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The Insecurity of Men with Robert Kandell

​In this next episode, my guest Robert Kandell, shares a powerful message for all men trying to find their way during this confusing and questionable time. 


Men have been left behind when it comes to promoting a healthy and fulfilling life. They have been fed a lot of garbage over the years that is leaving men unfulfilled and unhappy.


Robert shares his framework that not only has made lasting change in his life, but also of his clients. There needs to be more powerful messages for men and this is one of them.


To connect with Robert Kandell visit http://robertkandell.com

STRONG Men Podcast Available on iTunes and Stitcher

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​Ep. 21 - Robert Kandell

Anthony:

Hello and welcome to the Strong Men Podcast - Empowering Men to Thrive. I'm Anthony Treas from strongmencoaching.com where I share how men can thrive in their life and live a more fulfilling and meaningful life. I'd like to give a shout out to my listeners from around the world from Canada, UK, India, Australia, New Zealand, and Colombia. Welcome and thank you for listening. Continue to stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @strongmancoach. Let's get right into today's episode. My next guest, Robert Kandell is an expert in helping people bypass their own self imposed limitations in all aspects of their business and in life. Robert, welcome to the Strong Men Podcast.


Robert:
Thank you. It's wonderful to be here.


Anthony:
Well, great. Well, let's get right into this, Robert. we had a brief conversation just before this recording. And we started talking about your passion in helping men and you know that we're right now. And it's a difficult time for men. What are you seeing right now that men are having the most difficulties with?


Robert:
Well, I think it's been a progressive challenge over many, many decades. The research I've done have shown that there's been significant changes in say last 50 years, 50-55 years, that's really impacted men. To pull the lens back slightly. In my research, the beginning of patriarchy started somewhere between 3500 and 4,000 BC. So, the patriarchy has been in effect for 6,000 years, generations after generations, after generations. But what's happened in the last 50 years has been a pretty epic, but subtle change in terms of the dynamics between men and women. There's been programs created for women to rise up to find their power to meet and close the gap inside the patriarchy, which I think is awesome, and so important, but the impact has been on men is there hasn't been complimentary programs for men to match this change in women. And so, what I've seen, especially last 10 or 15 years is that disillusionment of men, not knowing who to be, feeling the change, and not knowing how to talk about it, how to connect their emotions about it. So this change of the last 50 years has been serious, but not discussed or confronted, and having men feel lost.


Anthony:
And what do you feel like is happening right now today with men in their struggles?


Robert:
Well, I think #metoo tapped in last year, October 2017, was the first reporting of the Harvey Weinstein attention, which of course, sparked #metoo. #Metoo has been around actually since 2008, but as the revitalization of women saying, hey, this isn't working anymore, you know, you can't do that. That's an appropriate. And were in the past, there's been a lot of silence, non confrontation and non willingness to really bring it to the forefront. I've seen in the last year, a significant rise and across the board. And so one friend I saw on Facebook said, I never felt less safe to be a man and women are saying the opposite. I've never felt this safe to be a woman.


So what's happening is men security is being impacted by this change. And what's happening is, instead of rising up to face the challenge, to look at their privilege, to look at what's happening, they're actually shrinking, quitting, giving up, playing more video games, swearing off sex, going to porn, and I feel this dis-association of men in society. And so for me, my job is to say, Hey, guys, wake up, it's time to rise up, it's time to see the impact and to make some definitive changes in our lives. And in the world.


Anthony:
Yeah, you bring up a really good point in that, men are, and I've had other conversations with men and women, women who do work with men, and how this #metoo movement has made men check out, check out of relationships, check out of pursuing women and these sorts of things. And so, what can a man do right now, in this movement, you see their shrinking back. There are consequences that obviously, right, it's impacting relationships, it's impacting their life, their social health, their mental health, what can men do to, you said, they've shrunk back rather than rise up to this challenge. What can they personally do to face this challenge, and to better themselves as men?


Robert:
Well, with every journey, there's steps, and I have my own framework. And maybe I can just say that to add to the conversation. I've created a framework for success or a framework for change. And the first step of every journey is a confrontation with the issue. If we go to Joseph Campbell, and here with 1000 faces the model myth, it's when the man status quo, the hero status quo gets shaken up. Luke Skywalker was happy on the Big Planet, doing what he's doing and all of a sudden, these droids show up and change his entire life. It's the shake up and #metoo is the shake up. So, the first step really is to confront what's happening, instead of, as you said, shrinking away from what's going on in his life in his brothers lives is to look, it's a stand up code towards the challenge, the pain, the uncomfortable feeling, to see what's actually happening. That's step number one.


