Growing up I was raised to believe that real men don’t cry.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
It was further reinforced by society and movies that portrayed the man as the dominant character, always saving others and a master at concealing emotions. Where tears were a sign of weakness and one could be called a “girl’ for showing emotions.
But in reality, this is far from the truth.
Statistics show that over 30% of men will experience a period of depression at some point in their lifetime.
That’s a huge percentage. Almost one in three men.
Men experience sad emotions and my episode was triggered by work.
I had been put on a temporary project with an overseas team with the verbal promise that based on performance, I would be given a permanent appointment.
I was overjoyed.
I threw myself into the job. I led the team and we produced an outstanding performance.
With high hopes, I returned to the office already preparing myself for an extended stay overseas. I was already making plans on how my family will carry on in my absence.
But I received the shocking news.
I was passed over and someone else was to be given the appointment.
I had this sharp pain run through me, emotionally I was distraught. Immediately I called my wife to tell her about the development.
I was emotionally distraught. I became moody and unhappy that I almost had a car crash with my wife in the car.
My job was my world.
I had found fulfillment in doing my job. Sometimes at great sacrifice to my family.
My wife asked a question which opened my eyes.
She said, “Please could you just stop talking about this? Can you refocus your energy into something meaningful that will engage you and bring the best out of you? You have so much in there to give, you like speaking, telling stories and engaging people in conversations, and yes you can start a blog, write a book or something. Just stop whining like a wimpy child about how you have been treated unfairly.
Honestly those words took me back in time, to my favorite TV show as a child; Sesame Street. I needed to see the treasures within, I needed to look away from the past, the pain and focus on the opportunity in the ‘now’.
If you have ever found yourself in this kind of situation, here are three things to remember.
1. Circumstances Do Not Determine Who You Are.
Because of the need to be successful and excel, men tend to equate their relevance with the success or failure at work. So every promotion is celebrated as a proof of manhood and on the hand, every business failure, dismissal/demotion at work can impact how a man sees himself.
But this is not the truth.
You are more than a paycheck.
And you have a family that thinks the world of you. If you ask your children, their favorite memories of you will most likely not be the times you worked hard to provide for them. Remember that.
2. One Closed Door Means Several Others are Open.
You need to believe that there are more opportunities ahead of you than what you are going through. The famous people we have read about like Colonel Sanders who at age 62 suffered the loss of his kitchen but decided to pitch his chicken recipe to restaurants. He had over 1000 people tell him he was crazy but he never gave up. In 1964 at the age of 74, Sanders sold the company for $2 million dollars!
What if he had thrown in the towel? We wouldn’t know KFC like we know it today.
So, there’s so much more ahead.
Like the famous quote says:
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. – J.P. Morgan
3. You Are Not Alone.
You certainly have people in your life who care about you and want the best for you. Be vulnerable enough to share your struggles with them and at least, get a listening ear. Even if you say you don’t have a supportive family, the world is now a global village. We are all connected in one way or the other and there are groups, resources that can help you reach your goals.
So embrace those moments that show your human weakness. They will someday make good stories for your children too. It’s easier to teach them to face adversities when you share real stories of how you faced yours.
So if you face a situation that calls for tears, cry! Then wipe your tears and move on. You have much to live for.
Go create beautiful memories.
Amachree Isoboye is a happy husband and dad to 3 adorable children. He is a Public Speaker and Life Coach where he helps families to be happier and more productive. Get his free guide on 5 Things Your Teen Wished You Knew. You can also connect with him on Twitter.
Image courtesy of Alex Green.