This weekend several thousand nonconformists descended upon Portland, Oregon for the annual World Domination Summit.
In the days leading up to the event I was madly getting Heartmen ready so I could share it with my friends over the weekend.
By get it ready I mean I was sending abusive text messages to friends who were trying to support me with awesome feedback and getting all kinds of hung up and distracted by my other businesses.
The reason I was so anxious and stressed was because I was terrified.
While I have created other projects before, Heartmen is the first project that has forced me to show up as myself. And that is really scary. The terror didn’t end with getting things ready though, it continued through out the weekend.
I wanted to take it off
One of the things I prepared for the World Domination Summit was t-shirts to hand out to other Heartmen over the weekend.
The image is not back to front, the text is written on backwards so that when you wear the shirt and look in a mirror you read it yourself.
They worked really well. I had several men open up to me about their struggles with keeping and making new male friends. Conversations that we never would have had were discussed openly. It was awesome. It was everything I had hoped the shirts would do.
And after just one day I wanted to run away and hide.
I wanted to retreat into myself. I wanted to stop being vulnerable with these men. I wanted to stop explaining what the shirt was about.
Those who know me might be surprised. A life time of reading the room and reading people have taught me how change myself to be more likable and more approachable. This means I often come across as a confident extrovert.
To use an example from this weekend, the opening keynote at WDS was by Jon Acuff. During he talked about being himself.
People give me the advice: ‘Just be yourself!’ and I reply, ‘Which one?’
That completely resonated with me. Normally I can put on one of my masks, and while it’s tiring not being myself, I can use it to protect myself from rejection and being disliked.
However, to make a connection with other guys this weekend I knew I had to be vulnerable and be myself. sale uk viagra.
So back to my story. Feeling completely raw from being myself and vulnerable all weekend all I wanted to do was stop. There was just two words that kept me going:
I grew up playing a lot of computer games. In these games bravery was about saving your team mate in battle and rescuing the princess.
I also read a lot of sci fi and fantasy novels. Being brave was about overcoming the odds, slaying the dragon or blowing up the Death Star.
But what I’m learning is that bravery isn’t just used for heroic deeds, it’s used in every day life too. Showing up completely as yourself is a huge act of bravery but unlike one single act of bravery that requires one burst of guts, being yourself requires being brave again and again and again.
I don’t know if it will get easier to be brave the more I do it or if it will always be this hard.
All I know is that I want to have the best relationships and the best life I can, if that requires being scared and being brave, then I guess that’s where I’m headed.
Photos from the weekend
Thank you Bill, Rick, George, Riley, Michael, KC, Caelan, Steven and Toku for wearing their shirts with pride over the weekend. I really appreciate your support 🙂
Thank you to everyone else who asked questions and expressed interest too. It’s helped me realise that this topic isn’t just important to me, but also to many other guys (and women).