Your Questions Answered

You asked and we answered!

In this episode, we’re answering some of the juiciest questions from our community such as…

  • How to let go of the past?
  • Why can’t gay men find love?
  • How to get unstuck and move forward?

Join us as we cover topics such as shame, gay dating, self-confidence, and trust in this Q & A style discussion.

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Welcome to gay men going deeper, a podcast series by the gay men’s brotherhood, where we talk about personal development, mental health, and sexuality. Your hosts today are Matt, Michael and myself Calan. And collectively we have over 40 years of experience in the personal development world. And if this is your first time listening to us, we want to welcome you.

We each have our own coaching practice, but in this podcast, we are giving away all of our best stuff. Today, we are going to be talking about your questions. So we actually asked you our amazing community to ask us some questions that you would like us to have answered on today’s episode. And we’re gonna be unpacking three of those questions from Brian Damien and Jesse.

We’ll continue these discussions on the last Thursday of every month in the gay men’s brotherhood, zoom Hangouts, where you’ll have your chance to share your experience. This podcast and YouTube channel are listener and viewer supported. So if you enjoy what we’re creating and you wanna support us, you can head on over to our Patreon page and contribute to the show. You can also subscribe on apple podcast and listen to ads free and gain early access to the episodes.

All your support helps us to continue making content for you and supporting our community. And we thank you in advance. Also be sure to check out our new attachment style quiz in the show notes, to find out what your attachment style is, and to get a free report on that. Now, before we jump into today’s episode, let’s read a review from one of our listeners.

This one comes from Erin in the us and they write, Hey there. I just wanted to say, thank you for creating this podcast. I’m not sure how I found it, but I’m grateful that I did. I listen every day on my commute to work and it’s been a tremendous help. I’ve even been able to uncover some underlining life issues that couldn’t quite pinpoint that I couldn’t quite pinpoint until listening to the podcast.

Never stop creating more episodes. Yours, truly Aaron. Well, that’s lovely. We haven’t read that one before, right? Right. No, that was, you guys are sweet. Like I hope I picked what we haven’t talked about. Okay. So we are jumping into today’s episode. We got three questions. So we went in cuz today’s month theme is our community.

And we went in and we asked all y’all to give us your questions. And we went through, there was so, so, so many good ones. And we found a couple that we felt, okay, we vibe with these, like, let’s answer these ones. So we picked three ones from Brian ones from Damien and ones from Jesse. And we are gonna start off with Brian’s question today.

And Brian asked how to let go of the past and deal with the shame of past behavior specifically, if, and when you were a hot mess and may have burned some bridges or treated people poorly, real or imagined, that’s actually a really good question because I’ve had this pop up before I’ve actually had this pop up recently, which is really wild. Like my ex not ex-girlfriend this girl in high school,

who, I guess we held hands a couple times and you know, when you’re in like grade nine, you’re so dramatic and you say shit about everybody. And like, everybody is so different in high school than they are as an adult. Anyway, she messaged me and like almost calling me out cuz she like went through and found her old notes and was calling me out.

And she’s like, are you ever, are you gonna apologize for this and that? And like calling me this and that. And I was like, what? This is like over like 15, 20 years ago. Like what? Like it was so out of the blue and so random that I was just like, I mean, I’ve done my work.

I’ve gone to therapy, I’ve done all those things. And if you still need me to apologize, like I said, okay, like, okay, sorry. Like, like what do you really want from me? Like this is 20 years ago. It did. And so it kind of caught me off guard and then she was like trying to make a drama out of it.

And I was just like, okay, I feel like you need to go to therapy and you need to do your work because if you’re dredging up drama and pass like stuff from the past, from over like 15, 20 years ago, maybe you need to do some work on yourself because like, yeah, I could apologize to you because we were kids like everybody’s doing stupid shit and saying stupid shit when they’re a kid,

like, we are completely different people than when we were there. But she was trying to put off on me as if I was like the same person or something. I don’t know what it was. So anyways, I promptly kind of like, I was like, okay, sorry. And then was like, is there like, is there something else you’re trying to get out of this?

And she was just trying to cause a drama from it. And so I was like, okay, I’m just gonna remove you from my life because you’ve not been in my life. And you’re trying to like create something out of nothing. So I’m in my head. I’m like, okay, you must be really bored in your everyday life. And I just could luck to you.

I hope you go get the therapy you need. Cuz. I mean, she wasn’t peach in her day either. So we all go through tons of shit as like when we’re younger and we all make mistakes. And I don’t think the important part is like the making the mistakes. I think the important part is recognizing that like, okay, I was a different person in the past and I’m allowed to grow as a human being.

And one of the things that really pisses me off about today’s culture is cancel culture and how people don’t allow other people to grow and evolve. They’re like, Nope, once you’re this you’re always that. And there there’s definitely things that are like way worse than, you know, just saying something in passing or saying an uneducated thing and then going and educating yourself.

But for the most part, there are a lot of things that it’s like, okay, this person really screwed up. They’ve shown that they went and they did the work. They took the time to go do the work and now they’re showing up differently and you’re still canceling them. It’s like, where’s the grace in our society anymore. It’s like two inches of spectrum.

It’s either you’re with us or against us or like you’re this or yet that there’s no gray space anymore. And so with Brian’s question, I, I would like to bring it to the space of like, do your work as an adult, go to therapy. If you need to talk about these things, unpack them. What you know, obviously you have,

if you have remorse about something that you’ve done, that shows that you’re a human being that you care and just do your own work to unpack that because you’re never gonna be able to do anything for anybody else in the past. Like you can’t go back and fix it is the thing like you can’t go back and fix it. All you can do is take that knowledge and bring it into the now.

