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Today’s guest is Ken Curry.

We go deep today talking about:

  • How to stop being a passive man and become the leader of your household
  • Tackling procrastination (and the deeper reason behind it)
  • Dealing with overwhelming emotion

Ken Curry is a father, husband, grandfather, mentor, friend, bowhunter, lover of the outdoors and also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). His practice specialty is manhood, masculinity and relationships and is continually exploring new avenues of strength, vitality and purpose for himself and the men he works with. Ken works from the premise that masculinity is good, that each man brings significance into our world and that men have been designed to move with freedom, presence and strength. Along with individual and relationship counseling, Ken provides groups for men to build personal integrity and strength so men will influence their world with intent and passion.

Find Ken online at:
Email: kencurrylmft@gmail.com

Resources mentioned:
Picard and Riker of Star Trek: Next Generation Star
D-Day by Dwight D. Eisenhower
Books by Ken Curry on Amazon

#168. From Passive to Leading, Stop Procrastinating, and Dealing with Overwhelming Emotions - Ken Curry


[00:00:00] If your woman absolutely cannot handle you having any kind of boundaries, she can't handle you having any kind of power and therefore she is not going to follow anywhere you're going to go. So it may, it may be that you chose a woman that will not allow you to grow and to become the man that you've been designed to be.

[00:00:17] There's a chance that that would happen. But here's the thing. The truth is, Is that boundaries are one of the most significantly healthy relational constructs out there. It is like, if you are unable or unwilling to set boundaries, you will not have a strong relationship.

[00:00:41] All right, guys, welcome back to another episode of the dad work podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host, the founder of dad work. And I am back with very special and kind of like infamous guests. Now the famous guest in our community, Ken Curry, because I will say, Ken, like I just was telling you. The guys in my community in the brotherhood, they [00:01:00] know that like a lot of what I say is like your stuff.

[00:01:03] We go as Ken Curry says, we go, Oh, you've got to be internally referenced. We go, Oh, remember that podcast that we did with Ken? I think it was December, 2022. So now if you guys remember that, if you're listening. Amazing. And like you said, we covered a lot of the ground, so I had you back for round two, and I'm really excited about this.

[00:01:19] Been looking forward to this for a couple of months and I'm going to stop talking. I'm going to ask you to give us a 30 second overview of who you are and what you do, and then we'll jump into the questions. I'm looking forward to this, man. Thank you for being here.

[00:01:29] Ken Curry: Sounds great, Kurt. I appreciate coming back. It's been a year since we talked. And, yeah, that was a this great conversation we had. Let's see. My name is Ken Curry. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist out of Colorado, and I'm 62 years old. I'm a grandfather. I've now have two grandsons. I think the last we talked, I only had one, And so I have two grandsons.

[00:01:51] Ken Curry: I have three kids who are adults. I've been married, this next summer we'll be, I'll be married 40 years. It's kind of a milestone for us.

[00:01:59] Ken Curry: Yeah.

[00:01:59] Ken Curry: [00:02:00] It's really something else. Let's see. My practice is primarily working with men. I've been doing that for gosh 15 years now and I have men's men groups for men. I have some content on Amazon I got four books out there And let's see. What else I'm a bow hunter and I love the outdoors That's one of my favorite things is just to get outside. I do I try to get outside whenever I can that's what I do every day walking and getting just getting outside. So Gosh, I think that's the quick introduction. There you

[00:02:34] Curt Storring: Yeah, well, Hey, like a extremely reasonable, well rounded, sort of useful man to listen to. And so I'm hopeful that the guys listening will get as much value as last time. And I'm just going to sort of rifle through a couple of questions that are mostly from the men that we work with. Things that I just haven't covered as much or I didn't struggle with personally.

[00:02:55] Curt Storring: And maybe you having worked with a lot of men will have seen sort of answers to these. So first [00:03:00] one I want to talk about is passivity. And this one, honestly, comes mostly from the wives, because the passive guys aren't looking for the action. It's the wives saying, what is going on here? Now the other thing is though, the guys who are passive probably know it.

[00:03:14] Curt Storring: They're just maybe not, well equipped to do something about it. So I wonder if... We can talk about this idea of passivity in men, maybe where it comes from, of the things that we can do to encourage more confidence and action taking. But can you maybe set the stage for this topic and what we're looking for and what that kind of, shows up as in the life?

[00:03:32] Ken Curry: Sure, let me start with a question Could you clarify or define a little passivity?

[00:03:39] Curt Storring: Yeah. So a lot of times I will get message from wives who see my content and they're like, If only my husband could take leadership, if only my husband could take responsibility, if only he could X, Y, and Z, but he's just too passive. And so it's usually the man who is probably providing, but that's about [00:04:00] all.

[00:04:00] Curt Storring: And so when he comes back, he almost, I like to see abdicates responsibility and his wife. I would say out of her own safety, ends up taking that leadership role and almost starts resenting him for it. And so he's kind of like scared to take action. He's not intrigued. He's maybe fearful that he'll get in trouble if he does something wrong.

[00:04:19] Curt Storring: So he just sort of condenses and Does that make more sense?

[00:04:23] Ken Curry: It does, I'm, I'm just trying to think of what, yeah, cause you're specifically talking about in a marriage, in the home, , gosh, there's a couple of places I can go with this. Let's, let's see, let's start with the grand scheme of things. Just, and you'll, you'll probably like this Kurt cause this goes back to the beginning of the dawn of time with

[00:04:43] Ken Curry: Adam and Eve.

[00:04:44] Curt Storring: Let's go.

[00:04:45] Ken Curry: And if you read, if you read the story of Adam and Eve in the garden with the snake coming up and, and all this stuff. You'll you'll see there's some really important things and it's really fun how in the Bible they tell a story and The story has [00:05:00] these clues in there that just make the story just go if you notice the clues And so we all we've all heard in Sunday school, you know Here's Adam and Eve and then the snake comes up and talks to him and says hey eat the apple, right? And And what the snake or in that, in that metaphor or in the story, it's Satan trying to, create something really ugly for humans and which creates the fall of mankind, sin enters the world and all this. But so the snake is kind of throwing this information at Eve and talking specifically to the woman, right? And basically saying, God's holding out on you. There's something more you could have if you eat this fruit of the garden of the tree of knowledge of fruit, of good and evil. You'll be like God, right? So right now God's holding out on you. You're not like God. And so he's like, Hmm. And she looks at the fruit and she's going, Hey, this looks great.

[00:05:52] Ken Curry: Maybe that's exactly right. We need to eat this, the, the fruit. And so this, we always think it just Eve, right? [00:06:00] But there's this phrase in there where she's thinking about the fruit and then she turns to her husband and it says, Adam, who was with her. Right now that's the big clue right there because here's Adam who's watching this whole thing go on And he's not doing a dang thing, right? And so here so this is the fall of mankind Where Eve takes a bite and then she gives it to her husband and everything falls apart At that point and so the story when it says Adam who was with her you you realize wait something really big has just gone on And the big thing is two things, silence and passivity. Because here's a man who is at the beginning, who's listening to what's being told to his wife, and his wife thinking about what's been told, and it's obviously lies, and the way that Satan lies always has this truth [00:07:00] in it, and then he has a lie mixed in. And then Eve takes it and goes, okay, fine, let's do this.

[00:07:06] Ken Curry: She goes, hey, this looks great, let's go for it. Adam doesn't say no. He doesn't say this is BS what the snake said. He doesn't say no we're not doing this stop right now. But, but he lets it happen. He just lets it all happen. So he's silent. So why am I bringing this up to your question? It's because this has been an issue with men since the beginning of dawn, the dawn of time, right?

[00:07:35] Ken Curry: Since the very beginning, the first story that we hear of a man and a woman starts with silence and passivity. And I would say both of those are equally a problem with men. And so here we are going, okay, so if that's how the fall of mankind started was with a man being passive and not holding a boundary and not saying no and not saying, Hey, wait a second, this isn't right. Of course, [00:08:00] that's kind of what you're talking about with leadership. He wasn't a leader. He was passive. He let it happen. And, and of course, that's, that's, like I said, the fall of mankind. So what am I saying here? The, the passivity that we're talking about is something that has gone on forever in the lives of men. And so we see that story and we go, okay, there's two things that are really profound that huge negative consequences happened in the world. And if you look at it and you go, all right, what does that mean for us today? And the challenge would be, I need to be a man who is not silent. And I need to be a man who is not passive. And so the two categories, my voice and my presence are the two parts of this thing that the most powerful part of a man is my voice and my presence. And so as I use my voice to be able to say, like I was saying, say no. This is ridiculous. We're not doing that. We're not going in this direction. Or we talked in our last podcast about blessing [00:09:00] our children with my voice as a father, being able to say, man, you're good enough.