Anthony:
Excellent. So really facing the challenge. And really, as you mentioned, there's this desire to change, right? There's this wanting to, to look into their own self as to what they can do. Is that where you're saying as far as what step one is.


Robert:
Step one is really just an awareness. Step three, which get to is the commitment to change. But the first is be like, Huh, you know, whereas I thought my life was going, how I thought my relationship was supposed to be, where I felt like a man, where I felt safe, it's not what I expected. And it's a wake up, it's sort of like, you look in the mirror and you like, Huh, I've gained 10 pounds, and I'm a little pudgy or I can feel my lungs because I'm smoking too much, or I'm don't feel as connected to my woman. Even though we've been together for years. It's feels like something's gone skewy. I don't know what it is. It's that moment of saying, oh, open the eyes wider, smell the coffee, wake up and say, okay, something's going on. And I need to look at,


Anthony:
Okay, so the first part is, step one is the awareness, being aware that there is a change that needs to happen or to face or to be aware of what is happening right now, because not only in their own life, but also this challenge towards men on this #metoo. And this, the feminist movement, and what that's going on, and seeing how they, how it's impacting their life. What's, step two?


Robert:
Step two is called investigate. And that's okay. The first step for me is always to look around and to explore. A lot of men, when faced with this challenge want to fix it right away, they want to just fix it. It's like a hot potato. We don't want to hold it, we want to just like, do something and be in motion. And what I recommend to myself, first and foremost, into my clients, is to take a time to really investigate to see what's happening. That could be looking, if you're a smoker, and you know, you want to change, look at the impact of smoking, look at how other people have quit smoking. If it's a relationship thing, you know, start to ask questions of your partner, what's going on, like, just go into that investigator mode, look on the internet, check out Facebook groups. Start to really dive into the details of the thing you've confronted, to gain more knowledge. It could be a day, that could be a month, that could be several months, I'm not saying a specific time frame, but increase your awareness and your acumen of what's happening. So you can make a more informed decision going forward.


Anthony:
So first comes the awareness. Then comes the questioning of yourself of where am I, because you bring up a couple things, you bring up relationships, and how, if a relationship is not going as well, there's got to be that wake up period, right? Like, what's going on? What can I do? How am I contributing to it, and then working from there? Is that correct?


Robert:
Yes, that's what I'm saying.


Anthony:
And step three?


Robert:
Step three is commitment. And this is something that most men won't do or don't do. Like, we'll commit to a workout program. Yeah, like okay, we'll commit, or we'll commit to a diet. But when it comes to up leveling around our emotional life, or personal life, or intimate life, there's not this commitment. And I think this is not stepping up, you refer to. It takes commitment to evoke change, to actually go into a practice. And so if you're in a place where you're looking at your relationship, and it doesn't feel as powerful as one was, make a commitment for time period to put energy intention to it. Yes, I'm going to climb that mountain. Yes, I'm going to build a practice that has me feel more connected. It is just a commitment. And it doesn't have to be a lifelong commitment.


In fact, I actually recommend smaller cycles of time, one month, 28 days tends to be a really good set of time. We are committing to putting energy and attention of the thing you want to change. And, do you have to be witness? Do you have to tell a friend? Do you have to put on Facebook? To do this change, do you have to do some blood ceremony or burn something, like whatever it is, you know, but the point is, is just to say, I am committed to making this change. And then that's a really important step to take you through the rough times the journey.


Anthony:
I like how you bring this up. Because any change, any real change requires total commitment. You know, think of a time one of the things that I bring up oftentimes, is think of a time when you were in a team, and someone wasn't giving their full effort into the team to win the game, they're going to be called out on that, right, you know, what it's like, or maybe you've been on a team where you you weren't giving it your all, you know, you know, the difference between being fully in something and being maybe half committed. Also, think of a time when you were in a relationship and that other person wasn't fully committed, you knew you were giving more to the relationship, right, or when you weren't really fully into the relationship, you know, when there is that full commitment and when there isn't. So knowing that those level of commitment or knowing commitment, or knowing the change that you want to make in anything requires commitment to making that change. Is there a fourth step?


Robert:
Yes, the fourth step is actually the practice. So you have a commitment, you've done your research, you've confronted. And now it's time to build the practice. So by yourself, if you have the imagination of the skill for it, or hire a coach or ask a group of friends, build a practice of how to get from point A to point B. And to build your practice, you implement the practice. Inside the implementation of the practice are two other things. One is accountability. So to keep commitment, it's very difficult to do by yourself. Not impossible, but very difficult. So get accountability buddy, have a friend say, Hey, can I text you every day and check in around my eating, can I get a trainer. I have a personal trainer at my gym, who up levels me so deeply. But then accountability for my commitment to work out. And then inside, there's also modification.


