Ok. First things first. This Wingman needed a boost in energy ✨ Lobbing off 8” for a fresh look. I feel awesome😏, professional, kick-ass and ready to tackle 2020 with YOU.
ONE of the reasons I am so very passionate about coaching gentlemen is because of my father. Growing up, I could see and hear the stress he faced every day — juggling work as a college professor by day , then officiating basketball in the evenings, organizing weekend events for friends, herding two daughters to maintain our property of gardens, a Christmas tree business, and golf driving range. But, sometimes, I actually FELT the stress he carried around on his shoulders and in his head —meaning, his overworking, seeming obsession on making money, and constant focus OUTWARD with strangers (instead of INWARD towards his family)— weighed on me as a kid. Sure, he did what he could to be “present”, but the pressures he created and inherited with regards to his career, his past, his parents and his conscience made it very difficult to understand this man, let alone really feel like I had a relationship with him.
I have spent the past 16 years working my tail off to build a NEW relationship with Pop… but damn, it’s tough to pick up and toss what time has nailed to the floor.
My point is: I believe wholeheartedly that my father would be a different man —more grounded, less regretful, more connected to family, less fearful of the future— if he’d had some kind of coach in his corner. And, dare I say, a strong FEMALE, at that —who would have provided objective feedback, empathetic listening, unshakable accountability, strategic guidance, and unconditional encouragement. And who could have helped this man create a life that balanced career WITH family, and bloomed more open communication, confidence, joy, creativity, endurance, thankfulness, and love.
Having coached and advised men in business for over 17 years, any chance I earn to serve a client as his coach and wingman I take very seriously. For I know that I may be the very person who helps a man light up his own life before it’s too late.
Just as MAY is the month of women, to me… JUNE is the month of men. And I say that with absolute love, compassion, curiosity and appreciation. It’s become a recurring timeslot wherein I default to thinking about my relationships with the ‘important’ gents in my life… the most prominent and precious being the bond I have with my own pop — the man I love to pieces, even as he drives me crazy!
So, cheers to the Dads, the Uncles, the Dudes who aspire to wear those hats. Invest in yourself and perhaps this month may bring you a positive shift in perspective, in habits, in attitudes, and in resolution towards becoming the most awesome man you can be.
Never Stop EVOLVING.
So the clock struck, a page turned, and time beckoned you to welcome the coming of a new year. Happy 2017. I wonder just what that sounded like for you. Did you hear the familiar, pleasant “ding” that announces you’ve reached your destination while the Otis doors open? Or was the sound more a visceral humm, like Tibetan bowls, a heavy, mysterious message to be more intentional?
Or were your ears shattered with the screams of an unwelcomed clock alarm (bellowing…oh, something like Aerosmith’s “Back in the Saddle”) … scaring the begeezus out of you? “For the love of God, how can it be time to get up and going already?!”
Whichever way 2017 entered your ears, the rest of your body and mind understood that it was just another day unfolding. And yet, your soul knew that that new day was a gift, just like the day before and after. A blessing that promised you countless more suns and moons. To live out loud and outside the lines. On purpose and on fire. With hope and with possibility.
But with that promise, it… time… God… the world… asked you for a response. To act in kind with a heart of gratefulness and a mind committed to work to be a smidge better than yesterday …and eventually become the most evolved version of yourself.
Each day you get to frolic on this massive green and blue sphere you’re asked to follow a code. Because a man who seeks to leave a positive impact and legacy for those who follow him must first live in way that churns a wake of authenticity, love, courage, forgiveness, humility and integrity. And this my friends, takes discipline; dedication to a promise you make to no one else but yourself.
So, if you’re not leading a life with unwavering commitment to noble principles –let alone haven’t even created a plumb line of reference…well, it’s damn high time you did. And, frankly, this is what separates the boys from the men…punk-ass guys from the real gentlemen. Which brings me to the most practical, universal, truth-filled and bulletproof canon of guiding wisdom I have ever discovered, outside of the Bible.
The Four Agreements, defined in a book by Toltec Master Don Miguel Ruiz, fell into my lap 17 years ago. To this day it is THE one book that I have consistently and solely recommended to friend, client, family member and stranger alike – the tenets are without flaw. Without imposition, fanfare or guru egotism it serves as a foundation to being a human being and evolving into a man who truly knows himself and understands that his thoughts, words and actions impact society. The Four Agreements is a code offering a compass when the manifestation of your fears and hopes, assumptions and expectations, memories and imaginings yank you off track and cause you to react without thought of consequence.
So without further ado:
- Be Impeccable with Your Word
They say there was a time when a man’s word was his handshake- an invaluable virtual, vocal signature and promise to deliver. It also expressed honor to a fellow man. No doubt, you have been sucker-punched by another’s backtracking and bullshit- so you know that trouble deceitful actions cause. Well, I say it’s never not your time to hang your reputation on your word; but moreso, impeccability reflects how you feel about yourself and your choice to NOT go against what you deem truly right, to NOT express blame, criticism or gossiping, and your willingness to accept responsibility for what unfolds. Say what you mean, mean what you. When you lead with truth and transparency the universe echoes an equal response.
- Don’t Take Anything Personally
To quote author and minister Dr. Ervin Seale, “There is one recurring, persistent, perennial, and dogging personal problem which, more than any other, steals the force and peace of people and ruins projects and enterprises and careers. It is the habit of feeling hurt because of what others do or do not do and what they say or do not say.”
I know, gents, you act like negative opinions don’t penetrate your armor, while positive feedback is essential fuel for your ego. Well, the truth that permeates all ages is that virtually nothing other people do or say is because of you; it all stems from the state of their moods, perspectives, feelings, fears, hopes, assumptions, expectations, memories and imaginings- and that all changes moment to moment. Think of your own shifting opinions! So, if you’re ready to shit-can your knee-jerk reactions of anger, disappointment, jealousy, self-doubt and sadness, accept the crappy reality that folks are by default inconsistent, unsettled and divided in their opinions. The truth becomes a helluvalot easier to sift out as do your truly accurate feelings and responses.