[00:09:04] Ken Curry: You got this kid. I'm proud of you. The power of a man's voice is immense. It's huge. And so our voice is really powerful and our presence is very, very powerful as well. And that's being there and being active and being engaged. And that's what you're talking about as far as being passive. A man who isn't active, isn't engaged. And a lot of guys, they're present. I'm here. My body's here. But I'm not here as a presence. As a powerful, I don't know, what would we call that, having a powerful posture, I guess, where, where I'm engaged, I'm more, I'm, I'm, I'm absent even though I'm here because I'm not engaged with this. And so that's a really significant thing to know that this has been a problem since forever and it's a problem now.

[00:09:53] Ken Curry: And how do I actually change that in my life today? How do I actually say I'm going to be a man with a strong [00:10:00] voice and I'm going to be a man with a strong presence. And so that would be a high commitment to make and be able to say that's what I'm committed to and that's what I'm going to start building in my life. So that's just kind of start off with it. The second thing I was thinking that came into my head immediately was the whole idea of a man being at home. Oftentimes for men, we we have a high level of a desire to be competent wherever we are. And competence is a really significant thing for men. I want to be competent.

[00:10:32] Ken Curry: I want to be good at what I do. And so most guys, when they go to work, They, they gotta figure it out, man. I go to work, I know what I'm doing, I'm competent, I'm, oftentimes you get a new job and there's a learning curve for six months to a year or whatever, but eventually I get it and I figure it out and then now I'm at work and that's where I feel competent.

[00:10:52] Ken Curry: I'm, I'm, I know what I'm doing. When I get home, I feel incompetent. I Feel like, man, what am I doing [00:11:00] here? What does she want? What is really going on here? And so, what happens is, is at that point when I feel incompetent, I kind of begin to defer. Well, she knows what she's doing, or this is her turf, or this is her place, or home is her place, so therefore when I come to the house, this is kind of her spot, so I'm going to defer. Because I don't feel competent, for one, plus I'm kind of giving it to her. So that's the other reason why I feel like a lot of guys are passive at home, is the whole idea of feeling, incompetent. Like, I don't know, really know what I'm doing. Kurt, what questions do you have from there?

[00:11:36] ADS 1: Hey guys, it's Kurt Storing. I want to take a quick break to tell you about our family leadership blueprint. If you want to lead your family better, if you want to build an intimate marriage, if you want to confidently raise great kids, then I highly suggest you download the family leadership blueprint by dad work.

[00:11:52] ADS 1: You can find that for free at dad. org slash blueprint. It includes five main pillars that you need [00:12:00] as a family leader to thrive and see success. Head on over to dad. work slash blueprint to download your free copy today. That's dad. work slash blueprint. All right, let's get back to the show.

[00:12:11] Ken Curry: Mm.

[00:12:16] Curt Storring: this double or this two pronged approach I should say, because on the one hand there is, well actually, you know what? I think they're almost the same question because I wrote down, how do you stop being passive? And then also, how are you building competence?

[00:12:30] Curt Storring: And I wonder if they're actually the same thing. So that's useful for guys to be like, okay, at least I've got the oldest problem in the world for men. And here's maybe why, but I think men, men were failed along the way with lack of initiation, which maybe we'll get to. But I also wrote down skills, like the thing that we do in all of my.

[00:12:51] Curt Storring: Courses in our communities. One of the major foundational pieces is relational skills. And it's like, once you know [00:13:00] these, you don't have to feel so incompetent and you then can start to lead more, but that's only a piece of the puzzle, I guess. So I guess, how do we. How if you're listening to this, if you're a man who's passive, you're like, man, I'm not really leading.

[00:13:13] Curt Storring: I don't feel like I know what to do. My wife is kind of better, but we also know she doesn't want you to abdicate this leadership. Where might a man start? And maybe that'll give us a more, multi pronged approach to go from there. Or maybe you just answer the question in one go. Who knows?

[00:13:27] Ken Curry: Yeah, this is gosh, there's so much to this. I just wrote pitfalls. So make sure we loop back onto that.

[00:13:35] Ken Curry: Cause there's a really big pitfall when you actually start leading. But the desire, it's interesting that a lot of women really desire their husband to take the lead. And, and they'll say it. My wife did this and it was a really big part of our journey of me being passive, her being a natural leader. And, and she just kind of took the reins. And so, So it starts with a [00:14:00] commitment, like I was saying, the commitment to have a voice, to have a presence, to say I'm not going to be passive anymore, or the commitment to say I'm going to be a leader in my home. I'm going to now be a presence in my home where I'm going to make some things happen. And it's not that you come in and take over I really, I've enjoyed the, the metaphor of, Picard and Riker from the Next Generation Star Trek the first, the captain and the first mate, right? So when the, when the captain left, when Picard went off and did whatever he would do and Riker totally took over, he had, he had the, the enterprise and made sure everything was totally working and he did just fine. So it's not like your wife's not incompetent, she's very competent, but she just doesn't want to be the one who's in the lead because her shoulders aren't designed to carry all the weight. of all the responsibility. And so that's a [00:15:00] really significant thing to think about that. This is this gotta be on when it ultimately it's on me, this is my responsibility, but I have a really strong first mate. And so what that means is, is that I'm not, I'm not going to disregard her. She's my partner and she's going to be a really strong resource for me as we make decisions. So I'm not going to just make decisions. Or just do things, unilaterally. It's gonna be... Yeah, let's do this. Okay, let's do it. And I'm going to decide and move forward. But it starts with the commitment to say, I'm going to be a leader. I'm going to have more of a presence in my home. And start to have the conversation with your wife. What does this look like? Talk to other men, listen to podcasts about this, being able to think about what does it mean to be a leader in my home? What does it mean to make decisions? What does it mean to, trying to think of other categories? Because it's not coming in and just taking over and controlling everything, but [00:16:00] it's having a really strong, significant influence. And that category really comes back to our conversation we had last year about the whole idea of being an internally referenced individual. Because leadership starts with the idea of my values, what do I value, and what do I want. Because a leader has to know what he wants. You think about, Eisenhower on D Day, he planned this thing. He, he definitely took into consideration all the, the people that gave him good, information.

[00:16:32] Ken Curry: But when it came down to it, he planned it. And he said, here's what we're doing. And it's because this is what I want to do, and this is what I know is right. And so a leader does that and says, this is what we're going to do. This is what I want to do. So it comes from that internal place of this is where I want it to go. And so that's my vision. And so a leader has a vision of where he wants this thing to go, or she, it's any leader, has the [00:17:00] vision, and then says, this is how I'm going to make it happen. So I influence and start to make it happen. So I have the vision, here's where I want to go. Here's where I want this, yeah, this is, and so I start to make it happen.

[00:17:12] Ken Curry: So that's a really big part of this whole thing is, is coming in, influencing, but it starts with, this is what I want. And most guys kind of think about their, their main thing in the home is what does my wife want or what would make her happy? And that's kind of a, that's a pretty significant pitfall because, you've heard the whole happy wife, happy life thing. And

[00:17:33] Curt Storring: I just wrote that I was going to ask you, okay, let's

[00:17:36] Ken Curry: because, well, the thing is, we've heard, we've all heard that. And the thing is, it just doesn't work. It doesn't work. And, and because if you do the happy wife, happy life thing, It ends up nobody's happy because it's kind of like what you're saying The wife is sits there all the pressures on her to have to be happy all the time And she can't have a mood she can't be upset or she [00:18:00] were whatever it is And so everybody's trying to reduce her anxiety and make her happy which then just makes everybody unhappy and the really odd if you turn it to where it's happy life happy wife It actually works, where if a man lives to make his life happy, and this is what leadership would be, I'm going to make, I'm going to make the life that I want in my family, I'm going to make it as happy as I can for me. It's weird, everybody's happy. It's, it's really crazy, because it totally turns that other thing on its head, which is a, Totally doesn't work. And so if a man starts going, What do I want? What would make me happy? What would be my vision for a, for a beautiful family? What do I, where do I want this to go? It actually works really well for everybody.

[00:18:50] Ken Curry: And that's kind of a, what would you call it? A paradox, I guess. Because we all think that it would be the other way. And so, If I, if I'm living to make my wife [00:19:00] happy, It's kind of like a leader, Let's say a president who, Who leads according to the polls. If I'm okay, I'm only going to make a decision because, 55 percent of the people want this, and it, and it turns out that it's probably not the right thing to do or the wisest thing to do.

