#326 – Life’s Purpose With Alain Dumonceaux

Thomas Green here with ethical marketing service on the episode. Today, we have Alan Demons. So Alan, welcome. Hi, Thomas. Thanks for having me on the show today and looking forward to our conversation. It is very much my pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? Yeah, absolutely. So, as you said, my name is Alan de. Also, I’m the founder of the Waken Man movement. I lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and I started doing men’s work pri just prior to the pandemic in late 2020 or 2019, I should say. And I did that because I found that there was a void in the marketplace or a place for men to go where they can feel safe to be able to talk about the challenges they’re faced with. And I faced two incredible challenges in the previous few years of, of that. And that was one my second marriage just about uh dissolved due to some uh issues on my part and re right on the cusp of that as well. My father-in-law had passed away and uh and I found him, um, in that, uh when he had passed and he was really, really close to me, really dear, uh, friend.

And in these two instances, I found that there was just nowhere for me to go to work through the grieving process. Yes. Are there grief, grief counselors? And that? Absolutely. And I did that bit of that work, but I found it wasn’t the same type of support for men to really be able to feel comfortable enough to, to go through and work through the challenges they were faced with. And so when I recognized that I decided to start doing some men’s work and look at the different formats and what folk folks are doing and put together a program called The Band of Brothers. That’s a group mentorship program that we, that I host. Uh um we meet on a monthly basis and I also offer a, a one on one coach and called the Hero’s Quest. We’re really, we’re really, really dive deep into the different pillars of life that we face and really work at uh raising the level that we show up as husbands and fathers and leaders. And so that’s a little bit about how I got into doing this work here. Uh You know, in the, in the last little while. Thank you for the introduction. And it’s a, it’s a very interesting point and it’s not something that I’ve thought about before.

Uh You mentioned that it uh men don’t have the support. Um, generally speaking, would you say it’s, um, your contention that women have the support in sort of peer group or family? Uh, is that, um, accurate to say? Yeah, I’d say it’s a, it’s the, the recent thoughts twofold one is that first off and women are much more open to talking about and working through problems. And so when you look at the statistics of those who are attending courses in self development, the room is pretty much filled with women. Very few men and men tend to be, do we do that? Because we haven’t really learned, we were never taught how to be able to share emotion. Remember, you know, I’m uh I’m, I’m in my mid uh mid or so fifties. And so the era that I came from is that, you know, Children to be seen and not heard, boys don’t cry. You know, we need to really have this, keep all our emotions inside. It wasn’t good to be able to express your emotions. And so because of that, you know, and societal pressures, you know, you gotta suck it up if you’re in sports and the hard nosed type of uh raising that we, that we encountered, we just didn’t know how to do that.

It’s not that there’s aren’t programs out there, but there aren’t, there were, there are no programs that are specifically dedicated to men who can come in an environment and be able to work through some of the challenges, whether that’s a going through a grieving process, you’re having personal issues with it. Maybe your relationships are stagnated in your career. It’s just not as fulfilling as before. And so we tend to have this mindset, this idea of men that we need to be this lone wolf. I’ll figure it out myself and there’s some sort of shame or weakness if we reach out and we ask for help. And the truth of the matter is, is that the absolute opposite? Because our, our families and our communities are looking for us to stand up and, and take leadership roles. And I think it’s just a matter of men understanding, recognize that I see that change happening more and more today as there are more and more men’s work groups here in North America and what we’re doing. And uh and I think that’s part part of the reason why it just hasn’t been as prevalent as you would see from uh uh within. OK. Thank you for the clarification.

Um You mentioned uh perhaps a, a grieving issue uh relationships and uh what were the other things where uh men perhaps lack support? Yeah, for sure. And when they’re looking at their, you know, it’s not just from an a grieving and that also just from a personal perspective. So we all have goals and dreams, we have aspirations and, and so we were looking for fulfillment and a lot of times for men, we find our fulfillment in a career and what we’re, what I’m finding, especially in my, in my life and in the work that I do with men is that when we look for fulfillment in the things that we do, we forget. So we don’t pay attention to the thing to the p part of who we are. And so I always say that men are ready for change and ready to do the work and they can take responsibility for where they are. Our life is exactly where it is based on the actions and decisions that we’ve made in our past and continue to make for who we are. We are that person that decided each and every day that this is what I, what, what my actions and my habits are and then who do we aspire to become the part about being and yeah, getting men to focus more on being present, being strong, being powerful and that those are sometimes some, some words that may trigger folks.

