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Today’s guest is Brendan Schmidt.
We go deep today talking about:
- Brendan’s journey to revive his own masculinity after growing up without a father
- The life-changing power of brotherhood with other men in an intentional group
- How Christianity has recently shaped Brendan’s life as he prepares for fatherhood
- What most men are lacking and why men need to be given a heavy dose of truth and reality
Brendan Schmidt runs the Masculine Revival Instagram page and works as a men’s group facilitator and men’s & relationship coach. Head over to his Instagram page where he talks in-depth on different topics surrounding all things masculinity, femininity, and relationship dynamics.
Find Brendan online at:
Unknown Speaker 0:00
If you are the foundation of your family, you are the firm footing. They build their lives on. You carry a glorious burden and you never dream of laying it down. You carry it with joy and gratitude. You show up, even when you don't feel like it. You lead, serve, love and protect. You are a father. This is the dead word podcast where men are forged into elite husbands and fathers by learning what it takes to become harder to kill, easier to love and equipped to lead. Get ready to start building the only legacy that truly matters. Your family
Curt Storring 0:59
Hello, and welcome back for another episode of The dad work podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host to the founder of dad work I'm joined today by my friend Brendan Schmidt. He is masculine revival on Instagram 100 plus 1000 men and women follow him and I'm sure you are likely to be one of them. If you follow me, Dad worked out Curt on Instagram, there's a good chance you follow Brennan as well. Today we're talking about the life changing power of brotherhood, masculinity and God, we go into Brendan's story of his life, how he is reviving his own masculinity and how he's helping other men do the same inside of his brotherhood, and how and why you might consider doing the same. Brendan runs a masculine revival Instagram page and works as a men's group facilitator and men's and relationship coach, you can find everything he talks about on Instagram, where he goes into depth on different topics surrounding masculinity, femininity and relationship dynamics. And this was such an awesome experience, guys, because he and I have been friends now, probably since February, when we first connected. And man the relationship has grown. He has helped me so much in my life. And he's been just a very supportive brother to push me challenge me but also support me along my journey. And it's wonderful to get him on the show here because he doesn't do a lot of interviews. And this is one of the few places you can find his story and everything he's up to. So I'm not going to plug it any more than that this is going to be a great episode. It's very impactful just listening to where he came from, to get to where he is today. It's a story of hope. It's a story of hard work. It's a story of being with other men in community. And I want all of these things for you if you are struggling along the journey as a man, a husband and a father. And I love this because Brandon is on his path to becoming a father. And his whole journey has sort of prepared him for this moment in a way that he's feeling settled. And he's feeling grounded. And so guys, I hope you enjoy this. And guys, if you've been listening to podcasts getting value from it, if you enjoyed this episode, would you just go down on the Apple app, and hit rating and review and leave a quick review with your rating? And could you go to the Spotify app, if you're listening there and just hit the rating button, the start button there and leave a review at five would very much appreciate that. Because it gets this into the ears of more men who need it. So without further ado, we're gonna get into this podcast episode with Brendon Schmidt of masculine revival. Here we go. Alright guys, welcome back to another episode, I am joined by my friend Brandon, of masculine revival fame. On Instagram. I'm sure a lot of you guys follow him already. I know I talked to you guys. And Brent has been running men's groups, he has been leading men, and we got to know each other. I don't know, man, like February, I guess in February. And this has been months now of just hanging out getting to know you. And so I'm honored to have you on just because, like, you're good dude, man. And I really respect you. And you've helped me tremendously. So I think this is gonna be a fun conversation. But how, how is the last little while been for you in terms of just like what you've been going going on and what you've got going on? Because I know, there's a lot of changes, man. So how are you doing right now?
Brendan Schmidt 3:51
Yeah, man, it's been a bit of a bit of a whirlwind, for sure. So over the last year, just getting engaged, getting married, wife is 11 weeks pregnant. And then it has just settling settling into the fact that masculine revival is my full time gig and that this is all real. I think there's been a kind of persistent fear in the background on some level that it's all going to go away. But it's it's still going, it continues to go. And yeah, it's been a lot of adjustments on many different fronts, for sure.
Curt Storring 4:25
Yeah, and that's one of the things that I have enjoyed being a part of in I think both of our journeys, is this weird idea of being seen, because it's like, you've got 100,000 People who follow you on Instagram, or more than that, and I got 50,000 people and I got a podcast and you're just a dude, and I'm just a dude. And it's like, oh, man, we've got wives we've got like, pregnant wives both of us. What are we supposed to be doing? Because it's like, at least for me, I feel like I have to like have my shit sorted out in a way are you feeling that as well? Like some some of that pressure? Oh,
Brendan Schmidt 4:57
definitely. Yeah, the the being seen I think it's probably my biggest fear in life. And it's been something that's plagued me for most of my life. So the fact that I even got to where I've gotten to so far, and the fact that I've amassed this following, and I have all these people that are interested in what I have to say who I am, what I'm doing, what I think what I feel, it's a it's a little bit surreal to me sometimes. And it's like, Hey, bro, why do you? Why do you want to interview man? I was the dude. figuring it out as well. I know that I've done a lot of work to get to where I'm at. And I've definitely figured some things out. But I'm very much just to do this down here on the path on the journey like everybody else. So
Curt Storring 5:43
getting muddy, I think you say quite a lot. And that's so it's so funny man, like, oh, what's your biggest fear? Being seen? Okay, why don't you start 100,000 person Instagram so that everyone can see you all the time? And yeah, man, that gets a lot. But that is I think one of the biggest things that I have taken from our relationship is like, you've told me multiple times, like, dude, just get dirty, like, get in the mud, go down there and do the work with the guys rather than just like thinking about it all the time. And I wonder how they that I think is just your leadership style. And so yeah, you're just a dude. And you're a dude who leads men? And it's not just like, oh, what does that mean? It's like, you've got, like, 50 guys in your men's groups, and hundreds of out 100,000 People who follow you. So like, what, what I don't know what your leadership mentality is in that other than just, I'm doing the work too. Is that all it is?