[00:19:15] Ken Curry: It's just that. 55 percent of the people want it. So then I'll do it to make them happy so that I get re re voted in. What's that called? Re elected,

[00:19:23] Ken Curry: right? And I'm doing it just to get re elected so that everybody likes me. And it's horrible leadership, horrible leadership, because I'm not leading out of my values and out of my moral compass and what I know is right. And that's where I need to lead. And so coming into the, the leadership of a family, let me, the other pitfall is this, is that you have a system right now that, that is kind of working even though your wife's going, no, I want you to be a leader. And you're being passive. , but it's the way the system's working. And once you start to say, [00:20:00] No, I think I'm going to start leading. Yes, dear, I will start leading. And start actually thinking about what would it mean to have a voice and to set boundaries and to say, this is where we're going and to start to have a vision and to set family values and to be able to think about where we want to go as a family and what we want to do and what we're going to do with that.

[00:20:18] Ken Curry: debt and our money and what we're going to do to be able to serve our community or whatever it is that this is where we're going as a family is that you will start to now happy to be present and start making moves and influence. But guess what? The system is going to push back because the system has always been this way.

[00:20:38] Ken Curry: And even though your wife is saying that I want you to lead, there's going to be a lot of pushback. And the thing is, think of it as this is a normal thing. It's normal for her to push back. And other people, or some people might call it a shit test. You've probably heard that term before. Where she's, she actually wants to test to see if this is [00:21:00] for real. Are you really going to be a leader and she's going to do things that are going to push back and, and to try to test whether this is for real. Now, part of it is the system actually pushing back because the way the old system was, is you being passive and now it feels really uncomfortable with you being a leader, but then also the whole thing of, She's testing to find out if this is really a source of security for her.

[00:21:24] Ken Curry: Is this real? And so that's another pitfall as as I start to develop my leadership To expect some pushback. So yeah, did I answer your question Kurt?

[00:21:35] Curt Storring: and it's, this is so good because I, it's fertile ground for about 10 other questions. But as you were saying, the, the trust factor I experienced this myself, I sort of got better along the way. And then it was like, worse. I was like, I'm, I'm better. Why are you making this so hard on And eventually it turns out after a couple months of this.

[00:21:56] Curt Storring: She's like, yeah, I didn't believe that this was really you because it hadn't been

[00:21:59] Ken Curry: Mm hmm.

[00:21:59] Curt Storring: [00:22:00] And it was not like she was actually meaning to make it harder. She was making sure that her own safety, her own heart didn't get more hurt by opening up the walls of trust. And then me just like, stabbing her in the heart, basically.

[00:22:12] Curt Storring: And I've been thinking about this recently, like, like almost like a castle wall metaphor. Where I think a man is supposed to create the castle wall around the relationship so that he and his wife are safe because of him. But I think what happens is guys leave gaping holes. And so the wife's like, well, I've got to be safe.

[00:22:30] Curt Storring: And she builds her own wall, but it only contains her. And so I think our job in this is building that wall around both of us as the leader, protecting the husband and wife, and then. Patiently helping and working with her to dismantle her wall. Is that a reasonable way to look at it? And have you sort of thought about how we can go about doing that in terms, especially of helping her put her wall down?

[00:22:55] Curt Storring: Cause I've, I've heard from a lot of guys who have been doing this for like. decades Potentially [00:23:00] and even though their wife sees and she's pushing back. She's like I still don't believe is there a point where a guy? Should be like babe. I'm gonna rock the boat a little bit. I'm better You need to give me the benefit of the doubt here,

[00:23:11] Ken Curry: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think that that's absolutely in place We're that what you just said, well, he just said I'm better. Give me You're talking about trust, right? That's the big word. Does she trust me? And often guys, we've been a certain way for too long where it's like we're not building trust at all. At all. And so we're actually building, if it's trust, I trust that you're going to be the passive guy. That's what I believe you to be. I'm trusting that rather than I'm trusting you to be the active guy that does create the fort. I love the idea of the fort, the fortress. That's a really significant part of the masculine individual. When I talk about masculinity, fortitude is a really, really significant [00:24:00] part of our masculinity. And it's being, being that man who is, creates the fort and the fort is the whole thing, the fortress. I love how you're saying it. A man builds a fortress, not just for himself. But it's for everybody that I love that I want to be in the fortress and I want to be safe and that's what we do.

[00:24:21] Ken Curry: But that's part of building that. The leadership is I'm building this fortress. I'm building a secure place. I'm building a place of love. Remember I was talking about the vision. This is what's going to be in my fort. Safety, love, security. Education, it's a freedom, all kinds of different things like that. And what you're talking about, also, with her fort, and I think that is an apt idea, that she's building her fortress, but it's around her, or it's around her heart. And how would I, how would I take brick by brick off of her fortress? That's a great, thought. And the whole idea comes down to [00:25:00] trust. And trust, to me, has two really significant, parts. Or, or pillars, you might say. Vulnerability and accountability. And so, and the vulnerability side of things is a really tough thing for a lot of men to navigate. But here's the thing, , I don't think masculinity has been designed to be vulnerable except for one place. Well, two places. Let me give you two places.

[00:25:24] Ken Curry: They're both very intimate, close things, your relationship with God and your relationship with your woman. And so that's the only place and two with your kids. I'll give it with your kids, right? To a certain degree. And some with your closest friends, right? But that's, that's about it. But it's, it starts a very vulnerable with God, vulnerable with your wife and less vulnerable.

[00:25:48] Ken Curry: When you get out to the world, man, there's no vulnerability at all. I am a man of entire, I am fortitude through and through, right? But when it's with your woman, [00:26:00] vulnerability is absolutely essential because I'm going to give you my heart. I'm opening this thing up. And vulnerability means that you can do whatever you want with this. Right? And, and so here's the thing, and when I'm vulnerable with you, when I'm open with you, and this is what men have failed to do, is talking about what's going on inside of me. Like for instance, you just said, it really bugs me that you got your walls up. I've been a really good source of security for you for two years now that I've been doing this work and it's really, it really bothers me and it kind of disappoints me that you still can't trust me. That would be a very vulnerable statement that you would give your wife, but that's a conversation about that, about being vulnerable. Popped into my head. The old John Denver song, he goes, I gave her my heart and she stomped on my aorta. That's John Denver back in the day, but that's the whole thing.

[00:26:59] Ken Curry: I'm giving her my [00:27:00] heart and she can do what she wants with it. So that's a really significant part of trust is being open and vulnerable with my woman. And a lot of guys are, a lot of guys, you'll hear it out in the manosphere. The whole thing is once you be vulnerable with your woman, she's going to stomp on your aorta or she's going to disrespect you or she will no longer have respect for you. And in some ways it's true, but if I balance my vulnerability with being a fort, being having fortitude where, you're not going to mess with this. And if you do stomp on Mayorda, guess what? There's some consequences. You cannot treat me like this. And if I have really powerful boundaries within that relationship, as well, and calling her out for being disrespectful and having really strong boundaries with how she treats me, then that's, that's where the respect comes back. But you can't have an intimate, close relationship with a woman [00:28:00] without being open and vulnerable. That's just, Across the board, a relational, reality. And

[00:28:07] Ken Curry: so, no, go No,

[00:28:08] Curt Storring: I jump in here because this is so relevant for so many guys I think And there's this, almost like this inability to be vulnerable, not because they don't want to be, not because they don't know what to say, but because they're literally uncertain that they can handle the emotional leadership.

[00:28:26] Curt Storring: And so if I tell you that you've got access to my heart and you stomp on me, well, I'm sorry, but my fort's made of straw, you're like, you're going crush me and then I'm going to be sad and then I'm going to prove to you that you can't trust me. And so, like, I think there's three things I've written down here that all circle back to the emotional ability to be strong in yourself.

[00:28:45] Curt Storring: And so, like, can we talk about that? Because that's also work and a lot of guys just don't do this. And I work with guys who sweep things under the rug because they're like, well, maybe she'll forget because I don't know if I can handle this. How do we start to handle this as guys who don't have any [00:29:00] training or I like to call it emotional digestive tract to process and deal with the emotions?

[00:29:05] Curt Storring: where do we start there?

[00:29:07] Ken Curry: Oh, that's a good question. So the thing about the emotional, dealing with emotions, the first thing you were talking about though, and I don't know about dealing with emotions initially with your, your question. The first place my head went was the idea of fortitude, really is a big part of my. A really significant part of being a really strong masculine individual is having internal fortitude, right?

[00:29:30] Ken Curry: And that's what you're talking about, being, being made of straw. It's like, yeah, it's the, the three little pigs, huff and puff and poof, it's gone, right? And that's what happens to guys that don't have much fortitude. Their wife will criticize, they'll push back, they'll, and all this and you're just, and I'm gone, right? And so being able to build the work, the work is building your internal frame and your internal frame. This goes back to our conversation last year, talking [00:30:00] about what, I didn't use the word frame, but frame is the word that we're talking about today. How do I have a strong internal structure? That won't break under pressure.