But what I’m really talking about is really about us having a, a sense of con self-confidence that we know what our true purpose is. We know what life is about for us. And then we take action steps, p small action steps every day to ensure that we’re moving forward. Fascinating answer. And you touched on a couple of my favorite questions. Um So I’ll, I’ll uh I’ll throw you a curveball and say, um if someone was to ask you, Alan, who are you, what would you say? Yeah. You know, I would say that I’m uh that I’m a purposeful action mentor and what I mean by that, not just for others, but for myself and that in each and every moment I assess the, the action and the thoughts that I’m taking, are they in alignment with who I, who I say that I am. And so I’m a person who likes to live in integrity and integrity means me in alignment with everything from thoughts, words and actions. And I believe that that is the key of what success is. So when you ask that question about who am I? Is it that I’m someone who lives with purposeful intention?

Interesting. And uh the, the other thing you touched upon was about life’s purpose. Um I, I love asking about this topic because I don’t really feel like I, I feel like I’ve touched on it myself, but I don’t really feel like I have a great answer to this question. So if someone is trying to figure out what their life, life’s purpose is, uh how, how would you answer that question? Yeah, absolutely. It’s one of the first things that we do with man. And it is part of our onboarding process is that in order to really understand what our purpose is, it’s more than i it’s more than just making a platitude or a state our purpose is something that comes deep from within. And so in order to, to answer that question, we first have to look at what are the things that we say that we value that are, um, important in our lives. And so we go through an exercise where I get them to make up, come up with that. I give them a list of about 100 and 1200 to 15 different adjectives that would describe values. And after they’ve gone through a process of making a few columns, distilling it down to five words, and I asked them to write a statement of worth that, that value that would resonate across those, those five important values.

Once I do that, then I asked them all right. Now, I would like you to do an alignment assessment. How are you living to that statement? And what we find is that what we say that we value in our actions are two very different things. And so we start to then to understand that. Well, now, if I really feel that this is the statement that I’ve made, this is really a purpose statement that it’s the thing of how I define myself. If it’s, if I’m living out of alignment, then I’m truly not living a purposeful life. So it’s not about that. I’m going to be the president of some of the United States or, you know, I want to be the best baseball player, whatever you may have thought of as, as a purpose, you know, as young as young men, but it’s really about a uh a place of being. And so once we start doing that assessment, then we start to look at what are the beliefs that are surrounding that? Why are we not living those values? What is, what is preventing us from? And that’s really getting into self sabotage and some of the, some of the sabotaging behaviors that we’re displaying.

And so then we start to un and start to unpack that. And so what’s the statement of belief about what you believe about yourself when it comes to this value? So you’re, you say that you value family, but you work 20 you know, 80 hours a week. And so if you’re working 80 hours a week, not that that’s necessarily wrong. It’s just how are you now supporting this value that family is so important. And so when we start to look at, at our actions and how we’re showing up, then we can start to shift our alignment and getting more into alignment with, with what uh with what our value statement is. And so then we start to get really close to living our purpose. Cause ultimately, your purpose statement will, will reflect something about how you want to live, how you want to be and then you take steps and actions that fulfill that. And so when we talk about the purpose here at the awaken man. That’s really what we’re talking about. It’s about being about ha being in a place of conscious awareness of exactly what our actions are, have or taking each and every moment.

I love the answer. Um And you touched on something which was going to be my next question. Um And you covered a couple of the instances, my next question was going to be uh why is it that people don’t live in line with what their values are? My interpretation is that, you know, people aren’t aware. So on the one hand, they value family but they’re 80 working 80 hours a week. And on the other hand, uh you know, it might be just something that they’re self sabotaging in, in your words. So, um what would you say are the main reasons uh that in relation to that topic? Why they’re not living in uh in alignment? Yeah. Yeah, I they’re, we’re not living in alignment because we truly are not consciously aware of the actions that we’re taking. And so what ends up by happening is, is that you could still be that guy that works 80 hours a week. I’m not saying that you should have uh you know, little I wanna, we’ll get into, you know, life balance here, this work life balance, idea work, life balance is like is, is a teeter totter, right?