- Don’t Make Assumptions
Hindsight will always deliver a painful face-jam of truth when your inaccurate expectations infiltrate your relationships- both personal and professional. Leading with a tainted agenda is like pouring spoiled cream into a long-awaited cup of coffee. Each interaction you face is a faceless deck of cards with positive potential. Allow the future to unfold organically, ask questions and your responses will net less drama and heartburn and more promise.
- Always Do Your Best
I’m always amazed to see a grown man barely investing in his health, family, personal growth, community or church… but he’ll take painstaking steps to reach a title or financial goal, create the perfect tailgating party, or drive a killer car that never has a spot of dirt on it. If you’re willing to admit to this- and you think folks don’t see the slacker side, I’ve got news for you. People will soon forget the big deals you close, that over-the-top event, your fancy toys and spotless house… but they’d certainly dog-ear, learn from and talk about your positive attitude, tireless work ethic, commitment to wellbeing, unwavering love for your spouse and friends, and inspiring pledge to serve.
Frankly, this last agreement is the fuel to all the others. When you choose to lead with your very best in all you do and say- know that it ignites a self-feeding cycle of enthusiasm and gratification for the authenticity, love, courage, forgiveness, humility and integrity that both you and the rest of your world get to experience.
Ultimately, life is about relationships; everything you do and say impacts people’s minds and hearts. , because of the life you exude. And so, it starts with the promises you make to yourself, the code you follow.
Never Stop EVOLVING. – KD
©2017 Kimberlie Dykeman. Sponsored by Kimberlie Dykeman Enterprises Performance Coaching, Retreats & Wingman Support for businessmen, athletes & startups.
Since the first race I ever ran, through launching multiple businesses, my pop has been a trusted coach, confidante and wingman.
Over the past decades, one of the key messages he has never wavered from is the importance of a coach. And to this day, he still speaks to his college coaches and mentors who continue to help him keep his cup full, so that he is able to serve others. An athlete, college professor, multi-sport official, entrepreneur, fitnesswear distributor, speaker, golf coach and humanitarian… who had a daughter follow right in his path. To help men just like him.
So, if you’re looking for someone who helps you thrive in your career, triumph over challenges and avoid potholes. Who reinforces your confidence and encourages you to shift gears. Who teaches you how to breathe life into your relationships and become, well, a better MAN…
YOU have to reach out and choose who will have your back. I’d love to be that person.
Gents, invest in yourself this holiday season.
Ladies, show him you’re in his corner.
Never Stop EVOLVING ~ KD
Leading up to my next podcast, titled “Is there an Arnold Palmer in You?”, I wanted to get you thinking about the icons of industries you admire. So, go ahead and pick one…
What do you know about him BEYOND his specialty or world of lauded achievement? When that enterprise CEO, thought leading inventor, record-breaking musician or invincible quarterback … is just a man juggling work, relationships, community, kids, church, etc. How does carry himself beyond his title, team or followers? Does he treat others fairly and equally and give back to his community? Does he treat women with respect and take responsibility for his words and actions. Is he patriotic? What about his ability to be humble, to take a joke or to reveal his flaws and failures?
It’s one thing to “like” someone for his abilities, but I’d look at the other boxes he need to have checked off. And ask yourself: Why would I lift up any guy whose values don’t at least mirror mine, let alone challenge or inspire me to work on improving my own?
You’re not a 5th grader anymore who thinks (insert name here) hangs the moon. You’re a grown man. If you find yourself doting over someone you’re dying to meet because of his image, make sure you’re not wasting valuable time, energy, effort or money on a guy whose hand you might not really benefit from shaking.
Net-net: Frankly, I think you owe it to yourself to sift through the idols on your list and pay more mind to the ones who drive you to keep evolving into a better man with each choice you make.
Never Stop EVOLVING.
I almost lost my pop a few weeks ago… to an acute illness that was literally draining the life out of him. He would have died if I hadn’t jumped on a plane and taken him to the emergency room. For those of you who know a little about me, you know my pop and I have a pretty special bond- one that we’ve worked nonstop on for the past 15 years. And to be honest, I am still shaken by the fact that I came so very close to losing that gift.
I gotta say, the hell with the stress assessments that rank death of a loved one as the #1 stressor with the greatest impact on our psyche and wellbeing- I think ALMOST losing someone you love is just as stressful, if not more. I’m still a wreck from the last two weeks.
So, I flew from my sister’s in NY to FL to face not just a devastating health situation but to face off with a man whose fear, distrust and abhorrence of doctors was a more dangerous and unyielding enemy. With all my strength and heart I literally begged him to let me take him to the hospital. I thank God that I was able to convince him.
I’m a rather private person, rarely revealing to others beyond my immediate circle about the drama and trauma that shows up in my own world. But I’m realizing that sometimes these experiences are actually learning lessons for myself and opportunities to minister to others. And this curveball that literally has taken the breath right out of my lungs, is a story worth sharing because it could save the life of someone you love or perhaps even your own.
The details about my pop are not really important to share, but what IS is the take away. So, no this message isn’t one to tell you to tell your parents you love them and appreciate them because you never know when it’ll be too late. Because I assume that’s just a given- or if you’re a man who is working on becoming a better man- better version of yourself, you’re applying yourself towards that goal.
Having allowed a few weeks to pass for both Pop and me to recover- the conversations he and I have had have created another story and understanding. The underconversation of our words is one where he realizes that the critical health issue was not really THE ISSUE- but something that has had a longer lifeline was. It’s one of the greatest challenges many of us face… and too many men at that. PRIDE.