[00:30:11] Ken Curry: That won't bend. That is a rock, right? That's how we actually build the ability to be that leader in the home. Is I have to have that strong internal frame. And the frame is my identity, my integrity, my values, my moral compass, my character. The things that make me, me. And the things that I believe are true and the things that I know are right and the things that build my strength, because it's also my, my physical body as well, and if my, my physical body is strong, it's part of my fortitude.

[00:30:45] Ken Curry: It's part of my ability to be able to think well. My intelligence, that's my frame, and it really starts with the who am I question, and we talked a lot about that last year with the whole idea of being able to defeat shame and the idea that I'm a piece of crap, [00:31:00] and this kind of goes back to what I was just talking about, if I feel incompetent, it's like, it's okay, I don't have to be perfect, I don't have to know everything, I can use her skills in the home to be able to help me as a leader. Yeah. What do we do with this? What do you think about that? Right? I can be incompetent and still be okay. Because, think about it, you're not going to be competent at everything. And, if you're going to master anything you ever set your, your hand to, there's always a season of incompetence. Imagine trying to learn the guitar. I've tried to learn the guitar. It takes forever to get the chords. Man, your fingers feel so silly for the longest time. And then all of a sudden you go, Ding, got the D chord. And there it is, right? And then you get in and it's like all of a sudden you're figuring it out.

[00:31:49] Ken Curry: But it takes a long season of feeling inadequate and incompetent to be able to master anything. So to be able to set your hand to it, to be able to say, I'm okay with [00:32:00] this. So what, where did I get, why did I go off on the, the idea of, of that?

[00:32:06] Curt Storring: So, I, you know what, I'm not even sure I'm going to answer that for you, because the thing that's in my head is like, oh, this, I didn't want to come back to what we talked about last time, but everything comes back what talked

[00:32:18] Ken Curry: That's what I was talking about frame. Exactly. So this so Kurt you're asking How do I be a man who doesn't crumble with the first first bit of criticism, right? or first bit of pushback and that's the whole thing of being able to be open and vulnerable and Be and with massive strong fortitude in my frame. That's where we want to be So that here's the thing Okay, as a father, one of the most important things is to be able to set, being able to set boundaries with your kids, right? And, so here the book Boundaries with Kids says two things. It's the parent's job to hold the boundaries. It's the kid's job to push against the boundaries, right? [00:33:00] And you don't have to read the book. That's all it is. And so just to know that my kids always push against the boundaries and the thing is, why do they have to push against the boundaries? They have to know that they're pushing against something solid, right? And when the parent holds the boundary, then they push, push, push.

[00:33:17] Ken Curry: And then guess what they do. They go, Oh, now I can relax because I know where the boundaries are. Kids with high anxiety have no boundaries to put. They push and it goes, Ooh, and they push through it. And because their parents give in and it creates a ton of anxieties for kids, but parents with really good boundaries and are have fortitude. So this is the same thing, not equating your wife to your kids, but it's a similar thing. If she pushes up against this thing and it ain't moving. It's a freaking rock. Guess what it does for her? I can be secure in that. She pushes and it's like the, the straw you're talking about and kind of drifts. What's what's here. [00:34:00] Nothing's here. And so she can't feel secure. And so you being strong creates the security. And so you having frame of all the things I'm talking about, being who you are in your strongest form is what creates security. So. back to what we were talking about. How do we break her wall down? You being able to be a strong man. I'm strong as hell and I ain't moving anywhere and I'm open and I'm being vulnerable with you and letting you see my heart and you push against that like you, you, let's say she does stomp. Like put her push back and you go, no, you can't treat me like this, that it's not okay for you to criticize me. Right? That's that is not okay. Now she's feeling the fortitude. She's feeling the strength. She's feeling your voice. She's feeling your presence. And she knows that you are somebody with which to contend. And that is what creates [00:35:00] security for her. And believe it or not, that's part of what's going to take down the bricks.

[00:35:04] Ken Curry: down off of her wall, because now she can feel secure because you are a strong man who isn't going to put up with anything. And I'm going to be vulnerable and open and let you know what's going on in here and let you see who I really am. And that's a really big part of this whole thing. That's vulnerability.

[00:35:22] Ken Curry: Second category of trust is accountability, right? Accountability is the thing where when I make a mistake, I own it. Right? I'm responsible for what it is. If I make a mistake, yep, I made a mistake. And I think we talked a little bit about this last time, the whole idea of not saying sorry, right? Of being able to go, I made a mistake.

[00:35:44] Ken Curry: I was wrong. I shouldn't have done that. Right? That is a really significant part of building trust. Because it, Every one of us have worked for a boss who was, had no accountability, and they would always blame somebody else or throw somebody under the bus or whatever, [00:36:00] and it's like, after a while, you do not trust that person at all, and so trust is eliminated if the person has no accountability. The best kind of accountability is self accountability. When I make a mistake, I own it, and I say, I made a mistake, shouldn't have done that. The second best is other accountability. It's when somebody says, that really hurt when you said that, and, or, man, I don't think that was right for you to do that. Or whatever, but somebody else calling you out, that would be other accountability, and how you respond to that is essential as well. Because if you're able to go, you're right, I shouldn't have said that, I can see how it really hurt you. Or, or whatever, being able to own it, or being able to go, let me, let me sit on that for a bit, I'm not sure what happened there. Or ask a couple questions, how did you feel like it hurt, and then finally own it, yeah, I'll work on that, I'll do what I can not to do that anymore. That's a really powerful part of building [00:37:00] trust is accountability. So vulnerability and accountability are really powerful things when it comes to trust.

[00:37:06] Ken Curry: And those are things that help to bring down her wall. Other thoughts on that, Curt? Or questions? Ha ha ha ha ha

[00:37:14] Curt Storring: Yeah, I'm just, I'm looking at the time going like, do we have four hours here? Because I've got so many questions and I'm trying to like, I'm trying my best to keep my brain chronologically ordered, but they're probably not going to be, I'm just, I wanted to interject a little bit with the setting boundaries piece because.

[00:37:31] Curt Storring: I believe, as it sounds like you do, that this is like the number one thing, especially in parenting that I see, I look around and I'm like, Oh, that kid doesn't have a dad who sets Like, I can just like that. I can tell now. And I know that there's a lot of guys that I've worked with who are like, Okay, I set the boundary.

[00:37:48] Curt Storring: But she just like went nuclear and she pushed harder. And like, I don't know if I'm supposed to keep going now and then she's not going to trust. So like, how are guys who are like almost scared, I guess, to set those [00:38:00] boundaries. Oh, you know what? Pardon me. Let me, I'm, I'm, I'm thinking as speaking here, guys.

[00:38:04] Curt Storring: Let's say that there's a fear that if I set a boundary, this will be her last straw. And so many guys that I've seen and talked to, they're unwilling sort of at that edge of marital problems to set the boundary because they think it's going to drive their wife away and then that will be the end and they'll never get another chance.

[00:38:24] Curt Storring: I think that. Honestly, I've seen that to be true. Sometimes that may be the case, the alternative is you live a life that's not internally referenced and you feel like that. So is there anything in that sort of fear realm that you can talk to guys? Because a lot of this is you just got to do it and you just got to trust that what we're saying is going to work and you just got to keep doing it and find a way to stay persevering, which may be through brotherhood or prayer.

[00:38:46] Curt Storring: But that fear point about like, man, if I do this, everything's going to be terrible and she's going to leave and. I'm literally not going to be able to handle it. Are there ways to like baby steps or like, how do we think about fear in this, in this scenario?

[00:38:58] Ken Curry: I don't know if there's baby [00:39:00] steps, but, but Kurt, I think you're right. Okay, so let me say this, what, you're right that it could have a negative outcome. If, if your woman absolutely cannot handle you having any kind of boundaries, she can't handle you having any kind of power. And, and therefore, she is not going to follow anywhere you're going to go. Right. So it may, it may be that you chose a woman that will not allow you to grow and to become the man that you've been designed to be. And so it may, you're right. There's a chance that that would happen. But here's the thing. The truth is, is that boundaries are one of the most significantly healthy relational constructs out there. It is like if you are unable. or unwilling to set boundaries, you will not have a strong relationship. You will not have a strong sense of, self in the relationship. You won't be in the [00:40:00] relationship because you're just letting everybody do whatever they're going to do and cross over all the boundaries and treat you like however everybody else wants to treat you. And so setting boundaries is a really powerful part of It's a strong relationship, it's having a strong frame, it's having a strong sense of self, it's being able to have self respect. That I'm not going to let people treat me a certain way. And it's a really strong way to use your voice. Kind of like I was saying earlier with Adam and Eve, just saying no. Because the word no is actually the most operative word in the whole idea of boundaries. Just being able to say no. That ain't working. That ain't happening. That doesn't work for me. Whatever it is. No, that's, that's not the way where this is going. No, that's not how you're going to treat me. Whatever it is, it starts with the word no, because all a boundary is, is a line, and the line is up to you.