Brendan Schmidt 6:33
Yeah, I think it's honestly, it just keeps showing up. That's, that's really what it's been. It's just me showing up over and over and over again. And I also just really have a heart for the work that I'm doing. Like, I genuinely care about the people that follow me, I care about the men that are in my groups, I spend quite a lot of time every single week talking to guys on the phone that are in my community, I don't necessarily need to be doing that. It's just something that I feel like I want to do. Because I feel like the more that I know the guys, the more I can really serve them and lead them. Yeah, so I think I think just leading with that, that care, and that the heart for the work is really is my style. Like, I don't think you can really teach that either. I just happen to give a shit. And I think it's just due to my life experience.
Curt Storring 7:25
Yeah, and that's really interesting. I want to go into that life experience a little bit. But that's also a good lesson for guys who are just like, What do you care about? And just go do that, because the draw of caring will let you move forward so much easier. And with such longer, like timeframe than trying to make money for the sake of making money or something like that. It doesn't have to be like, Oh, I care about, you know, all these men and helping them heal and grow and stuff like that. But like, what do you care about in your life and just do more of that. But that story, like the why you care so much. That's like, I've thought about that, too. Like, oh, man, this guy cares so much. He's so open with his guys. Like he's calling them all the time. I don't have, I don't know, I feel like I don't have the mental bandwidth for that sometimes. And sort of watch you do is always inspiring. But But why do you care? So much? Like, what is it about this work? And I think this work would broadly be like men's work in a way of helping guys like, become men, like become their best self. Is that? Is that what you'd qualify the work as? And then let's get into the story after that.
Brendan Schmidt 8:33
Yeah, I would definitely say that, that. That is the work. And the work is also it's related. It's largely relational as well, right? Like figuring out how to men relate to women. That's a whole other path, we can go down. But yet, why do I? Why do I care? I care because I suffered a lot in many different ways for a long time. And I think that this does something to you, it can't not change you. So I guess it started for me just in childhood growing up with a single mother. And not knowing my father at all. So not not meeting him until I was 16 years old. So that was something that deeply impacted me, from the time that I was a little boy. I remember asking where my father was, I remember feeling like it was my fault that he wasn't there on some level. And that left a really deep wound felt a lot of shame. Profound, profoundly dislike a sense of just not being good enough. Not worthy of existing in some ways. So. And that's like a soul deep level thing. So I think that's really that was something I had to contend with in my early life. And I remember as a young man, I just had a lot of pain and a lot of anger, a lot of sadness, and I was depressed and I was anxious on top of all of it. So get getting out In the world, as a young man, I had no choice but to face that stuff because it was playing plaguing my day to day life. So I think that's really where it all started for me.
Curt Storring 10:10
Man, and what did that look like going through? So you had these feelings, and I felt similar things. But my dad was sort of there. Emotionally, not so much. But I spent some time with him, but I know exactly. Okay. I don't know exactly. But I know a little bit of what you feel about just being like, Oh, if I was better, Dad wouldn't have left. If I was good enough, like, I guess I'm just not worthy. But what like, how does that manifest? You get out into the world? I guess he met your dad when you're 16. What did that look like?
Brendan Schmidt 10:37
Yeah, so essentially, what happened was, I was born out of an affair. So my dad had a family, he had a, he had a daughter. And he was seeing my mom lines, my mom, essentially saying that he wasn't in a relationship. And my mom got pregnant had me. And my dad dealt with that by not telling anybody that I existed. So he kind of just completely denied the fact that I existed. At one point, they work in the same industry. And at one point, there was a rumor that came out that my, my father had this son, and he was confronted about it by his wife, and he outright denied it and said, No, that's not true. But what happened was, I had a, I had a sister, his daughter, and I messaged her on Facebook, when I was 16. And essentially told her that I was your brother, she had no idea about me. And then that started a whole cascade of everybody on that side of the family finding out that I existed. So at that point, he really was caught in the lie. And his wife said, Well, you know, I asked you, well, why, why did you not just come clean then? Right. And all these years later, now I'm, I'm 16. And this all comes comes to light. And I guess he had no choice but to come forward. So he drove, he drove over to my house and to meet me, and I remember actually having a pretty profound level of empathy for him because I saw him sitting in the, in the car, getting ready to come in. And he I saw him take this big deep exhale, like gearing himself out for, you know, is this kid gonna punch me in the face? Or how's this gonna play out? But he, he walked up to the door, we shook hands. And that was the first time I ever met him. Me, me being the pretty intense, direct, passionate, fiery, dude. So I had a lot of questions. And I wanted to just cut right to the chase. So it was pretty much like, Where have you been all my life, bro? What's the deal here? And he just pretty much sat there, stammering and stuttering for an hour, hour and a half? And couldn't give me anything in terms of an answer as to why he was so absent. And yeah, it was it was hard not to get anything from him. But apparently, that was a pattern in his life as he's just emotionally not available in any way, shape, or form. So that was the start of our relationship.
Curt Storring 13:22
Man, and did that do anything for you in terms of like the depression, anxiety, all that kind of stuff? Or did it make it worse?
Brendan Schmidt 13:28
Didn't it didn't make it worse? It was just, I mean, it was good to meet him. It's good to see who that who the man was that I'd spent all this time thinking about and feeling all this hostility and anger towards kind of humanized him a bit because I think he was just this figure in my mind for a long time. But yeah, it wasn't until much later that I actually felt like I really was able to address all of the emotion and pain that I carried. That that literally took years. And yeah, I think I think just what, it wasn't him that hurt me it was more what, what I came to believe about myself that really did the most damage and unwinding. That is what I needed to do. And I spent years trying to heal. So New Age, self healing, traveling relationships, just trying to read all the books do all the things to try to I knew that there was something wrong. Like I just didn't feel good about myself in any way, shape, or form. And I was trying to resolve that I was trying to work it out. Trying to get to the bottom of it. How do I turn the page? How do I get over this and step into the man that I truly am that I want to be? And I just couldn't do it. I was trying and trying and trying and trying and it took years before I finally broke through.
