The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life

The Transformative Power of Vulnerability in Men's Mental Health

November 22, 2023 Dai Manuel Season 1 Episode 20
The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life
The Transformative Power of Vulnerability in Men's Mental Health
The 2% Solution with Dai Manuel
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Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered why society considers vulnerability a weakness, particularly among men?

Well, it's time to unlearn and rewrite that script! In our latest episode, we're not sitting down with a guest. Instead, I'm sharing my TEDx talk, which delves into the necessity and power of vulnerability. We'll explore the detrimental toll the societal belief of emotional suppression takes on men's mental health, relationships, and well-being.

This conversation is a call to acknowledge that vulnerability is innately human, not gender-specific.

I'll guide you through breaking down the self-erected barriers that often prevent emotional openness. You'll discover how embracing vulnerability amplifies strength, increases relatability, and, ironically, makes you more resilient. W

hether you struggle to articulate your emotions or do it effortlessly, this episode will resonate with you.

Remember, the small 2% shifts in our mindset and actions can lead to significant transformations. So, join me on this enlightening journey.

Let's aim to be 2% better daily by celebrating the courage to be real, human, and vulnerable.




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At first, I was skeptical, thinking, "Sure, Maurice and I'm a unicorn."

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Dai Manuel:

In our society, vulnerability often gets a bad rap, especially among men. There's this unspoken rule, this cultural script, if you will, that's been handed down through generations, telling us that men need to be strong, stoic and, quite frankly, unflinching. We're taught to equate emotional openness with weakness, often to bottle up our fears and doubts, and we often hear terms like man up. But let me tell you, this approach comes at a cost a cost to our mental health, our relationships and a cost to our overall well-being. In this talk, I dive deep into why embracing vulnerability is not just courageous but necessary for all of us, men included. It's about breaking down those barriers that we've built around ourselves, barriers that we sometimes don't even realize are there. It's about understanding that being vulnerable doesn't diminish our strength. In fact, it amplifies it. It makes us more human, more relatable and, ironically, way more resilient. Whether you're someone who struggles to open up or someone who does, this episode is for you. Let's explore together while vulnerability is not a gender thing, it's a human thing. And remember, it's the small steps, the 2% shifts in our mindset and actions that lead to the most significant transformations. So tune in, let's embark on this journey of discovery and growth together. Use to being vulnerable, being real and being 2% better every day. Ten years ago, I was a fun guy, a pretty alright guy, knew how to laugh, how to love, how to live the life of the party. But underneath that 33 year old exterior, he was afraid. I was afraid. Pasting a smile on my face, I believed I could manage the daily emotional trifecta of stress, depression, anxiety, feeling the pain and shame, or emotions of stuff deep down into the dark crevices of my being. But all that changed on January 1st 2010. Feeling the sun slap my face, I remember squinting through the windows. I crawled out of bed, hung over, head pounding, with the painful shame of realizing that I just did what I swore I would never do again. Tiny laughs echoed through the hall. As I made my way to the kitchen, my wife looked at me, but something was different. She's always been the person. When she looks at me she sees the potential I can't see in myself. But not that morning. She slammed her coffee mug on the kitchen table, mesmerized with door of the explorer on the TV. The kids didn't even move. Fear is eclipsing my typical feelings of regret and remorse. I'm afraid to admit the lies that I tell myself. I believe I'm a good father, a good husband, a good provider, but all those goods are quickly undone by another night of poor choices. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a great man, but truthfully, I just wanted to be a better one, the kind of man that does the right things, not because they're easy or hard, but because they're right. The kind of person that isn't afraid to stand behind their choices, actions and beliefs. If I did enough great things, then I'd be a great man too. Right. In stressful situations, life was hard, but uncorking a bottle was always easy. Sitting across that kitchen table. Christy looked me in the eyes and she broke the silence by asking me the most life sobering of questions Die Are you being the type of man you'd want your daughters to marry? It's like a song that gets stuck in your head that the question kept repeating over and over Am I being the type of man, the type of person, the type of human I'd want my daughters to marry? Deep in my gut, below all that shame and pain, something is stirring. Bubbling up inside me, was this deep desire to tell her everything that was alive and real for me. In that moment, I released. Finally, I admitted to the lies that I had told myself. Finally, I allowed myself to be completely vulnerable with Christy and in that moment, everything changed. I told her about my fear of being a dad, about being judged by anyone and everyone, about the chronic pressure to put on a happy, confident face as I strive to be perfect in every area of my life. She smiled with her eyes. She saw me. I felt a connection. I felt less alone. In place of all that fear and shame and guilt was trust and understanding. For the first time in my life, I wasn't cringing while being vulnerable. I felt strong. On January 1, 2010, I realized that sometimes you just have to let go of the idea of who you believe you are to start living as a person you want to be. I chose to be the type of man I'd want my daughters to marry to be a better man, to be a better human. But let me be clear it was hard. I craved more in-depth, connected and authentic conversations, unsure of how to deal with my new sobriety and openness. Friends they stopped calling this. Strength in vulnerability came out of what I believed was a weakness, even being open and honest about their shortcomings, their mistakes, their limiting beliefs. I