It doesn’t mean that it’s always gonna be level at some points in our lives. One is going to take more precedent than the others as we’re getting, as we get a little bit older. Now we’re seeing the, seeing it very popular that we’re now starting to take care of our parents. Right. And so now family starts to take a little bit more time for us. Now, does that mean that our, that we should forget about our careers and our businesses and that, no, what it means is that the place that we put our value and our energy, we still need to be aware of, kind of like this even puppy model we think of when he talks about, you know, the end in mind and how we, how we structure that and making sure that the key things in each and every that are important to us that we touch on those each and every week. And so the reason why we get out of alignment is that we get stuck into being into do uh doing mode because men are really good at that. We’re doers, we’re fixers, we wanna solve the problem. So we spend all of our time focused on do, do do do. But when we can take that moment to actually plot into our schedules, our weekly schedules, a reminder of how we can be more this week, then we can, then we can start to get back into alignment.

And I think what the, what I found in my work and it was especially for for me is that when I’ve done that and then everything around me works much better, works more in sync. I can still spend a longer day in my career and know that and know that my family is supportive of that because I’m also conscious, they know I’m consciously aware of that. When I’m home, I’m truly home. I’m not on the phone, not answering email. I’m not doing other things I’m present for them. And that’s, that’s really the key and it’s really about it, it’s almost mechanical, but that’s how guys work. And I think we, it works well for us is that to plot that as a reminder for ourselves to what are truly the important things cause it’s so easy to get up every day, follow your typical routine and then wonder why your health isn’t improving. Our career isn’t improving. Our relationships are improving. But really when we look at what our daily options are, we’re not taking any steps forward to improving any of those things. And so when we bring it to the forefront and we actually put some energy behind it, then we become uh we can get more into alignment and it doesn’t mean that every day is perfect, but it’s, they’re much better than they were when we’re not consciously aware.

Yeah, I’m making progress as well. I like that. Um So I asked the, who are you question? Um So that we can have an example, uh What’s your life’s purpose. Yeah. My life’s purpose is, is the guiding men to spine the true greatness that resides within. Cause I believe that as men rise up to become better, my fathers, husbands and leaders are so do our families rise up and become better in their communities? And as our communities improve then the larger places, the city centers, the centers we live in. Ultimately, our world becomes a better place but it starts with uh so my purpose is really being that purposeful action, mentor to help guide men towards living lies a fulfillment for themselves, their families and their communities. I love the answer. Um Does make me think uh you know, although you, you sort of highlighted a problem, you then went on and wanted to help others with it. Is there a reason why for you, why that was so important? Yeah, for me, I was, it was during the darkest days of my life in my period where there was nobody that I could reach out to and, and let me paraphrase that I have a very, a couple of very close friends and try as they might to be able to support me.

They didn’t know how to support me and it break and it just broke my heart to s to go through that and to know that other men struggle. Uh I have, I’m also uh I’m also the father of a son who struggles with uh making healthy choices around drugs and alcohol and you know, is in and out of incarceration all the time. He’s currently incarcerated at this recording. And I’ve had to learn to be able to be present for him to love him enough, but to also give him the space to live his life. And when I think about the challenges that I’ve faced in my life, that I’m not the only person, the only man that has faced this. And I see too much in my work, people struggling, especially now, coming back from the pandemic, the world is so different. The mental health strain for folks is so much more challenging today. And, and maybe it’s part because I’m more conscious cause of things that have happened in my life. And I also think it’s also other folks are struggling more so as well.

And so there needs somebody needs to step up and do something, you know. And so there’s a saying that that goes, if it’s got to be, it’s up to me. And so I made the decision to do something about it, you know. And ideally one day that hopefully we, we can change the lives of hundreds of thousands of families and communities around the world to be able to live lives more fulfilling. Have fathers that are present, have leaders that care enough to understand how to be servants while still leading their organizations, the businesses, the things that they’re involved in the charity work that they do. And so I think that’s and if I was to look at why I got into it, that was really the metabolism is to make sure that no man, no family, no community ever suffers anymore because somebody is too afraid to step forward. Thank you for sharing that. It’s a great answer. Um And I feel like you probably have some experience that shall we say uh parents may appreciate in the instance of, shall we say older Children or young adults where they’re, they’re counter encountering drugs and alcohol and this type of thing.