And this is something we don't often think about. We get into our very masculine, no pain, no gain, you know, no retreat, no surrender. But I actually recommend inside a practice to allow for some modification. I want said, I want to do 60 yoga classes, 60 hot yoga classes in 70 days, I was on this really crazy, now that I'm going to do i!. So I, I did like two weeks of that. And I was dying, it was affecting my work, it was affecting my sleep, it was affecting my relationship. And I was like, this is nuts. And I actually modified from 60 yoga classes to 45 yoga classes in 70 days, which is still pretty good. I thought, four and a half times a week, you know, like for four times one week, but the modification from the insanity of 60 to 45 actually enabled me to make those goals of that 10 weeks. And so, don't get in too deep into your ego, or your your masculine force, instead of power, really allow yourself to modify, and then you just go through the cycle of that 28 days, those two months without the timeframe is a working on your practice with accountability, and with the willingness to modify as needed.


Anthony:
Yeah, Robert, seems like these four steps have made an impact in your life. Do you have an example of somebody that you have worked with, where they went from the awareness to the questioning to through these four steps, do you have an example.


Robert:
So many, so many, I'm so blessed to work with people who are willing to do the work. Yes, you know, as a coach, you know, yeah, basically, you can look into different clients with different shades of grey, of course, but there's, there's people sign up and don't really want to do the work and people sign up or really want to do the work. And so for people who really want to do the work, one of my favorite clients is a guy whose wife cheated on him. And after they've been talking about opening up their relationship, having a non monogamous relationship. And he not confronted the whole conversation, he basically just said, I don't want to talk about it, until she got so fed up that she went off and slept with another guy. So all feelings aside, he was faced with the choice, the choice number one, was just to leave her, which he didn't want to do. The choice number two, was to go on this journey to understand how this happened, what's the predicament, how he co-created it, and then to figure out where he wanted to go. So taking him through this process.


The first was really having him confront his co-creation of her cheating. Now, legally, people could look at this and say, he was the victim of her cheating. But in my view, and eventually what he came to see was that she was asking for a year, and he wouldn't even engage in the conversation. And when Finally, she got so fed up and to communicate that this, she was a free woman. And she was a powerful woman, she did it as a wake up call. So, he confronted all the places he had been closed. Then together, we investigated his desire around open relating, his desire about how to be in an open relationship, the whole concept that was totally alien, there's a whole world to him that he didn't even know about. And so just to learn, and see the different aspects of it. And then he committed to working at it, and engaging in it. And he said, I really, I want to go on this journey. And I warned him like, this is not going to be easy.


Every aspect of your masculinity, every male dominated, patriarchal viewpoint is going to be touched. He's like, no, I really want to learn. So he committed and then we built a practice around it. And I can tell you now six months later, he left the East Coast which didn't want to be and he's living in sunny California, his wife and him are happier more honest and he's ever been. He's dating outside the relationship and having unique experiences, while up leveling his primary relationship. And it's just as upward spiral because he went on the journey. So you, you can take this framework and go into really small things like, I want to lose five pounds, to I want to be an Iron Man. Like it, it's the same process, but it does take deliberateness and the steps and commitment and really I don't want to ever pass up that third step. It's so important committing because that's where you build your power. That's where you build your self esteem. And that's why I love to see men do.


Anthony:
Yeah, it's exciting to hear this story. And thank you for sharing. Because, like you said, every aspect of masculinity was going to be tested and challenged. And for him, it was, he had the desire, seemed like he was totally committed. And I think oftentimes in some shape or form, like men are afraid of commitment. And it's the it's in this commitment that your life can change. Your life can improve. You can be become a better man. You could be more aware man. You can be so much greater than yourself right now. But that commitment is totally required and making that happen. So thank you for sharing that story. Now, you have a book coming out "Un-Hidden" a Book for Men and Those Confused by Them. Tell me about your book.


Robert:
My book is it's my life's work. Basically, my story is I felt I was normal until I was on 28. Then I had my wake up call. And then I've been on my own hero's journey for 20 years. I did my own personal work and then I started an organization called One Taste in 2004, which taught about relationship, intimacy, sexuality and communication. I did that for about 12 years and left in 2014, and been on my own journey. Now for four years building my consulting and my life coaching. I have a podcast, got married to an amazing woman, co-parenting two kids. And so the book is a composite of all the things I've learned and all the lessons and my main ideas and concepts. It's a pragmatic guidebook for men in the 21st century, to live a rich expanded life. And it's includes exercises, there's an online portal.