was never taught a role model by the men in my life. When my search for vulnerability for dummies returned zero results on the Google, I realized the answer is not so simple. But I did see V-stitches for dummies and 98 million other search results for crocheting clearly owning the Internet. So I continued my search for vulnerability resources for men when I came across a survey for the Movember project. In it they asked men to say how many friends of any would they be willing to discuss a serious topic like worries about money, health, career. Their finding showed that 51% of men said two or fewer friends, but one in eight said none. I wanted more than two. We can define what it means to be a great man. We quickly discover the term masculinity keeps popping up, worn like a badge of honor, adorned with words like strength, vigor, machismo, but nowhere did I see mention of vulnerability, openness, honesty or other terms I thought would be associated with being a great man. Alternatively, when I looked at femininity, words like gentleness, supportiveness, kindness Again, all words I thought would be part of being a great man too. All these terms, they're part of a single continuum, a human continuum. We're not humans being emotional, we're emotional human beings. Which begs the question why did I choose to numb, to hide, to seek an escape from so many of the emotions that make up a part of my human experience? Feeling unequipped and unsure of my path? I desired a community, a fellowship of strong men coming together to share tough conversations while collectively challenging a more emotionally inclusive understanding of masculinity. I saw answers from outside my circles, which led me to my ultimate revelation To create something simple, meaningful, impactful. There's the biblical verse that says as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. I wanted a safe space where men could come together to challenge their beliefs on what it means to be a great man, what it means to be a better man In 2018,. While I was living in Bali with my family, I shared the idea with my good friend, nick Wood Men-torship Mondays A weekly gathering of men for dinner and conversation. No alcohol, no drugs, no drama, no coaching or counseling allowed, no hidden prescriptive words of advice, no one needing to be fixed, because nobody is broken. Simply a group of men coming together to share openly and honestly, without the fear of being judged or having what they share used against them. Oh yeah, and most importantly, the higgest rules apply. What happens at Mentorship Mondays stays at Mentorship Mondays. We open every gathering with a question it's alive and real for you right now. Then one man speaks at a time, sharing what keeps him up at night, sharing the good, the bad and the great, creating a space that's safe and trusted, where we can share the conversations about the wins, the struggles, the challenges we all work through, like obstacles, with health, money, career, and along the way, something magical happens. We realize we're not so alone, seems. By practicing vulnerability, we can develop more empathy, understanding and compassion, whether in person or online. We've seen over 500 men positively impacted through Mentorship. Mondays, men show up to the meetings filled with curiosity and a little bit of uncertainty, and then they wait. They wait for someone else to do the thing that's often the hardest to do to go first what's alive and real for you right now, like popcorn. The first share happens, and then another and another, each share building on the last, building trust, understanding and connection among us. We often end our gatherings by asking a question what's our biggest takeaways? And the answer we hear again and again I'm leaving feeling better than when I arrived. By embracing vulnerability, men find more happiness and fulfillment in life, and we've all found more than two friends to share the highs and lows with along the way. My journey to becoming a better man started over a decade ago. But how would I now answer Christie's question Die, are you being the type of person you'd want your daughters to marry? Yeah, I am. Vulnerability helped me get here. I've come to realize that vulnerability isn't just a woman thing, vulnerability isn't just a man thing. Vulnerability is a human thing, thank you. And that, my friends, was my TEDx talk on why vulnerability is a human thing. I hope it resonated with you, that it reached into the corners of your heart and mind, where perhaps vulnerability has been waiting to be acknowledged and probably embraced. Before we part ways today, let's reflect on something crucial, especially for the men listening. Did you know that embracing vulnerability can significantly improve men's mental health? Studies have shown that men who are open to expressing their emotions and embracing vulnerability have a lower risk of depression and anxiety. They also experience better relationships and a greater sense of connection with others. It's not just good for the soul, it's good for the mind too. Let's take a moment to acknowledge the strength in being vulnerable. It's not about weakness, it's about courage the courage to be real, to be human. Let's change the narrative and make vulnerability a part of our strength. Thank you, as you go about your week, I encourage you to take a small step towards being more vulnerable. Share a part of yourself you've kept hidden, express an emotion that you've been holding back, or simply be present in your authentic self. Remember, in our vulnerability lies our connection, our growth and our power. If you enjoyed today's episode and found some value or maybe you were thinking about some of the things that I shared and you were having an image of somebody that just needs to hear this please share it with them. Subscribe to the podcast so you can continue to receive these episodes as they drop as well. I love hearing the feedback. Please continue to leave reviews. Share all that good stuff, because it just fills my heart and I feel so grateful for all of you, the listeners who've been supporting the show as we've launched a couple of weeks ago, and what this is fun. Honestly, this has been such a wonderful journey so far and I'm so honored to be on it with you. Thank you for joining me here today. Again, as I said, I'm Diamond and you've been listening to the 2% solution. Let's keep the conversation going, let's keep growing and let's continue to be bravely, beautifully vulnerable. Until next time, stay strong, stay connected and, yeah, stay vulnerable.

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