[00:40:58] Ken Curry: You're the one that determines where the [00:41:00] line is. On one side of the line is healthy behavior, on the other side is unhealthy, or appropriate or inappropriate. You're the one that determines where the line is, and if somebody's on the line, let's say your wife does start criticizing you, and demeaning you, it's like, no, you can't talk to me like this.

[00:41:17] Ken Curry: If you want to say something, you need to talk in a different way with me. Right? Or whatever, if she's being disrespectful and angry, and her anger is coming out in that way, you, this is not okay for you to talk like this. And being able to set up that boundary, and if she does erupt, That's another thing.

[00:41:36] Ken Curry: That's not okay either. And then the second part of boundaries is the idea of consequences. And often times the consequences need to be communicated up front. Well here's, with your children, absolutely. The boundaries and consequences need to be set. In stone way ahead of time, if you hit your brother, you're going to have this consequence, [00:42:00] an hour less of screen time today or whatever, or alone time in your room or sit in the corner in the chair or whatever your consequences are, that you would have as a parent.

[00:42:10] Ken Curry: And, and I think we talked about it last time, how specific consequences fit specific kids. Cause I was talking about how my daughter as a little girl. You put her in a room it was agonizing for because she was away from us But my son my my second born you put him in the room He'd be there for two hours playing with his toys and he loved every minute of it, right? And so he couldn't have that as a consequence Because it needs to be something fairly painful But my point is is the whole thing of Boundaries are absolutely essential in a relationship. Let me give you two books. One is the old classic. It's actually called Boundaries. It's by Cloud and Townsend. And it's just an old classic.

[00:42:53] Ken Curry: It kind of comes from a Christian bent too. But it's very, very good with the whole idea of what boundaries are. [00:43:00] And then more recently there was a book written called Set Boundaries, Find Peace by a gal named, it's kind of a different name, Nedra. Glover Tawab. So N E D R A Glover T A W W A B. Really good book.

[00:43:17] Ken Curry: She kind of outlines it in a really, really good fashion. She doesn't quite do as good of a job with consequences as, I would like, but she does a good job just explaining what they are. So those are two resources to think about boundaries. But, so yeah, Kurt, with that, I know I'm kind of just saying boundaries are so important, but what, what, what other question on there with that?

[00:43:40] Curt Storring: You know what? I'm just gonna, I almost want to move on to the next one because I've got like four

[00:43:45] Ken Curry: Sure, go for

[00:43:46] Curt Storring: and this has been one. But I think that it's important to see here that we took passivity, a man who's abdicating leadership because might not feel like he knows what to do. He might feel incompetent.

[00:43:58] Curt Storring: He might never have seen his father [00:44:00] leading. He might feel overwhelmed because his wife's more emotional. He doesn't have the skills and it almost all comes back to this baseline. hm. Again, internally referenced, go listen to the last podcast with Ken, internally referenced so that you know what's acceptable and where you're going.

[00:44:17] Curt Storring: But there are these like almost like micro skills, like vulnerability and accountability, like setting boundaries, like having consequences and like perseverance. Because I think all of this will suck for a while. Speaking of incompetence. I would rather be incompetent trying to be a leader than be incompetent failing as a husband.

[00:44:38] Curt Storring: So I think you almost pick your pain here, but I think it's important for guys to realize that you're looking for this, like, well, like, what are the action steps? That's what I'm thinking in my mind is guys always want action steps. It's like the first one that you said is realize that you could have a voice and a presence.

[00:44:53] Curt Storring: And decide to do that. And it's like, bro, that's the easiest thing in the world, but I can, I can feel men's fear. [00:45:00] And so I'm glad that we touched on some of those things to give the competence relationally so that they can take action. But I do want to just like veer off probably 90 degrees here, although it may be.

[00:45:12] Curt Storring: Thoughts on procrastination and I wanted to ask this cause we've been talking about this inside of our brotherhood. We've got habit stacks. We've got things we want to do. We've got a leader's mindset. We're trying to set a vision and a boundary and a few guys will trip up over like, I just get so anxious about doing stuff that I don't do anything.

[00:45:30] Curt Storring: And it's a simple 10 minute job about it. An expense report or putting the baby gate up, but it's, it's ruining the trust in relationship. And I think maybe that's where this connects. So I wonder if you've worked with men on procrastination and if it ties in here at all, or maybe if it's just a totally separate thing, if we could talk about that

[00:45:49] Ken Curry: So Kurt, this is a really tough one for me because, procrastination has not been something I've wrestled with. And so most, most of everything that I, that I [00:46:00] teach and all this, it's like, this is what I've wrestled with here. Here's how I've overcome it. Right. , and procrastination for some reason is not something that I've wrestled with, but to your point, a lot of men do. And so, when I've really come down to it, the whole, and there's so, there's so many ideas out there, I think you had mentioned something there, the, the whole thing of like, seven habits, they have the urgent and the, the, what are the important concepts that try to make you think about what's this and, and there was the five, four, three, two, one, just do it thing and then there's like, They use animals like monkeys and frogs and all kinds of stuff to try to teach guys how to actually get out of, the habits and all this and there's so much out there. I don't know what actually works for guys. Maybe it is. Everybody kind of has their different, different tone or their different kind of procrastination when it really comes down to it. But for me, I think the biggest thing that really helps guys is the whole idea of thinking again. It's an internal [00:47:00] external type of concept where most of the time when it's something I'm procrastinating about, it's something that somebody else is expecting of me. You think about it in college, you get your, it's the whole, it's how good people are so different. You get the syllabus in college and you get some people, they, they map out that syllabus for the whole semester. And I'm going to do this and I'm going to do this and this and this by the time, thanksgiving rolls around or whatever, I've got almost everything done and I'm ready for finals, whereas then there's the other guys, the procrastinator doesn't waits until after Thanksgiving to do all of it, right? I'm going to do five, 10 page papers and, and blah, blah, blah, and all this stuff. And so it's just really interesting how different people roll and whether it's feeling like I can't do it because you kind of were leaning on the fear of, being exposed or the fear of being imperfect or not getting it right. And if I, and so I, I'm not even going to do it because if [00:48:00] I do it wrong, I'm going to get in trouble.

[00:48:01] Ken Curry: There's so many different categories and all those categories are external things, right? That I'm worried about what's going to happen rather than just doing it and not having any fear. But the category that I was talking about was the, the idea of, gosh, how do I put it? I might've written it down. No, why, why am I, all of a sudden, this is what happens every once in a while. I was thinking about something else. And it is, internal, external, God, I'm trying to help my brain to get back. Sorry about this.

[00:48:33] Curt Storring: Come up, it'll come back. It always does. it it's okay. The, the thing, maybe I'll know what it was. I know what it was.

[00:48:39] Curt Storring: it. was the whole idea. Remember, it was somebody else telling me to do it. Right? That's what I was starting talk about. And so if it's something that I want to do, usually I have no problem. it, if it's somebody, something else wants me to do, usually that's a problem. Like if I was going through it, if the teacher is telling me, or if my wife's telling me or if my boss is telling me [00:49:00] or whatever, if it's on, on my list that my wife made for me for my honey do list or whatever, it's not necessarily what I want to do.

[00:49:07] Curt Storring: So I'm going to, I'm going to hold off. Usually what this comes down to is what is called what I call teenage power or reactive power. And so what that means, if somebody else tells me to do something, if I have a teenage type of power or, or autonomy, I'm not in our freedom. That's what it is. Teenage freedom where I'm, I'm, my freedom is all about.

[00:49:31] Curt Storring: Doing the opposite of what somebody else expects, right? So a teenager, if my parents don't want me to, if my parents want me to be home at 11 o'clock, I'm coming home at 1105 or 12 o'clock. I'm going to do the, I'm going to express my autonomy by doing the opposite of what they want. Right? That's how I express my autonomy as a teenager.

[00:49:51] Curt Storring: And most of us have a little bit of that stuck within us. And so it's always what somebody else tells me. My, my freedom [00:50:00] actually is like, I'm not going to do what they say. I'm going to push back or I'm going to hold to the last minute. And that is actually, like I said, teenage freedom. It's reactive freedom. It's, it's really not freedom at all. It's only doing what they don't want me to do. And so that's the, oftentimes that's what guys who struggle with procrastination, some guys, that's part of the whole, what's in the mix. And so shifting that to what do I really want to do? Do I want to put up the baby gate? It's like yeah, I want my baby to be safe I want to get that done So I'm going to do it because that's actually what I want to do not just what my wife's telling me to do So I have to choose where is it coming from from my wants or from what somebody else's want and I have to begin to learn what I want where it's true freedom where I'm living my life doing what I want rather than Doing what, reacting against what other people want.