Curt Storring 14:53
Yeah, and I want to get into that for sure. Are you are you open to going through sort of that like early adult heard in trying to become this man without having any father without knowing who you are, why it hurts so bad necessarily, or how to do anything about it like, you want to paint just a little bit of a picture? Because I think, for me, your story is like, bro, how did you? How did you figure this out? Like there is no reason that the things that you have shared should have led you to here. And you just like persevered and got shut down. I think it's a very hopeful story, both for dads because if they're feeling these things like they can also do the work, but also to just show them like what could happen if you don't show up for your son. And I think your story is like an excellent example of both. So I don't know if you want to get into that at all. But it's pretty profound some of the stuff that you've gone through to wind up where you're at now.
Brendan Schmidt 15:41
Yeah, so I'm not quite sure what to share about about that, other than the fact that I had a pretty emotionally mentally unstable mother. And just so much, there's so much chaos in my life as a teenager. And then when I turned 19, there was always this part of me that wanted to make a difference, make an impact, do something meaningful, do something that was going to do something good in the world. And I think because I didn't have that father figure in my life, I was pretty naive and pretty idealistic. And I wanted to just be a 19 year old that was changing all these lives and making all this money. But I didn't really know how. So I was trying to start some obscure kind of like internet business where I was influencing and impacting and doing all this stuff. And I actually amassed a decent sized following as a 19 year old. And I couldn't figure out how, but I couldn't figure out how to monetize it. And there was just chronic instability in my life. I had no foundation, like, no ground beneath my feet. So I was, there was a period where I was like living in my car. And then I would go to a coffee shop and I would like work on this obscure dream to try to get get it off the ground, slash just browse social media all day. And then I got swallowed up by the New Age, met what I felt was my twin my Twin Flame, quote unquote. And so so I had built up somewhat of a foundation to that point, a car and a place, all that kind of stuff. And I essentially sold everything when I met this woman to go travel with her. And we spent months traveling around being new age, spiritualist, and eventually that came crashing down when she broke up with me and in Jamaica, and had to get bailed, bailed out on a flight back home to Vancouver, and had to start everything over. So working in a warehouse, building myself up from nothing. And just so many twists and turns and ups and downs and peaks and valleys, and the path was just not straight or clear or easy in any in any sense. And I guess joining joining a men's group at 25 years old was the thing that really changed everything for me, after I tried so many things to to heal and to break through on my own. And before I had joined that group I that was when my depression and anxiety had really peaked. And I was essentially on medical AI, unable to work, had a hard time functioning day to day, I was so anxious that I couldn't even go go to get a cup of coffee, I'd be standing in line. And I would just start sweating, and freaking out my body just going through the basic interaction of hey, can I get a large coffee to go? Just wanted to get out of any social situation as quickly as possible. And that sense of shame was just everywhere. So couldn't work. So anxious, I could barely leave the house suicidal. Felt like I was never going to make it like nothing was gonna change. And I was living in a family member's basement for free. Pretty much just hiding out from the world playing video games. And feeling like life was over. And that I was it was done. And I was never going to become the person I wanted to be. And this was in 2017 2018 So not even that long ago.
Curt Storring 19:30
Yeah, man. And so I think it was a men's group thing, right? Like this was the catalyst then. So first of all, why do you how do you go from like, I don't want to order coffee. Like I think I want to share my feelings with 10 other men.
Brendan Schmidt 19:43
Yeah, very with a lot of fear and trepidation for sure. Because I actually went to join a men's group two years before I actually did, I went to an open house. And I went to the open house and the energy in the room was so profound We just went around the room and said, our name and why we were there. And I felt I felt 50 guys looking at me. And I never felt energy like that before. And as soon as the open house is over, I hit the door and I ran. And I was like, I'm done. I'm never, I'm never doing that. It's way too much for me, I'm not ready for that. So it took me two years before I finally worked up the courage to actually join, but it just, it was just that point of, I can't keep doing things like I'm doing them, I need to make a change, I need help. Something's Got to Give here. And I push through the fear and anxiety and terror that I was feeling. And I did join the group.
Curt Storring 20:38
What was that process like for you, then you join this group, because this is like, we both run men's groups. It's changed both of our lives. And I always recommend, like, a lot of the guys join me for coaching. For example, like the next step, after that, I'm like, Dude, you guys gotta find a men's group, you have to continue being in this group such that you can show up and be challenged and supported. But also keep your Northstar in view, basically, that's what I do at least like when I'm in a men's group. It's like I said, I was going to do this thing. And here's who I want to be, and I need your guys's help. And if I'm not showing up that way, I get, you know, called out. And that's important, and that's necessary. But what did that look like for you? What did you get out of it? And maybe we'll just go through that story a little bit, because I think it gets into some more profound stuff around your father and brotherhood and stuff like that. Yeah.