So what do you want to do with that information now? How do you wanna process it? How do you wanna implement it into your life? If you go fuck, I was a real shit person. Okay. Well now you know that, so go, okay, well I don’t ever wanna be that super shit person again. What do I need to do?

So that, that doesn’t happen. And all you can do is your own self work, cuz there’s a lot of people who hold that guilt of like, oh man, I fucked up. And sometimes they carry that with them for life. And it’s like, I mean, what are you supposed to do? Like kill yourself to try and make up for things for life.

It’s like, no, you apologize. You move on, you do the work. That’s all, anybody can really ask of you. And if they’re demanding more, then that’s their problem. That’s on them. They’re asking too much. We’re all just human beings trying to do the best we can with what we got. So I know I kind of went on a bunch of tangents there,

but I’m curious where you guys are sitting and does either one of you kind of have something that’s alive that they want to say first who’s who’s ready to jump in. I can, I can start Go, go for Only because only because I created a video in the game and going deeper membership a few months back called when you fuck up. Mm. And so when I read this question,

I was like, Brian, you gotta go watch this video. So Brian, if you are in the membership, please go watch the video called when you fuck up. There’s a whole process. I take, take the, the viewers through, but for sake of brevity, I’ll, I’ll try to keep it pretty concise here on this. I’ll respond with basically what I have there.

So when we fuck up, which we all do, as Calan said, and it’s just part of being a human, nothing has gone wrong. We fuck up. That’s fine. But generally there’s three kind of reactions we have to it. One is shame, which sounds like where you’re at Brian, which is beating yourself up about it. Then there’s the option of being defensive.

So that’s kind of like when people justify why they did what they did and, and why the other person deserved it. And then there’s blame, which is lashing out at others and the rest of the world, pretty much pointing the finger anywhere, but inside saying, here’s why you’re at fault for, for what I did. Sometimes it’s all three now.

Yeah. Based on what you’re saying, Brian, you’re kind of stuck in the shame, shame part of it. So I’m gonna talk a little bit about that. The thing with these reactions to fucking up is that it kind of seems like we’re doing something because we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re shaming, we’re blaming or being defensive, but it’s actually avoiding the whole point of processing the pain.

And that’s really the that’s really what has to happen. You have to process the pain and then you’ll be able to let go. Now processing pain is not the same as beating this shit out of yourself about it. It often might seem that way like, oh, I’m processing it cuz I feel bad, but there’s a very, very big difference. So the whole point of the video and the membership is how to process that pain.

Y’all know. I love a good process. So I’m gonna share, I’m gonna share the very condensed version here with you, but keep in mind my usual caveats. This is not a linear process. It’s fluid. It takes as long as it takes. Sometimes it’s two steps forward, one step back and, and that’s how it goes. So it’s not as neat as I like to organize it into,

in my mind. It’s usually a lot messier than this, but here’s how it is. First. When you fuck up, notice your initial reaction. Are you shaming? Are you in defense or blaming or all three or just two of them. Okay. Two do not react. Just stay, just stay with whatever it is. Then the third thing is except to yourself that you’ve fucked up.

You have to own it to yourself. First, look in the mirror, write it out in your journal, whatever it is. But at some point you need to say the words to yourself. I fucked up. You need to have that acknowledgement to self. Then what you wanna do is understand why you did what you did. This is an act of self-compassion.

If you really wanna look at it that way, it’s giving yourself the compassion of, okay. I, I did the best I could with what I got going back to CO’s point, right? Like sometimes we make decisions and that was the best decision at the time because of something that we didn’t know, or we didn’t know, or a way we felt or a belief we’re holding,

but either way not, this is not the same as condoning it, but just understanding why, why did I do that thing? Why did I say those words for yourself? You’re not sharing this with anybody yet. Then you wanna step into the other person’s perspective and understand their perspective. Now, if this person Brian is still in your life, talk to them,

say, Hey, how did you experience what happened? Right? And let them speak without, this is my problem. Without getting defensive, I get very defensive and I wanna justify why, but it’s really hard to just sit there and let them tell you their experience of what happened. Even if it’s not your experience, just how have them reflect back what they experienced.

And then again, in your own mind, you can identify exactly where you went wrong. And this is where I want you to be very specific and focus on the action. Not who you are, because remember shame is, is the, without something is wrong with you at the fundamental personal level, right? You’re probably thinking I’m a shithead. I suck.

I’m terrible. When really this allows you to identify the behavior, the action that you did, that is actually the, the bad thing. I shouldn’t have said that that was not a good thing to say versus I am bad, right? So you wanna identify exactly where you went wrong, as specific as you can, and then forgive yourself for that action,

right? Again, you’re a fallible human being as we all are. And then once you can forgive yourself, this takes time. By the way that I’m make like, this is a very quick spiel, but this takes a lot of time. Once you can actually forgive yourself and work yourself through that process, by the way, we have a really good podcast on forgiveness,

go check that out. Then you could acknowledge that lesson learned. What have you learned from this experience? What is the wisdom that you’re going to carry with you going forward? Okay. Maybe it’s for me, I’ll tell you my favorite one. Don’t react before getting all the data. It’s something that I learn over and over again, I react and I’d say something or do something I’m like,

oh fuck. I wish I knew the whole story before I said that or did that. So that might be the wisdom, whatever it is for you do that, then apologize where you need to. Right now that you’ve identified where you went wrong, what the wisdom is. You might have to make some apologies. You might have to apologize to yourself.