[00:50:56] Curt Storring: Does that make sense, Kurt?

[00:50:57] Curt Storring: Yeah, does the word motivation make [00:51:00] sense here? Because I'm just thinking about like even the expense report example, it's like, man, you're telling me to do this. It's 10 minutes. I don't want to, it's so boring. But if you flip that to be like, I want to advance in my work for the benefit of my wife and children, I need to do this. And therefore I want to do this because the goal is bigger. It's almost like a, just a messed up motivation. So rather than like, Oh, I don't want to do that. Cause you're telling me to do it. It's like, well, I would love to do this because I want something bigger and without the vision, I think a lot of guys miss and that.

[00:51:33] Curt Storring: Also goes for family leadership. Like, I don't want to go through all that hardship. Well, bro, what is at the end of the tunnel? You're going to look back and regret not doing the things you quote unquote don't want to do right now because you don't have a big enough vision. there to pull on?

[00:51:46] Ken Curry: Yeah. Cause the narrative, you think about the vision, it's like, I want to do the baby gate because I want my wife to trust me. I want to do the, the, I want to do this or whatever, because this is, I'm building the vision. It's much [00:52:00] grander. It's, I want my, not just my children to be safe, but I, but I'm building that trust and I'm building, I'm building that trust.

[00:52:06] Ken Curry: breaking down her wall. And I'm doing this being able to think way beyond, because you think about it, the kids sitting there going, I don't want to do that. It's total reactive freedom. It's teen. It's like being a teenager, but this is taking a completely different posture in your life saying, what do I really want?

[00:52:25] Ken Curry: It's not about the baby gate. It's not about the expense report. It's about what do I really want in my life? Do I want to be engaged and active? and present and moving and leading and visionary what do I really want? And, and I, I hope Kurt, that that really kind of rings true for guys that wrestle with procrastination. That that would really help them to think it's not about the baby gate. It's not about the 10 page paper It's about what do I really want in my life? I think that's probably what's my vision like being able to build my my [00:53:00] career Being able to build my intimacy with my wife, being able to take down her, her defensive walls, being able to build trust, being able to build intimacy and closeness, or being able to build my own internal fortitude.

[00:53:13] Ken Curry: Whatever it is, that's my, my, the biggest thing that I really have a vision for that I really want to accomplish. That's so much bigger than the baby gate, but it is the baby gate. It's a, it's a hundred baby gates a day that I'm doing to be able to build those things that are so much bigger. Ha

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[00:54:30] Curt Storring: yeah, that's so good. That is, man, this resonates with me in a weird sort of way because procrastination is not a huge thing. But man, I'm just going to confess right now. I've got a lot of teenage freedom syndrome because I've developed my entire life for maximum freedom. And it's only recently where I'm looking around going like, I could do literally anything.

[00:54:53] Curt Storring: This is too much where I'm like, I need more constraint. And that's very scary to me because I put [00:55:00] freedom in line with like the ultimate virtue. Now, there's a lot of spiritual stuff behind this because for me, I'm realizing that obedience is the best, is the most important virtue. So it's shifting a lot for me, but I have recently made a decision to increase intentional restraint in my Hmm Ha we've done is. This was, this was from prayer. This is me being as obedient as possible. We've been not getting a dog for a variety of reasons. I prayed. God's like, do you trust me? I was like, yeah,

[00:55:29] Curt Storring: he's like, you should get a dog. And I was like, what? No. And so anyway, we, we got a dog and a puppy and I don't know what I'm doing, but man, there's so much constraint now.

[00:55:37] Curt Storring: And I really like it because my wife and I are now teaming up. My kids are now part of this mission. And what did I want out of this? A cohesive family moving toward a vision and a mission. I could not do that with a strictly online business with, not being with them all the time. And so that's only one step.

[00:55:56] Curt Storring: I'm now looking at like, what is a physical business that the family could build? [00:56:00] What are other side businesses that I've Not done because I'm so freedom loving that I'm like, Oh, I don't want to do that because it might not be a million dollar hit. Like all of these little things. I'm like, well, do them add constraint and then see what happens.

[00:56:13] Curt Storring: And that's been so interesting me. But the base of all of that was I wasn't willing to do any of this because I needed to guarantee the outcome. And for me, I was looking at success, equaling results, not. Obedience and doing the work, not digging the ditch, filling the ditch. That was where I looked for my value.

[00:56:35] Curt Storring: And so I've been going through a whole bunch of internal change recently to, to have my heart corrected by God that he just wants me to do the thing and be faithful. And that he will give the increase. And so anyway, this is like a long winded way of saying, I've got a lot of what you're talking about and I'm actively working against it.

[00:56:54] Curt Storring: By adding constraint and that's felt like a maturing process because [00:57:00] mentally it still doesn't make sense like bro, you've designed your whole life. I've worked online for like 12 years and it's all been about travel and freedom and doing whatever I want and it hasn't been fully satisfying. So maybe just for anyone listening, if you're like worried about that, if you have a similar mindset, maybe take something from that.

[00:57:16] Curt Storring: But, not to therapize myself, but did anything come up that would be useful to share on that?

[00:57:21] Ken Curry: Therapyse I like it, I used that term before. It's funny. No, the, I, the whole idea of, you used the word constraint. Another word would be discipline. The whole idea. And then one, like a, a Remember a term with procrastination, I forget who said it, maybe Steven Pressfield or somebody said either you have the pain of discipline or the pain of regret, right? when it comes to procrastination. I'm back to that idea. But the whole thing of what you're talking about, whether it's constraint, discipline, or, , sacrifice, it's all those things are the [00:58:00] same thing. And I think all those things create maturity big time. Any kind of thing. So like sacrifice, cause that's a similar thing to constraint that I am sacrificing something, For myself for the betterment of my family.

[00:58:16] Ken Curry: I mean that that think about it. That's why we work so hard man I'm sacrificing a lot to be able to provide for my family, right or let's say, we go You know what? I'm gonna go golfing this weekend I'm just going to do nine holes rather than the 18 that I really want to, , because I need to spend some more time with my kids or I need to do that baby gate or whatever it is, right? And so it is, it's a, it's, I, I love your thinking because it's purposefully engaging in discomfort for growth. And that's a really powerful concept. And so the discomfort is whether it's adding a constraint in my life, or making a sacrifice, or adding discipline into my life. I'm going to do things that I know [00:59:00] are really good for me and my family, even though it's not something that I might want to do. It's something that I really want to do that's more fits my values and my vision for my life than it is for just having fun. Having fun may be part of my values and vision, but the whole thing of what, what really, It's, it's more about what do I want versus what do I really want and really, and when I say really want, that's kind of casting the vision. Like Kurt, you're talking about, I love, love what you're saying that the dog's bringing you guys. It's like, you didn't even expect it. All of a sudden there it was going, man, this thing, this is bringing so much, like you said, cohesion and fun. And as you're, and, and you have to get outside and walk the thing, and that's all a major plus.

[00:59:47] Ken Curry: Right. And, and so, Yeah, does that make sense with sacrifice and discipline being

[00:59:51] Ken Curry: part your,

[00:59:53] Curt Storring: it's, it's so good because like, I think just based on my faith, sacrifice is like the most powerful force in the universe. [01:00:00] It saved humanity in many ways, I think. To, to, to put sacrifice with the constraint, with the discipline, and then what you said about like that being the requirement of growth, it just, that really crystallized and clarified The whole idea in like a sentence which is really helpful for me because I try and talk about this a lot.

[01:00:19] Curt Storring: So thank you. That's another Ken Curry says for me and All right, so we're gonna move on to the next topic then I appreciate that but the thing that is maybe the last thing we'll touch on is maybe the process of a man who is overwhelmed by emotions and so this is almost the it might tie into some of what we talked about already, but it's almost the opposite in a sense where instead of being That man of fortitude to a rigid degree.

[01:00:45] Curt Storring: He's the man who lacks fortitude to the degree that every time he's got an emotion or a thought, all of his attention turns to it. And he cannot get beyond this story that he's telling. There's a lot of judgment when an [01:01:00] emotion comes up. Oh, I'm worried that this is going to happen in the future. So I need to start panicking.

[01:01:05] Curt Storring: Now there's an uncertainty and an unconfidence in some of these men that I'm thinking of. And it's almost like this, it can't even help himself because he's too like, what is the word? Just like petrified frozen. Maybe that's the fight flight freeze response. There, he's almost too frozen to do what's going to help him.

[01:01:27] Curt Storring: Like, I know I should be praying. And I just can't I know I should be taking five deep breaths and I can't I know I should be Journaling and I can't and so I just keep repeating the same mistakes over and over and over and that's a trust killer With the wife it makes him feel bad for men who are like really emotionally sensitive and maybe this is just A great over development of the heart but an under development of the the castle walls have you worked with guys like this almost on the opposite end where it's not stoicism.