Brendan Schmidt 21:26
So I joined the men's group in July of 2018. And I remember walking into my first meeting, and there was about 15 guys in my group. And it was in this guy's living room. And I felt absolutely terrified. There were some big dudes, there were some pretty masculine guys in that group. I had no idea what to expect. And man, I was anxious. I was freaking out. And I actually had guys coming up to me at the beginning. And at the first break, saying like, Dude, are you okay? Like, I guess I looked like I was about to pass out or something. And the first thing I was asked to do in my first meeting was, interestingly enough, share the story of my father. So I got to tell my story with my dad, with a bunch of these guys that never met before. And even that was really profound. The second that I first walked into that room. For my first meeting, I had this profound sense that I was in the right place, and I needed to be there. And despite the fear, so men's group became a large part of my life. And I showed up every single week without fail. And I really let those guys into my life in a way that I never had. Prior to that I had, I pretty much only had women around me, like, female friends, girlfriends, mother, sister, I almost had like a fear of really connecting with guys. So I had I had a pretty profound breakthrough very early on where I got up in front of the group and had all the all of the men in the group come around me and just put a hand on me and speak words of affirmation to me. And it was the first time in my life that I think I've ever received energy like that from another guy. And it was so I don't even know what the words are. It just it did something to me that was really healing. And yeah, I don't I just I developed a an absolute fire and passion for the work because it was impacting me immediately. And I think within the first six months I there was a meeting that I had where I finally got to address my father issues. I don't know what I don't know what prompted it. Just on that particular day, I was feeling the anger towards him. I was feeling that tension and energy. I was asked to get up. A man played the role of my father. So he stood in front of me. And the facilitator asked me to say everything I wanted to say to my father, while all the other men in the groups that around me and a lot of negativity started to come out. A lot of anger, sadness, pain, swearing, darkness, all this stuff that I was carrying, sir. Sir, just projecting it all over the sky. And it got to the point where I had these guys actually physically restraining me because I wanted to kill the man in front of me. And it turned into me screaming, raging crying. I broke down on the floor. I got back up. I was trying to rip through the guys and kill the guy in front of me. collapse again get up again, scream, yell cry, while I'm getting physically restrained. And I did that to the point of Have utter exhaustion and are laid on my, on my back just had with nothing left in me, I had just every ounce of pain and anger that I felt I was able to express. And I was physically held on the ground by 15. Guys, and witnessed as I went through that process. I cried, I cried so hard that I burst blood vessels all around my eyes. And I woke up the next morning, and I felt like a physical weight had been lifted off me. And from that point forward, I never felt the anger and resentment and animosity toward my father ever again, it was like a some sort of a emotional exorcism that took place essentially. So from that point, it was it was done, it was buried, and I turned the page. So that was one of the most impactful moments in my entire life.
Curt Storring 26:00
Man, thank you for sharing that. That's so intense. I've heard you say that a couple of times now. And every single time it's like, right in the heart, I can see that I can feel that I've been in rooms that hold the space like that. And it's so powerful. And it was that like, would you say that was like a father forgiveness moment? Or did the forgiveness come after that? Was that a different process?
Brendan Schmidt 26:20
Yeah, it was anger on the surface pain underneath. And once I got through all that, yeah, I guess there was forgiveness and seeing, seeing the fact that my father is a flawed, man. And he's just a man. And realizing also that even if he was there, just because he's so incapable, he wouldn't have been able to give me what I needed anyways. And the interesting thing, as well as that, you know, he had some level of issues with his father. So eventually, you're pointing back towards the past, and you're just pointing at ghost figures. And there's, like, who's to blame? It goes generation after generation after generation. Okay, well, this, it affected me. I've know dealt with it. Now I can now refer you to move forward. Right? And,
Curt Storring 27:15
yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's, um, that's a really important part that I struggle with a lot was that like, looking to the past? And just like, oh, man, there's all these reasons why I'm like this. And I wish someone would apologize for it. And I was just like, victim, bratty in a sense. And if you get to the point where I talked about this with Jonathan West a few episodes ago, like there is this forgiveness you have to give to your father because he's just some dude. You know, when you look at his story, you look at the life that he lives, something happened to him to work on that man. And you're never gonna get that from him. I can't go back and be the three year old. Who's that doesn't leave. You know, you can't go back and be the man of the boy, the man who who had a father who is present emotionally and physically, and at some point, you just got to be like, Okay, there's nothing I can do about that. And I grieved, same sort of thing. I cried. I wrote, I grieved about it, but then I was able to drop in. Yep. Any thoughts on like, that? I don't know. Like, guys really cling to the past? I do. How else are you seeing guys dropped? Yeah.
Brendan Schmidt 28:20
So I think one of the biggest turning points that has to happen if you're gonna get over the issues you have with not just your father is with parents with figures in the past, in general, you have to come to a place of accepting the reality of the situation. And that's, that's one of the hardest things right is that I think as young men as boys, we, we crave that ideal father figure. And we want him to change, we want him to become that guy, right? So it gets to a point where once you become an adult, you're kind of just hurting yourself. Where you're not accepting the reality that your father is who your father is, you you're beating your head against the wall, wishing that he was different, hoping was different trying to get through to him trying to impact him trying to change him. And I did that for years, I thought that I was going to be the one that would get through them. And that we could walk off into the sunset and have this great relationship and we have a good relationship now. But it it was only once I accepted and said you know what? He is who He is and I'm gonna get what I can get from them. And that's okay. That's that's the part that is really really hard for guys that I see that like they just yeah, they're just beating their heads against the wall trying to change it
Curt Storring 29:43
that last thing you said it's okay. Yeah. So difficult to accept that. Yeah, exactly. And like, yeah, a lot of guys just can't get there. Yeah. What, man the whole conversation about you know, A new age of brotherhood and finding the hole naturally leads me into maybe a conversation about what works and what doesn't work, because I think we've both tried every single thing under the sun to heal this wound, and to grow and to become like an actual good man, because that's, at the end of the day. That's what I'm trying to do. Like, I want to be the man that I look at myself in the mirror and go like, yeah, good job. I respect you. And I want my wife and my kids to look at the same man and say the same sorts of things. And, you know, there's been a lot of stuff that I have done that put a lot of focus on the self and like healing the past and like, oh, no, if you heal the past, you have to keep going back. Because there's like, more and more and more and more, and it's never good enough. And I think you never get to that point, what you just said, of acceptance of like, oh, this is just how it is. And you'll look for more. So do you want to get into sort of the called the spiritual element of all this?
