METTLE, IS A MAN’S ABILITY TO LEAD HIMSELF, COPING WELL WITH DIFFICULTIES AND TO
FACE DEMANDING SITUATIONS IN A SPIRITED AND RESILIENT WAY.
I offer the following EIGHT- and TEN-WEEK programs. Each week will involve a work sheet with insightful and thought-provoking questions for personal discovery, reflection experiences, an hour of personal mentoring with me, and a life change application decision.
Every one of these topics I have personally walked through the fire and come out on the other side. My life experiences and the mentoring I received in their storms has forged deep conviction and the character making me into a better man and leader. I am able to offer you the broken pieces of my life and what I learned, the mistakes I have corrected, the pain that I have been able to heal and live with, my resilience, and the different stages of life I have traversed. I’m vulnerable and authentic and a non-judger!
I look forward to meeting you and joining you in your story!
1) Reinventing Yourself
Many of us are brought to the edge of choosing to become something completely new and different. Usually it is that realization thatI’m not in the right career, at 40 I’m not who I was at 25, or I’ve lived and created a false self-persona and I need to walk into my true self. Perhaps you need to reinvent yourself from a life altering event like a divorce, the loss of someone special, being fired from a job, or a moral failure. I was fired from a life career for a moral failure and had to reinvent myself. It wasn’t until my thirties that I discovered my God given design and later confront the false persona I elaborately created and accepted my true self. You need to throw away the old story and write a new one. You need to own your new story and its power. I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, you can reinvent yourself!
2) Father Wounding
Isn’t the dynamic of father-son -relationship totally puzzling at times? All dad’s make mistakes, some are graver than others. Many of us have been deeply wounded by our fathers. We felt unloved, unaccepted, or were constantly on the treadmill of trying to please him, longing for his masculine affirmation and his masculine love. Others of us wish he would have been more involved, more present in our lives. Because of divorce or our mom raising us as a single mother, many of us never knew the man and we feel cheated, especially as adolescences, when we were around friends with healthy relationships with their father. For years I hated my dad for what he did to me and my mom. I resented the fact that I became the father figure to my sisters. I was embarrassed of him and in my soul rejected him. But this all changed, and our relationship was restored. We both asked and gave forgiveness and we both initiated and pursued each other. I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, you can get better from the father wound!
3) Discovering Who You Are
Who the hell am I anyway? What is my purpose, what was I created to fulfill? What will be my legacy? Great questions we all need to answer so we can move forward and live our best life. We all have a unique design but many of us are drifting aimlessly, like a ship without an udder. We are spinning our wheels; we are busy, but not busy with the right things. Far too many of us are actually bored and feel we are not doing anything significant with our lives. It’s time to stop living an unfulfilled life and to align and integrate who you are and live out your legacy. We simply must continue the journey each day and identify the optics that keep us in the game of self-discovery and self-evolution. We will use the Strengths Finder analysis to give insight and direction. When I went through this process my life direction changed, my confidence changed, and I felt complete and more aligned in my being. I came to like, respect, and believe in myself and now saw my purpose and rearranged my life in that truth. I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, you can discover who you are, change your narrative, and start to fulfill your destiny!
4) Learning How to Lead Yourself
History is full of men who might have conquered the world if only they could have conquered themselves. Leadership always starts with the daily practice of learning how to lead yourself. It is the most significant daily decision you make. Establishing this routine will pay you the highest dividends. People follow those they trust, and they trust those who are honest and have wisdom from mastering themselves. When you lay your head on the pillow every night and reflect on what you did and how you spent the time given to you the last 24 hours did you lead yourself by design or punt by default. You make your daily decisions; you must choose to lead you. I win some days, others I’m marginal and then others I did poorly in leading me. But the sun comes up and it’s a new day and I get another chance! Through the years I have developed a daily routine in leading myself. It has changed everything. I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, you can learn how to lead and master yourself
5) Enter That Damn Arena and Conquer Your Fear
As a wrestler every week I had to walk onto that mat and grapple. Did I deal with fear, of course, some weeks more than others? I had to call out my brave every week in the midst of my fear. When I was in Trier, Germany, I saw the arena the gladiators walked into and fought. I walked where the animals were kept before the fight, as well as where the gladiators stayed. Anyone who has seen the movie Spartacus or other gladiator movies remembers and can visualize the raw emotions of fear and courage in every scene from the moment the gladiator walked out into the arena. It was hand to hand combat, mental decisions, constant training that determined the outcome either death or life. Fear is our strongest emotion, hands down. Fear controls and paralyzes us, you become subservient to it when this happens. In some areas of your life your courageous and you defeat fear and yet in other areas fear wins and your shut down. The fight shows up in our private life, professional life, and in our relationships. Like Spartacus, you must walk into that arena, call out your brave, and rumble. He knew how to fight because he was in training, without training in how to fight, you lose. I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, you can enter that arena and fight your fight!