We're going to add some missions from men in there to go out in the world and interact and try some of these concepts out. I have a Facebook group where people can read the book and talk about their experiences. I really want to create a great pragmatic guidebook for men. Now, there's not many great men's books out there. There's certainly some. I don't want to diminish the masters of, you know, David Data, and Dr. Robert Glover and there's definitely some serious ones out there. But there's not many. So, I wanted to add one that was current included #metoo, included a technology, included communication, so men who are feeling isolated and lost, pulled back, can feel inspired and have a pragmatic guide to live their lives they've always dreamed about,


Anthony:
Let me ask you, what was your inspiration to write this book?


Robert:
It was my wife's fault.

Yeah, you know, I joke mostly, but she really just tapped into my desire. So, this is around 2016. And I was like, I don't want, it really was a whine. I don't want to write a book! Everyone's writing books. I want to write a book. And she know, she really said to me, like, Rob, you have a gift of sight, you have the answers from men that men need, it's going to get worse out there. And you know what to do. You know, she didn't like say, it was my responsibility. But she really just saw inside of me, this desire, and this, this need to make an impact this need to help other men. And so she inspired me. And so, I really started the journey in early 2017, and it's coming out in November 15. So, it's been about a two year process. And it's so good. It's been such a rich, deep experience, I've had to resolve feelings about my childhood. I've had to resolve things around my Dad.


I've had to be able to codified my thoughts, my feelings, and show really personal stories about my relationships, being betrayed by business partners, it's really all in there. So, it's been a total healing journey for me. And the people who've read it said, it's going to make an impact. And so I'm glad to hear that. And I hope it does just impact. If I can impact one man to say, God, thank you're speaking my language. That would be amazing. But I'm hoping for the masses. So we can actually get out of this terminal uniqueness, this belief that we're the only ones with these problems, so that we can look up and tip our head back and put on our trainers, and put on a backpack and climb that mountain to live the lives we truly think you want. And I think men deserve.


Anthony:
That's awesome, Robert, and thank you for all your effort that is taking you to write this book. I'm actually looking forward to reading this book. And for all the men out there listening. It's great for other men to be sharing their life and the lessons and how it can make an impact in our life. And I think it will, and it's exciting to meet more men such as yourself, Robert, who has a passion in working with men to help them to live a more meaningful and fulfilled life. And that we can as men, we can, step up and face this challenge and that we shouldn't draw away from it. We shouldn't withdraw and check out of this life, that there is an amazing life to live and we can live our best selves and be who we are authentically and live in a world with females and be happy and be in great relationships. However you define that, you and your partner, and so it's great to hear, Robert, your book will be coming out towards the end of this year. I recommend all listeners to check that out. Did you mention it will be hard back It will also be available on Kindle, different devices?


Robert:
It will be soft cover, okay, which will make it more affordable and it'll be available on Kindle immediately. And then, the audio book, I'm shooting for December, God willing, maybe January. So I'm really want to get the audio book. I know a lot of men like listening the audio. I like audio audible books. So look for the either the printed and there's more things coming down the line. But that'll be available in November 15.


Anthony:
Robert, any last encouraging words for the men who are listening from around the world, any inspiring message for them?


Robert:
The main thing is my belief system is that you can only go from bad to good and good to better you can't go from bad to better. And so when I talk to men, regardless of the circumstance, regardless how things are, I'd like to view them and invite them to reframe their life that they're actually going good and they can make it better and then you better becomes your good and there's another level of better. So regardless of what's happening, if you can't get the girl, you can't lose the weight, you can't get the job, you're feeling insecure, you have a porn challenge, you play to many video games, you smoke too much, whatever it is, okay that's good. Now, how do we make that better? Make it a practice to move from good to better rather than torture yourself that you're stuck in the bad. And the second thing is I want to give my website where you can find all things Rob can dial it's RobertKandell. com. You can pre-order the book. My podcast is on there. There's good men project articles. There's lots of stuff on there.


Anthony:
Excellent! Robert, I want to thank you for taking the time to be here today. Thank you for your excellent message and from what you were doing and helping men for them to be the greatest self. Thank you so much.


Anthony:
I'm Anthony Treas from Strong Men Coaching and until next time, stay strong!

Do you want to be a strong man? Are you ready to thrive and start living your best years yet visit strongmencoaching.com and get ready to thrive!



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