I’ve spoken and written about this topic plenty of times because it’s the headliner deadly sin – the most despised personality flaw in the Bible and, whether we’re willing to admit to it or not, pride is a vice and addiction to far too many and a thorn in the collective side of humanity. Pride is our greatest bent. In a word, pride is a bitch. And I doubt many of us really catch ourselves every time we let pride weasel in, in situations wherein our identity, code and opinions are challenged. So, I thought I’d point out key times when you might check yourself to avoid potentially horrible outcomes… and the first is:
- When pride is mistaken for COURAGE.
Being brave is a blessing and a curse we all bear… it serves as a magical tonic in times to drive us through stressful times (the bad and the good), but it definitely doesn’t provide all the armor –let alone answers- you need on the roller coaster of life. And as for men- courage is too often displaced by the ego- in all its ugliness of vanity, self-adulation and overconfidence. Asking for help is like taking a sword to the chest- or a knee to the nuts for that matter- it hurts like hell. After all, you’re a man. Why the heck would you go crying to someone else when the sh*t hits the fan… when something devastating hits your emotions or your heart feels like it’s being strangled by an octopus… or even just when you’re a wreck about making some random decision. Pride is that dangerous level of ego that surpasses courage- wherein bearing down to handle pain, strife or fear is exactly what you need to do to still be a man, to feel like a man, to prove you’re a man. Unfortunately, though, too many men assume wrong when it comes to the people who surround them and care about them… I’m talking about your buddies, family, sweetheart, doctor, coworkers, business partner, you name it… They all already know and respect who you are as a man. And your choice to be audacious to fight certain battles as a solo soldier- if not ending outright poorly- might in-turn ripple tension, shake trust and leave a caustic mark.
- When it’s mistaken for STRENGTH & SELF-RELIANCE.
So often men think that assigning yourselves to figuring out issues or a situation alone is not only the best, immediate answer- it’s the one that allows you to keep wearing your self-ordained Superman cape of strength. Even if your stomach is in your throat and you’re scared shitless that you might be facing something seriously wrong is some situation, PRIDE tells you to buck up and handle it on your own. Sure, many –a-time you’ve gotten through something by the skin of your teeth, and you’ve stood on your soapbox and bragged to your buddies afterward- perhaps even embellishing your story for amusement’s sake, but it doesn’t always and will not always turn out this way. The day will come when the satisfaction of taking credit for saving your own ass- or life, for that matter- will be trumped by circumstances beyond and above all the power you think you’ve got. And the results may be tragic.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- When it’s mistaken for… PROTECTION.
Gents, I know you choose not to share or show your fears, problems and weaknesses, thinking that you’re holding them at a distance from the ones you love… for their sake and safety. So they don’t have to deal with upset from bad news or some situation… that you’re sure you’ve got enough courage, strength and knowledge to handle on your own. Deep beneath that though we both know you’re also trying to shield yourself from having to see and deal with someone else’s reactions, feelings and feedback. So… in the end you’re ironically perpetuating the cycle of withholding info that really needs to be shared… for the betterment of you and those you care about and who care about you.
- When it’s mistaken for KNOWLEDGE.
Ok, I get it. For a man who has walked this earth, living in his own skin for decades, it sounds safe to assume that he’s the expert of his own body. So when something feels funny in your knee, you knows it’s from pushing it at the gym or working outside. Like a familiar sound your car makes- you know what’s probably causing it. And further on, you’ve gained experiences that net invaluable reference points and examples to ensure your expectations and subsequent decisions. But when you DON’T know WHY or HOW something is happening, and you can’t pull up a file from your brain to explain things, let alone give you a sense of possible solution and thus relief… that’s when PRIDE rears its ugly head again. Arrogance, conceit and self-importance offer but a lame answer – and convince you that no one else knows you or the situation better that YOU. You are the expert because –well, you’ve gotten this far in life, right?!
So here are some takeaway prompts for you to summarize these points and not let pride get the best of you:
When pride is mistaken for COURAGE… Ask yourself: Am I compartmentalizing the situation and assuming that the very best results will come from me going it alone? Instead start believing in yourself as a brave, bright man who doesn’t need to prove he can take a bullet- give others some credit, choose to practice humility and share your appreciation of others when you ask for help.
When pride is mistaken for STRENGTH & SELF-RELIANCE… Ask yourself: Am I compartmentalizing the situation and assuming that the very best results will come from me going it alone? Know that you are growing in wisdom when you accept circumstances and current realities with the truth that they indeed are bigger than you.
When pride is mistaken for PROTECTION… Ask yourself: who really benefits from me keeping important information from my own inner circle? If it can hurt me in the end- it will certainly hut them. So, step out and choose to be more open, communicative, authentic and vulnerable.
When pride is mistaken for KNOWLEDGE… Ask yourself: Am I the most experienced and knowledgeable person to handle this? Learn to accept yourself as a body-mind-and spirit that may indeed have limitations and is surrounded by so many other resources and people to reinforce your own gift or, in many cases, save your ass?
Pride stands in the way of you keeping all of the things for which you are grateful. I gave my pop a notepad and pen and asked him to practice his writing, to show him how he’d progressed and how much his shakiness has subsided. I told him to write down the top 5 things for which he was most grateful.
- Family and relatives
- Friends- especially the long-term ones
- Freedom to do the things he find joy in
- His health to be able to do all his activities
Understanding just how pride works against you is a relevation of your life, gents. Understanding how your pride is the wedge between those who love you is even greater. Ultimately, choosing to shift your paradigm in the face of the beckoning of pride is the choice that makes you a better man- a man who God fills with all the means to demonstrate true courage and strength, wisdom and protection.
I almost lost my pop to pride. Hopefully this message sticks with you.
