Rule Number Thirty for Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

M. Scott Peck said, "Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once, we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult."

Nice Guys make their lives more difficult by thinking they can control what happens to them. When things don't' go their way, when life becomes difficult, they double down on trying to control their circumstances. The result is always the same...more suffering. 

What makes life difficult is our belief that somehow we are in control. When we struggle against reality, we suffer. When we learn to love what life throws our way, we thrive. 

The integrated man knows that control is an illusion and that the way of the warrior is to let go. When we accept reality, we lean into the lesson the Universe has for us, learn from it, and continue on our path towards becoming the best...

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Rule Number Twenty-Nine for Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

It's okay to fail; in fact, failure is a part of life. No one is perfect. I'll often remind myself that there is a reason that pencils come with erasers, and keyboards have a backspace button. It's what we do with our "failures," which is essential. Do we learn from it, or do we continue doing the same thing over again and hope for a different result?

Because Nice Guys tend to see the world in black and white, they are terrified of making mistakes. Their fear of doing the wrong thing keeps them locked into avoidance of anything that they find difficult. Unfortunately, when the Nice Guy avoids conflict, problems, and looking bad, he stunts his growth.

An integrated man lives in the freedom of knowing that mistakes are only growth opportunities. The integrated man doesn't get caught up in ruminating about his errors; he simply decides that what has happened is an occasion for expanding his knowledge.

The integrated man sees life as a laboratory, a place he can experiment to see what...

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Rule Number Twenty-Eight for Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

You've likely heard the stories of someone who had the corporate job, the beautiful house, fancy car, but then one day gave it all up to become an artist, a farmer, or teacher. They gave up what they had so they could get what they wanted. In every case, what the person wanted was this: PURPOSE.

Nice Guys tend to compare themselves to others, so the Nice Guy dives towards doing what he sees other people doing. He never stops to ask himself, "What is my purpose in life?" As a result, he lives a life, like the masses of men, in quiet desperation. He works his job, even though it kills his soul. He stays in a toxic relationship even though he is dying inside. He continues to pour money into things that don't serve him.

The integrated man knows his purpose and chooses to live from his heart. The integrated man can let go of what he has to get what he wants. The integrated man decides to move towards purpose rather than things. As a result, he learns the value of service and understands...

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Rule Number Twenty-Seven for Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

Nice Guys tend to live in their heads. They question everything and everyone. Nice Guys are so busy managing the emotions of everyone else that they lose themselves and forget to have fun.  

Nice Guys are often miserable. When I work with men who have the Nice Guy Syndrome, I will often ask, "When is the last time you had any fun?" They look back at me with the "deer in the headlights" stare. "When was the last time you went on a vacation?" I will ask. I'll get a reply like, "two years ago, we went and visited my wife's parents in Nebraska." "That doesn't sound like much fun. it doesn't sound like you've done anything in a while." I might reply.

Because Nice Guys are afraid to treat themselves well, they forget what "fun" is, and go on as if their need for fun isn't essential.

Nice Guys tend to get stuck in a rut and spin their wheels. After years of caretaking and pushing their needs aside, the Nice Guy has little fun, and nothing is all that enjoyable.

When was the last time you...

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Rule Number Twenty-Six for Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

Procrastination is the Nice Guys kryptonite. Procrastination weakens him like nothing else. "Why do today what you can put off until some other time" is the Nice Guys mantra. Subsequently, he is usually only moderately successful in his life. He thrives in mediocrity, plays it safe, and doesn't rock the boat.

The Nice Guys battle isn't' with an external enemy, and it's within himself. The Nice Guy wages war against his fear of success. He wants to be successful, but he doesn't' want to put in the work. He wants the six-pack abs, the million-dollar home, the successful marriage, but his procrastination always leaves him falling short.

It makes sense when you think about it. With success comes added responsibility, the need to work hard, and the possibility others might be jealous of your accomplishments. Since these are the things the Nice Guy avoids, he puts off what he could and should do and remains in a state of averageness.

The integrated man does it now. He doesn't put off what...