Brendan Schmidt 30:55
Yeah. So I'm trying to be careful here. Because you and I both started in the same men's community, I have a great level of, I have a great level of respect on one hand for that community. And without what happened there, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing. So thank God for that. And I, there's definitely some traps that I see guys fall into when they get into doing quote, unquote, the inner work to become the man that they want to be. And one of those things is just this addiction or obsession with peeling back the layers, like this never ending pursuit of trying to heal of breaking through trying to excavate some perfect self. And it very quickly becomes this entitled, narcissistic, self obsession. Weird thing that just, you're never quite there and you're just one Ayahuasca ceremony, one, one, whatever away, one breakthrough away from finally arriving. And, you know, you see that with these guys that they've spent 1015 years doing the work, and they're still doing the work. It's like, bro, maybe the works not working, and maybe you need to maybe take a step away from that dislike, get on with the business of living your life. And that's, that's really, what has become the truth for me. My Truth is a
Curt Storring 32:27
Oh, man, I wonder if that one's gonna come across with a nuanced
Brendan Schmidt 32:33
Yeah, so you know, go look at your past, face, face, the demons do all the things right. But try to do it as efficiently and quickly as you possibly can. There's no virtue and staying in that place. You know, month after month after month, year after year. An endless endless quest for something that doesn't even exist. Like you. You're a human being and suffering is a part of life. And you're never going to do enough work where you're not suffering on some level. That it's like ignorant of reality. And it's like the self warship that starts to go on after a while. And I'm just fundamentally not not about that. You know, so what works in my experience, very simple. Get around a group of guys that believe in you care about you. Love you want to see you win, and are going to have the courage to actually speak the truth you be held be held accountable. I think that's a massive missing ingredient. And so much can happen. So much positive can happen in brotherhood for men. And this is seldom even talked about or understood just because we live in such a hyper individualistic society is good to be able to stand on your own two feet. But you know, I think guys you have blind spots. You know, you're you're better when you have more eyes on you when you have more feedback, more input. I think that's something that definitely works brotherhood.
Curt Storring 34:15
Yeah. And that's, that's so interesting, because often guys are like, Oh, here's my morning routine. And like, you know, I'm all about like, structure and discipline, and like all my morning routine, and journaling, and reading and all that kind of stuff. And the thing that just works is to take action in real life. And it's like, oh, man, like, I don't know if I can do this because of this wound. And it's like, well, what if you just like, remove that part of the story? Like it's hard? Yeah. And you can you're just choosing not to because you're letting the past dictate. But if you're around other guys who are seeing you, and you don't feel so alone, like dude, then you just do the thing and you're like, Oh, right. I can stop thinking and feeling about this. And just do it and lay
Brendan Schmidt 34:56
here. Here's a great example. So why am I doing this podcast? So I'm doing In this podcast with you right now, because I run through men's groups, and in those men's groups, in one of the groups I was recently, in the hot seat where I'm receiving direct feedback from the men, and the men told me, bro, you need to get over yourself and get out there and do a podcast again, because you've kind of, I haven't done one all year. And there's that part of me that still doesn't want to be seen. I get into my anxiety, my fear, my doubt, my worry, whatever, about everybody finding out that I'm not the imposter syndrome, right? Like, I'm the, I don't know what I'm talking about. And I'm here because those men pushed me and I said, Hey, we see something higher and you you're lying to yourself, you are capable of doing this, get out of your own way. Go book a call do the podcast. So here I am. Right? That's
Curt Storring 35:50
here. I thought it was because you like.
Brendan Schmidt 35:55
So that's, uh, that speaks volumes to, to why brotherhood matters?
Curt Storring 36:04
Yeah, yeah, get out of your own way, is often the case. And that's what I love about it, as well as, like, I can think certain things about myself. But I'm gonna, I'm gonna lie to myself all the time to be comfortable. That's just the way of the psyche of the men of men or whatever of humans is like, How can I be more comfortable? Oh, I'll just make an excuse. But when you have people, like you said, operating in reality, it's like, no, do you can't run from that. And the guys who do run from that, they leave the group. And then they just stay in their ways. And maybe they'll come back when it hurts bad enough. But maybe that's a quick little side side note to get into like, is there a point at which guys can or should be joining something like this? Or is there a way to get guys to this point? Or do they just have to suffer enough to take action?
Brendan Schmidt 36:53
That's a good question. Honestly, I don't, I guess I've been in a position where I've had guys in my groups that they're not ready, and you're trying to push them to change. And that seldom works. I think you do kind of need to come to a point where you've had enough. And often the guys who get the most results are at a point of desperation when they they've tried a bunch of things. And they've just overlooked the importance of hey, maybe maybe I could work this out if I had some guys around me that cared about me. So I think that it just, it just seems so simple that it's like, hey, well look, what could that actually do for me, but then once you do it, you're like, oh, wow, this was the missing piece. And all of a sudden, hey, now I'm actually going to the gym. Now I'm losing the weight. Now my relationships better. Now I'm being the leader. And it's, it's like, it's like, it's like, honestly, magic to watch it week over week over week with these guys. And even myself being four years plus in doing this work that as a facilitator, I'm constantly impacted and moved by what's happening within brotherhood. So yeah,
Curt Storring 37:59
yeah. Yeah, totally. And I just going to named or I'm just gonna drop at masculine revival.com is where you can sign up to the Brotherhood. Is that true?
Brendan Schmidt 38:08
Yeah, that's where that's where you can sign up. And yeah, we're always, always looking for more guys. So doors open.