Never Stop EVOLVING. – KD
©2016 Kimberlie Dykeman. Sponsored by Kimberlie Dykeman Enterprises Executive Performance Coaching, Retreats & Wingman Support for Gentlemen.
Today’s SOAPBOX® shot in the arm is wrapped around a famous quote by Thomas Henry Huxley, English biologist & huge Darwin advocate.
Oy vey! Ever had one of those days, weeks, months, or dare I say, years when you’d like to throw in the towel, slap the Murphy’s Law label across your forehead, and wash it all down with a few cold beers and a box of Hot Tamales? You know what I’m talking about. When your gloomy Groundhog Day world lines your days with an incessant stream of obstacles, seemingly presenting themselves in a choreographed, Catch-22 pattern.
You humbly take up arms and fight for your cause- cause that’s what you DO- yet you barely catch a break to relish the joy in overcoming one challenge when another slips right in to assume its position and throw you for another loop. Person, place, thing, you name it, it fronts a mile-long deli line of things you must initiate and duplicate; battle and coddle; learn, teach, fix, change, add and delete—just to get you one measly inch closer to your goal. Alas, the “WHAT THE HELL? WHY me?” cloak weighs you down to a crawl, right? Well, try this one on for size:
“The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to support you long enough to enable you to reach for something higher.” Thomas Henry Huxley, English biologist & huge Darwin advocate
Try tilting your game board about 90 degrees. Now instead of seeing such challenges on a linear plane, one following in line after the other, you create a clear view of these curve balls and lessons learned for their true fundamental, albeit unforgiving, purpose: Cumulative steps leading to a lifesaving summit. None are ever the same, nor do they carry the same weight, affect the same response, or bring about the same resolution or growth. That said, the recovery time following each may then be as short as a flip commercial or as long as a politician’s term. Either way, you must giddy-up, shake it off, psyche yourself up for the next wave, and move on and up. That’s right…on and up. To the next rung. You are all brilliant contenders in your own right, gaining power and strength at each new level. Commit yourself to the climb and you’ll never be overcome.
Well, there’s your SOAPBOX® shot in the arm- hope it leaves a mark.
Never Stop EVOLVING. – KD
©2016 Kimberlie Dykeman. Sponsored by Kimberlie Dykeman Enterprises Executive Performance Coaching, Retreats & Wingman Support for Gentlemen.
SOAPBOX® is a registered trademark of Kimberlie Dykeman.
I wanted to start today’s message with a story. A few months ago I was in a Starbucks doing work… and to my left was a woman on the phone who was trying her damndest to keep her composure while tears were streaming down her face. She looked absolutely petrified and lost, disheveled and desperate to find something to stable her thoughts …her world.
I asked her how I could be of help to her right then. Pulled up a seat closer and listened,
They decided they were going to get a divorce… they’d just sold their house so she was trying frantically to find a place to crash… with her 3 your boys… until she could perhaps gain her composure and decide if she was to remain in Austin and find a job or move to her parent’s home in Houston. Amidst the crazed story that she shared, 3 key things stood out- not a surprise, but as a consistent list of statements I have indeed heard many times from other women and female friends when the D word is dropped by one or both of them:
- He doesn’t even seem upset. He hasn’t cried- its’ like he doesn’t care, like he’s unaffected. Looks at me like he’s already left- already detached or doesn’t know me.
- When he talks to me he acts angry, like he is totally frustrated with me.
- To top it all off, he just went back to work- his normal schedule- it’s all he’s focused on. He never missed a beat- just back to business – to taking care of what he needs for himself.
Ultimately, women ask WHY… why is my husband acting this way? Mind you, it takes two to tango, yes? So both sides I’m certain brought their own fair share of assumptions, Louis Vuitton baggage, expectations and personality idiosyncrasies. But regardless who’s serving the mine field papers, the woman sees the stoic character shift and is taken aback amidst her own drama.
So to this question WHY, gentlemen, we all know the answer. Because DIVORCE is code word for FAILURE.
As a side note, I was really torn as to what title would really catch your eye, gents. First it was going to be: Why Men Admit Divorce is Their Greatest Failure- but I thought guys won’t be running to listen to a podcast that calls them out and points a finger. Then I thought, how about titling it: Why Divorce is a Knee to the Nuts- but I thought you might not take me seriously.
Either way, both statements hold truth for men. Divorce- or the ending of a significant relationship- is indeed a painful failure. But instead I took the route of inviting you to look at your past or current split with fresh perspective of hope and forgiveness.
Through words of wisdom I’ve picked up over the years from plenty of sharp, truly grounded men
I’ve understood that marriage issues can not only make or break a career… they can also derail and perpetually scar a man for life, dismantle his already delicate ego and strip him of a huge part of his identity. When the one sacred relationship that created and offered unconditional solace, sanctuary, safety and acceptance crumbles, self-preservation becomes Job #1.
And since most men are kings of compartmentalizing and stockpiling emotions, the D-word keystone defense mechanism reactions are exactly what that tearful woman in Starbucks stated….
- What’s with the poker face, lack of compassion? Why haven’t you cried? It’s the Fight Club mentality and code: Do not share or show the stress, emotions or gut-wrenching fear you are facing. Those feelings are classified and stored away, deep, deep in the reserves of a man’s heart to be opened up and faced (somehow) head-on in full realization waaaaay down the road.
- The anger you are showing is anger and frustration with yourself. This is a “stumbling block” you didn’t configure into your life plan where you believe you are at the helm- of hunting, gathering, working, building a family, creating a decorated legacy, etc. The hurtful projections spurn from the need to work harder to stay channel focused, not lose your level.
- And so where do you go to reset your sense of control, power, familiarity and effectiveness…where you DON’T have to show emotion? You go back to work- your homebase, your security blanket, where your identity is still solid.