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Rule Number Twenty-Five for Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

In the book No More Mr. Nice Guy, Dr. Glover poses this question: "Why would it seem rational for a person to try to eliminate or hide certain things about himself and try to become something different unless there was a significant compelling reason for him to do so? Why
do people try to change who they really are?"

The answer Dr. Glover offers is "Becoming a Nice Guy is a way of
coping with situations where it does not feel safe or acceptable for a boy or man to be just who he is. Further, the only thing that would make a child or an adult sacrifice one's self by trying to become something
different is a belief that being just who he is must be a bad and/or dangerous thing."

During our early childhood development, if we are taught that there are things about our selves that are unacceptable, we learn to hide those behaviors. For example, a boy who is taught that sex is "bad", and "dangrouse" will grow up learning to hide his sexuality. He then suppresses his natural desires and acts...

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Rule Number Twenty-Four for Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

The Nice Guy thrives on external validation. The problem with this is that when we give someone the power to validate us, we inadvertently provide them with the ability to invalidate us. For this reason, the Nice Guy avoids conflict, and difficult situations like his life depends on it.

No one loves conflict, but an integrated man sees conflict and difficult situations as a way to grow, change, and deepen a relationship.

Conflict happens when two people have needs, and those needs compete with each other. One person needs one thing, and the other person needs something else. Conflict is simply about two people trying to get their needs met.

Because of the Nice Guy's early childhood development of conditioning to acquiesce his needs, he sees conflict as another way he will lose. As a result, he avoids rather than risk the possibility of going without his needs being met.

The integrated man sees conflict as a way to find a solution where both parties can get their needs met. He...

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Rule Number Twenty-Three for Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

Nice Guys tend to have a deprivation mindset. This way of thinking started early in his development because the Nice Guy's needs were not met in a timely and generous way. As a child, the Nice Guy concluded that there "isn't enough for him," and developed a fear that his needs would always go unmet. The Nice Guy developed a core belief that the world is a place of lack rather than abundance.

The Nice Guy's belief that "there isn't enough," eventually morphs into an idea that "I am not enough." As a result, the Nice Guy withholds showing up in the world with the fullness of his strength. The Nice Guy is only moderately successful, never risking it all or going all in because he has been conditioned to believe that he doesn't have what it takes to be truly outstanding.

Then integrated man sees the world as a place of abundance. He believes there is "more than enough" for everyone. The belief of abundance frees him up to live from his heart, give his love, and offer his strength to the...

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Rule Number Twenty-Two for Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

Years ago, I was working with a client who's shoes were utterly worn out. It wasn't that he couldn't afford new shoes; he did quite well for himself. Still, his shoes looked like he found them in a dumpster, badly beaten and soles starting to coming apart from the upper. The next week he came in; this time, his shoes looked like he attempted to fix them with some glue or silicone that had oozed out the side and then dried into a shiny glob.

Week after week, he would come into my office with his tattered shoes. Finally, at one of our sessions, I asked him why he didn't buy himself some new shoes.

"I don't need them, these are fine." He said. "Find?" I questioned. Then I asked him, "Would you let your wife walk around in shoes that were coming apart?" He looked a bit skeptical and said, "Hell, no! I'd take her out right away and get her some new shoes." I asked him, "Why would you treat yourself so poorly?" I could see the light go on inside of him, and he answered: "I guess I don't...

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Rule Number Twenty-One for Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

"You break it; you buy it," read the sign in the store window. I was five or six when I first saw a sign like this and about to go into an antique store with my dad. "Hands in your pockets," he said as we crossed the threshold into the store of many curiosities. Tempting as it was, I knew I had 5 dollars to spend, and I didn't want my birthday money to go towards a busted antique. So my hands stayed firmly planted deep into my jacket pockets.

The lesson was one of accepting the responsibility for our actions. You fuck it up; you fix it. The older I get, the more I understand that responsibility is key to becoming an integrated man. When we are accountable for our actions, we develop trust, not just in others, but within ourselves.

The Nice Guy has Low self-esteem. His low self-esteem isn't about loathing of himself as much as it is about mistrusting himself. My old sponsor used to tell me all the time, "If you want good self-esteem, do esteemable acts." It is esteemable to take...

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