Curt Storring 38:17
Yeah, and it's good stuff, guys. Like I run my own men's groups. We're wrapping those up, because we're doing we're about at the year mark now. So I'm moving on to other projects here. But I always say guys to Brendan's men's group, because, yeah, it's it's literally life changing. experience that myself, and I'm just I know, I know, this guy. So highly recommend signing up there. And I'm curious, like, is there like, a path that you get these guys on? Or is it just like you meet them where they are? And you just give them direct feedback? And you point them toward reality? Like, is it the reality path? Or is it like, Oh, you got to be this masculine role, whatever it is, like, how does each guy interact with the group?
Brendan Schmidt 38:58
Yeah, it's, it is very different man to man. I think what what actually changes guys is having men that see them, care about them, believe in them. That's, that's what it is. And then it's, it's the continued confrontation with the truth with what's real. So in a men's group, there's a lot of mirroring that goes on, where you start to see your own reflection. And it's, it's amazing to watch that you'll get guys together that have never met. And we'll do we'll do different processes that are very blunt, and to the point where you give very direct feedback to a guy, what do you actually seen in this man? What do you think about them? What judgments Do you have? How do you how do you perceive this guy? Right? You put them in the chair. These guys have never met each other. And they will speak the truth to each other and the guys will say how do you guys how do you guys how are you picking that up from a zoom call from resumes? Grand but if you actually pay attention you can notice and hearing that truth and then having the accountability to then take that and go take action and apply it to your life. It's absolute gold. Is it easy? Is it easy to hear? Hey, bro, you know you're showing up in a really effeminate way. You're really soft. You're a total pushover. I have no respect for you. Is that easy to hear? No. But if you take that in and let it stir, stir in you a little bit and then go take some action in your life. You know, it's game over.
Curt Storring 40:38
Yeah. Oh, man. That's powerful stuff. It's it's, it's kind of made me want to do this process is right now. Like, yeah, let's get let's just do a men's group process with each other right now. Here's your bro. But maybe we'll save that for another time. What? What are you seeing that has worked? Because you have gone from what you just explained to a much different man. And I think that takes some vision. I think it takes knowing where you're going. And in order to lead the men that you're leading in order to have the following you're having? I think it's because you're giving people that dose of reality. And what does that look like, in your life these days? Like, what is being a better man? Because you're, you've got the business, you've got the influence. You're married, expecting your first kid, which is extremely exciting. Like, what? What's the difference between now and when things were anxious and depressed? And stuff like that? Like, is it? Is it a simplification? Is it an understanding of roles? Like what? How does it look now that you've applied it to your life? Yeah,
Brendan Schmidt 41:44
well, I think the biggest thing, for sure, is just the stability that I have in my life. The fact that there is no, I think most of my life, it was anxiety, and fight or flight and just always some level of chaos. So there's a fire to put out. Things are stable, they're solid. Everything's smooth, it works. It runs well. You know, married, my wife is great. She's a great compliment to me and my mission in life. Though, just the order in our relationship, the order in my life is one of one of the biggest changes for sure. through everything that I've done, and it's almost been unsettling in some ways to have that, because I'm so accustomed to the chaos and turmoil and disorder. So that's probably the biggest change. Yeah, that's probably the biggest change.
Curt Storring 42:43
Yeah, and that's, um, it's so weird to be in that space. Like, I think you've experienced this, I've experienced this where it's like, oh, cool. Now what? When does the other shoe drop? What are we waiting for? And it's like, Oh, you're so scared around the other. The next turn, with a scarcity mindset, probably coming from childhood where it's like, oh, man, I'm like, if I don't do this, or whatever, like, I'm gonna die is the internal voice of a child. And so when things are going well, it's very easy to question then. And, yeah, like, I assume that's also in the back of your head. But how are you staying? Grounded with that, because I've seen you become much more chill in that space. And, and again, I'm now I'm thinking about, it's like, oh, yeah, I'll just replay what you said before about brotherhood, but like, what does that look like in terms of just like staying in it and not sabotaging yourself?
Brendan Schmidt 43:33
Yeah, so one of the things that is new is that I became a Christian in February. So something that has been a new experience for me is realizing that the times that I'm feeling the most peace and contentment is when I'm the most connected to God. And when I'm not connected to God, that's me starting to put all of it on my own shoulders, and giving into worry, doubt, anxiety, uncertainty. So that has been to even hear myself say that is trippy because I never would have imagined that I'd become a Christian in the first place. But being being in the word is definitely something that's really helped keep me more stable, more centered, more grounded, less anxious. Yeah, for sure.
Curt Storring 44:25
Yeah, yeah. And that's um, that's really interesting, man. And that's this has been a big part of my life for the last few months as well. And same sort of thing is that I'm shocked because the judgment level I had around it especially coming from like this, you know, light and love and live and let live in it. Oh, it's your truth, bro. Like whatever's good for you. And then to come across this like objective truth. I also became a Christian in May of this year, and everything's changed and I mean, maybe this an interesting conversation go in. I see. A lot of guys talking about like the Father hunger are the whole and men's hearts that bad fathers leave. And that's part of why I'm doing this work is like when you're not present. And when your shitty Dad, you leave a massive hole in your child's life in their heart. And what I'm seeing my take on it is that society and the men within it have a god sized hole in their heart. And it wasn't until I filled that hole, that I actually felt this groundedness that you're talking about? Where it's like, oh, yeah, it's not all about me, because my the pastor the other day at church said, the opposite of love isn't anger, the opposite of love isn't hate, the opposite of love is self. And that flies in the face of so much of this work that I was doing over the last number of years. But man, things are better now. So I don't know, man, like, do you want to riff on that a little bit? Is there anything that you're seeing or just thinking about that?