You might have to apologize to other people do that, where you need to, and then move on, just move on. One of the most powerful decisions you can make for yourself is to say, okay, I’m done beating myself up about this. I’ve made amends, I’ve done what I need to do. I’ve learned the lesson and it’s no longer useful for me to shame myself.

And that is a very, very quick and dirty process. Sometimes this could take months or years. I acknowledge that, but hopefully that helps you, Brian. That’s what I got. That was really good. You there’s a lot of stuff in there that I would’ve pretty much said the exact same thing. So I’ll try and keep it to original. You know,

I, I, I lived through this very much because I had an addiction and I did a lot of things in that addiction that I regretted. And I had a lot of, I stole money from my family. I lot of, lot of horrible things. So I, I had to move through this and this actually came out of a lot of my shadow work,

really looking at my shadows and looking at the darkness in myself. We all have darkness in ourselves. We all have the potential to really hurt people. And that was a really painful process. And I like how you said that Michael, like when we’re not wanting to sit with it and, and we have all these things that we’re doing to not sit with our past behaviors is because we don’t want to have to sit with the pain and process it.

So that’s like really stood out for me when you said that, because, and it, it takes a lot of presence, right? When I look at this, this question, it says how to let go of the past that’s keyword and deal with the shame of past. So when you’re, when you’re talking about past or future, you’re, you’re talking about mental energy,

right? You’re in your mind. And when we’re talking about the present we’re embodied, right? So when we’re, I would say one of the best things to do is to, to get present. And, and how do we process emotion? We process past pain by being in the present moment. So I would just say, taking me some time to sit with,

with, you know, maybe review, review those memories and be with the, the emotions that come up and offer them presence. I think that is such a, such an important part of this. What also stands out for me is shame and guilt and the differentiation of these two. Cuz when you’re talking about behavior, you’re usually talking about guilt, right?

And when we’re talking about self we’re talking about shame, right? So like the things that I’ve done would be guilt and who I am as a person is flawed, is shame. And there could be both present here, but I think it’s important to discern what you’re actually working with, whether it’s guilt or shame the pro the process would probably be the same as far as processing it.

But when you’re working with shame, you’re often it’s accompanied by low self worth. Right? So whereas guilt isn’t necessarily. And when, in order to mitigate guilt, you would look at like changing behavior, making amends, apologizing, forgiving those sorts of things. Whereas when you’re looking at shame, you’re looking at developing a stronger sense of self and self worth.

So I think that that’s, that’s a really important part of this because when we’re stuck in the past and we’re stuck in this like old version of who we are, and we’re applying shame to that, there’s what that would tell me is there’s this element of, of still still operating from the template of your old self, the old version of you and maybe there’s new choices that need to be made that would help push you towards,

you know, getting on the transformation track, where you start connecting with a new version of yourself, because then we’re not gonna be constantly repeating the past. So Yeah, that’s kind of, those are kind of my pointers. I wanna just see if I, if there was anything else here that yeah, but one of the things too was, was looking at where it came from within you.

Because I remember for me, when I was coming out of my addiction, I had to really look at things with a lot of compassion and say, this is where I was at. I was hurting really badly. I had no coping skills. So the way I was behaving towards people was coming from a really painful place within me. So then that was my shadow work.

Right. And really looking at how I could offer myself a bit more love. And so yeah, those would be, those would be my tips. Yeah. You guys have really good, really good tips. Really good stuff in there for peeps. Aw. Okay. Brian, you are, you are excited and happy by those answers we got and hopefully others listening also got a lot of that.

Next up. We have Damien’s question, which is why are so many gay men single and not by choice. There are thousands of men on the apps, in the clubs, et cetera, all apparently looking for romance, get everyone with a few exceptions is single. Why can’t people find love? Wow, there’s so many answers to this. I feel like our podcast has been about like the whole thing,

the whole series. We could literally be talking about this the whole time. There’s no one right answer or one right. Answer for everybody. But I would say my take on it would be a lot of it comes down to trust both within yourself and within others and fear. And so God, so many other things that I can unpack here and like just conditioning of the world of like growing up gay and like what we saw being portrayed when we were younger.

And so the older generation, like just above us, still lives in a space where they weren’t allowed to get married. They were demonized like all these things. So it’s like, we can’t expect to just turn around and everything be PG keen. And like all of those old hurts and wounds are healed. Like that generational trauma that the gay community went through is still there.

We still experience it. It’s still there in many countries around the world. And it’s still even there in the us where they’re like, maybe we’ll take away your gay marriage cuz you guys just got it. So there’s so many things that can go into this. But the big ones for me is trust and fear. And so trust is like trusting yourself of,

you know, doing your own inner work, doing your own stuff, which a lot of people are afraid to do. They’re a lot, they’re afraid to go in there and to see what’s in there and to work with the shadows like Matt was talking about, cuz there’s a lot of stuff in there that maybe you don’t wanna admit or maybe you don’t want.

See. And when you get to a space where you do trust yourself for me anyways, that’s when looking for relationships became very genuine. Whereas like I was very open to it, but it didn’t mean that I had found a boyfriend right away. I’ve dated people, but I’ve been more open to that. And I’ve enjoyed those experiences a lot more because I trust myself within those relationships now after doing the work and then trusting others is another aspect of that.

Being able to recognize and accept people for who they are, not who we want them to be and needing to get to a place where you can just trust that, you know, they’re gonna show up and maybe they’re not. And that’s kind of, part of the deal is like, there is no guarantees with dating. And so many people are afraid of that.

