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Designing the Superior Man: 15 Powerful Qualities (Part 1)

Designing the Superior Man: 15 Powerful Qualities (Part 1)

This is Part One (of Three) describing 15 qualities of the ideal man. Each part will discuss 5 key qualities to embrace in order to design the superior man.

As a father to a beautiful two-year-old girl and a husband to an amazing woman, I am constantly seeking out ways to improve myself. There are a number of books and articles describing how to be a better man, however, there is one book that stands above the rest as the guide to being the ideal man or a Randian Hero – this book is The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

In this fantastic novel, Howard Roark is the hero. He is a brilliant and innovative architect who never compromises or deviates from his principles. Just as a man similar to Roark in today’s society, he is criticized and persecuted by people who are willing to compromise personal integrity. Where Roark does not attempt to influence people, his enemies practice the art of manipulation and use their ability to control the weak. These people represent the parasites of the world and they exist all around us.

In order to be a better man, we can use Roark as our example of what every man should strive to become. Using examples from The Fountainhead and similar books, we can identify key traits of superior men. Here are the first five qualities of the ideal man.

1. Squash the Parasite

“No man can give another the capacity to think.” – Ayn Rand

Superior men move the world forward. Nothing is given to them, they ferociously work for everything they have. Ayn Rand described two types of men: those who survive by the independent work of his own mind or as a parasite fed by the minds of others. Strong men do not need others, where a parasite needs others and feeds off them like a leech.

Parasites fear strong and powerful men. They will never confront you but will use manipulation tactics to attack you behind your back. I work with a large number of them and have been attacked by multiple. These parasites feel entitled and push their work off on others, yet, still attempt to take credit.

I am a leader under attack in my organization. Those parasites I work with are peers and others in superior rank. I am not afraid to confront them. When I do, they use tactics you would expect from a cockroach. Recently, I had a couple of them use these tactics in an attempt to remove me from my post.

2. Start Counting When it Hurts

“I only start counting when it starts hurting, when I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, cause that’s when it really counts.” – Muhammed Ali

This quote was in response to a question directed at Muhammed Ali when he was asked how many sit-ups he could do. He provided the perfect response!

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Superior men are black belts in the mind and body. They do not fear to attempt new things, even if those things leave them feeling awkward or embarrassed. These elite men are not afraid to enter the arena and do not start thinking about success until it hurts.

One of our greatest leaders once said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who at best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt (excerpt from Daring Greatly by Brene Brown)

3. Stop Caring

“Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions.” – Will Smith

You can interpret #3 in two ways: stop caring about anything and give up, or you can use the correct interpretation and stop caring so much about what other people think of you.

Superior men take control of their life. It is an amazing feeling when you simply stop caring about what other people think. Start eliminating things in your life that do not matter, that add no value. Focus only on the things and people that add value to your life. In fact, immediately stop communicating with people who add no value, purposely ignore these parasites who try to bring you down. Be candid with these people if you do have to acknowledge them. If they ask you a question or confront you (in person, on the phone, or electronically) either ignore them or provide a simple response, regardless of the intent of the conversation – “No” – this is the perfect response.

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4. Fight For and Defend Your Family

“The first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club… The second rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.” – Chuck Palahniuk

Just to be clear, I am not advocating the reenactment of the movie Fight Club (as fun as that might be), however, you must know how to fight and defend yourself. You do not have to become the next Jean-Claude Van Damme or Bruce Lee, but you must know enough to protect those you love. A man who cannot physically defend his family is not a man. That comment may rub some of you the wrong way, but I don’t care (see #3 and #5).

If your wife or daughter were in danger, could you live with yourself if you failed to defend them? Even if you attempted to defend them, could you? If you answered “No” then you need to man up and start training.

Women desire a man who is confident and not afraid to kick the crap out of someone if needed. They want a man who will defend them and treat them with respect. The ultimate man will fight for his wife and family when needed, yet treat his wife with the chivalrous respect she deserves… rewards will come!

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Piss People Off

“The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people.” – George Bernard Shaw

Strong and confident men have a profound impact on people. They project confidence through their appearance, the way they speak their mind, and through bold innovations. Confident people propel the world forward. These people are also not afraid to piss people off. These men are assertive, candid, and they take risks.

High performing men are not afraid to break the rules… after all, rules are put into place so we can work around them. By possessing an unlimited confidence and not caring about pleasing other people, these men live for their own success. They do not allow or wait for other people to determine their success – if that means pissing people off on their way up, then so be it.

Featured photo credit: IMDB via imdb.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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