Brendan Schmidt 45:50
Yeah, well, I mean, definitely, I'm noticing that I'm noticing I'm noticing a theme of men, the men that are more grounded, or more centered, or more solid, that around me tend to be leaning in the Christian direction. And I see a lot of guys without the connection to the faith, really struggling. And I can relate to it having been there, but it's like the whole ayahuasca, you know, one more ceremony away type thing. There's something about the moral structure and the pattern that Christianity offers for men to follow. That is extremely grounding. And it gives you a clear path, right? Here's what to do, here's what not to do. And there's something about developing the faith that it requires a lot of discipline, it requires commitment it requires. You have to really make a conscious effort to do it. Right. And it's, it's hard. So I think there's something in that as well to really adhere to the principles, the values, the way of life. It's incredibly masculine to do that, because it's also countercultural to do that. So you have to stand up and take take a stance or something right. So
Curt Storring 47:14
yeah, yeah, that's an interesting point, the masculinity of it, because my, I mean, it's almost hard for me to talk about this kind of stuff, because I still have in the back of my head, this judgment, like, oh, man, like you really did that. And people are gonna think you're stupid. And the guys who were if you guys have been listening from the start of the show, like, this is not where I started. It was all about the self work, the inner work, the healing, and the journeys, and all this kind of stuff and digging deeper. But man, I've never felt so good. And what you said about the masculinity, it was the thing that got me into this, I saw a number of people I was following same sort of thing like, you know, grounded man sharing about the masculinity of the church and of Christ. I was like, Wait a second. They've been trying to hug me into the church my entire life. Nobody's ever, like punched me with the truth. And so it was very confronting, but when I looked into it, I tried to disprove it, I spent months going like, oh, no, this is stupid, bro. Like, I'll just obviously it's wrong. I'm smarter. But I look more and more into and all these things that I knew just in my heart from having done this work. That worked the masculinity side of things, and being a man. The answers were all there already. And Jesus being the most masculine man possible, like man that resonated. And it gave me like you said, both the template, but also the Father. And that has been insane for me. I was on a like a prayer meditation walk the other day. And I just went, like, let me just be with you, like, as a father. And that allowed me to bring that energy into my kids that day. Because I was like, Oh, right. I don't need this perfect father, like you're talking about, like, oh, we try and make our dads perfect. You know, I've literally got one now. And I don't have to worry, I don't have to wonder I don't have to hope I don't have to do anything to get that. So I don't know if you've had any similar experiences now. Bam. But yeah, I'm feeling like, it's worth talking about, even though it honestly feels scary to do so. Because yeah, I'm worried about being judged. But I have to fear God rather than bullet.
Brendan Schmidt 49:14
It's interesting to me how many men that both you and I know have come to similar conclusions about the reality of Christianity. All around the same time, like even you and I right, like the parallels and overlap in our journey was right around the same time that both of us gave ourselves over to Christ. And I think it's guys that are really paying attention and are seeking seeking truth earnestly are all arriving at similar conclusions. And it's very compelling when there's a lot of men that you respect, arriving at those conclusions all at the same time. So that was a big that was very interesting to me that that was happening. That was kind of the star Have a sort of it for me. And yeah, I'll like you, I spent a lot of time trying to disprove it, or really looking into the, is it real? And if so, what's the proof? And the more I did that, the more truth I found. And yeah, bring bringing the bringing more Christian values into my marriage has been an upgrade even from where I started, because I was always kind of leaning in the traditional generals direction, but I think that there's it's even more robust and meaningful and beautiful when it's a Christ centered marriage. So we're still very young, in our in our walk, and I also feel that apprehension and talking about this just because it's so new, but it's been an incredibly fruitful path, for sure.
Curt Storring 50:50
Yeah, yeah. And that's, um, it's like I am, I'm not sure where to take this from here. Because we could just be like, Hey, guys, you should go read the Bible. You should go check this out, like, trust me, bro. And like you said, it's like, you know, we're babies. But, you know, it's not like the, the people sharing the word early on, had gone through, like, you know, seminary and stuff like that. And so I'm just sharing what's real for me, you're just sharing what's real for you. And I appreciate that. Because again, this is not it's countercultural just like having a big family. And I think that's good. And it's important that as dads, you get the importance of having a family and doing right by your children, you can't do that if you're not leading. And if you don't have a good, like template to move towards. And that's why we talk about setting goals for your family. Who do you want to be? Who do you want your kids to be? But I think there's something here. So if this is like, I would just say for anyone listening, if you didn't turn it off already, because you're just like, so close minded? And you don't yet know, God, I would say, like, do what Brennan and I did just start reading man. Like, I just went, why is there something not nothing? You know? And what if there's something What does that mean? And I read, you know, everything I read CS Lewis, I read all the anti books, I read all the apologetics, I just started thinking and praying and going, like, I went to church. And, man, it was like this journey that I was not in control of. And it's brought me so much peace. And it's not like, oh, the peace of my truth. It's like, No, man, this is a deeper soul peace. And I wish this for everyone listening.
Brendan Schmidt 52:26
Yeah, that's like, Why Why should guys do that? Aside from all the beautiful things that you just said, I think, if you just look around and you pay attention, we're collectively going to this big period culturally, where we're trying to do it on our own. And it doesn't really seem like it's working. And we've turned our back on these Christian traditional values. And we're in this place of chaos and disorder, and you know, putting litter boxes and bathrooms at high schools, because the kids are identifying as cats, right. And like, that's where we're at, and it just continues to get more and more godless, and distorted and backwards and evil. And I think even that speaks to the amount of evil that you see, I think that even speaks to the reality of God because there's got to be a counter force. There's not much evil, what's what's the other side. But the Christian men that I know they have ordered lives, ordered thinking, ordered action taking, you know, like, here's my wife, here's her role. Here's what she's doing. Here are my kids. You know, they're, they're not brainwashed on the path to being a NPC, nor me, whatever. Right? Like. Yeah, and it's just obvious when you when you take a look that that's that's the case. And that's, that's been huge for me in my my journey.