Ironically, there is no solution of simply wearing a cloak to work –or anywhere for that matter- to hide the shit that’s hitting the fan at home. Eventually the signs show…
And eventually, you choose to pull out those storage lockers leaking over with raw feelings and composted contempt, tears and confusion, fears and flashbacks from your childhood, perhaps. And this is where time is not on your side- it’s on “her side” because your ex dealt with the divorce, faced the hollow out of heart and mind, began true healing and moved on.
But for men- Having waited months or in too many cases, years to flesh out and experience the divorce – those files still have a pulse and their impact is now profound and more powerful than you’d expected. And it takes center stage amidst all other things on your plate. It’s with you at every meal, at every meeting, spills out in countless conversations, and sits with you each quiet night alone. And you no longer call it your divorce. You label it FAILURE. Your failure. You failed. Perhaps the greatest failure in your life thus far, you tell yourself. And that’s a heavy weight to carry around, friends.
And if you were to kick the bucket tomorrow- yup, I’d have to agree with you. Because it was your last marker of effort. But I’m here to shift your perspective… bringing hope by talking shop. Juxtaposing your relationship with your business. Your divorce with business set-backs.
The execs and businessmen I’ve worked with and interviewed have shared their insights with me about their own divorces, of course, in addition to the memorable mistakes they’ve made in their careers. Tell me if some of these sound familiar:
- Thinking of folding up shop too soon –doubting your own courage and choices.
- Assuming you are the only decision-maker and not compromising.
- Not asking for input and advice
- Taking advice from too many people
- Forcing vs. Influencing those who help you do what you do and be who you are- Acting Like a Boss Instead of part of the team
- Losing focus on what really matters in pursuit of what’s perceived as valuable going after things to acquire as opposed to loving that which you already have.
- Not communicating with empathy- not listening
- Showing a lack of trust, respect and support for others.
- Putting off doing the hard work.
- Not honoring the original plan and winging it.
- Neglecting everything else in my life- marriage, health, family, personal development, community
All of these things are common, repeatable mistakes that too many entrepreneurs and leaders confess to when talking about missteps in their careers… which led to challenges in their growth and success. And yet, each error in thought and action alone or as a collection as a circus of fumbles- is admitted to, analyzed, addressed with a Plan B or C, and tagged a “set back”. Not a failure. A set-back. A straying from the path, a wrong choice, and misjudgment- that’s eventually used as inspiration for a brighter future. Because leaders realize that the business is dynamic and alive and doesn’t exist in a bubble. Countless variables, obstacles and intangibles influence its life. So the set-backs became building blocks.
These very same mistakes create fertile ground for assumptions, miscommunications and a mess in a marriage. And in turn, countless variables, obstacles and intangibles influence its life… but if it ends in DIVORCE was it a failure? If all the hiccups net a growth opportunity for you to reset with mindfulness a better future by becoming a better man- wasn’t your divorce just a set-back?
“The whole life lies in the verb seeing.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French philosopher, priest and paleontologist
So how do get past your divorce… start on the right foot in a new relationship… not feel like you’re tattooed with a failure? You buy into the plausible truth that: DIVORCE is not FAILURE. I am not a failure. This was a “set-back”. And you forgive yourself.
Just as your business or career is a “work in progress”, so are you- because it’s an extension of you. So you rework those building blocks, man, starting with the key driver: Forgiveness – dump the past, wipe the slate clean, absolve yourself of your fumbles and flaws and stop being the victim of what went wrong. And you back that up with a concerted effort to shed the shadow of your dead divorce, of who you’re not and what you don’t represent and work to KNOW and develop the next phase of you. You can then SHOW and SHARE who you are inside and out more freely and with enthusiasm and confidence.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The average man has the means to step back and take in the Bigger Picture. A better man discovers the power and honors the duty to step forward and light it up again as a healed, healthy, whole man. Divorce sure as heck may bring you to your knees… but you can stand up again, knowing it was only a set-back.
Never Stop EVOLVING. – KD
©2016 Kimberlie Dykeman. Sponsored by Kimberlie Dykeman Enterprises Executive Performance Coaching, Retreats & Wingman Support for Gentlemen.
I grew up in a home with a father who was a Physical Education professor and speaker, basketball official, marathon runner, entrepreneur, outdoorsman, golf coach and landowner who never seemed to rest- until he’d crash on the sofa on a Sunday, remote in hand, flipping between golf tournaments. What you’d call, in the day, “a man’s man”. My dad instilled in me at a very young age the ultimate value of healthy living, taking care of what you own, helping your neighbors, keeping your word, and not being afraid to dirty and work hard for your income. Every day he dedicated his life to educate, encourage, and inspire folks to live life to its fullest.
Underneath that all, though was the foundational lesson that being disciplined is one of the best values I could ever have. As he so eloquently would put it, “Don’t drag your a – -. The light ain’t gonna get any greener.” Meaning, no one is going to do it for you, so put your head down and go! Trust me, that line and a few from Coach Krzyzewski are ingrained in my noggin. Just ask me how 3000 hand-planted Christmas tree samplings can yield 4 years of college tuition! So… for too many years of my life I thought that DISCIPLINE was the THING- the end all be all answer to getting through life or, for that matter, plowing through anything life tossed in your path.
He was the “tough love” parent- the disciplinarian, the taskmaster who kinda raised my sister and me like we WERE little boys. Fifty bucks says, if my mom weren’t such a softer soul I would have definitely grown into a full-on tomboy. Pop worked our tails off on our 15 acres- always had a list a mile long of things to do- stack wood, mow the acreage, weed the driveway, pick vegetables, paint the shed/the barn/the house- the one who got our asses out of bed too early on weekend mornings to go on “family jogs”, who limited ALL TV time and always compared my grades to my brilliant sister’s, who only allowed for dessert after sports games, who told me to stand at the end of the driveway with my little wheelbarrow full of extra vegetables from the garden and not come into the house until they were all sold. Everything seemed about w-o-r-k, moving your body, getting really good grades, adding value to the family’s budget, and connecting with neighbors to always be of help.
