The biggest obstacle facing men today is their own conditioning.
Sadly, instead of growing up to be a healthy human being, men are conditioned to grow up to be “men,” which immediately limits their options to an incredibly narrow range of masculine ideals and behaviors and how the culture defines being a “man.”
The main conditioning influences for boys are: other boys/men, their dads, TV/internet, movies, politics, and sports. Most of which still define masculinity as :
Tough, strong, powerful, brave, figure it out on your own, suck it up, man up, stop whining or crying about it and get on with it, lead,
don’t be a pussy,
don’t act like a girl, don’t act gay,
don’t act weak, don’t whine, don’t cry,
money equals success,
win at all costs,
competition is good, be a good man, etc etc.
So for a boy to survive and not be rejected by his peers and culture, he has to conform.
As these boys grow up into men, they allow someone else to define who they are and how to be. As a result, men abandon and disconnect from themselves, which calcifies slowly over time.
A common remedy is to medicate away this truth through addictive behaviors such as porn, drugs, alcohol tv, and technology. Men then buy what’s expected of them as their ability to listen to their own inner authority fades and thus the hamster wheel continues.
If a brave man sees through this trap, he can realize that the culture’s version of masculinity doesn’t fit for him and he can then choose to be the author of his way of being. Ironically though, if a man decides to leave the gender box behind, he will face the same gauntlet of judgment he experienced as a boy that put him in the box in the first place—more conditioning. He will be a threat to other men who want him to conform. It’s almost cult-like to remain in the gender box.
Most gender-compliant men and women want other men to stay in the man-box club.