Curt Storring 53:57
Yeah, and that's a really good way to look at it actually, rather than like, you know, it doesn't have to be quite so existential, just like how do I become a better man? I have become a better man, I know you have. And like you said, when there's all these other men you respect, and it's like, oh, what's the common thread here? Wait a second. I thought my old judgment was you guys are losers. But it turns out the reality is very different from that when I get to know them. Yeah, and just how do you want to be a better dad? How you want to be a better husband? How you want to be a better man? Look at all avenues. And if you know, there's a little bit of thread that's like, oh, I never thought about that before. Go look into it. What else man? Like what's what's real for you right now? Where are you? Where are you going from here? Because I'm excited for both of our journeys. But I also just am really excited to get you on here and pick your brain because it's been months and months and months. And we've been waiting for this. Now.
Brendan Schmidt 54:44
What else? Well, I'm very much in the trenches figuring things out right now. I think much like you are like, you've achieved this level of success with what you're doing. And it's like, as an entrepreneur, as as the leader and the creator of the whole thing. It's like, hey, well, where's it going? Now? And what the one thing that I know is that the men's work men's groups brotherhood that I absolutely love that totally passionate about it want to be doing it well into the future. But I'm very I think, being new to the faith nearly married expecting a child, there's so much life stuff going on that I'm settling into and adjusting to that, where's it? Where's it going? And what's next is a big there's, there's a lot a lot more questions than there are answers at the moment. You know, like? Yeah, so I'm still I'm still figuring it out.
Curt Storring 55:41
Ya know, saying? What? Uh, you don't have to go here if you don't want to? It's not a personal question. But what are you seeing in the guys who are joining your group? Like, what are some of the common pitfalls that guys are falling into? And perhaps we've talked about them already. But other common things that the guys listening could like, check themselves in, in terms of like, I don't know, life sucks. When you're doing this, the guys are like, last hear anything come up with common issues that you're seeing?
Brendan Schmidt 56:09
Yeah. No, no friends, no men around them that care about them at all. Like nobody to get real with one to their partner is feeling very unsettled about where they're at. So like, the woman is kind of pushing them out and saying, I want more from you. You're not doing enough. You're not You're not leading. You're not. You're you're letting me down, essentially. So that's, that's a big common theme. Guys that are kind of directionless, passionless, not clear on where they're going and what they want. Yeah, I think there's a lot of just like, apathy and stagnation in men. And guys that are confused as well, just like, What even is this being a man thing? Because there's all these kinds of cultural ideas. And men are really up against it in a lot of ways. And I think guys come into the group really, in that energy very frequently of what do I even do? How do I how do I be, you know, and in the groups, like, I'm not teaching guys how to do it, but there's something that you kind of just start to pick it up by being around other men, which is really interesting to watch.
Curt Storring 57:33
It's kind of like that King energy that we're talking about yesterday, right? There's this like sense of, like, you just, you know it when you see it. And it's not something you can necessarily, like, give a strict, you know, school paper definition on. But there is something to how a man shows up. And that's with like, there's leadership, I think, is one of the biggest things it's having. Being a leader for me is like, knowing the direction that you need to go in, while bringing everyone else along with you and your family or your community in a way that benefits them more than if you weren't leading them. And that is one of the things, I think that I want to see in more men that more men need to develop. And so my thing is like, you got to be harder to kill, easier to love and equipped to lead. And it's like, you know, you've got physical body success, you've got discipline, you've got the emotional side of things, and you know where you're going and how to bring other people there. Would you add anything to that in terms of like the king energy or just leadership in general?
Brendan Schmidt 58:31
No, I think your your three part approach that you just laid out, is very spot on, and eloquently put.
Curt Storring 58:41
Beautiful. Okay, that's testimony for my page. Thank you. All right, man. Well, thank you for being here. This has been an honor and a blessing. Because when I told my wife, I was having masculine revival on the podcast, she's like, white, like, Oh, he's famous. And I was like this big deal. And so here we are, and you're a dude. And I really appreciate that. Because this is not the I know, the openness and the transparency. I think a lot of guys would, would lead with, but you are just doing the work and you are being a man and you are leading by example. And that's why you can lead I think, is because you are not afraid to get dirty and to be raw and to face reality. And rather than that being like, oh, no, man, I don't know, like who I am or what I'm doing. I don't know if I should be leading. It's like, no, that's why you are leading. So I encourage everyone to follow you on Instagram encourage you to sign up for whatever you're launching next, which I hope is coming soon. And I need to join your men's group. So where else can guys follow you other than like the three other podcast recordings you've done? So thank you for being on the show. Yeah, where would you send people
Brendan Schmidt 59:46
everything I do is at masculine revival on Instagram. And it's been it's been a pleasure Curt Curtis the ultimate alpha male flex to say guys full name instead of his shorter version of his name, my number one tip for men is assert dominance by saying the full name not this.
Curt Storring 1:00:13
Oh, man, you heard it. Yeah. All right, man. Thanks for being here. And guys, check them out. Obviously, you know where to find them. Thanks, bro. Thank you for listening to the Dad.Work podcast. That's it for this episode. But if you would like to stay in touch between weekly episodes, why don't you go over to Instagram and follow me there because I drop a number of things throughout the week that are related to what we talked about on this podcast but usually go a little bit deeper, provide some tips you can find me on Instagram at dad work dot Kurt. That's da d w o RK dot c u r t. And please, if you have been getting something out of this podcast if it has touched you if it has improved your marriage, your parenting or your life, would you please leave a quick review on Apple or Spotify. leave a rating. If you have a few extra seconds leave a quick review. That's the best way that we can get this work in the hands of more fathers. And I truly believe that we change the world, one father at a time because each father that parents better that loves better raises children who do the same. And in just a couple of generations. I feel like we could be living in a world much better than the one we live in today. Your review will help along that path. And I thank you so much for being here to listen until next week. We'll see you then.
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