[01:01:57] Curt Storring: It's like I'm feeling everything all the time.[01:02:00]

[01:02:00] Ken Curry: Okay, there's a lot in there. So, yeah, cause I'm thinking about the, definitely guys that, that feel all the time or, or, they find themselves crying easily. Right. The, the real sensitive guy. And I'm, I'm trying to think of what you just said as well. Cause it's another category. I don't know if I'm going to be able to get all the different categories, but the thing is, yes, there's a lot of guys out there who feel, feel really, really deeply. Right. And, and it's really hard because it's like, when they're feeling their, their, their eyes well up or they tear a little bit and, and they, and it's like they feel exposed, like, Oh my gosh, they're, somebody is going to know that I have a sensitive heart or whatever. And then, then there's the stoic guys, then, and so there's kind of the, there's this overly sensitive and then there's a super stoic and kind of that, that, that whole spectrum with that and being able to think about how do we live in the middle there where it's like the [01:03:00] stoic guy is probably disregarding what's going on inside of his heart where this guy is giving too much regard to what's going on inside of his heart. But, let me, let me give you this. So, a lot of times people say that women are more emotional than men. I actually don't think that's true. I think that men everybody, we're all human. We are equally emotional. And so, but men do emotion different. We've been designed to do emotion different. And that's why I like how you're saying, how do we balance the fortitude and the, the vulnerability of emotion because those two are the really big part.

[01:03:36] Ken Curry: If we ever get to talking about masculinity, those are two really significant parts of what I call my map of masculinity. That on one side is courage when vulnerability are real similar and then fortitude on the other side. And it's a, it's called the risk paradox. But how do we carry. Both of those things at the same time where we carry fortitude and courage or vulnerability at the very same time.

[01:03:59] Ken Curry: [01:04:00] And that, that's the paradox of being a man. And so a lot of guys, as we start to enter into this, we feel way deeply and we don't know what to do with all this stuff that's coming up. And it goes back to what we're talking about. Being an internally referenced man, I want you to be able to understand and clearly, use my emotional process as part of my internal.

[01:04:21] Ken Curry: resource to find out what's going on inside of me because what's going on inside of me emotionally is telling me something really significant about my life. It's about my heart and it's about my well being and when I'm emotional. And so part of this whole thing may be just teaching guys what your emotions are all about. And so I think, as a man begins to go, , cause at this beginning when they're just overly emotional and it just feels overwhelming. I don't know what to do with this. I feel, whether. Okay, it could be whether I feel the tears or I'm just pissed off all the time and I feel [01:05:00] angry. And usually the thing is anger is a little more, what do you call it?

[01:05:03] Ken Curry: Reasonable or acceptable for men. If a guy is tearing up, man, pussy, what the hell's going on with him? But if he's angry, that's a little more acceptable. But it's still emotional process. And so it could be my anger's overwhelming. It could be my tears are overwhelming. What other category, Kurt, do you think you would talk about as overwhelming to the guys

[01:05:24] Curt Storring: I think the one that's coming up for me is like fear. Uncertainty. Out of control.

[01:05:29] Ken Curry: Yeah. That's great as well. Cause fear definitely is a really powerful thing. And being able to understand what's the role of fear in my life and how do I actually navigate it. So all these things are really, really significant things as far as being able to understand myself. And what's actually going on inside of me. And so, whether it's fear, anger, Gosh, what would be the, what would we call, I said tears, but it's more of, a softer emotion. It's more of being moved by something. What would you call that, Kurt? [01:06:00] The guy that feel, is feeling that.

[01:06:03] Curt Storring: don't know. Sorrowful comes up, but that's not even... I would say the common vernacular would just be vulnerable, but I don't think that sort of is specific enough.

[01:06:14] Ken Curry: definitely feels, yeah, yeah, it doesn't describe it, but it's definitely a more vulnerable emotion for sure. , so with those three things, Kurt, help me with this, where to go with the next statement. Does it feel like I need to teach more about what emotions are? Or, or what, what, or what question do you really have with those things?

[01:06:32] Curt Storring: I think it's like what to actually do because I'm thinking of a couple guys who I've worked with before and I'm really trying to use you to help them, honestly. I know that there's other guys like them because they exist. Like I know what to do is often the refrain, but I am so overwhelmed that I can't do

[01:06:53] Ken Curry: you're, you're almost saying it's more like procrastination. Like they they

[01:06:58] Ken Curry: know when you're

[01:06:58] Ken Curry: saying they

[01:06:59] Curt Storring: very much.

[01:06:59] Ken Curry: They [01:07:00] know what

[01:07:00] Curt Storring: yeah, I guess so that that's a that's a good way to say it But it's like emotional procrastination and it's like the procrastination is coming from this huge sense of uncertainty uncontrol and fear So i'm so worried that if I have this feeling I will be out of control and I'm under resourced.

[01:07:19] Curt Storring: One thing, is like if the man had someone tell him in the past, like, Oh man, you're like, you're having a panic attack and you, you can't deal with that. Like you better watch out, don't panic. And the guy's like, Oh, if I feel panic in the future, like I'm going to be totally out to lunch and I'm going to have no control.

[01:07:38] Curt Storring: And I don't know what that's going to do to my family. And I don't know how to like grab onto reality. So it's almost like this overwhelming emotions are everything. And they take away a man's ability to ground himself. And I think like when I'm thinking about this, I'm like, okay, well, you've got to sit.

[01:07:55] Curt Storring: When times are good and develop emotional practices to [01:08:00] grounded. And for me, that's things like breathing or prayer, or, there's different physical physiological things like seeing something and smelling something and tasting something to get back into a grounded state, but it's almost like escaping the.

[01:08:14] Curt Storring: What is it the sympathetic nervous system going back into the parasympathetic nervous system? I think that's the right dichotomy to go from that like, oh to Okay, I can deal with this. I feel something but it doesn't mean it's real And i'm not saying emotions aren't real but like they're not everything.

[01:08:29] Curt Storring: So maybe that's it. Maybe it's just like I feel so intensely That I just believe everything and I have no reality buffer. , and again, maybe that's just like, you got to practice when things are good, but I'm just saying stuff and. It's all been good so far. So if there's nothing that comes up here, that's okay

[01:08:48] Ken Curry: No, it is. It's really interesting. The whole thing you're talking about because, so whether it's panic or, or whether it's, anger being overwhelming, I think letting the emotion take [01:09:00] control, I think is, is a really significant pitfall. And, and so I love the idea of what you're talking about with the grounding practice. Breathing is always. The primary thing to do, having a, even a couple, two deep breaths whenever whatever's going on, because what two deep breaths gives you at least eight seconds to kind of do a check in. And I, and I think the, the thing that I give my guys is the idea of a check in. And, and what that means is just taking a couple of deep breaths.

[01:09:29] Ken Curry: It would be a similar to a grounding practice, but it's just kind of a short thing. Just going, take two deep breaths and, and that whenever you do that, if you ever, if we, if you're ever with a group or whatever, and you just go take two deep breaths and you do immediately, everybody goes, I feel more relaxed or, just, just too deep.

[01:09:46] Ken Curry: It's just like, ah, that

[01:09:48] Ken Curry: helps. It just, it's amazing.

[01:09:50] Curt Storring: That as talking i'm like, oh I can feel it because I know but if you're listening you're like Okay, get on with it. Then what because here's the thing. Sorry to interrupt, but I know i'm like this i'm like Oh, that's nice. [01:10:00] Just rest. But then what do I do? And it's like bro Slow down actually breathe and actually sit with it.

[01:10:08] Curt Storring: So I'm sorry to interject, but I'm just like, guys, if you're not breathing, literally do that right now and just see, it makes you feel better.

[01:10:13] Ken Curry: And breathing is everything. If you do a meditation practice, if you do whatever, it always starts with breathing. And so breathing is a really huge part of this, no matter what you're feeling. Anger, tears. whatever it is, that moment that your wife criticizes you and right before you say, no, that's not okay to talk to me.

[01:10:33] Ken Curry: Just take a couple of deep breaths, , and, and it's funny what that, that eight seconds of silence. They're there. It actually works because it's that it's creates massive amounts of tension and then you go, no, this ain't okay with me. Right. Breathing. Breathing is like huge because right before you feel like it's and it helps getting rid of the lizard brain.

[01:10:55] Ken Curry: And before you jump into that and all that stuff, but the whole idea of breathing, [01:11:00] absolutely. The next thing when I talk about a check in is just taking a check in with yourself. How am I doing? What am I feeling? And what's going on with you, Ken? Just asking yourself a couple of questions and take a moment with that.

