75% of all suicides in the UK are men.
Men are constantly told to ‘man up’, keep their emotions buried and that they need to do more to provide for families, colleagues and friends. They need to be good at sports, have a thriving career and a wide social circle.
When it feels like society is constantly telling you that you’re not good enough, you start searching for how to be a better person every day.
When you realise there are no one-size-fits-all answers, or these how-to articles (with images!) don’t work – too often it leads to complete disregard for your own health, happiness and life.
One of the biggest challenges for men today is learning how to let go of this need to be perfect and just focus on being ourselves. We have so much potential without having to be a different version of ourselves, and it’s time for us to start tapping into that!
Discover The Power Of Self-Love
It’s no secret that most of us are our own worst critics. We are constantly thinking of everything going wrong in our lives, pushing and pushing to be better at everything we do. It’s not a healthy habit.
One of the best things we can do, as cliche as it may sound, is to learn to love ourselves unconditionally. This means accepting ourselves for who we are, flaws and all. Remembering we are human. When we are able to do this, it opens up a whole world of possibilities and allows us to lead much happier, more fulfilling lives.
It’s not about learning how to be a better person every day, it is about realising our ‘best’ may not be the same each week. Energy levels, emotions, and stress all play a part in where our goals lie for that day. Flexibility is not a weakness, it is a necessity.
Talk kindly to yourself
The first step to realising your worth is probably easier said than done. However, it is one thing that’s quick to implement and we can do every day. Men don’t tend to be ones for affirmations…
But making a point to avoid using negative self-talk such as “I’m so stupid” or “I’ll never be good enough” can be the start you need. This language is what forms a habit for many men and can often stem from what people close to us have said or what we’ve heard online.
Begin talking about yourself as you would talk to a loved one. The first step towards a better relationship with anyone is how you speak to them.
It forms the foundation of your bond. It can be hard to get out of the cycle, especially if your support circle is small or nonexistent. But the best thing we can do for ourselves is to recognise the positives in what we do no matter how hard it may be or how infrequent it is.
Compliment yourself. You deserve it.
Set realistic goals
One of the main reasons we end up feeling like failures are because we set unrealistic goals for ourselves. We expect too much of ourselves and then get disappointed when we don’t meet these high standards.
Part of learning who you are is realising that we are only human and that it’s okay to make mistakes. Not setting or recognising your boundaries is often what stands in a man’s way. You push and push to do more because you believe that is what’s expected. But in reality, you’re falling further and further into exhaustion and burnout.
One way to avoid this is by realising what your mind and body are capable of at different times. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, saying no and adjusting your goals are a huge part of looking after yourself. When we do this, we are much more likely to achieve these goals and get that needed boost of serotonin along the way.
Improve the boundaries within your life and you’ll soon realise that other people do the same thing. Does it bother you when a friend backs out of that concert or your other half says they’re too tired to wash up one day? Probably not.
That is just a basic version of recognising when they need to do a little bit less than normal. We don’t run at 110% all the time and people will be more understanding of that than you think. It does not make you weak. In fact, it makes you mentally stronger.
Focus on your strengths
We’re all guilty of getting hung up on things that don’t go to plan. We all have different gifts and talents, and it’s important to focus on these instead of what we perceive as weaknesses. When we focus on our strengths, it allows us to build upon them and create even more success for ourselves.
Men see so much about physical strength and mental barriers in their lives that it is easy to become fixated on what we can’t do instead of what we can.
Stop thinking that men can’t express emotions.
Stop thinking that men can’t be sad.
Stop thinking that men can’t ask for help.
Stop thinking that men need to be better.
This creates a negative spiral that is hard to break out of.
The next time you find yourself dwelling on shortcomings, take a step back and think about your strengths instead. Write them down if you need to! This will help to refocus your attention and give you a more positive outlook.
Start thinking about what made you happy today.
Start thinking about what went well for you.
Start thinking about one task (big or small) you were able to complete.
Start thinking about one person you made smile today.
Everyone has different gifts and talents, so use yours to your advantage!
Every Day Is Another Chance To Change Your Life
You woke up today. Congratulations!
Seriously, even opening their eyes in the morning is an achievement for many men because it means they haven’t given up the day before.
Taking the time to read this article means you’re doing something for YOU today. That is all that matters right now.
Stop Looking For How To Be A Better Person Every Day
Giving yourself one extra day, one extra week or one extra year is 1, 7 or 365 more chances to change your life in any way you want to. That means reading that book you’ve had sitting on the shelf for a month, or even going back to school.
You don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to start living the life you want – so go out there and do it! You always have tomorrow if today doesn’t feel like the right time. There’s no deadline for being happy. So stop searching for how to be a better person every day and just do you.