Pretty women used to drive me crazy. I would see an attractive woman and instead of filling myself with joy, I would begin to wonder how I could talk to her, or if I should talk to her. I wondered if she deserved to talk to such a beautiful woman. I would question my own worth in the face of this beauty. I remember feeling like I wasn’t up to it. I remember feeling like she had all the power
If I had a chance to interact with her, I would stumble upon my words and say awkward things. I would try not to look at her breasts. I will do my best not to show how attracted I am to her. I didn’t want to look like a pervert or a womanizer.
But if I didn’t talk to her, I would feel like a pathetic loser. I would be ashamed not to “step up” and “go for it.”
The feeling of desire that evoked me seemed to push me into the space of a perverted donor or a pathetic loose. There was no honorable exit. I was annoyed by women for that.
What I do know now is that I am not the only one who has experienced this. In fact, I feel like a man in workshops, in personal coaching sessions, I read it online. Men don’t want to be an aggressive pervert or an emasculated bachelor, but cultural narratives around the experience of sexual desire and masculinity tend to push men into one (or both) of these categories.
It’s a shame.
I see men struggling with what appears to be a binary option of being an aggressive pervert or a lax pathetic. I see men choose.
I see men who have accepted the idea that being a man means having power over others, whether women or other men. These guys tend to be more aggressive and tend to mask their deep insecurity with a face of artificial bravado. He is tired of maintaining a hierarchy of power and these guys are always looking for someone who could threaten his place in the social hierarchy.
On the contrary, I see men committed to rejecting the most toxic expressions of masculinity. These men are usually more honest about their emotions, but they are often caught spinning their wheels, thinking about what they do NOT want to be more than what they want to be and get caught up in the paralysis of analysis. They end up looking even more insecure than they really are.
None of these options are ideal.
The third option I like to call “Authentic Swagger”. This is a non-hierarchical trust. The real Swagger is when you are comfortable with your own skin. That’s when your sense of self doesn’t depend on other people’s validation. This is when you can receive feedback from others without feeling attacked and without retaliation. The real Swagger means that you are living your own life passionately and expressing yourself in your own way, rather than trying to fit in with someone else’s ideals.
Authentic Swagger is something I have been cultivating in myself and helping my clients cultivate for many years. The more you have, the happier life will be. You find yourself full of more passion and energy than ever before. For me, the experience of seeing a beautiful woman is now one of joy and curiosity. Spending time with other men, I don’t feel like I need to defend my place in any hierarchy because I’m not investing in the hierarchy.
Of course, there are things in life that I am still discovering, there are so many ways I want to grow, but I can follow this path with the relaxed confidence that I am on the right path. With this knowledge, life has a certain ease and optimism.
Most people have heard a little bit of authentic Swagger at some point in their lives. But it tends to be fleeting and fickle. Some men have not felt it for a long time, sometimes they forget how they feel.
But Authentic Swagger can be grown at any age, at any income level anywhere in the world. It does not require a certain amount of money or a particular type of car, it does not require a certain type of clothing or living in a certain part of the city. It is accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime, because it only requires embracing your own TRUTH.
And it’s not easy. It requires dealing with personal fears, shame, and shadow. It requires taking responsibility for one’s own psycho-emotional conditioning. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly fun. The more old stories are burned, the more your own truth can shine.
How does your true arrogance feel?
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