Want to Thrive? You Have to ‘Die’

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Identify Where You
Want to Go

The coaching relationship with me begins with visions: I want to hear a man’s dreams, and where he hopes to go. This is where we set the roadmap. Most men come to coaching feeling stuck and stagnant in their lives, so before we begin our journey together, I need to know what you envision for your life in its fullest expression: Do you want to feel more fulfilled in your job? More connected to your partner or spouse? More creative and productive? Active and fit? Relaxed and peaceful? Identifying where you want to go sets the stage for the coaching journey we’ll embark on together.

Death to the Old

After creating this exciting plan for how you want your life to look, what could be more jarring than promptly dying before you get to live your vision? That’s what happened to me several summers ago, and it’s something I recreate for the men I coach. Through a symbolic experience of dying, we are confronted with the very regrets that people experience on their death bed, but we get to do it while we’re alive. Questions I ask men to answer include: Who have you not forgiven? In what ways did you play small (safe) in your life? What generational traumas and/or harmful patterns persisted with you? What do you wish you’d done differently?

This experience of dying is usually quite powerful, and often creates reverberations of grief, regret, hope and passion for weeks and months following the experience. In our work, we always allow these emotions to simply exist. To sit with them and fully experience them without trying to change them. These emotions, after all, will become the fuel that we create our new life with.

Ritual is our friend, here: Consider making a list of all the things you want to let go of, and burning it (preferably under a full moon, or by a fire with trusted friends while talking about the past and sharing any regrets you have.)

Be Reborn

Dying is like a clean slate. Many of my clients report feeling more alive and energized in the weeks and months following their “death.” One client reported having more sex with his wife. Another stopped caring so much about petty disagreements at work. Yet another reported: “It sounds f%$king crazy, but it really feels like the past is gone. I can be anyone I want to be now.”



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