Um The initial reaction is somewhat default, meaning they haven’t given it a lot of thought about how they would deal with it. So my question is, is there a wrong way to deal with it? Huh? That’s a, that’s a great question. I would suggest that um, the wrong way to deal with it. In my opinion, this is, I obviously it is, my opinion is to own more of your part of what’s going on in that in your son or daughter’s life than you need to be. And as parents is easy for us, especially in the beginning to feel such immense guilt over what could I have done better or different. Uh How could I have prevented this from happening? And yes, these are things that all of us could have done. You know what I’m talking to be completely vulnerable and open. I could have been a much better father. My, my two sons are in there. The eldest one is the one that’s struggling right now immensely. He’s uh in his, he’s 3334 this year.

My youngest one is 30 when his mother and I separated. Uh cause I had married my high school sweetheart, you know, he was five and his brother was two and I don’t know if there and so there was a long time. And even to this day, at times, I question how much of an impact that separation had, even though there was other individuals in their lives. And I look at as that separation happened, how much of a state of depression I was in and I didn’t have the energy, the strength to be able to the, to be able to spend enough time with them. And so I hardly saw them, you know, once every month, maybe two months because I was um said embarrassed, you know, going through depression today, I recognize it as a really a depressive state. And back then it was a lot of excuses cause in the end, they didn’t care about where dad lived, the 500 square foot master suite, they just cared that they were spending time with dad. And so if there’s gonna be a mistake that we’re going to make, it’s going to be one owning more than our share, meaning we can’t prevent them from making their life choices, they need to live their life.

And in order to be able to rectify, that is to be able to then explain to them that you love them unconditionally and you’ll be there to support them, but you can’t support the decisions they make. And so my son and I uh have a, have an understanding that, that I am here whenever he needs me. And as soon as he needs me that, that I’ll be there to, to help him. And as long as it continues to chew and make unhealthy choices, I just can’t support that. And so that puts tension in our, in our relationship. But I for my health, it keeps me in a place that’s safe because I have other Children to support. I have other, you know, there’s other people and I think his parents and his fathers, we have to remind ourselves that so much energy can go into that one individual that we forget about the rest of the family and many families end up in divorce because of how we’re handling the situation and how home so much energy is going to this one challenge that the families faces this crisis and we forget about the rest of the, of the people that are the players in the, in the piece, in that game.

And so I think it’s important that we recognize our part in it and stay within that boundary and that framework. And that’s really hard work to do. Thomas, it’s not I’m saying it like it, maybe it sounded easy. It’s not even to this day, it’s still, it’s still a struggle for me, but it’s a reminder that in order for me to be the best that I can be for him, for my wife, for his mom, for his brother, that I need to take care of me as best as I can so that I can show up the best for them. Thank you for the answer. And, uh, it reminds me of a, uh, a Jim Roan quote, cos if I’m not mistaken, I’ll take care of me for you and you take care of you for me. Uh, immediately popped up into my head. Um, but it’s a thank you again. And it’s a segue into one of the interesting things that I think that you talk about, which is, uh, winning your wife back. Have you got, um, thoughts about that particular topic? Yeah, absolutely. And, uh, there was a, I was just saying eluding earlier on, I was, uh, you know, part of the challenge that I went through was that I just about lost my second marriage.

You know, to be honest, because of infidelity on my part. And the challenge in that is that I already in my early thirties, I had lost my, I had to file for bankruptcy and divorce and everything with my first wife. And so I started a journey of, you know, self-help. It’s really, I hadn’t even read a book until I was 30. Quite honestly, I barely read anything in school and I just dove into all the self-help stuff and it took some, some training and, you know, became certified in N LP and timeline therapy and emotional intelligence. But what I found out, you know, well, actually my wife pointed it out to me is that you have all this training, uh you know, all this stuff, but you’re not doing anything with it, you’re not living it. And so when that, when the infidelity happened, she gave me an opportunity to be able to become the man that she saw that I was yet to find. And so in order for us, for me to be able to win my wife back, it was about me taking responsibility again, going back to those three pieces I take, uh that’s really where I came up with that framework.

It’s, I’d take responsibility for where I’m at. Where, how did I get here when I get, I got here by really living out of alignment, not truly living my values, saying that I had these values but not moving forward with it with any of it. And so as I started to do that work and recognize that none of this while she has her part to own in the relationship, what ended up happening was not her fault, not on her, that was on me. She didn’t ask me to make that choice I decided to make that choice. And so the moment that I started to take responsibility for that and then things started, started to work. And so part of winning, winning your wife back is that as men, we have to truly own all of it. All of that part, if you’re, if you’re in a situation where you, where I sim where I was similarly, it’s up to us to do all of the work. It’s not up to her. And so what ended up happening is part of that is that we recognize as a couple that we didn’t know how to have conversations, we didn’t know how to talk about the hard stuff.