That said, being a headstrong, curious Aries, just like my pop, he and I used to brunt heads all the time while I was growing up… because I liked to ask WHY before I did something. Because of this early-born drive, curiosity and creative mind, I definitely created friction. And boy did I make a mess sometimes!
Of course I DO REMEMBER being scared shitless as to what kind of punishment I was going to get for all the times I screwed up- ditched curfew, backed the truck in to the shed, swore or broke something (I inherited a fabulous temper from Pop), pissed my sister off, pissed my mom off… the list is looooong. What’s funny- I don’t remember really crying that much- even with all the hiccups on my part- and the “tough guy” role my dad never seemed to drop. I seemed to keep crying to a minimum- I’d just get in a mood and bottle up my feelings and thoughts. Something that you usually hear about little boys… alas, the man who wanted sons and instead God delivered him two daughters… but this one was just like him.
“Having chats” or communicating- sharing ideas, talking about the future wasn’t really in the MO of our family- least of all between Dad and me. Downtime didn’t rally up the conversations that we needed as a family- that I needed as a kid- and that my father really could have benefitted from between himself and his daughters. Dad was The Boss, the enforcer, the decision maker. Sadly, though, behind the scenes, he was also the man who thought the world was on his shoulders (if not against him, sometimes), and he was never doing enough for others nor for his family.
As I grew up, and eventually became “my own boss” after college, I earned the freedom to courageously explore any avenues of work, play, and adventure anywhere in the world, on my own terms. My Dad’s “parenting” certainly diminished, but his discipline, guidance, priceless values and support for my independent nature have remained timeless and timely impressions in my life.
In the most recent decade or so, my relationship with my pop has evolved into something I NEVER would have imagined- it’s almost as if he is working double time to make up for all the conversations we never had- and working to stitch a bond together that HE needs now. His usual M.O. of DISCIPLINE has been eclipsed by the importance of COMMUNICATION. “You gotta communicate, Kimmie,” he says. We talk every week and no topic is ever off limits- weather (of course- he is over 65!), politics, sports- golf is a biggie, stocks, sex, life extension and science. The most challenging one is actually relationships- and we hit on his interactions with his brothers, my sister, his longtime girlfriend, plus my own connections with family, friends, sweethearts and in business too. And we are never too scared to dive deep. Finally, we’re two adults talking like close friends. Still, he’s the father so he has to get on his soapbox one in a while and instruct me: “Communication is the key, Kimmie, always.” But I swear he’s saying it to remind HIMSELF.
So when I visited him last month in FL- something changed again. That trip was the best time I can remember spending with my pop- even when I took him to the Masters a few years ago. Something had finally shifted— his armor finally cracked and I finally felt like I was his confidante. The confidante he’s never really had- the one he’s always wanted but was afraid to reach out to and ask for help. And it was perhaps the most important conversation I could have with my father right now, because we talked about his view of life NOW as a 77 year old- his aspirations, fears, feelings, hesitations, faith… I knew just how to listen empathetically, what questions to ask to get to the root, and what words to offer in compassion and encouragement. And for the 3rd time ever in my life I saw my Pop cry. And so did I… because I saw that all my work on myself, in my own faith, and as a coach helped me get even closer to my father. And that I’ll never forget. Plus he proved what I’ve believed and have said all along: you can choose to never stop evolving- no matter your age!
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and just like Pop, my mission to educate, encourage, and inspire folks to live life to its fullest is the one love that gets me out of bed each day. Ask anyone to describe Kimberlie Dykeman, and they’ll be sure to list at the top: the most disciplined person they know and a great communicator. To Richard Dykeman, I owe the credit! Pop, thank you, I love you, chin up always!
Never Stop EVOLVING. – KD
IDENTITY. i·den·ti·tyˌ /īˈden(t)ədē/
The word that has been shoved to the front of the stage in so many— too many —scenarios and platforms, and forced into once amicable conversations. Your identity has been analyzed, compartmentalized, politicized and ostracized… and corporations are notorious for doing this almost as a one-upping craft. They track every decision and purchase you make, log every stitch of your demo stats (not to mention your whereabouts,) and shove surveys down your throat all in the name of fuel for their Big Data machines. I get it. I accept it. (I mean, do I really have a choice?). I have done my own (very) small share of this practice as well for my own business.
But when the classification, and ultimate manipulation and often degradation, invades your own personal life —your home, your family, your physical health, and mental wellbeing— I call foul.
Companies often see an even trade when it comes to your employment– and, yes, this includes top execs and business owners. And indeed it starts off that way as fair dollars for hours or dollars for experience. But often the lines get blurred, then crossed, then obliterated- when comfortable time passes, higher expectations are expected, and your original unique identity becomes swept under the organization’s massive rug.
More for Them, Less for You
And more often, they get what they want out of you because you let them. More hours, more effort, more speed, more results and more ROI. And you are left with less. Less time with your family; less energy to reboot; less patience to deal with life’s frustrations; less peace of mind; less focus on your relationships; less investment in your own health; less hair on your head; less of your wardrobe that fits; less confidence in your value; less enthusiasm for what was once a dream career or job; less clarity about who you are, what your beliefs are, and your real purpose in life.
Sound a bit dramatic? Perhaps… until you begin your own concerted examination of your current career reality, and you see that you’ve allowed your own employer to take up space in your home, head and heart.
When you’ve lost your balance because your career has trounced all over all other areas of importance and joy, this revelation is at the heart of the changes you need to make to thrive again… outside of your career… as a human being with a distinct identity. Which brings me to John Lennon.
