It may seem counter-intuitive given the title of this article, but youíre not about to read a definitive set of rules about how to become a gentleman. Being a gentleman isnít about box-ticking or trying to fit in with anyone elseís ideas or stereotypes.
In fact, itís not about trying at all ó itís about being: being your authentic self, and being the best man you can be. The journey to that place is one of rediscovery, and each manís journey is as individual as he is.†
Iíd like to share some tools I believe can help you to unlock the gentleman within, and lead a fulfilled, joyful and boundless life.†
Your platform: Honor who you are, and never judge yourself†
This is the bedrock of all that follows. Honoring you means liking and respecting you ó the real, authentic you ó with no shame and no apologies.†
The authentic you,† is you without the mask, and you when youíre not trying to be someone else. Itís you with your barriers down. Itís the man in the mirror. Itís you at your most vulnerable, and your most powerful. Itís all of your history, and itís every choice youíve ever made. Itís you when no one is watching. Itís you in this moment.†
Being able to unapologetically be you and like you can come in an instant or it can take practice. Start by noticing how you speak about yourself, out loud and internally. Are you critical of your appearance? Do you beat yourself up over what you have ó and donít have ó in your life?†
The number one piece of advice I can offer is that you stop judging yourself. Stop labeling, stop concluding, stop giving yourself a hard time. This goes for everything: how you look, how you act, for your thoughts and for your choices ó wherever they take you.†
Self-judgment is a massive drain and itís only when we make the choice to stop that we realize how prevalent itís been in our lives. Itís absolutely not your fault: weíre brought up with it, itís modeled to us by our families, by our peers, and by the media. But ó hereís the key part: you donít have to choose to do it. You can practice yourself out of judgment, it doesnít have to be your default setting.†
Administer the most powerful antidote to judgment: gratitude. Develop a sense of gratitude for all you are and all you have. Take time to notice whatís pleasing about you and your life.†
Self-acceptance is the foundation for everything else that follows: a sense of peace, meaningful relationships, and a whole load of happy. Itís essentially the platform on which you build the life you desire.†
Oh ó and donít judge others either!
While a gentleman has no judgment of himself he doesnít stop there ó he also chooses not to judge other people, or situations, or events. When you no longer label things as good or bad, or right or wrong, a weight lifts from your shoulders. And, when everything that happens to you is simply Ďinterestingí, you get so much more clarity. With drama and tension out of the window, you are much more alert and aware.
Trust your awareness††
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that letting go of judgment makes you a weaker, more passive person who doesnít acknowledge when someone is out of line. Not true. As a gentleman youíre absolutely 100% aware when someone is out of line, and you can call them out ó the key difference is that you no longer attach value to their behavior, and so it doesnít get to you.†
As a gentleman youíre strong, you have clarity of thought, and with your lighter approach you handle life in a totally different way.†
Trust that you have a knowing, an awareness, of everything.†
Be prepared to not fit in
Giving yourself permission to not fit in with other people, or their ideas, is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. It can be hard to master, because ever since we were little most of us have desired to be part of a group. You still can be ó but wouldnít you prefer that group to value you for who you really are?††
Whenever we try to act in a way to make others like or accept us, we live a lie and do ourselves a huge disservice. We live a half-life, rather than the full-life we could have.†
I recommend you let go of any need to please others. And if someone doesnít appreciate the real you ó thatís okay ó itís not your job to convince them!†
Allow others to be who they are, while you get on with being who you are. The amazing thing is the more you embrace your inner gentleman, and the more you get back to your authentic self, those who see the best in you ó and bring out the best in you ó will show up in your life, naturally.†††
Be curious and open†
The less judgment you have in your life, the more curious and open you become. The willingness to ask questions rather than draw conclusions is a key part of being a gentleman and it works as a catalyst for amazing change. When we understand how much choice we have in our lives, doors appear that we never imagined were available to us, and we choose to walk through them with ease.†
No longer restricted by judgment, by other peopleís ideas of who we are, or by our past ó we are totally free. We embrace all of ourselves, even our Ďmistakesí. We get really comfortable with the idea of messing up ó because we know how to laugh at ourselves and weíre not concerned with how we appear to others. Life is so light, so full of possibility, and so created by us.†
Being a gentleman is not another role for you to play. Take what feels interesting, or light, from this article ó because mostly, being a gentleman is about carving your own path.†
Where will your path take you?
Dr Dain Heer is an author, change-maker, speaker and co-creator of Access Consciousness, one of the largest personal development companies practiced in more than 173 countries.
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