I was in a conversation with a friend recently who told me that the “real” him is angry and critical.
He gave me examples of how he can be a jerk to others around him, often his own family. He said he likes to be nice, complimentary, and supportive, especially with his family, but it doesn’t last.
“I always revert back”, he said. His conclusion: The real me is an angry and critical man so why try to be different?
This is flawed thinking in my mind. The real you is how you show up in the moment…good or bad, happy or sad, moral or amoral, supportive or critical, kind or angry, funny or serious.
What is “real” about us, is the choice we make in the moment. Sometimes we make choices that have good consequences for us, that support the vision we have for ourselves, and sometimes we don’t.
Our work becomes learning enough about ourselves to consistently make choices that have the best consequences for us and those we love.
What I chose last year, yesterday, or in the last hour does not mean I cannot make a different choice now.
I can make a choice in line with what I value and want more of in my life. I can even choose again in the middle of a choice I just made, when I realize it doesn’t support the kind of man I want to be.
The real me is making choices all the time, and hopefully making choices that support the path I want to be on.
So yeah, maybe you find yourself being angry or critical. Do you want to be this way? If the answer is no, then change the choices you are making. If you don’t know how to make different choices then get with someone who can help you understand how.
My “realness” is a dynamic process. The man I was at 20 was not the same man at 40, and is not the same man today. Yet, the real me was present at each of those ages and all parts in between.
So instead of abdicating any responsibility to be the man you want by saying this is the real me, an option is to ask, “Will my choice support what I want in my life or sabotage it?”, then act from there. And in case this isn’t clear, not making a choice is a choice.
When I make a choice, I have empowered myself.
I come from a place of strength, not weakness. I may not always make the best choice for myself, but I always can “choose again” to set the course that supports me.
In that moment, and every moment, it is the real me choosing how I want to show up.
What choices do you make men that support or sabotage who you strive to be?