6) Bad Ass Virtues
You choose what virtues you believe in and desire to represent who you are as a man. These become the values you want to live and reflect. Virtue just doesn’t automatically happen. You weren’t born with resilience; you cultivate resilience in adversity. Just like if you choose responsibility as a value you then cultivate it by making and living out responsible decisions, which can be painful.
Bad Ass Virtues will not be easy to live because they will require your sacrifice, humility, selflessness, and many times pain in be integrated in your life so that they give definition to your narrative. But it is worth the journey and Its fruit is confidence, self-respect, self-love, and inner peace from the experiences. Bad Ass Virtues will always be tested because only in the test will you build them into who you are.
Bad Ass Virtues: Resilience-Responsibility-Ownership-Acceptance-Fighting injustice-Forgiveness-Kindness-Courage-Humility-Selflessness, Honesty, and Curiosity. I’ve had to take ownership for lots of mistakes, apologize and ask forgiveness for a lifetime! It built virtues of responsibility, humility, and ownership. These virtues have served me well. I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, you can legitimately become BAD ASS!
7) What Self-Image MASK Do You Wear?
You have defined yourself from the self-image mask you chose early in your life. Your self-image has power over you. It is the center piece of what you believe about yourself, your beating heart that gives you meaning and definition. Many times, we live from a self-image that was created before the age of 16. If you were to ask your younger self the question, what narratives from others, what narrative from yourself and what painful experience shaped your self-image, how would you answer? Does your older self-agree or disagree? Its shocking how the 12-year-old voice has power in your life to define you today. Perhaps you need to go back so you can go forward and live in freedom who you really are. Or maybe you are still at the masquerade wearing an identity mask you have so carefully constructed. In high school for me it was being the jock. God shattered it my senior year in school. In college a frat boy and after college it was built around my success. Sure, we all in some way choose and develop a self-image. But we must answer the following questions. Is it a true reflection of who I am? Why did I choose the self-image I created as a younger man and how did it serve me? Did I create a self-image someone else wanted me to live from? Why am I confused with who I am?
I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, you can embrace your true self-image!
8) Pain Is A BITCH.
We need to become intimate with our pain. I know, that sounds crazy. We can only learn the freedom of pains truth through walking into it, becoming intimate with it, not going around it or trying to hide from it. It has truths to teach. Some pain will never heal the way I want it to heal and I must come to peace with that, it’s okay. Some pain will never go away and I must accept that and learn to carry it with me through life. What’s done cannot be undone, and some of what life does to us is harsh. You aren’t going to be the same man you were before a loved one died, your divorce, the loss of a career, a friend’s suicide, rejection by your dad, mom, siblings and children, judgment from others, the emotional, mental, sexual, and physical abuse done to you, you will not recover to the former you. You have a choice, either give up and shut down or move forward and go through it becoming strong. Like the loss of my mom and dad six weeks apart, there are things I carry with me and it is good. Loss comes in a variety of flavors: Betrayal, divorce, innocence, trust, death, your self-worth, a relationship with your children, or a loss of finances. I lost a lot in my divorce, I understand betrayal, and the pain of a false narrative being spoken about me. I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, you can navigate the bitch of pain and become stronger.
I hate feeling invisible. It takes me to a dark place of believing lies. My ugly self-talk says, what’s wrong with you that others don’t seem to want to get to know you or even acknowledge you. It assaults my self-worth and my-self-image, causing me to second guess myself and not feel comfortable to simply be me. We were all built for relationship and the desire to me known and to be loved. We want to belong, and we want to matter. When this isn’t happening in a healthy way, we can become sad, discouraged, and even depressed. I know what it’s like to be married, not alone, yet incredibility lonely and trapped. It’s a terrible place to be. I have spent several Christmases alone. For years I would travel to Denver every Christmas, rent the same hotel room, watch football, go out to a movie and to dinner alone.
What made it painful is I came from a very family oriented get together with traditions for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. Talk about a total opposite experience! One thing I learned was to not be afraid of being alone. I found a new center to live from and I became more disciplined in reflection. My relationship with God went deeper as He assured me, He never left me like others had. He was with me in the loneliness and that was comforting. I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, loneliness can be changed.
10) Don’t TAP Out, Choose Resilience.