Uncertainty because people like security and people like that, stability and people like the certainty stuff that the idea of actually dating and actually committing and actually doing all this. You’re opening yourself up to so many potential like hurts and pains and things that come along with being in a relationship you are going to get in fights. You are going to be upset. You are going to cry.

You are going to be angry. You’re going to go through all of those things because that’s part of a relationship, no matter how good it is, that’s the journey. That’s what is part of the deal. And so if you’re not ready to do that or you can’t trust somebody else to wanna show up in that, of course you’re not gonna actually get into a relationship,

no matter how much you want it, because the fear of those hurts and those pains that’s gonna come along with it is greater than you actually wanting to be in the relationship. And this might be a hard truth for some people, but like if you genuinely wanna be in the relationship, you need to put yourself through that process. And I really give it to people who have open hearts and who like lead with open hearts.

And maybe sometimes they even come across as me as a little bit more messy and they’re always dating people and this, that and the other, but they’re allowing themselves to constantly be open to those potential hurt. And I really commend them for being brave in order to do that. Because for me, that was really, really, really hard to do. And even in recent times I’ve done that and I still ended up going through those herds,

but at least where I’m coming from now on it is that at least I gave myself the chance and I tried my best and I was genuine with it. And I was like, I did everything that I could. And it’s the other person who wants like has to come and meet you halfway. And there’s no guarantees with that. And I think that that kind of is,

you know, the overarching storyline of why people tend in the gay community tend to still be single, even though they say they wanna be with somebody. It’s because there’s still just a lot of fear in the background. But I’m curious what you guys think. Who wants to go first on this one? Matt, Matt’s gonna go first go. I agree with everything you said.

I think fear is probably the number one answer, but I want to, I want to extrapolate this a lot because there was a little bit of stuff that came up for me when I read the questions here, because there’s a, there’s a lot of assumption and I wanna point that out because we’re saying, why are so many gay men single and not by choice?

We don’t know that. Right. So what I’m trying to do in my life right now is I’m trying not to generalize as much. And I’m trying to really look at the each individual person. Right. And I guess that we come, you know, I am trained in like sociology as well. So it’s hard for me to get out of that,

like collective mentality, but it’s not really helpful. I’m learning to lump people into one thing. Like we have a community of people and within those communities we have sub communities and we have individuals, we have all these things. So we don’t know that people are single by not by choice. Right. So that’s the first thing. And then there are thousands of men on apps in clubs,

apparently all looking for romance. Again, there’s another assumption. We don’t know that these people are all looking for romance yet. Everyone with few exceptions is single. Again, we don’t know that, right. Because we don’t know what people’s statuses are because we come from a, a culture where relating isn’t traditional. Right? So we have people that are in monogamous relationship,

non monogamous relationships, polyamorous relationships, asexuals, a romantics, right? So we have, we come from people that a community of people where everybody is just kind of in their own lane, living their own relating lifestyle. Right. And so I think that’s important. So I want Damien, I, I would love for you to maybe sit with some of these questions and look at like,

what are you bringing into this? As far as the lens that you’re looking through, right? Like, is there, is there absolute truth in everything that you’re seeing or is this the lens that you happen to be looking at at the community through? And that’s, this is the same work I’m doing. So yes, I’m calling you out, but I’m also calling myself out at the same time because I’m going through this exact same thing.

And what I’m also noticing is that there’s a lot more people coupled in the community right now. And I’m like, kind of in that energy of like, oh, like I wish I had a partner. Like, you know, why are there, why is there so many people coupled and, and that sort of thing. So I’m having a different experience,

right? So again, we all have different experiences, but okay. So that’s my, that’s my preface. And then I wanted to talk about some of the things that come up in the gay community that I notice is, is a lot of duality. So in one moment I want a relationship. And in the next moment I don’t, I love being single and I love being committed.

And I’m, I’m navigating this total duality and it’s extremely exhausting. It’s extremely frustrating because yeah, I I’m hot and cold. Right. So, and there’s an element for me that comes into play here where yes, I’m, I’m quite picky with who I want to be with. That’s, that’s part of it. But I also have noticed in my life that there’s,

there’s this part of me, that’s like, if a guy’s interested in me, I will think like, is this the person that I want to be with or is something better going to come along? And I think that’s a very common experience for gay men, right? We are on the apps. We’re inundated with guys flooding us, like, you know,

lots of sexual opportunities, lots of romantic opportunities. And it’s like, there’s this whole notion of like, something better will come along. So I’m gonna hold out. I’m gonna wait. Right. And I think what ends up happening is as we get older as gay men, if we keep playing out that game, regardless of intention behind it, right.

Whether it’s fear, shame, whatever, but we’re, we’re, we’re holding up for something better to come along. We end up getting to a point in our life where we meet a lot of loneliness, a lot of existential loneliness. And we realize how many great guys that, that we’ve passed up because we thought something better was going to come along.

Right. So I’m kind of in this energy right now of like embrace connection. Why does it have to be committed? Why do I have to think about it through accumulative lens? Why can’t I just embrace connection and let people in? And, and eventually, you know, Mr. Wright might come along, maybe he won’t, maybe that’s not in my,

in my cards. Right. Maybe I’m meant to just have a bunch of awesome, meaningful connections with a bunch of people. And I’m not going to meet Mr. Wright. Right. That’s potentially a possibility in my life. I have no idea. But, and then, you know, so you look at the intentions behind why people would do that.

