletes are cocky and arrogant. Rap music stars are flaunting disrespect for laws and bragging about violence. Plus we’ve got politicians who are corrupt and immoral, never taking personal responsibility for their actions or failures.

And across all those areas are countless examples of infidelity and adultery showcasing their selfish, narcissistic personalities.
Yet our media pushes those people as role models (to sell movies, music, TV viewership, and other products) and fawns over them with such exaggerated importance that they’re treated like pinnacles in our society.

But those aren’t the traits of a true man. And being rich or famous doesn’t make someone more of a man than a poor, unknown stranger you’ve never met.

Truly being a man is about positive character. How do you act? What do you do when faced with tough decisions? Do you consider the needs of others? Do you strive for the greater good instead of just thinking about your own benefit?

To be a real man, you need to have solid character. And if you have good character and act on it, really let your character shine through, you’re also likely to be authentic and have high integrity which are two additional traits important to being a man. (I’ll cover authenticity and integrity in future posts.)

If you want to be a real man, you have to have real character.

– Weston Henry

Questions:

What do you think is the most important character trait to be a man?

Who do you think embodies the character traits of a real man best?

My story – Why I started ManConduct.com

Why did I start this site? What’s my story?

In the span of 1 year, I went through major upheaval in my life. My wife and I filed for divorce, I was hit with the very painful realization that I had not been the father I wanted to be to my children, and my long-time business partner tried to have me fired from a business we had started together.

It was October 2014 when my wife and I decided to get a divorce. The news hit our four children hard. At the time, I knew it was the right thing to do and even though it would be hard on them, it would be better for everyone in the end. The divorce was not going to be easy. I tried to suggest we work it out without turning it into a fight but my wife wanted full custody of our children and that wasn’t something I would allow so it turned bitter anyway.

Once the divorce started, my already frazzled nerves went downhill even more. I was emotionally spent and lost all focus at work.

Fast forward five months to March 2016. After doing a lot of soul searching to figure out how my marriage had gone so wrong, I realized that what I had wanted most was just to be accepted for who I was. All the negative things that had built up and caused resentment didn’t really matter. It was this one simple truth that really mattered most.

In a strange coincidence, I came home from work one morning about to break down and my wife hadn’t left for work yet (we were still living in the same house). Somehow we started talking and ended up spending many hours over the next few days and nights taking even more.

Eventually we decided to reconcile, try to work things out, and call off the divorce.

We started marriage counseling and I started going to counseling personally as well for anxiety and self-esteem problems.

Working on my marriage, going through counseling, working on myself, facing many personal demons, and facing guilt over not being the parent that I wanted to be took a toll on my emotions and energy. I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing at work and it showed.

A couple months after stepping down from being the CEO of my company and turning the role over to my business partner, he tried to have me fired. We each had built up animosity towards the other over a long time and it finally boiled over.

Luckily, our board of directors had cooler and clearer heads and kept the lid on the pot long enough for things to settle down and get back on track.
But the thread that weaves through all of that story and indeed, most of the problems and mistakes I’ve made in my life is this:

Those problems happened because I wasn’t being the person I wanted to be at those times. I had patterns of thinking and behaved in ways that I’m not proud of. Those things aren’t who I want to be.

And the sad thing is… They’re not who I used to be. I realized that I once had higher ideals. I once had clarity, purpose, drive, and integrity that were important to who I was. Yet, at one time or another, some of those things had slipped away or gotten cloudy.

So I set out to redefine who I am, to discover again the pillars of my character and commit myself to living as authentically as I can.

It’s not an easy goal. I see the difference between where I am and where I want to be every day. But each time I read these words and apply them. It’s gets a little easier. A little clearer.

I know that life is a journey and so is this quest for me.

I hope you’ll find ideas and understanding here that will help you too.

– Weston Henry

What’s happened in your life as a result of not being true to who you are?

What would be better for you if you lived more authentically?

Welcome to Man Conduct!

Welcome to Man Conduct.

Here you’ll find very helpful rules, advice, examples, and discussion about how to truly be a man.

Improve your relationships, love life, career, friendships, and self-esteem by following and applying the advice you’ll find here.

And please post your comments, thoughts, and experience. Let’s make this a collaborative effort and participate so we’ll all be better men.

I’m looking forward to the journey with you.

– Weston Henry