Authentic masculinity is a commodity desired heavily in western culture. With the increased exposure of sexual harassment and rise in advocacy for women's rights, there seems to be a decent amount of confusion around the topic of masculinity these days.
Now, I believe that many things define what makes a man, a man, but often this is something, not cognitively thought about, or given attention. There are many assumptions lived by in the realm of masculinity.
SO... I decided that I would give the fellow masculine knowledge seeker a helping hand and scribe down that which I have discovered.
The following points are ways that I have learned how to spot and identify authentic masculinity in my life, and I know they will help you too.
1: Respect is an attribute of authentic masculinity.
Having self-respect and being respected by others go hand in hand with an authentic masculine individual.
YES... it may seem simple but here is the thing, it is that simple. Respect can be traced back to many cultures association of positive masculinity.
Respects definition via Merriam-Webster; A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
SOOO.... an authentic man's abilities, qualities, and achievements are all things that should produce respect. Show me a man who you think is authentic, and I can guarantee you that they have done something to attract an amount of your respect.
Let's look at someone from history to give you a clear example. Hmmmmm, let's see here... why not Martin Luther King JR.
This legend of a man shook history to its core with his abilities, qualities, and achievements and to this day he holds the respect of many humans. Sure he wasn't perfect, but I can tell you what he was a respectable man whom I would call authentic.
So if you want to spot one or be an authentic man I highly encourage you to look at actions and grade them to the plumb line of if they will or will not produce respect from others in your life.
I do want to clarify one thing though, being respectable does not mean being agreeable. Not all men who were highly respected were agreeable. Keep that in mind as you proceed forward on your journey.
2: Vision is an attribute of authentic masculinity.
"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." ~ Carl Jung
An authentic masculine soul will have a thriving vision for where he is headed in life and in the moments when vision or direction are lacking he will kill the old ones or anything holding him back to make space for what is next.
Click the following link for how to filter through dreams to make room for new ones if you want help with that.(CLICK HERE)
So, here is the thing about vision, it produces direction, motivation, and hunger for life. Show me a man living life to its fullest, and you will see a man pursuing his vision.
Men who are unmotivated, or directionless do not have a vision for their life that they desire enough to push through discomfort. Very often it is common to have a "vision or dream" for life but never actually pursue it.
An attribute of an authentic man is one who has a vision that he is willing to risk the world for. Look through your life and history and look for these men.
3: Integrity is an attribute of authentic masculinity.
"The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
Integrity is the blood that pumps through the heart of an authentic man.
You might be asking how I would define integrity? Here is a standard definition from Merriam-Webster; "The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness."
To me, a man who lives his life with integrity not only contributes to society but lives a life where he holds himself to what he believes. He is unwavering, resolute, and intentional with how he lives.
How do you spot a man with integrity?
Look for the man who says no to the more comfortable path in business when all his colleagues have found a morally grey area and are taking advantage of it.
Look for the man who is faithful to his wife even when put in seductive situations, or, seek out the man who stood up for a social cause when no one else did merely because he knew it was the right thing to do.
The inspiration and power found in a man who sticks to his values, even at the cost of discomfort and being disagreeable is an authentic man that you should surround yourself with.
4: Assertiveness is an attribute of authentic masculinity.
An assertive man is the polar opposite of a passive man. He not only has a backbone made of titanium but he exerts energy when he sees fit. He knows when to speak up, and when risk should be taken.
Now it is essential, though, to expose the difference between an assertive man and an overbearing man. Let's chat about this for a second.
- An assertive man knows when to take action; he speaks his mind, yet, he is open to being wrong, he has the ability to adapt, but can also hold his ground when necessary. An assertive man can take action in life knowing full well that he will have things to learn along the way.
- An overbearing man is someone who acts out of insecurity. He belittles others ideas, emotions, and dreams. He is the source of frustration in team efforts and is a know-it-all. It is his way or the highway 100% of the time and is not open to change.
Now I am trying to polarize the two so that you can see the difference, but in life, it is not always so obvious. So proceed carefully.
Another huge indicator of an assertive man is that he will also be a man of action, and the fear of failure does not constrain him.
Take a moment in and observe throughout your life, ask yourself who is assertive in your life, and learn from them what you can.
5: Confidence is an attribute of authentic masculinity.
"Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking tartar sauce with you." ~ Zig Ziglar
A confident man is one to look up to, and learn how he takes life by force.
There is a difference between confident and arrogant though, and it is important to delineate between the two.
- A confident man gains his security from within. It has cost no one else but him to achieve this attribute. He has done the work himself and believed in himself. This comes from a place of personal security and putting the reps in to gain confidence.
- An arrogant man draws his power from a place of insecurity. A proud man is sure to put others down in order to feel good about himself. An arrogant man wants to do well to impress others and gain their approval and if this approval is not earned becomes irrational and sometimes angry.
So when you are out on the streets of life looking to find what authentic masculinity looks like, keep your eyes peeled for a man who is confident in himself, able to empower others, and is unwavering towards what he wants.
Chances are when you rub shoulders with these types you will intuitively pick up on this and be drawn to this individual.
Also if confidence is an area in your life you want to increase in here are two articles about doing just that.
Reddit's thoughts on authentic masculinity.
I hope you can look throughout your life and find a couple of examples. Wheather it is family members, someone in your community, or a hero from history you adore. Find someone that you look up to and ask yourself how you can start working towards becoming that authentic man.
Also, I asked Reddit what they thought authentic masculinity was I decided to add a couple of comments from this post I did on there. (Click Here For Link).
What I did was ask this, "What is your definition of authentic masculinity?" These were some comments I thought were interesting and are beneficial to read.
- "Authentic Masculinity" to me means that you are able to take care of things for yourself. You are willing to learn, to improve, to take responsibility, to hold to your word. You respect others, and are willing to look out for, and care for, those weaker and less able to care for themselves. You don't seek accolades and are humble. You are willing to step back and let others do for themselves if they wish.
- "Self driven. Accountable. Efficient. Proficient. Adaptable. As comfortable with making mistakes as acting with perfection. Largely mute to overwhelming emotions as a matter of choice. Slow to anger, quick to defend. An aversion to capitulation. A merit-based outlook on life. The ability to accept people for who they are and judge them according to those realities. An outright rejection of the modern solipsistic half-implementation of cultural relativism. A value in being adequately physically strong; not everyone needs to be a Navy Seal, but you should be able to pass at least your high school PE class for your whole adult life. An understanding of and acceptance that our world isn't inherently sanitary or peaceful."
- "Masculine guys project confidence and strength. They have a way about how they carry themselves that says they can hold their own and won't be cowed. It's immediately noticeable and impossible to specifically define, but the impression they give off is absolutely powerful. They can walk into a room, and you instantly know they are a man in full. And it can't be faked."
I would love to hear your thoughts, take a moment to comment, share, and reach out to me.