The Timelessness & Timeliness of John Lennon
“I don’t believe in Beatles. I just believe in me.” – John Lennon
The man who embodied greatness both with and without his band of brothers dealt us a timeless and priceless trump card with this profound one-liner. He is still an iconic mastermind in the minds of millions and across multiple generations because he never gave up his organically magical and unique make-up. These 10 words say so many things- just let them eclipse your knee-jerk assumptions; though nothing as simple as the importance of validating and celebrating one’s own existence.
Your identity is made up of your thumb-printed personality, preferences, features and idiosyncrasies, talents and an individual path of life. And along the way and through the years you’ve “registered” many-a-time as part of some larger entity— a friendship, team, neighborhood, organization, social platform or perhaps even rock-n-roll band— and done so for reasons of acceptance, recognition, money, accountability, social aspects, personal rewards, hell, even just to say you are a member of something. As a carrier of some virtual membership card for each you reaped benefits but still maintained your own identity- even as your galvanized more members, invested more time, talent, treasure and heart.
So, why do you let the place that places a paycheck in your hand- without the promise of eternity, mind you- reduce you to a number or liability or asset or title? Furthermore, what are you compromising every single day because you have exchanged your one-of-a-kind self for a label?
If You Believe in Yourself… Take Back Your Identity
- Who are you outside of your business card or title?
- If it weren’t for your nametag or business card, would you forgetyour own name?
- Do you seek confirmation from the umpteen activities, things and possessions you’re buried in that are all tied to work?
- Have you tethered yourself to your career or job at a cost of stunting your own personal growth?
- What kind of legacy are you on track to leave… and are you content with that?
There are more questions like this to sift through, but the biggest one of all, I believe is this one: What do you miss about yourself?
Drill down… and look at the time with your family, your energy, patience, state of mind, relationships, health, the condition of your body, your self-confidence and focus, level of enthusiasm for life and sense of purpose. Try to remember the last time you felt like a human being, or laughed your head off, or really felt like the weekend gave you freedom to just fart around and be free, or imagined you can indeed live to be 100, or checked off something on your Bucket List.
Are you living to work or working to have a life while keeping your identity intact?
Countless people, places, and experiences have helped magically mold your brilliant identity… don’t let your job strip it all away. Within or without the wheel of work, you must remind yourself that devotion to your own life, values, health, joy and truth comes first. The machine of your career is plugged INTO YOU, not the other way around.
Tilt the mirror, take a good look, remove all the nametags and adopted labels, the cords and attachments, and choose to redefine your reflection, inside and out. Believe in yourself again. BE yourself again.
Never Stop EVOLVING.
“You are Darth Vader,” he said. “You can’t take a wounded mentality into the office. If you want to go to summer camp and be emotional- go ahead. You can’t let anything bother you— it’s all about winning.” And all I could say was, “Really?”
In close to two decades of working intimately with men- as a performance coach, business consultant, interviewer- I have only met ONE MAN- this shmoe- who insisted that men have to be stone cold in business, and that success only comes through becoming a robot (or imaginary Star Wars character). The real thought leaders, communicators, makers and influencers of business and society-at-large know damn well that being human makes all the difference in one’s success, be that as a businessman, father, friend, brother, mentor, whatever.
So, the one thing that stirring my thoughts as I spoke with the Darth Vader guy was … dare I say… he must have been scorched by Kryptonite one time too many.
And when I say Kryptonite, I mean THE EX. I’ve come to grasp and appreciate that one thing which truly, monumentally shifts a man from being authentically imperfect, causes him to run away from being human, and drives him to cover up in layers of armor… is a woman. Specifically an Ex.
And when I say EX I mean that one woman who tore your heart out, totally disrespected you, made you feel like you were never enough, left you for someone else, corrupted your kids … or some combination of those and some other kitchen sink item. She may have been your first wife or fifth, your last girlfriend or something in between, but for some reason she still holds stock in a part of your brain. She is that horrendous dream that keeps coming back- and you can’t wake up. The rash that keeps showing up where you just can’t scratch it enough. That thorn in your side that you point to as a reason (read: excuse) for why you act a certain way with women now.
These Exes are all Kryptonite. And it’s better to acknowledge and dissect the truth in order to finally rid yourself of the fatalistic view that SHE will always be a shadow on your bright future.
Yes, the Kryptonite I’m referencing is the very same (metaphorical, mythical) radioactive material that causes Superman to become debilitatingly weak. This compound is unforgiving and invasive beyond words, and like any deadly amalgam —it invades your body, mind and spirit as if it wants to leave you for dead. Distorts your thoughts and wrecks your emotions; levels your hormones and drains your power; robs your memories and taints your view of the future. But did you know that there are umpteen different colors of kryptonite— and therefore different responses to its radiation? Oh, mister, you are in for a show here. But beware, this might still churn up some ugly stuff.
THE MANY COLORS OF KRYPTONITE: A guide to understanding which is your Ex
Green. Alluring in her glow, Green Kryptonite is the iconic original that virally weakens its victim’s powers across the board- just enough to leave him wondering what hit him. The breakup or divorce happened all too swiftly leaving feelings as charred live wires, and Green becomes a tender reference point in all too many conversations, activities and memorable moments. Ironically, she is also harmful to other humans given sufficient long term exposure and yielding awful cancerous results (think Lex Luthor). So, when someone tells you that you sound like a broken record or your current sweetheart/spouse starts pulling away, to protect her own life from the green funk surrounding you… you know your Ex was Green.
Red. Red Kryptonite definitely has more of a bite- even causing bizarre behavior and transformations in its victims. Perhaps you were with Red for a longer period of time or she had some kind of deep-rooted hold on your mind and soul. This evil Ex shifts your thinking into perceiving the world under a nasty, angry negative lens. If you’re wondering where the hell the sun went and feel like you don’t recognize yourself in the mirror… you Ex was Red, in spades!
