Welcome back to part 2 of this series. This series is designed to help men reach their potential and deal with the issues about what's holding them back. I decided to publish these articles once a month so follow along, get involved and reach your potential.
As I mentioned in Part 1, like a lot of men, I have a self-destructive mechanism that has affected many facets of my life.
I assumed the self-destructive, issues and attachment style I had developed were from traumatic life events as an adult. The reality for me and most people, is those issues are trauma from childhood.
If someone asked me what my childhood was like I would say idyllic, but most of what we're dealing with as adults are coping mechanisms we adopted in childhood. Mechanisms that no longer serve us.
Challenging a great childhood takes some getting used to. You can go to therapy and discuss adult trauma, yet most of what's holding us back are mechanisms we adopted between birth and 7 years old. I saw a therapist around 3 years ago and we discussed my mum and my children, and I never thought, or felt it resolved anything.
The reason for this is I hadn't internalised things properly. When you do and start to connect the dots, you may get that lightbulb moment which generates a lot more questions. THEN it's time to get the help of a professional Therapist, to help you make sense of everything and that's where things are right now.
I know people who have refused to challenge their childhood, I was one of them. It takes courage to go there, and when you do, you need to approach it from a place of empathy and intelligence. As I mentioned in a recent video, we are all flawed as humans.
I seriously recommend getting a Therapist. I know there's a stigma among men that consulting a Therapist is a sign of weakness, yet with male suicide rates increasing year on year, something has to be done.
The fact is that according to The Samaritans, and the UK government, 74% of UK suicides between August 2022 and October 2023 were men aged 45-64 which made up 39.2%. Overall 4,813 people died from suicide. As a Police Officer, I remember the first sudden death I dealt with, a 21-year-old boy who hanged himself, I was also 21 at the time, and yes, I dealt with many male suicides over the years in the job.
One thing to note is that Therapists are like accountants, they all have their specialities and you may relate better with some than others. So if the first therapist you use doesn't resonate with you, don't give up.
More updates on that nearer the time.
For me, physical fitness has always been associated with mental fitness and one cannot exist without the other. But as we age, we can become physically and mentally idle, creating compelling justifications not to train, reflecting on how fit we used to be. Pathetic…
The simple truth is if you want to get fit and stay fit, you need to put the work in and for me, that is a combination of running, weights and Karate.
The first thing I'll say is EVERYONE has an opinion on diet and exercise. And for goodness sake, limit your time on social media because people on there will convince you that snorting Charlie is a proven weight loss method…
My philosophy is to do whatever works for you but take an intelligent approach…
I hadn't run properly for a couple of years, and when you work online, sit in a chair all day and order large stuffed crust pizzas at 10 pm that's not a great recipe for keeping fit and healthy.
The first runs (for reasons of safety)((to pedestrians)) I did late in the evening. The route was around 2 miles and relatively flat, but it felt like a hill climb.
When you're fit, you run, your body warms up and you can turn the dial to set and maintain your pace. When you're a fat bastard, your body and your mind are screaming at you to stop, and this is where your mental muscle can start to rediscover itself.
I found that rather than trying to maintain a pace that was too fast, it's better to slow down and keep going. Then setting a target destination and refusing to stop until that destination is reached. Yes, it may be painful, you may sound like a human steam locomotive and attract the attention of concerned residents at 11 pm, but there's a critical reason why this is important…
Let's look at the science.
This video explains more:
By not giving in to your inner voice, you begin to re-train the part of your brain network called the executive agent, and according to Psychology Today, this network is primarily based in the dorsolateral prefrontal, parietal, and cingulate cortices.
Deficiencies in the function of this network underlie numerous neuropsychiatric conditions. The ability to regulate emotions and direct rational actions is typically associated with success in life, and the inability to do so often leads to dire consequences.
This is one reason why many people tell you to go to the gym and train.
My advice about the gym is to have a routine, DO NOT take your phone with you (otherwise I will hunt you down) and train like an animal. If you want a confidence booster train intense for 45 minutes because most people in the gym are poncing around taking selfies…
Back to the science, most people understand… Pushing past the pain creates mental muscle and resilience. It builds confidence and it's addictive because your brain releases feel-good hormones. Your stress hormones are reduced and the number of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine are increased, which are known to accelerate information processing.
Yes all that happens when you exercise, all those natural healing chemicals all for free and without a prescription.
Diet is everything on the road to reaching your real potential. The bottom line about food is to eat REAL food.
Meat, eggs, avocado, green vegetables. Stay away from processed food unless you want any number of health issues including diabetes and cancer.
If you want some great advice about real food then let me introduce you to Eddie Abbew, a former professional bodybuilder who cured all his health issues by eating real food.
That's it for this month, lots happening and lots more to do. If you feel I can help in any way, please reach out to me using the contact details below and make use of the resources if you need them.
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Love to you all