Oh boy, where to start…
When I first created Masculine Development I was putting out 3-4 articles a week, sometimes an article a day, for the first year. Eventually I switched into “maintenance mode,” and started putting out an article or two a week.
Yet I noticed that something began to happen as my blog grew larger and larger, and I became more and more internet famous. Something deep inside of me was changing.
That fear that we all have, that fear of being judged, that nagging little voice that stops your true authentic self from shining through…I’m about to kill it for you today.
The War of Art
“Art is a war—between ourselves and the forces of self-sabotage that would stop us from doing our work. The artist is a warrior.” -Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
When I first started Masculine Development in 2015, I had no inhibitions. I wrote freely, without concern for what anyone thought—but as I grew larger and larger, and as my work began to be featured on popular blogs, manosphere websites, and even the news, I began to second guess myself.
Suddenly I wasn’t just writing for myself, as a passion. I was writing for thousands and thousands of men to see; the responsibility that sat on my shoulders was overwhelming.
I’ve seen good men—nay, great men—be torn down from their pedestals, because some crazy feminist, disgruntled ex-client, or angry journalist wrote some hit piece on them. I’ve seen men like Julien Blanc, Milo Yiannopoulos, Jordan B. Peterson, and Victor Pride smeared by soulless media conglomerates out to make a quick buck.
Are these men perfect? No, of course not. Do they use shock value and clickbaity titles to get more views? Sure, what internet marketer doesn’t? But do they deserve to have the full force of the entrenched media establishment twist their words, and ruin their entire fucking lives? No, they don’t.
Yet, I won’t lie—I’m terrified of this. I’m terrified of the day that some bitter individual with a victim complex sees a single article on my blog, takes it out of context, and then just like that, I wake up to an inbox filled with 15,000 messages telling me that I’m a horrible person, I belong in jail, and I should die. This terrifies me. It genuinely does.
The World As We Know It
We live in an age where a single outraged individual with access to the internet can post a tweet, and within mere seconds the entire world can be up in a frenzy. This rapid, viral spread of information has never existed until today—and while it’s certainly a very powerful tool for good, it’s also incredibly damaging.
Yet still, I press on. We as men have lost our way. We’re trapped in a society that doesn’t value us, we’re isolated from one another, and we’re devalued by our culture. We are no longer meaningful in the eyes of the elite, the social engineers, and the SJW types.
Every single day, men are crying out for help; crying out for guidance. We’re lost, and we need someone to show us the light—we can’t have the blind leading the blind, yet who am I to profess myself as the epitome of masculinity? Who the hell am I?
Some kid who got into self-development, dropped out of college, and now has a blog? Some kid who just has a bunch of good habits? Like working out, eating healthy, reading, meditating, and working hard? Is that all I really am, and if so how the hell does that qualify me to spearhead a movement?
I’m just a guy. I’m literally just a guy. I play MMORPG’s sometimes, because they’re fun. I get scared sometimes, because I’m human. I fail, more than you guys probably know. I’ve done things that I’m not proud of, and I’ve projected this image of being a 100% confident, masculine, alpha dude that I can’t live up to.
People Crave Authenticity
Masculine Development has been lacking authenticity for quite some time, but I feel as if I’ve been stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand I want to be as honest as possible—I want to expose myself, and be vulnerable, and share the insights that I’ve so painstakingly learned from my experience.
At the same time however, I don’t want to appear weak. I’m afraid that if I say too much, the criticism will overwhelm me. I’m afraid that I’ll suffer the same fate as Julien Blanc or many of the other pickup artists who were demonized by the entrenched media industry, just so that they could incite anger and get views.
Yet even so, I think it’s high time that I stop my whining and moaning and get back to my regular writing routine. Nobody gives a flying fuck what I think or how I feel, including me, because do you know what? I have an audience, and I have a responsibility.
Every day I get emails from men thanking me for how I’ve somehow bettered their lives, and I won’t lie, it’s a little bit surreal. “I did that?” I think. “Wow, I guess I did do that,” I’ll say to myself, not even fully grasping the impact I’m having on other people. I’m just a guy.
The Purpose of This Article
Some of the comments and emails I’ve gotten absolutely baffle me. I got one the other day where someone said he envisioned me as being some bald 40-year old jacked dude with a hulking beard, reminiscent of some Greek god or something. What the hell do I even say to this?
I’m 23 fucking years old. I dropped out of college. I had crippling depression for years, I was severely bullied for years, I hated myself for years, and I was incredibly socially anxious for years. I had a year-long nervous breakdown in 2nd grade, for reasons I won’t go into—but believe me, it’s pretty fucked up.
Yet somehow, I overcame these things—somehow I’ve moved forward. So why do I say this? Why am I making this article? This is certainly a departure from my usual “be an alpha male,” and “stop being a bitch” type pieces, so what the hell am I trying to say here?
Do you know what I’m trying to say? Have you guessed it yet? I’m just a fucking guy. I’m just a fucking guy who’s shed blood, sweat, and tears to get his life together after the disaster that was my childhood. I’m literally just a fucking guy, and so are you.
I’m not magic, I’m not special, and I’m not even unique. I’m just a fucking guy with a gargantuan work ethic and an impossible will to break. I get up, and I try, and I try, and I try—and it doesn’t matter how many times I fall down, I will continue to fucking get up and keep trying.
So how does this pertain to you, my friends? What does this have to do with you? Well, to be honest it’s quite simple. Everything that I’ve achieved, although it isn’t much, can be achieved by you. I’m no different than you are, believe me. I think about my limits every single day.
I’m not a guru, I’m not a “master,” and I’m certainly not some fucking perfect entity who’s the living embodiment of masculinity. I’m just a dude who’s trying his best day in and day out—and I honestly hope that this gives you all the motivation you need to conquer life. I love you guys and wish you all the success in the world.