Did you call your Father last Father’s Day?
I did. But I’m probably one of the lucky ones. Maybe you don’t have a father, or maybe your relationship with him is strained.
My earliest memories of my father always go back to him teaching me something. My dad taught me how to fold toilet paper into squares and correctly wipe my ass at the age of five or so.
Another time, dad taught me how to build model rockets and blow them up into the sky.
While living on the banks of a river in East Texas at age eight, my dad taught me how to fish. We even went hunting for buried arrowheads on sacred Indian grounds (I was told they were sacred). I remember him being pissed about being bitten by ants while sifting through the sand and bearing the weight of the Texas heat. Those days out in the country make up my best childhood memories.
Fathers are larger than life. They can do all sorts of cool shit, fix things, take you places, and make you feel like you’re on an adventure.
The knowledge and sense of masculine identity a father passes on is a gift. If you’re missing it, you feel it.
But none of that really matters, because whether dad’s a no-show or dead, you can be the father you never had. And, if he’s active in your life, you have the amazing opportunity to honor his gift by leading your life in an unapologetically masculine, purposeful direction.
Become the Father You Never Had: 5 Ways to Father Yourself and Forge an Unstoppable Masculine Identity
1.) Show Up (With Confidence)
Don’t have a dad in your life? Is your dad a no-show? No problem. Show up for yourself.
A mentor once told me, “Seneca, just show up. Most people don’t even show up.” This advice has stuck with me over the years. And it’s damn good advice.
Show up for your dreams. Show up for yourself, even when no one else believes in you.
Exhibit remarkable confidence and people will think your confidence comes from real knowledge. You will create a self-fulfilling prophecy: people’s belief in you will translate into actions that help realize your visions. – Robert Greene
Not feeling confident at the moment? Try this:
1.) Act the part – Act as though you’re already confident. Be the person you’ve imagined. How does the confident you look, feel and act? Be that person.
2.) Talk to your subconscious – Write down affirmations in a journal (i.e. I am…). Your brain hears everything you tell it. Tell it you’re fucking awesome.
3.) Look back and reflect – Take time to reflect on where you are in your life and the amazing things you’ve done. You’ll be surprised at the progress you’ve made. This is one of the few times where looking to your past will help you.
Be confident in the man you’ve become and the one you’re becoming. Hold your head up high, shoulder’s back (channeling JBP here) and take life by the balls.
2.) Be Courageous
The best way to build your confidence is to take courageous action.
Do things that scare you. Take bold action towards your goals, dreams, and ambitions.
Stuck in a crappy city? Move to a new one where you don’t know anyone.
Embrace failure and rejection. It’s part of the game.
Rejection is better than regret – Rollo Tomassi
Did your dad reject you? If so, you’ve already weathered rejection, and you’re still here! Use the pain of rejection to propel you to greatness.
3.) Take Responsibility For Everything In Your Life
Great dads and great men take responsibility.
Take responsibility for everything in your life–the good, the bad and the ugly.
This requires a mental shift. A good place to start is to realize that everything in your life is your own damn fault.
Read that again and let it sink in.
No one cares how much you hate your job or how unhappy you are. No one is coming to save you. You have to save yourself.
Let go of the resentment, the blame, and the guilt. Today is a new day and you have the power to course-correct the decisions you’ve made up until this point.
4.) Compete… With Yourself
My dad cheered me on at baseball games. He cheered for me at taekwondo tournaments. “Kick his fucking head off!”
Fathers instill a masculine sense of competition. But if your relationship with your father is broken, you might find yourself competing against his shadow.
Do you want validation from your father? I do. Some part of me wants to know, “Is my father proud of me?”
Maybe its part of being a son or just being a man, but I want to outdo my father, and, on some level, other men. There are a couple of problems with this, however:
A.) Your dad will die someday.
B.) You’re measuring your success against someone/something outside of yourself.
You don’t have control over these things.
Turn the idea of competition inside out. Compete with yourself. Set goals and demolish them. Compare yourself only to the person you were yesterday. Your success will provide the validation you are seeking.
And, if you manage to get validation from your dad along the way, great. If not, that’s okay, too.
5.) Learn From, Teach, and Surround Yourself With Other Virtuous Men
My dad once told me, “Son, the thing about women is… you can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them.”
Fathers pass on knowledge to their sons. Whether you have a father or not, you can do the same thing for yourself. Fix, build, break, and put shit back together again. Learn new skills and master them. When done, give back. Teach, mentor, and lead other men.
Find a tribe of virtuous men who can give you masculine advice and call you on your shit when you’re not living up to the standards you set for yourself.
Iron sharpens Iron.
Can’t find your “tribe”? Here are a couple of resources that have helped me:
There are tons of positive male voices on Twitter who are on the same journey as you. Here’s who you should follow (not an exhaustive list).
Follow these accounts and the subsequent rabbit hole it takes you down.
Meetup is a great resource for connecting with different groups of people in your area. Can’t find a meetup you like? Create one.
Youtube? Yes, Youtube. Youtube is an amazing tool that helps you learn from other successful people, build new skills, and connect with other like-minded individuals.
I suggest starting with Richard Cooper of Entrepreneurs In Cars. He’s commonly referred to as the “Father you never had.”
Be The Hero of Your Own Story
Be the hero of your own story. Walk boldly into the unknown, shoulders back and fearless.
Scream it out loud, “Here I am, world! ”
The sense of masculine identity that a father provides is available to you right now–whether dad’s in your life or not. Remember this when you’re feeling down or unsure of your place in the world.
Be the father you never had. Father yourself. Look yourself in the mirror and be proud of the man you are, and the man you are now becoming. You’re unstoppable.
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