No one has ever been born with resilience, it’s not a gift your born with. Resilience is learned in the decisions we make in the train wreck experience. Resilience always involves a choice at the fork in the road. All of life involves forks in the road. Whatever fork we choose affects us. Actually, that fork forms us, yet many of us are oblivious to its power. When we choose to persevere we grow in perseverance, when we choose mettle, we grow in mettle, when we choose to get up we become strong, when we choose to own and correct our mistakes we become responsible and confident, when we choose to get help from a counselor we become healthy and wise. On the other hand, when we choose self-pity we wallow, when we choose to blame, we stay in immaturity and don’t grow up, when we choose to not get up when knocked down we become weak because of quitting, when we let fear stop us from going to a counselor we become entangled with hurt and turn our hurt on others, when we choose to constantly give ourselves a free pass, we live an undisciplined selfish life, when we choose to hold a grudge and not forgive, ironically, we become its victim. And when we choose to tap out, we lose, everything. With the heartache from the variety of turmoil I have been confronted with starting in middle school I have learned resilience. It has grown deeper through the years thankfully because as life progressed, I needed its depth. It has served me well, as a good friend standing with me and helping me through the chaos of life. I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, becoming resilient has power!
11) Good LORD, I’m Male but clueless of what masculinity looks like.
How do you define what is masculine? What or who has influenced you in putting together how you are to behave as a male? If you were going to list out what it means to be a man, what would be in your list? What did you do to get your “MAN CARD” or do you feel you’re still trying? Have you buried qualities about you that aren’t accepted as REALLY being male? Do you live a lie? Are you afraid to, be you? Do you feel attacked and degraded as a male? Do you feel excluded from being invited into the “MALE CLUB”? These are some of the questions I dealt with as a man and had to resolve. In high school, the only reason I went out for football is in my masculine definition that’s what real men did. There were some gender roles I adopted that were wrong, like the man mows the lawn. I came home one day, and my wife was mowing the lawn. I got out of the car and said stop, what will the neighbors think about me? (my neighbors would think less of me as a man if my wife moved the lawn) She informed me she was from the farm and the women painted the house and mowed the lawn; the men worked the fields. And that she liked doing it and seeing closure! Well that took a while for me to digest!
I recently asked a group of forty men in college who is more masculine the guy who wrestled or the guy who played tennis? Yup, they said the wrestler. I asked how did you come to that conclusion and why did you marginalize the tennis player, not giving him the “MAN CARD”? I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, I’ve done a lot of deconstructing and reconstructing my masculinity!
12) The Dismantling of Shame
“A PERVASIVE SENSE OF SHAME IS THE ONGOING PREMISE THAT ONE IS FUNDAMENTALLY BAD, INADEQUATE, DEFECTIVE, UNWORTHY, OR NOT FULLY VALID AS A HUMAN BEING.”
The pervasive sense that one is fundamentally bad, inadequate, defective, unworthy, or not fully valid, has given definition through the years to many by the following agents of shame: family, religious communities, media, schools, peers, workplace, and culture. It has robbed the person of their identity, self –respect, dignity, and personhood. These destruction agents pass the verdict of condemnation, judgment, and hate. When someone or a culture takes the position of judging, they are taking a position of superiority over the person they judge. This self -righteous, arrogant, condescending, damning position comes from unhealthy people.
Renowned shame researcher Brene Brown (2007) defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging-something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection”. Alan Wright (2005) defines shame as “a feeling of being inwardly flawed-of not measuring up”. One of our deepest needs and longing as humans is to feel and be loved not for what we accomplish but simply to be loved unconditionally for who we are. Everyone has a deep need to belong, to be connected. For example, someone born gay, cannot change their identity or someone who has gone through a divorce, cannot change the event, regardless if it was their fault or not. Yet they experience others who treat them as unworthy of acceptance, flawed, defective, and not validated.
I believe there is certain man shame areas every man deals with and must walk through for freedom and wholeness. We are shamed by society, women, our parents, and other men in what it means to be male. And if we don’t understand shame then we in turn shame.
Shame causes us to hide, to try to cover up because we think we are defective or flawed. This was a picture of my life for years. I hated myself and felt flawed and unworthy of acceptance and this was not a good place for me to live. I have had some great counseling on my shame and would love to share my story with you and help you take off your shame coat so you can really live in freedom. I’ve been there, there is hope, trust me, you can whip shame!
$600 per eight-week program that breaks down to $75 per week.
$750 per ten-week program that breaks down to $75 per week.
- Choose one topic for eight or ten weeks.
- Choose two topics for ten weeks.
- You choose a combination of topics for ten weeks.
John R. Hatfield
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