You know, bypassing connection, waiting for something else to come on along could be, you know, shame is a very big one. And I think shame and fear are very interconnected here because when we feel shame and we don’t feel worthy of love and belonging and connection, we sabotage it and we sabotage it usually through fear. Right. We think that,

you know, whether it’s we have trust issues or we’re afraid of rejection, or we’re afraid of being smothered, I think that’s a common one for a lot of guys. So, so anyway, so that was one of them. And then I wanted to also note that some people are just content being single, right? So there’s this whole notion in the community where it’s like,

if you’re single that you have to be lonely or that you have to be unhappy, but that’s not the case. Right. And I think we often well speak for myself. Like the more and more comfortable I’m becoming with being alone, being single, the more and more I’m comfortable with connection. It’s kind of like a weird juxtaposition, but it’s, it’s,

it’s my reality, right? Because I think in the past I’ve been like grabbing on to connection through an attachment perspective, but I’m actually in a place in my life now where I’m quite content being alone and quite content being single. So I can move towards connection without having to be clingy. I don’t really like that word though, but I guess it’s for lack of a better word clingy,

and then, you know, to what you said, Calan, I think trust issues is a big one. There’s a lot of, well, a lot of shame and trauma in our community. And in my opinion, traumatized people, traumatize people, right? So it’s like hurt people, hurt people, you know, like that’s when we’re, when we come from a place of trauma,

we have a hard time moving towards connection, cuz we’re afraid of it. We’re afraid of being hurt. So then when, if this other person here is, is also experiencing attachment trauma and then we move closer and then we pull back cuz we get scared. Then they pull back. It’s just constantly men moving towards each other. And then when the other one moves in,

they both pull back. So there’s a lot of attachment stuff that comes into this. And I think, you know, if you really want to work on this, these, this, you know, take the attachment quiz that we have, learn your attachment style and understand how your attachment style is impacting your relationships. Because oftentimes we don’t realize that our attachment style is really just the undertone of the reason why we can’t find love.

We can’t find connection because we are playing out insecure attachment. So yeah, those would be mine. It’s good. That Was great. Yeah. Thanks. Very good. All, all, all of what you guys have shared. I wanna underline and what is it? Damien, Damien, go back. Rewind. Listen to it again because there’s a lot of good stuff here.

Yeah. Which I agree with all of it. So the way that I wanted to answer the question is both at the tactical level, meaning cuz you know, I like a tactical action plan, but I think that’s sort of irrelevant until you address the mindset stuff, which, or the inner world stuff and mindset, emotional stuff that the energetic stuff that Matt and Calan both talked about.

So again, that’s why I wanna say underlying cuz whatever strategies or techniques or tools or processes that anyone else gives you myself included. If you don’t have the right, I don’t wanna say the right mindset. If your mindset isn’t primed to, to finding a partner, if that’s what you want on a long-term relationship, if that’s what you want, then it’s gonna be all for nothing.

So when I talk about mindset and, and feelings, that inner world, what I notice a lot and by the way, Damien and I coach a lot on this topic. So I think I’m gonna point to another video without our membership just happens to be this way. But the first one that I did was called the empowered single man. So if you’re in the membership,

go to the empowered single, man’s probably one of my favorite ones that I’ve done, to be honest with you in the membership. And it speaks to a lot of, of this. But anyway, so a lot of the time it’s gonna be a self-belief thing. And the reason why people aren’t taking the action steps, the tangible things is because there’s something blocking them internally.

So in, in a before or during dating situation, it’s something sounds like something like what’s the point. I’m never gonna find anyone. This is useless. I’m not good enough. I’m not hot enough. I’m too old. I’m too fat, too short, too skinny. And so when those are the dominant thoughts, not saying that these thoughts need to go away.

You’re just saying when those are the ones that are controlling, the action that’s gonna create in action. You’re not gonna, you’re gonna wanna withdraw. You’re not gonna put yourself out there. You’re not gonna put yourself out there and reject or, and, and risk being rejected, right? Which Calan said, you have to do. If you, if you wanna meet somebody,

you gotta put yourself out there. When you put yourself out there, it’s very vulnerable and your risk rejection. So that’s sort of the before enduring and then the mindset, let’s say you do find somebody and you are connecting and going on dates and whatnot. Then all the other inner world issues come into play the fear and the shame, the, the fear of vulnerability,

the fear of getting close, the fear of smothering everything. Matt just talked about fear of intimacy, fear of rejection, all these things. So then there’s that. So this whole mindset is, is a big piece of it. I know it’s kind of a boring answer because everyone wants the technical, tangible steps. Cuz they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re doable,

but I promise you and I’ve coached many guys. If you don’t have that mindset working in tandem with the action, you could do both at the same time. I that’s what I would teach, but yeah. Yeah, you have to has to include some mindset, emotional stuff too. The good news is if you are taking the action steps and letting it be messy,

which is great, then whoever you meet, whoever you’re going on, dates with whoever the person is. Even if it’s just one date, you get to work through a lot of this stuff with them. Right. I, I like to say, Mr. Wright is the one who you have right in front of you. Cause that’s the right person for your curriculum,

for your learning, for your growth. Are you gonna be with them forever? Maybe not, but you can still learn so much about yourself and the, the way you relate with that person. Okay. So now that I’ve done my spiel on mindset, emotional stuff, and, and again Matt and Calan capital of it, then there are other tactical things,

right? So again, these tactical steps are not gonna work for you. If you haven’t aligned with what you actually want. So what I like to ask people is like, let me see your profile, right? That’s like, oh, I’ve been on blah, blah, blah, for so long. And I haven’t found anyone. I’m like, Hey,

show me your profile. And of course, when they show me their profile, I’m like, of course not, this is not conducive. Not aligned to what you tell me. Like what people tell me they want. And then what they have on the profile. Oftentimes not a match. So they have terrible photos or they’re hiding and their glasses or their whatever,

like put your, like, it’s about putting yourself out there saying what you want, having a completed bio. And for all you who say, nobody reads the bio. I have this to say people who are looking for a long-term relationship will read that fucking bio. That’s all I did when I was on the app. That’s all I do is I’m like,

if you don’t have a bio buy girl, swipe, I swipe left. If there’s no bio or nothing Written, they’re only wearing sunglasses in all their photos. Yes. What you hiding from? Or like super far away. Yeah. So, so this is the thing, right? And look, look at that three guys right here. I mean three awesome guys right here.