And so it gave an opportunity for us to practice that. And so I would consider myself at the time prior to that being a people pleaser and other, other guys will think about uh the term as being a doormat where we would just acquiesce and give everything whatever my wife wants. Yeah, whatever you wanna do or if she shot back and, and challenged you, I, my f my old favorite saying used to be, is this gonna matter in a year from now? So we’re not, I don’t wanna fight about it or is this the hill that I wanna die on? So I don’t wanna fight about it. But what ends up by happening in those kinds of relationship is that we’re truly not being engaged. So part of winning my wife back was letting her know that I was going to be somebody different, that I was going to be and someone who had a backbone that had opinions, that had an idea of who he is as a man. Because until then she saw this facade, whatever I would let her see. And so the really the winning your wife back part is being completely no friendly and as vulnerable as I can.

And it went everything from allowing her even to this day, every aspect there is no secret between us. She wants my phone, she can look at my phone, she wants to check my email, check my email. Now those are all parts and parcels of us growing because part of the winning your uh uh your wife back is the relationship that was there is now dead. Everything has to die and we are the first ones to die in terms of who we are as men. Then the relationship starts to shift and it dies. The old relationship dies because she recognizes now that yeah, how she’s showing up has to change because guess what? She was used to the old guy, she was used to the old Alan that wouldn’t hardly say anything, wouldn’t do anything. And so when that happens, then you start to rebuild something more powerful. Think of it as when you break a bone, when it heals, it’s stronger in that place, this is what happens in, in our relationships. Now, does this mean that that’s gonna work out for everyone, maybe, maybe not, cause both pliers have to be willing to do the work.

And I can guarantee you to this day, if you ask my wife had I not done the work and continued to work today, she would not be here and rightfully so she wouldn’t, she wouldn’t stay here. And so this isn’t just, just because she said she’s given me the opportunity to, to showcase who I am to really reveal to myself. First, the man that I claim to be in any given moment, she could have just said, hey, this is just too hard. I thought I could do this work and I could leave and that doesn’t mean I should stop doing my work if anything, it means I should do that double down on that work. But I’ve been blessed because she’s a woman of conviction always has been. It’s what I was attracted to. She knows what she wants. And it’s why today we have a stronger foundation than we did when we first met because we’re not the same people. And so I really kept credit that to her being the catalyst and for the two of us to really do that work. And I think, you know, hopefully that gives you an idea of how you can win your wife back.

There’s lots of stuff I have a module on it on really looking at you know some of the other stuff, you know, attachment style, the theories and that kind of thing to get a sense of how we are, how we show up in, uh, in, in relationship. Thank you. I think that’s great. Um One thing which uh I wanted to follow up on was about the fact that you mentioned sort of telling the truth and, uh, you know, speaking your mind or sharing your opinions, for example, instead of just um being a people pleaser, as you said, um I think some people do that as a way of avoiding conflict. And I have noticed sometimes it is easier to, should we say not have the conversation that you deem to be not that important instead of, you know, just being transparent about it just due to the conflict that arises. So, um and I think you touched upon the fact that you need to, to some degree learn how to talk to each other. Have you got any thoughts about if someone were to make that change? And there was conflict arising, what they should do?

Yeah, absolutely. I can tell you that one of the things that we did is we started to work on being able to have conversations, uh you know, crucial conversations is to ensure that we set the stage for what’s happening. And what I mean by that is that because we’re not used to doing that as men, we’re going to women as well. But I focus on men’s work and because we’re not used to having these conversations, we are, it’s gonna be really messy in the beginning. And so our conversation and then still happens to this day is that I will say to my wife, you know, something’s been bothering me. It’s been on my mind. I really want to talk about it. I’m just not sure if it’s gonna come out great. So if you’re willing to, to participate with me, play with me a little bit with this and allow me to share what I, what I have in my mind. It would really help, it would really help me work through this. She’s always like, yeah, absolutely. Let’s do that. And then we just get into talking about what I’m, what’s important for me, what it, what is on my mind and as we become better at that.

