“If you’re holding something back, it’s holding you back.”
― Shaun T
Growing up, I was never good at dealing with women. I was clueless when it comes to attracting the opposite sex.
There were times when girls teased me in a playful way and I had no idea they were romantically interested in me.
For example, basketball was one of my favorite childhood sports. And during recess in elementary school, that’s all I played.
One time when I waiting for the next game, someone kicked me lightly in my right leg. Wondering who it was, I turned around. To my surprise, it was one of the most popular and pretty girls in my class. She smiled at me while slowly backing away.
She wanted me to chase after her.
But at the time, I was oblivious. I thought she was just being mean so I didn’t even bother.
Moving up the educational system, I gained more responsibilities. As a result, I only had time to focus on studying and getting good grades.
Dating was the last thing on my mind. Hence, I didn’t spend much time with other women. This pattern continued all the way up to college.
But shortly after graduating and joining the workforce, I suddenly had time to invest in romantic relationships.
As I discovered, meeting women with similar age and common interests was difficult compared to those days in school. Fortunately, I kept in touch with some female friends who I went to college with.
As getting to some of them more, I developed a romantic interest in one of them. She and I met while working at the same place near our university.
Despite liking her more than just friends, I didn’t want to express my feelings for her because of the following:
She had a boyfriend.
We got along and I was afraid of potentially losing her if I told her the truth.
However, during one of our meetups, she told me about her relationship with her partner has just ended.
On the outside, I was mournful. But on the inside, I was thrilled. This was my chance to reveal my affection for her.
After taking a few deep breaths and gathering up my courage, I told her this:
“Hey [name], I think you’re special. I like you more than just a friend. I’ve felt this way for quite some time now. The timing wasn’t appropriate and that’s why I haven’t told you. However, things have changed and I want to know where you stand.”
Like a deer caught in headlights, she was dumbfounded and blankly stared at me. After what felt like an hour, she expressed her lack of reciprocation and said we could always be friends.
That was the first time I put my heart on the line and the price I paid was excruciating.
That was the last time I ever saw her. After we parted ways, I went to a nearby lake and laid on the grass. Overwhelmed with emotions through replaying in my mind of what has just happened, I started crying.
Tears slowly rolled down my cheeks.
As I continued sobbing, it started raining. I thought to myself:
“Even the sky is feeling sorry for me?”
After about 30 minutes, I wiped off the mixture of tears and raindrops on my face and slowly got up. While removing the loose grass on my clothes, I looked around.
Life was still going on. The world did not stop moving.
Confronted with a challenge, I asked myself:
“How can I prevent this from happening again?”
“What can I do to become a more attractive man?”
Right then and there, I decided to commit to becoming better with women. That’s when I started my lifelong journey of developing myself into the man women want.
Although the pain from my first heartbreak was extremely painful, I learned to use it as fuel to improve myself.
It was an opportunity to grow and evolve as a man.
And through sharing this dark past time with those important to me (and now you), I don’t let it hold me down. That way I can let go of the emotional baggage and catalyze myself forward.
Free Yourself from Emotional Burdens
Regardless of what has happened to you in the past (positive or negative), realize that they don’t define you.
But it’s often times the fatalistic defeats that hold you back. It’s due to your negative bias that compels you to focus on the pessimistic events.
Looking at life objectively, you’ll realize all events are neutral. Just like birth, death is indifferent because it’s a natural occurrence.
It’s the meaning which you give to the incident that makes it “good” or “bad.” Therefore, you can change the interpretation that you give to your past.
Although this may sound simple, it can be difficult to do.
To fully accept and make peace with your past, you must dive into it. You can slowly start the healing process by revealing your traumatic events to a therapist. As professionals, they can provide a safe place for you to fully express yourself.
Your vulnerability is welcomed in their presence.
Counselors can also give unbiased opinions that may shed insight into your past. Then, you can find the valuable lessons and use them to propel you forward.
When you can truly say “thank you” to those events, they become fuel. Otherwise, they are baggage.
Since this is a process, it will require time and effort. Therefore, be patient with it.
As you disclose more about your agonizing past and/or current defeats, you’ll begin to feel lighter and stronger as you free yourself from the excess emotional weight.
You can go faster and farther in life than you have before because you’re no longer carrying the extra psychological burden.
Only after fully embracing your past can you wholeheartedly move on.
Liberate Your Inner Lover
As men, we are also humans. This means we have feelings.
But we were never taught that it’s okay to express them, especially negative ones such as sadness and anger. Instead, society (parents, teachers, etc.) has constantly told us to suppress our emotions.
We must be a “rock” regardless of what’s happening to us.
With that belief, most men walk around with a facade pretending nothing is bothering them. Because by doing so, they will be perceived as strong.
But that’s quite the contrary.
Revealing your scarring problems can be frightening. Therefore, it takes courage to display your imperfections such as your obstacles, fears, doubts.
When you take off the mask and become vulnerable, you are portraying bravery. It demands a high level of self-assertiveness and confidence.
By opening up, you are susceptible to criticism and attacks. Those who genuinely like you will respond supportively.
They appreciate your candor honesty and bravery in disclosing such personal and sensitive information. Because through sharing your problems with others who you trust, you no longer feel alone. You experience comradery because your confidants now know about your struggles.
You give them the opportunity to connect with you on a meaningful level. This is mandatory to bond deeply with your partner.
Your honesty creates relatability and trustworthiness. It shows you’re also human with flaws and challenges.
Not every situation calls for candidness as you’re the judge of its suitability.
All events have a purpose. It’s up to you to discover it.
Life is your greatest teacher.
Trusting it’s always helping you gives you confidence not to resist the unavoidable changes.
After discovering the invaluable lessons in each occurrence, you’re more equipped to deal with life’s inevitable obstacles.
In addition to releasing yourself of the emotional load from your painful past, current hardships, and future uncertainty, you can use them as a gateway to strengthen your relationships.
It’s your natural superhuman power.
I am on a mission to help 1,000,000 people, but I can’t do that without your help. If you have a second, please share this article with anyone who you may think will find it valuable and helpful.
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Kanouse, D. E., & Hanson, L. (1972). “Negativity in evaluations.” In E. E. Jones, D. E. Kanouse, S. Valins, H. H. Kelley, R. E. Nisbett, & B. Weiner (Eds.), Attribution: Perceiving the causes of behavior. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.