We would, we wouldn’t even look at it if they didn’t have a full bio, like tell us, tell us who you are, tell us what you want. So that’s another tangible thing. Like is your, the way you’re putting yourself out there on dating apps, even in person, right? The way you’re engaging. How are you meeting people?

Are you meeting people online? Are you meeting people in person? Is it a mix of both when you are in person or even just through the app? How are you communicating? Is it one word answers or are you putting yourself out there? These are all more of the tangible things, which yes. They matter. Absolutely. And I, I coach on that,

but it’s all for nothing. If you don’t have the mindset. So for a lot of people, it’s, it’s a mix. And then once you start adjusting them, then you’ll start seeing the results. So we grew, we go through each of these things, the mindset work and the tactical application. So yes. Check out the empowered single man.

One more thing for Damien specifically. I wanna underline what Matt had said. Cuz what I, I made a note that I could tell your mindset needs work just simply, by the way you framed your question, right? And Matt covered a lot of that. So you had said yet everyone with a few exceptions, a single why can’t people find love?

That is a valid question, but a terrible question. It’s going to bring you terrible answers. So I would shift and reframe your question too. How can I find love? Not why can’t people find love. If you ask your brain, why can’t people find love? It’s gonna come up with all kinds of reasons. Why people can’t find them valid.

They may be. Why not ask yourself? How can I find love that my friend is the empowered question that will get your brain going in the, the right direction. And I’d also have you to reflect on, we’re giving him loss to reflect on this poor guy. What beliefs are preventing you from believing that you can find love. Start there. Okay.

All Right. Oh, and one more thing. I got a book recommendation too. You guys know this book, the velvet rage by Allen downs. That’s a great book. Nice, great, amazing. And as you were talking, it also reminded me that like this question is he specifically talks about like clubs and apps. If that’s the only place that you’re looking for love,

then you’re like, that’s like one tiny piece of the puzzle. And in our building better relationships course. I actually have a whole section about how to meet people in places that aren’t the apps and the clubs and that that’s how I’ve met people is like injecting yourself into, I mean, of course given if you are in a space in a place where you have these options,

but like even if you don’t maybe creating one of those spaces, it’s like, you know, meetups for gay men who like to play board games or video games or I play gay Dodge ball or singing a gay choir or volleyball. Like there’s so many different options, especially if you’re in a big city, like if you’re in a big city, there’s less of an excuse.

If you’re in a small place where there isn’t a lot of access to these things, that’s a bit more understandable. But if you have access, it’s about where you’re framing your mind to find this. And if you’re like, okay, well I have similar interests. I love gay Dodge while I think it’s fun. I think it’s great. Somebody else playing gay dodgeball is gonna find that enjoyable as well.

We already have a common interest. We already have a point to talk about. And that creates that friendship zone, that space where you can actually explore people’s personalities before you jump into dating. Cause dating also is like in the apps and the da like club, world, it’s all based upon the exterior of like, oh, you’re aesthetically pleasing to me.

Let’s date. And then you just keep going with it cuz you’re like, well, we kept doing it. And now I’m involved in this. It’s like get to know somebody as a person first, like be like, do I even want to be in a relationship with you? Like go on the dates and actually like go at it from the point of view of like,

first of all, would I like to be your friend? And if I don’t wanna be your friend, why would I wanna date you? You know what I’m saying? So I just throwing out those ideas of like there’s different ways to meet people and don’t just keep it in the small box of like, well this is it kind of a, a thing.

Alright. So we’re on our last question, which comes from Jesse. And Jesse wrote you guys talk a lot about perfectionism being your problem, but I’d love to hear about people who have the opposite problem. What have people been through that have had the opposite effect from their shame where it kept them stuck and kept them from achieving much of anything they find valuable in life.

So I’m gonna go later on this one, but I want ask which one of you guys would like to answer this one first Can go cool. This has kind of in my wheelhouse. So yeah, and I, I, I’m probably the one that talks about perfectionism a lot because well, all three of us have it for sure. It’s been a main,

main thing that I’ve been dealing with most of my life, but you know, so, and I’ve learned a lot about it both professionally and personally, but so I just wanna highlight like perfectionism is essentially a defense mechanism to having to sit with shame, right? And there’s a whole list of things that are defense mechanisms to, well, they’re called psychological defense mechanisms to anything.

We can use them for anything. They’re essentially ways that we disconnect from having to be with these emotions. Things like denial, projection, noncompete, isolation, overcompensation, overachieving, these sort of things. So I think what you’re talking about Jesse would be like no compete or isolation where you’re not showing the presentation of overcompensating, right? Like you’re just being in like a state of inaction or carelessness or laziness or whatever it might be that you’re just not looking at that.

