It’s our nature as humans – and especially as men – to thrive off of tension.
The physical tension of lifting weights at the gym makes our muscles grow. And emotional tension – such as flirting hard with a woman we’re attracted to, an intense movie, or all the emotion that comes with jumping out of a plane – makes us feel alive.
Tension is essential. We can’t grow without it.
That’s what author and entrepreneur Seth Godin wrote about in a recent blog post: “Tension vs Fear.”
Something I’ve always talked about at free talks and in videos is where we get our fill of tension these days, and Godin perfectly echoes – almost down to the word – what I’ve been teaching:
“As adults, we willingly expose ourselves to the tension of a great jazz concert, or a baseball game or a thrilling movie. But, mostly because we’ve been indoctrinated by fear, we hesitate when we have the opportunity to learn something new on our way to becoming the person we seek to be.”
When it comes to learning and growing as a man, there’s going to be a lot of tension in that process if you really want to see great results and changes in your life.
It often requires a lot of vulnerability to face the things you need to face to really shift your beingness and become the most confident, real, successful version of yourself.
There’s a lot of tension around being vulnerable – especially for men.
Doing what it takes to get that shift and results on your own takes stepping into that tension and vulnerability consistently – often over a long period of time.
Whether it be building your own business or (ESPECIALLY) getting better with women, most guys just don’t stick with it…even with endless, high quality, free resources.
And when offered an opportunity to get great coaching that could take years off their learning curve, most hesitate.
There are a lot of reasons for this – valuing material possessions and instant gratification over an investment in yourself and the rest of your life is definitely one of them.
But, as Godin writes, that tension of the investment in yourself, the tension of the unknown, and even a subconscious fear of success and getting what you want is what takes most people out.
You’ll never reach your potential if you don’t build a healthy, positive relationship to tension. And that would be sad – for you, and the rest of the world, really.
Women are drawn to men who are great with tension, and tension is one of the fundamentals of all men who are highly successful.
Godin differentiates between fear and tension in a way that seems a little unnecessary to me, but it’s a great post. Read it here.
Then, ask yourself how you can start changing your relationship to tension. I always recommend the tension journal as a starting point. (The video at that link focuses on dating, but you can – and should – easily apply it to the rest of your life.)
You could also come learn from me, The FEARLESS team, and alumni for two full days at The Fearless Man Live in July or August.
As Godin writes, “The ones who leapt are transformed. The tension pays off.”