Red-Green. Oh, this one’s a doozy, causing you to mutate, temporarily growing a third eye in the back of his head. When you read between the lines here, boys, this Ex puts the curse of jealousy, paranoia, and doubt in your mindset. When you assume your next sweetheart has some kind of agenda with you, you are on the lookout for any kind of deal-breaking flaw, or you presume she cannot ever be totally trusted… well, you know your Ex was of the Red-Green alloy.
Silver. As lovely as Silver Kryptonite is, she is also cruel— causing her victims to suffer from delusions in any part of life. If you’ve caught yourself diving down rabbit holes left and right, assuming agendas of coworkers or friends or making mountains out of molehills, then Silver is still dangling around your neck, mister.
Black. This one is really vicious, causing its victims to actually split into two separate entities: one good and one evil. If a Hyde surfaces to your Jekyll and you find yourself crafting vengeful thoughts, lashing out snarky remarks about her, or wearing a billboard stating that you will rule over the next women you date… you know your Ex was Black Kryptonite. For sure.
Red-Green-Gold. Honestly, I think this version leaves the greatest wake, for it permanently removes its victim’s abilities and memories of ever having been Superman. This Kryptonite reduces a man to an insecure boy again, stealing the confidence, charisma, strength and powerful identity he once had. She never doles out encouragement, has a gift for passive-aggressiveness, and aims to overpower you in front of friend and stranger alike. If you feel like you’re not enough anymore—will never bring enough to the table in your current or next relationship—and all your other brilliant accomplishments have lost their value… your Ex was Red-Green-Gold.
As for how to rid yourself of Kryptonite’s leeching power, peel back the people, places, habits, things and environments where where she still lingers and clean house. Here’s a start:
- Turn around and don’t look back. RARE is the case wherein Exes get back together and live happily ever after.
- Disconnect (for a while) from the folks with tentacles to both you and Kryptonite. Earth is teeming with a gazillion people- go find some awesome new chums.
- Stop driving TO her house. Unless it’s your carpool day, or there is a major emergency. If you forgot some special item from your toolkit there- just go to Home Depot.
- Stop driving BY her house. Sure, you moved within 3 blocks of her house when the kiddos were in school, but find another route to work, my friend. Nothing ruins a Monday morning like wondering who the hell owns that red BMW sitting in her driveway.
- End ALL connections on ALL social media platforms and apps. I don’t care how long ago you were together.
- Wear a Taser that zings you every time you mention Kryptonite’s name. Hey, reverse-Pavlov works brilliantly.
- Take a long breather from stepping foot in those once-favorite & special-moment places. Create new memories and see new sites.
- Clean house- literally of anything that has HER in it. Things can only hold the value we place on them. If they’re radioactive, they aren’t adding to your life- they’re taking away.
- If you’re in a relationship now, TALK IT ALL OUT. Puking all the Kryptonite out of your system with the person who LOVES YOU as you are today can help you heal.
- Nothing clears away bad habits and thoughts like the opposition. It’s a helluvalot easier to quit smoking when you get jazzed about boxing or cycling. Plus, you feel 10x better!
Never Stop EVOLVING. ~ KD
©2016 Kimberlie Dykeman. Sponsored by Kimberlie Dykeman Enterprises– Executive Performance Coaching, Retreats & Wingman Support for Gentlemen.
This is also featured on the global platform The Good Men Project where Dykeman is a regular contributing writer.
Folks, the day finally arrived this week when my business turns “legit” for 2016… meaning, I finally have a current, truly client-focused, responsive site up. Damn, it was an aerobic effort- but after a few false starts, I took the reigns, bootstrapped my marketing experience + research + lots of conversations with gents and designed the thing myself. That said, I have a whole new respect for web designers and developers! But did I really build this myself? I think the answer is “no”. See, this note isn’t about me spouting off about how “Dykeman can do anything!”
Instead, this note is a message to you and about you- because we’re probably cut from the same cloth: a strong-willed, disciplined, solution-oriented, focused on ringing, stubborn workhorse. I know you love the idea of a challenge to overcome, a game to win, a person to prove wrong, an idea to prove right, a deadline to beat and a quota to crush. But, honestly, you NEVER REALLY DO IT ALL BY YOURSELF.
Even if you were on a deserted island— even if you ARE a startup of just “1” right now… it took a village, your whole life, to get you here. To help you become the man you are. To instill a genius code of values, disciplines and beliefs which you follow and radiate. To enable and equip you to become all the titles you wear and achieve great things, day-in and day-out.
Take a moment and look around yourself today and answer this question:
If I want to keep evolving, achieving and thriving, am I surrounded by the best village?
You only have one shot at this life- if the people surrounding you are not keeping your engines revving, helping you feel like you can take on the world… then it’s time to shake up your village. Perhaps even add one more.
See, unlike many coaches, and consultants, I know that I am merely a catalyst to firing up the fuel, strengths and attitude that you’ve already got. But I am a key driver to helping you redefine what you WANT your village to look like. The secret to the best relationships is how each person elevates and adds to the other’s life. My success lies in what I pull out of you.
So… are you ready to shift gears?
Never Stop EVOLVING.
MEET YOUR WINGMAN*
Kimberlie Dykeman is a seasoned Executive/Personal Assistant, Estate Manager, Private Concierge, Lifestyle Management Coach, and Business Advisor... a true WINGMAN. For over 20 years. Kimberlie has excelled at removing stress and chaos for executives, HNW individuals, celebrities, startups, competitive athletes, and -simply put- folks with too much on their plates. She's earned her nicknames -Troubleshooter, Buzzsaw, Espresso Shot, Girl Friday- because she indeed changes people's lives by remaining steadfast to one mission: serve others that they might work smarter, connect deeper, feel healthier, live happier and leave a greater legacy.
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