And I think I’m kind of relating to like, cuz there, there, there is an element of me that has done this because I think forward facing, I do bring forward more of a perfectionism more. I, I, I, I did before like kind of less now, but one area that I did move into, the more non-compete I’ll call it non-compete defense mechanism would be with being the lone Wolf.

I think that lends itself perfectly to this example because for me, the, the shadow side of my lone Wolf was fed by the fear of rejection. And, and I was terrified of connection, especially with other gay men. So I didn’t allow myself to move towards connection because I, I was terrified of it. So I think for me, that,

that was when I, I entered kind of inaction. I didn’t belong to a community. I didn’t wanna connect with other gay men. I was very isolated and, and that was kind of up until the point of, of starting the brotherhood. And that’s when I had to put myself out there, be visible and do the healing work because I had done as much work as I could possibly do in isolation.

And then I needed to take that step. And the first thing I met when I came into connection was all of the unprocessed shame that I hadn’t dealt with that was relational, right. That other people brought out because I would see in them their toxic shame or their unprocessed shame and it would, I would see it and it would stimulate my stuff. And that’s what I was,

you know, so again, the perfectionism for me was not allowing me to be with that as well because it was, I was using it as a way to, to deflect from having to be with my toxic shame. So any of these defense mechanism mechanisms, they’re like, they’re useful to a point they are adaptive. Believe it or not, they’re adaptive up to a certain point.

And then they become maladaptive because it’s like, if we’re always inundated by our shame, then it’s, it can, it can feel really overwhelming. And, and sometimes that note compete or that like inaction is, is, you know, the, or being the hot mess, like that is an element of coping with it because it’s like, I, instead of being with my shame,

I’m going to be the sloppy, you know, messy gay dude that, you know, has sex with everybody or, or does tons of drugs or whatever that might be. So again, it is a defense mechanism still, even though it might not appear to the outside people, but it’s still a way that maybe you’re using as to cope with having to sit with that deep,

deep shame that that could potentially be present there. So Good stuff. I’m I really like that. That’s that makes a lot of sense. Michael, what about you? What do you have to say on this? Yeah. Jessie, I love this question cuz it very much spoke to me when I, when I read it. Yes. Would you talk about perfectionism?

And I have talked about my perfectionism. I would say the first issue for me though, in, in becoming an entrepreneur in anything is, was that was the inaction that the shame kind of kept me in. So shame is a wet blanket. I like to think about it. It’s a wet blanket for anything that excites you for any of your passions,

trying to think that is naturally there for you. As soon as you start to like look at it with your logical mind, if they’re shame in there, your shame will throw a white blanket on it and it’ll talk you out of it pretty much instantly. At least this was my case. I’m speaking for myself here. So anything that, that you want to do or anything,

any goal, you have, anything that any desire you have, you have to have a bit of belief in yourself in order to take the action. Not a hundred percent belief in zero doubt, but at least a little bit of belief. That’ll get you taking the action and shame in this, in, in these instances is the underlying belief that your flawed or not enough or not good enough to,

and then fill in the blank of whatever it is that, that that goal is. Did he say what the goal was here? No, he just said, keep them stuck and keeping them from achieving anything. Okay. I want you to think about what specifically that thing is, cuz you know, I like to be specific think specifically about what that thing is that you want to do or that goal or that desire that you have.

If you believe that you’re not good enough to do it, you’re gonna talk yourself out of action. As soon as the idea shows up and this shows up in so many ways in dating similar to what we just talked about. If you don’t believe that you’re good enough or hot enough or whatever enough, you’re not even gonna bother, you’re gonna show up as a blank profile on a dating app.

Or you’re not even in bother asking the guy on a date. Even if you like him in career, it shows up. I was in corporate for 13 years. I coached a lot of young leaders on this, this imposter syndrome that they’re not good enough. They’re not talented enough. They don’t have what it takes to sit at the, to, to manage people,

to sit at the end of the boardroom to make decisions, right. And that will prevent you from applying for the job. It’ll prevent you from going for that promotion, even though you could very well do it. And then for all my creatives out there, all the creators, us included it’s that, that your work isn’t good enough or isn’t good enough to make money or isn’t good enough to put out there.

And of course all these things don’t inspire you into action. So any entrepreneur, any creator, any artist, anyone out there who takes something that is theirs and puts it out into the world has to go through this process of coming against your inner shame. And this is a good thing. It’s a very good thing because shame does not like to be talked about right.

It thrives in secrecy. Like we talked about. And as long as you’re not looking at it or talking about it, it’s going to fester and boil and just become even stronger. So I think this is a great question as well, because we all have it, right? Like Calan Matt, myself. We all have all talked about it at length that we have this,

whether it shows up as perfectionism or maybe for me more of a fear of visibility, we all have it. Just, that doesn’t mean it needs to stop you. You could have it and still move forward, right? The issue isn’t having the shame, it’s believing it. So shame is giving you a story. You’re not good enough. I’m not good enough,

whatever that is when you believe it, that’s, that’s where you can make a decision where you can still have the shame, but you don’t need necessarily need to take action from it. What’s the story it’s telling you. And then what I love to do is like poke holes through all the stories. Here’s all my doubts and here’s how they’re all not true.