And so in the beginning, you know, like I said, my wife is very purposely dri driven, you know, she knows what she wants in some aspects. She’s uh her, her tendencies tend to be a little bit more uh lean more on the masculine side. So she will be a bit more uh abrasive at times when the energy is high, motions are sharp. And so we’ve learned to play on that. And so when those interactions were happening, then I would say, OK, and her name is Kim, I said, Kim, this is why I want in the past, I would shut down because you’re, you’re saying you want me to have to be open with you and have a conversation, but you’re really not interested in hearing what I have to say. You wanna tell me what’s, you wanna tell me what’s important for you? Oh, I didn’t realize I was doing that so then we can get back on track and have that conversation and vice versa. We, you know, that would happen depending on who’s leading that conversation. And so it’s really about being able to raise the level of intimacy for us. You know, I came across this, this five step, uh this five levels of intimacy and I really put it into communication mindset and it’s about being able for us to be the most vulnerable, is really being able to share what our needs are because guess what we’re doing as men, as anyone, we’re putting our heart out on the table.

We’re saying here is what I need in this relationship. In any given moment, it can be crushed and that’s why we want to avoid conflict. So we’d rather share other people’s opinions, other people’s ideas because when I say, well, I was talking with Thomas and Thomas said this and I really agree with that. But then it also gives me the out cause that’s Thomas’s ID. I agree with it, but I still have an out. But when I say the exact same thing and, but this is what I need. There’s no backing up now and I’m totally, I’m totally vulnerable and, you know, I encourage men when they start to practice. This is that don’t take the biggest subject on the table, maybe take something a little bit smaller, maybe take something, doing the dishes or taking the garbage out or something where you can practice where it doesn’t end up by being a massive, a massive blowout where both of you are under out of, out of control. You can’t manage that situation. You had to build into these things. We crawled before we walked, before we ran.

Same thing happens in communication and how we work towards getting better at being communicators. Thank you for that. I think there’s a lot of good stuff in there. I particularly like, um setting the stage, uh, because I feel like a lot of, um, problems in relationships come from communication issues. Whereas if you’re sort of setting expectations in advance, I think that sort of thing can be avoided. Right? Yeah, I completely agree. I think that’s where we all, all of us make a mistake, right? We, we assume we know what the other person expectations are, but they don’t have a hot clue and, and if we don’t spell it out cause we may think that this is what we want as an outcome for that conversation and, and maybe you’ll have time to plan. OK. What’s my outcome? I need to talk to my wife about something I need to talk to my wife about raising the kids, how we raise the kids, how we discipline. So you may want to take some time to think about what’s the out desired outcome for that before getting into it off the right off that. And then when you recognize the outcome, is it an outcome that that serves all parties involved?

Or is this a self, more self serving? Sometimes that may make sense that, you know, when it comes to child rearing, you’re somebody that works lots. You have a busy business maybe coming home with walking right through the door at f in the first five minutes is not the best time for dad to be associating, getting ready to jump in and doing stuff. Maybe he needs 15 minutes, 20 minutes, half an hour, whatever it is to settle into his, his play his role as father. But you set these expectations that that framework out and you know what the outcome is because the outcome isn’t about taking that time off. The outcome is about being the best, showing up as the best husband and father in that moment. And how can we have a conversation about that? And then, then it’s a different topic instead of saying, look, I just need half an hour when I get home. OK, what’s that all about? And uh because when we say something like that, we’re assuming that she gets it, that I’ve worked hard all day and then I need this break. Well, so is she so having a, be a deeper conversation about it really helps everyone to be, get on the same page and get into alignment again of what the purpose of the conversation is about and how it supports the family unit as a whole.

So that’s hopefully as an example to, you know, really put some context around it. Yeah, that’s a great example. Um And I, I’ve, I’ve loved the topics we’ve talked about. Uh it’s a slight change of pace, but um I just wanted to ask you about it before. Um just uh because it’s an area of expertise for yourself and it is uh imposter syndrome. So, um have you got any thoughts about that topic? Yeah. You know what? Um in my early twenties, I was, you know, blessed to be uh to work with a, a chef mentor who was on a culinary team. And uh so I was a sports there uh person for him, you know, preparing some, doing what we call it, mise en place uh in the kitchen. It means that translate literally me putting things in its place so that the final execution can occur. And then uh I got, I was really fortunate that I got chosen to be on the, our local culinary team and I competed in the World Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt in 2000. No, sorry, 1992. 0 am I dating myself? Yeah. And, uh, won a couple of silver medals.

