The Naked Professor joins Gillette to talk about feeling happy in your own skin, and finding the right balance between mind and soul.
Gillette asked me to write about my experiences of feeling happy in my own skin. At a time when men everywhere are finally being encouraged to open up their hearts and consider what it really means to be a man, there’s never been a better time to talk about how it’s possible to be both a strong man and an emotional human being. For me, embracing your emotions can be done not at the expense of your masculinity, but rather, in support of it. Gillette are looking to help men embrace their best selves every day, so it’s a pleasure to join them on their mission.
We all want to feel comfortable with who we are, and be the best version of ourselves. In my view, this is a space in which we can look at who we are – and how we’re showing up in life – with a feeling of pride. In my eyes, it’s where the game of life is won or lost. Not everyone gets there, but if you do, it’s the best feeling in the world.
So the big question for today: how we do it?
I believe that the world we live in is teaching us the wrong formula. As someone who only began to learn about self-love, and the concept of working on the relationship with myself, after the age of 30, I feel well placed to share my learnings.
The best place to start with feeling happier with yourself is to become aware that, as human beings, there are two fundamental parts to us – both of which need to be satisfied. The first is our mind (also known as our ego), a highly sophisticated computer inside of us, whose primary role is to keep us safe. According to our mind, the requirements of staying safe centre around social validation, financial security, looking good, and not failing. Modern, western society subconsciously teaches us that these are the key principles to living a successful life, let me explain.
From a young age, we are taught that education is vital as it will help us to get the job, which then provides a sound springboard to have the nice car, house, garden, holidays, partner etc. And then bingo, we are living a successful life that will feel great. These are all lovely things to have and we need to feel safe, but it’s important we understand that to feel deeply happy in our skin, we need to go beyond our mind’s quest to simply stay safe. This is because the second part of us that we have to satisfy is our soul, and it’s this that often gets forgotten.
The game of life is challenging because our soul craves the opposite to many of the things our mind leads us towards. While our soul wants us to seek adventure, self-expression, purpose, creatively, love, kindness, deep connection & belonging, our mind wants security, conformity, home comforts, familiarity, certainty, to avoid rejection or failure, strength & being liked.
I hope you can see, the two require very different behaviours. If we want to thrive, it is our job to firstly become aware of the different energies, then we can learn to choose which to prioritise and when. Whilst staying safe is important, so too is living in tune with our soul’s energy. Life can be navigated well if we put equal energy into serving both our mind & our soul.
A forgotten soul will show up as a feeling of unease within, an uncomfortable feeling within – low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, a feeling of emptiness or feeling stuck. So my advice to find happiness in your own skin? First and foremost, find out about your soul’s energy, what does that want? Who does it want you to be? Who are you, what are your deepest values? If you don’t know, what chance do you have to live in tune with them? Our soul wants us to show up and express our truth, who are we really when we aren’t defined by our job and possessions? That’s for you to figure out, if you don’t know, then it’s time to check in with yourself. We can hide our emotions from others, but we are the ones who live with how we feel.
If you want to find happiness in your own skin, don’t get confused and preoccupied with who your ego wants you to be. That energy will send you looking for wins, likes, popularity, a powerful job, money, cars, possessions, fame etc, none of which will benefit your soul’s energy.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong taking pride in being at your best, having a nice house, car or whatever else you choose to spend your well earned money on. But it’s important we understand not to expect those things to make you feel truly fulfilled within. There is more to life, your challenge is to discover what your soul wants and to live in tune with that. It may take you to uncomfortable places where you have to be vulnerable to truly love, laugh, cry and be seen. Your mind thinks these things could become areas of weakness and may steer you to avoid them, (it’s safer staying neutral), but your soul desperately wants you to go there.
So, want to feel happy in your skin? Re-address the behaviour balance between your mind-soul, stop living to please other people and start living to please your own soul. Learn to connect more with your purpose and worry less about how you look. Learn to share your creative talents more than spending all your time on earning well but without self-expression. When you live in tune with your soul, you become connected, aligned, purposeful and, fundamentally, happy in your own skin. This, I believe, is the key to becoming the best version of yourself.
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh”
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