And then it’s like, ah, wait a minute. Maybe this shame story isn’t quite as, as compelling as I think it is. And this is a great thing. If you have done the course healing, your shame, this is one of the great things about it. Because first of all, we talk a lot about shame in that course. So go,

go do it. If you haven’t done it yet, Jesse, but for those of us who are doing it in the group, in the community, in the membership first with Matt, then with me now with me, we are healing shame together because that’s the best way to heal it is to show up in the group every other week. And we talk about,

we talk about it. We talk about how we’re experiencing shame. We’re talking about how it shows up for us. We’re talking about how to work through it. We’re talking about all this stuff. So that’s a great tip. And I think both of you guys have said that and I wanna reiterate it, get into, find people to talk about that with.

And then a reflection question is, is again, what exactly is shame preventing you from doing again? I’d love to know if you’re watching some YouTube throw on the comments, just cause I’m super curious. And then look for people who have done that thing or who are doing that thing, right? So let’s say you wanna write a book, but you’re afraid some shame is preventing you from like writing this book,

but you have an idea that it’s really good and you wanna really, and something in you is like, yeah, you gotta do this. You gotta do this. Find people who have done it. Who’ve been there. Connect with them, talk about it with them, learn from them, let them inspire you. Another thing you can do is find a coach.

There’s three of us right here. We all know how shame shows up for creators and entrepreneurs and we are actively doing the work. So that’s my tip for Jesse. How about you? Calan Holy moly. Well, I think YouTube said basically all that really needs to be say said on that topic, but I really liked, I picked up on the hot mess aspect that Matt was talking about and how like perfectionism is just one option,

one manifestation of, you know, the options that shame can show up as, and there is the aloofness, there’s the one where it’s like, you’re just aloof. Nothing really affects you. And it’s like that in and of itself is a shame protection mechanism where it’s just like, I don’t want to engage because I’m scared that if I engage that maybe,

you know, any number of things can happen and I’d rather disengage. So then that way I don’t get hurt, you know? And so it could show up in so freaking many ways. And that’s what a lot of our work is, but taking it to like the hot mess, a lot of people look at people who are hot mess or are in aloof and they’re so judgemental about it.

And so I’m gonna take a little bit of a different spin on this question, but cuz I used to do it as well because mine manifested in perfectionism. So it’s like, oh, like why? Like, and I used to be very judgmental of those people be like, why are they such aloof? Like why can’t they show up? But understanding and realizing that that’s just their shame manifesting in a different way for them that that’s how they’re protecting themselves,

allows me to get into a more compassionate space for people. And that really a lot of, you know, the work that I’ve done and a lot of the work that I think we do is bringing it back to yourself and how you can have more compassion for the outside world and how you can engage with the outside world, you know, more enjoyably and enjoy life at the end of the day.

And so even though mine shows up as perfectionism, looking at this other person who shows up as a hot mess doesn’t mean that we can’t get along. I just need to learn how to love them differently. And maybe they just need that compassionate person to come along and be like, okay, I love who you are and all of this, but is there also stuff underneath there?

Like, is this really coming from a genuine point? And one of the things that I thought about actually is like, RuPaul’s drag race. So many of those Queens on there are I feel putting on a face and putting on a show because they think that this is what everybody wants. But then as you watch the season, usually those kind of messy ones get an arc where it’s like,

they kind of are like, I’ve been putting on a show because this is the trauma. And these are the shames that I’ve went through and that I experience. And then that’s, when you see that raw, real moment that people connect with, that they understand that is for everybody we’re all out there on this TV show, acting a certain way. And it’s when you get raw and real and kind of let those parts of you show that that’s what people connect to.

And so if I encourage you that if you connect to those moments where you see that realness and that rawness, that that’s the same for you too, with other people looking at you. So if you want that connection, if you want to move through the shame and process it so that it, you don’t show up as an oo or you don’t show up as,

you know, somebody who doesn’t wanna achieve and all these things you need to process and go through so that you can be vulnerable so that you can show up. And like Michael said, we only heal together. Well, we don’t only, but we do a lot of healing together because we reflect back, like you’re perfectly fine and you’re perfect just the way you are.

And it gives you permission to be more of yourself. So I know that it was kind of a wild little comparison there, but I just thought that like, that’s how I understood this question. That’s what I took from it. That it’s just like my manifestation of shame is in perfectionism. A lot of the time I want to show up, but I wanna show up almost too much.

And then other people’s might be aloof. And that that’s how they show up. And that the core of it really is the shame and how it’s manifesting in your life. So maybe unpacking that Jesse and finding out where that manifestation is coming from for you and why you’re showing up the way that you’re showing up. I know this wasn’t a very in depth question or answer from me because for this question really kind of was difficult for me to unpack.

And so that’s why I think Matt and Michael, you did such a great job. So if people wanna listen to their answers again, go for it. But is there anything you guys would like to say before we end things off here today? I wanna say thank you to the people who asked the question. All of you guys, I’m sorry. We only got to three.

Maybe we can do another one of these, but the, we asked the question, the gay men’s Brotherhoodhood group, which is a lot of people looking at that. So to even ask these questions, I just wanna get kudos to everyone there. Yeah. And thank you for everybody who did ask questions that we didn’t quite get to because, you know,

we only have so much time. We can only answer so many questions, but maybe like Michael said, maybe in the future, we’ll do another one of these. If you liked this, that we can do for you. So in saying that we would like to thank you for watching and listening to the podcast. If you are watching on YouTube, give us a thumbs up and hit the little bell.

We release new episodes every Thursday and leave us a comment. It lets us know that we’re doing something good. Tell us the YouTube algorithm, Hey, keep showing this to people. And then if you’re listening to some sort of a apple podcast or Spotify, you can go give us a star rating and maybe subscribe on apple iTunes. And I think that that is it.

All right. Peace, love rainbows. Everybody have the best day ever. Bye.

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