But I have to tell you that entire experience I related to a hockey analogy. You know, there’s the star players, there’s the first line and then there’s the guys that are the 3rd and 4th liners or the grinders and they’re doing, doing, you know, more of the hard dirty stuff. I felt that I was that player on this team. The talent around me was phenomenal. And so what an imposter syndrome really is, it, it’s a, a feeling or an inability for us to really assess ourselves fairly. And so we’re always in a constant comparison mode and we, and whenever we’re in that mode, not very often are we better than we ever see ourselves better than, or equal to, we always see ourselves less and it’s not just a little bit less, it’s a lot less. And so we start to do things like we rate ourselves and, you know, and how we compensate for that. While the mind, you know, the mental chatter, it can be really rude and, and disruptive. What’ll, how it’ll show up is we’ll become overachievers. And so that’s what’s happening with me while I did well, perform well at the, at the Olympics in my career at the time, as a chef, I was truly an overachiever I needed to be the best at managing an operation, driving, uh driving revenue, doing anything.

The bi all the business metrics being the best leader that I could. And so when you start doing that, guess what ends up by happening. Well, the other side of that teeter Totter is self doubt. So there were moments of when I’ve had lots of confidence and many more moments of self doubt because of the berating. And so it becomes challenging for us. And that’s where I, you know, as I look back at my work, today’s work is it’s when I started to recognize the self sabotage. Some of the things I get to the point of, you know, I never competed after the 92 Olympics. I had plenty of career time runway to do more com competitions. But the imposter syndrome of feeling inadequate feeling, how am I even here and instead of enjoying the moment, being grateful for the moment, like I am today to be able to be chosen to work alongside some amazing, amazing talent and to learn from some of the best minds. Uh And so we tend to, we tend to do that and when we’re in the middle of it. And so I find that our best, some of the best things that we can do about the imposter syndrome and overcoming it is really to talk about what it is we’re doing today, how it’s uh how it is, it affecting us.

And so like I said, some of the things can be, it really show up in how we’re as overachievers, it could be a sign that there’s some imposter syndrome. Maybe we’re fighting that because, you know, you know, our, our father said that we needed to be something, a lot of parents live through their Children, right? We need to be a lawyer. Yeah, you need to be this. And so we do these things and we don’t really feel like that’s who we are. And so we live in this false identity and when we recognize that that’s what’s happening, then we can get, become more true to who we are. Maybe you can still be a, a great lawyer or a great chef or, or whatever it is that, that you’re choosing, but you combat it now from a, a place of gratitude and grace versus trying to fill this void, it’ll never fill, it’s a, it’s an endless black hole. So that’s a bit of my thoughts on uh, the, em, some pretty good fills there and, uh, yeah, lots to take away if someone does meet that criteria. Is there anything that I should have asked you about today? Yeah. No, I, you know, we touched a lot of great stuff. I just, if I was to say anything, I think the, the challenge I think I have for men face today is that we really have to pay attention to, to how we’re showing up.

It’s never been more difficult to be a man today. The idea of what masculinity is, is is changing. And I think for a lot of us, we feel a lot of pain in our lives. And the pain is because we have a pain of loneliness and the pain of uh of, of uh loneliness and separation. And then usually that’s gonna be masked because of anger and resentment. And when we can recognize that our lives are made up by our thoughts and our actions and we can change what happens to us and our lives show up. And so when, when folks are ready to make that change, not only will your life improve, but so will be all the lives around that you touch. And so I encourage men to do this work. It’s such important work and we need to take back who we are as men. Stop allowing society to tell us what masculinity looks like. Who, who you are, who, who you are, be the best version of that in each and every day. And if people want to get in touch with you or follow you, where do they go? Yeah. Best place to go is to go to my website, the Wake and demand.net. When you go to the website, there’ll be a pop up right now.

I have a uh a little workbook there. It’s called Setting The Compass. It’s a great opportunity for you to look at now. It’s only going to assess the, the year of 2023 and, and the upcoming year 2024. But even just take the last 12 months, what were the last 12 months like for your life? And how would you like the next 12 months to look? And I encourage you to go to the website, download that it’s free little, uh, exercise workbook for you folks to go through and really help to get themselves in alignment with who they are and who they claim to be. And any closing thoughts for us today, I just wanna say Thomas, I really enjoyed this conversation. You had some powerful questions and hopefully we’ve been able to provide some value for your audience. And if uh if there’s ever an opportunity for us to be able to connect and do work together, I’d be more than happy to do that with you, my friend. Well, uh you’ve been a great guest, uh given some, some great information. So I appreciate that Helen. Thank you very much.