STILL learning to love myself

As a man we have an immense amount of pressure to have our shit together 24/7 and this has led us to believe that any time we are struggling with something we have to do whatever we can to look like everything is fine.

We don’t talk to our mates about our struggles, fears and insecurities,

We don’t talk to our partners about our struggles, fears and insecurities,

And we definitely don’t talk to our parents about our struggles, fears and insecurities.

We hold all of this in because we don’t want anyone to see that we are actually human, and being human means that at times we struggle, and at times we need help, but that goes against everything we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that men just get on with it.

In other words, if we stop being a robot, and start being real, then people will see us as a weak unsuccessful man.

I’ve spent 33 years struggling to be human, and any time that I’ve felt like I could do with some help, i either dig my heels in even more and get defensive when people offer me help,

or tell myself I’m a failure and spiral down into a pit of drink and drugs to escape that story I’m telling myself.

What I’m actually learning is that being a man is not based on being an emotionless robot 🤖, in fact it’s the complete opposite!

Being a man is having the courage to be real and own your struggles, put your hand up and ask for help and support others on your way up.

I used to tell myself that ‘real men’ don’t need help, 

‘Real men’ don’t struggle with their emotions (Thankyou to the amazing term ‘man up’),

‘Real men’ have loads of money and fuck like pornstars (Thankyou to the over sexualised music world), 

‘Real men’ swoop in and save women (Thankyou Disney),

I think at every single point in my life I’ve held a belief about what it is to be a man and that ideology is always outside of myself, instead of really connecting to my own masculinity.

I am a kind, caring man who does what he can to help others.

I am also a man that struggles at times and has fucked up and hurt people he loves.

Each year that goes by I know myself a little more, and instead of judge myself for my past shortcomings I am learning to love all of me,

I am learning to love,

32 year old Dan that so wanted to be seen by his girlfriend in a moment of real vulnerability the he ended up hurting her deeply.

28/29 year old Dan that got accused of attempted rape and spiralled down into drink and drugs and as a result left him homeless.

Mid 20 year old Dan that cheated on his fiancée and broke her heart because he was so scared of real intimacy and harboured a lot of shame around sexuality.

Teenage Dan that spent so much of his time trying to be more ‘you’ and less ‘me’ because he just wanted to be liked.

10/11 year old Dan that was told that what he done was wrong and displeasing to God and he needs to be sorry (otherwise God wouldn’t love him).

When I sit back and reflect right now, I just see a boy/man that was trying to be what he thought everyone wanted him to be, or a version of him that he thought would be more worthy of love.

I’ve done a lot of questionable things in my time and they have all been as a result of parts of myself that I’m struggling to love and have been trying to hide.

Men…

I just want you to know that you can keep running and using;

Drink

Drugs

Sex

Masturbation

Gaming

Food

Relationship hopping

Being a doting father 

Work

To avoid those feelings of unworthiness, but I guarantee you, until you stop and actually start looking at it all, and learning to love it all, you will always feel lonely and unfulfilled, because it’s ALL YOU, and you are begging and pleading with YOU to love YOU.

Loneliness isn’t you not having someone externally who understands you and loves you,

Loneliness is YOU not understanding you and REFUSING to love you.

Maybe now is not your time and you’re not quite ready yet but when the time comes and you really feel the pull, use your strength to just surrender and give up running and get the help and support you need and deserve 🙏🏼❤️. 

Men I see you and I’m here for you,

Much love 🙏🏼❤️

Dan.

P.s. ego = ‘what judgements will I get as a result of this photo, it’s not safe to post this, you’re naked on the beach’

My higher self = Dan you’ve just wrote about vulnerability and judgements why are you now projecting you own self judgement?!

Labels And Identities

For a long time now i’ve been my usual stubborn self and wanted to do everything without any help. This comes from the fact that I want to prove not only to myself but also everyone else that has ever doubted me that I can and I will do this.

This, i’ve recently realised is my own definition of success (nice car, nice home, a lot of money in the bank) which was something that started off as a way for me to grow in confidence and not be that shy little boy that I was all through my life, until I applied for that apprenticeship in the health and fitness industry at the age of 21.

The last 2 years for me have been particularly tough and have led me to attach certain labels and identities to who I am and i’ve allowed these to take control and be the main driver for a lot of the choices, decisions and actions I have been taking that not only no longer serve me but are now beginning to scare me…

My biggest fear is now that because of a choice or action I take I will ruin a friendship, my reputation, that has taken me a long time to build (I mean the people’s opinions that actually know the real me, not the people that THINK they know me) and the respect others have for me.

After a certain weekend a while ago when I could of potentially seriously fucked up and hearing the words of someone say to me just before I was going to go in to the toilet of a pub, to be face down, with a £10 note up my nose ‘I’m just worried because I want the best for you’ I knew that something drastically had to change, and as much as I could justify what I was doing to make it sound that in some weird way that I deserved to be doing this, I finally held my hands up and admitted that I could no longer do it on my own, I needed help.

I believe that every single one of us needs help to get out of our own way and become the best version of our self, but there seems to be some weird stigma surrounding this notion that if you ask for help you are ‘broken’

I like to think of us in a way that doesn’t promote this mentality of being broken, and rationalising by admitting that none of us are ever broken because none of us are ever whole.

My theory is that when something is whole it’s complete and when something is complete it can’t be added to but if we cannot be added to then why the fuck are we bothering to better ourselves in the first place because we have reached our full potential already and where you currently are is where you will always remain,

Fuck that!!!!

December 2017 before my 30th birthday I was in a holiday inn just outside Manchester with only big ted, my pen and my journal to keep me company the night after i’d attended a mindset and business seminar, for the previous 4 months leading up to this night I had been telling myself and my journal just how broken I was,

I made a promise to myself that night that tomorrow will be day 1 in search of Dan under all the labels, identities and versions of myself that i’ve been to please others around me.

it’s been the most transformational year of my life and I am so glad I went through it because if I hadn’t then I would not have the level of self awareness and confidence in who I am that I do now, in short (yes like me!) I am now able to start dropping the identity of Dan the struggling homeless PT step into the new identity I have been creating for myself for just over a year.

After having a couple of conversations with this amazing life coach whose seminar I went to back in December I realised just how kind, caring and genuine she was but I was still playing ‘stubborn Dan’ and chose to continue to go at it alone.

over 12 months of trying to do it alone, almost ruining friendships and hearing a few very close friends and family members say to me ‘this isn’t you’ COINCIDENTALLY Shari the amazing life coach i’ve been speaking about was speaking on a facebook live about her new 12 week maverick life program and right at that very moment I knew this was exactly what I was meant to see at the top of my Facebook newsfeed!

Yesterday was the end of week 1 and i’ve already uncovered a lot of things about who the ‘old Dan’ is that is trying so hard to hold on so the new Dan can’t come out.

I have also learned a lot about why it has taken me so long to shed the struggling, broken, homeless PT Dan and who the real Dan is that has been pushed so far down that he’s become lost.

I’m fucking excited to see where these next 11 weeks take me and who I will become without fear of judgement or needing to be someone for others and just stepping into the Dan that I want to be. for me.