Masculinity has always been complicated to understand, given how cultures and societies define it differently. Today, the world is redefining what a man “should be” as more safe spaces are being created. We decided to gain a perspective on the emerging wave from an expert we can trust. Keep reading to learn from our incredible masculinity coach, Ezra Mitchell!
Tell us more about what you do.
I’m a transformational coach focusing on Emotional Fitness, the strengthening of our internal emotional muscles that lead to more resilience, confidence, and a higher quality of life. I’m also an on-air host for Mindvalley and passionate about facilitating conversations around personal growth.
What men’s issue have you come across most in your years of work?
The issue that comes up time and time again no matter if I am working with men in the US, Europe, Singapore, Indonesia or Malaysia, is the difficulty in expressing themselves and fear of vulnerability. This is why I hold men’s circles, to give men a space to share, practice vulnerability, and connect with other men committed to their growth. Most men have a profound shift when they experience power, not weakness, when they share something personal and practice vulnerability.
How would you define masculinity?
I think it’s important for each one of us to have our own definition of masculinity as it is different for each individual in different cultures. That being said, I think the most important skills and areas for a man to develop for a strong masculine frame is:
– Knowing, improving, and accepting oneself deeply, including our shadow which are the parts of ourselves we may not like.
– Conscious Leadership, becoming an effective leader who takes feedback and improves for the shared goals of a team or partnership.
– Understanding how to lead compassionately in relationships, how to be the stable rock in their relationships, romantic or otherwise. Be one who leads, protects and is dedicated to being the best man he can be. This creates deep confidence and safety, and is extremely attractive to their partner.
– Being committed to our growth above being right in a conflict. When we take a position of “We are right and you are wrong”, we close off the possibility for our own growth and evolution. If we believe we already know everything, we cannot and will not learn anything new. That is a sign of a stagnant, self-paralysed man.
When society starts getting to you, what do you do to get yourself back up?
It’s important that we make space for ourselves, take a break, reflect on what may not be working and find out what is creating stress, overwhelm or unhappiness in our life. Oftentimes, we feel a great responsibility to take on more than we can. We need to take a look at our boundaries so that we can say NO to things that are outside of them. This will help us reclaim our energy and power by being sure we make our own decisions. Don’t forget to also reach out to the people you care about in your life and communicate what you may be going through. Everyone needs help every once in a while and that does not mean you are any less of a man.
In your opinion, what does a man need to do in order to start healing?
We can start by asking ourselves: “What’s not working in my life?”, “What am I avoiding?”, “What am I afraid of?”, “If I have anger issues, who do I need to forgive?”, “If I am hurt or sad, what victim story do I need to heal and let go of?”, etc. Then it’s about committing to growing and improving, not being prideful or thinking we know it all and have nothing else to learn. On top of that, find the resources you need and feel aligned with to build those skills or break through those obstacles in your life. These could be books, courses, trainings, therapy, coaching, or mentors. We get no reward or trophy for doing it all ourselves. We only lose precious time we can never get back by not enlisting the expertise of others.
What can we as a community do to help men heal?
We definitely need to create more spaces for men to connect, express themselves and grow. We also need to normalize real men having the ability to express themselves, and that it’s necessary for healthy and deep connection in all of their relationships. Finally, teach men that vulnerability is their superpower, not their kryptonite.
If you wish to connect with Ezra and/or find out more about his work, you can find his Instagram linked here!