[01:11:14] Ken Curry: How are you doing? Then, what am I doing? I feel really upset right now. Or I feel really panicky. Or I feel really, something really moved me deep inside my soul. Or I feel really pissed. Or whatever it is. Being able to put words to it. Here's the thing. Putting words to your emotion. is absolutely primary. It is so important because what guys do, we just feel and we grunt and we, or, or whatever, but putting words to it actually is really important. I feel really disrespected right now or, the uncertainties kind of on, on, what do you call it? On overwhelming. Or, I don't know what to do, or I feel incompetent, or whatever it is, being able to put a word to it is a [01:12:00] very, very important part of dealing with this and, and being able to just say it.

[01:12:06] Ken Curry: And here, here's the thing for guys, when we do our emotion, it's like they're, same things usually come up. I say the guys, if you figure out your dirty dozen and I talk about how women do emotion. Like women do colors, right? How many colors does a woman have? Do you know, Kurt?

[01:12:27] Curt Storring: No,

[01:12:28] Ken Curry: Thousands, millions, , pews and chartreuse and you know what I'm

[01:12:34] Curt Storring: couldn't even, couldn't imagine what

[01:12:36] Ken Curry: umber and, beige

[01:12:38] curt_1_11-28-2023_100239: You're really in touch with this side again.

[01:12:40] Ken Curry: no, cause I've done painting with my wife.

[01:12:43] Ken Curry: Not that she did chartreuse,

[01:12:45] Ken Curry: but, you know, fuchsia, all this stuff, right? There's, it's like, where did, you know, women have

[01:12:50] Ken Curry: thousands.

[01:12:50] Curt Storring: of gradiation. It's all it seems

[01:12:52] Ken Curry: Exactly. And so that's how women do emotion. Right, but men do emotion like men do colors. How many colors do we have? Twelve. [01:13:00] You know the primary colors what red blue and green and then the second or yellow the secondaries are Green orange and purple, right? That's six and then we got black white and gray That's nine and then we got pink tan and brown every and all we need is the suffix ish That's blue ish

[01:13:21] Ken Curry: Right?

[01:13:23] Ken Curry: That's all we need. That's all the colors we need. So here's the thing when doing our emotion, women do emotion like they have a million words for emotion. All we need to do is think of the things that come up to me all the time. I feel out of control. I feel disrespected. I feel not included. I feel whatever, right? If you can think of your 12 that keep coming up, man, it's going to be easy. But you gotta, you gotta think of and name the 12 emotions that come up in my life most often. And once you're able to put words to it and be able to say it, oh, there's disrespect again. There I feel [01:14:00] belittled again. There it is, right there. There I feel deflated again. Deflated is actually a word a lot of guys feel. And there it is. And so once you put a word to it, then the next thing is being able to think about what is that saying about my well being? And that's the how am I doing. If I feel disrespected, guess how I'm going to be feeling in my well being? It's way down here. I don't feel really good about life right now. So then the question is, what do I do about my life if I feel disrespected and my well being has been diminished? That's going to be a spot where I need to set a boundary. If somebody's disrespecting me or if I feel disrespected at work, I need to communicate, this is not okay. I need something to go on. And so every time I have an emotion, whether it's anger, or whether it's being moved to tears, or whether it's feeling anxiety or panic, it's always telling me something about my well being. And when I discern what my [01:15:00] well being needs, now I can actually do something about it. And that's what you're talking about, Kurt. How do I actually do something? And so if I feel disrespected, that's where I'd talk to my wife. It's not okay for you to criticize me like that in front of the kids. We can have the conversation, but not in front of the kids. Or, or whatever it is. Trying to think of maybe something else like at work or whatever. But if it, if now I can have a conversation with somebody, whether it's a, whether it is holding them accountable or setting a boundary, it's being able to say, this is what I need right now. And then being able to ask them, can you provide that for me?

[01:15:37] Curt Storring: Could that be something you have a conversation with yourself about? I'm just thinking about, someone who's overwhelmed with their own or panic or uncontrol.

[01:15:45] Ken Curry: Okay. So think about the thing about fear. Usually it's fear of something. Does something come up the current conversations you've had of what fear guys would have a fear

[01:15:55] Ken Curry: of what?

[01:15:56] Curt Storring: of the feelings themselves. There's so much [01:16:00] they're going to throw me off. And if I... Something happens externally, then I'm going to feel panic and I will do anything not to feel that. But because of that, I fall right into it. So it's almost like, could you have that conversation with yourself?

[01:16:12] Curt Storring: Which is like, Hey, when this comes up, you're okay. And you've lived to this

[01:16:18] Ken Curry: Absolutely. I think that, that is, that's the, this would be a totally different conversation, but that's the antidote to anxiety. Anxiety and panic are really similar, but the antidote to anxiety is you're okay. It's actually confidence. So confidence is, correlates perfectly with anxiety. When confidence is high, anxiety is low.

[01:16:41] Ken Curry: When anxiety is high, confidence is low. So if I feel a lot of anxiety, what do I need confidence? And I need to go back to being able to say, I'm okay. Or I got this back to my work because ultimately, like you said earlier, it's the story that you're telling yourself. I [01:17:00] can't handle this or I'm going to die. Right? And that's the story that I'm telling myself, but what's the truth? Man, I've gotten myself through every situation ever. I can handle it. I got this. And so if you, so the conversation with yourself, what do I need right now? When I feel the anxiety, panic, it's, I got this. I need some confidence. I need to remind myself that I can handle whatever's going on. I got this. I'm okay. I'm going to be just fine. And even though it's kind of, a conversation you're having with yourself, it's the truth. And the thing is, I've forgotten the truth and that's why anxiety and panic has taken over is because I can't handle it. No, you got this. You can handle it. Or. Maybe I'm feeling like I can't. What do I need to do to increase my skill level in my realm of, of emotion, I can, I have the tools to be able to get the [01:18:00] tools or read a book or have a conversation or listen to a podcast on emotion or whatever it is, right? Or talk to somebody about emotional process, right?

[01:18:11] Ken Curry: That's me taking responsibility for my life and something that I need to learn because this is feeling overwhelming. It's, that would be the, that's what I, I need to take responsibility and be able to say, what, what do I need to do? What moves do I need to make? How can I move through this and get better at this?

[01:18:28] Curt Storring: Beautiful. I love that. Thank you for that because it breaks it down into a very. Actionable and almost like, I think that a lot of guys I talk to are almost, they don't even know that you can get better at this. That was me. Like, I started breathing and like meditating for 10 minutes, like eight years ago.

[01:18:47] Curt Storring: And it like, it did something to me. I was like, Oh, I could not scream at my kids for like, sometimes know that was possible. And so like, as you're listing these steps, I'm like, Oh yes, I got to tell guys that like this specific [01:19:00] thing. You can just get better at you just practice the same way that you'd practice your golf swing.

[01:19:04] Curt Storring: And guys out there who are like spending a thousand bucks on golf lessons or spend a thousand bucks on business. And they don't put any like actual 25 bucks to buy a book. Like go buy the books that Ken just said, go buy Ken's books on Amazon. Like go, go do something and you'll get better, but it's just about skills and you don't have to be an incompetent forever.

[01:19:22] Curt Storring: uh,

[01:19:26] Ken Curry: breathe you breathe

[01:19:30] Curt Storring: Oh, okay. Yes.

[01:19:31] Ken Curry: you breathe and what kind of mindset do you I'm gonna I'm

[01:19:36] Curt Storring: Clear your

[01:19:36] Ken Curry: I'm gonna hit the

[01:19:37] Curt Storring: Calm

[01:19:37] Ken Curry: you you you visualize where the ball's going right that's what it is

[01:19:42] Ken Curry: you do it for golf why wouldn't you do it with your emotion

[01:19:47] Curt Storring: good. I love that. That takes that to a whole new level, man. Again, thank you for putting up with my sort of verbosity in the style of are in the style, I'm asking these questions because I'm trying to get this like really real and [01:20:00] useful for the guys I work with.

[01:20:01] Curt Storring: And it, it can. Feel like one thing listening to me but when you have much more wisdom than I do, it's I think hopefully more impactful for them So thank you for that. This has really settled a lot in me and taken Disparate ideas into one place as well so mostly thank you for your patience and thank you for sharing all of that where would you send men who want to learn more or listen to you more or read or just connect with you?

[01:20:24] Ken Curry: let's see I would send to the podcast we did last year I think that, that, that really meaty. I tell you, there's a lot in there. And then my website is solidman. com. And, so that'd be definitely a place to go. And then the whole thing of, let's see, email. My best email is kencurrylmftatgmail. com. And if you just want to have a question, thought, anything, just send me an email. I'd love to respond to anybody for

[01:20:49] Ken Curry: sure.

[01:20:51] Curt Storring: much

[01:20:51] Ken Curry: bet, Kurt.

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