Let’s Talk About Fear…

Let’s talk about “Fear.” How can Fear help? Here’s how: Facing Fear is the key, if only for today, of moving forward. We need to face up to Fear. So, first, let’s talk about Fear. Our Fear could be lingering Fear left over from something that has happened in the past. Or, it could be Fear caused by questionable conditions in the present.



Guilt is a healthy emotion that informs you that you have made a mistake. Guilt is healthy because it confirms that you have a moral compass. The only people who cannot feel guilt are psychopaths, so be thankful if you can feel guilt. Guilt is closely related to shame, but the difference is stark. Guilt informs you that you MADE a mistake, while shame tells you that you ARE a mistake. Guilt is also connected with accountability which involves agreements with others, and integrity which defines your own moral compass and how you see yourself. According to Susan Krauss’ article, “The Definitive … Continue reading


Do you believe that if you are vulnerable, others will think you are weak and they will take advantage of you? Every time I sit in circle with other men and women, this toxic belief surfaces its ugly head. Brene Brown is a college professor who has studied vulnerability and shame and produced some of the most popular talks on Ted.com. In this talk, she is back, talking about the price of invulnerability.

Shame and Guilt

I have staffed over 40 Mankind Project New Warrior Training Adventure weekends and helped initiate over 1,000 men into mature manhood. The theme that I see over and over is some variation on, “I am not good enough, not worthy, not lovable”. I kept asking myself, what is this all about? Where does this toxic belief come from? Several years ago, I discovered Brene Brown’s, “Listening to Shame” which has now been viewed on Ted.com over 7,000,000 times. There’s a clue here. Paraphrasing Brene Brown, the messages I kept hearing are shaming messages. They echo a core belief that says “I … Continue reading

Empathy vs. Sympathy

Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow or pity for the hardships of another while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. Although compassion is often welcome, sorrow and pity do not enhance connection. All three are reactions to the plight of another, but empathy is sitting down with someone and feeling remembering the experiences you have had in similar circumstances. When my brother’s wife died of cancer, I felt sorrow and compassion, but because I had not yet lost someone so close to me, I could not empathize with him. All I could do was sit and hold space … Continue reading