The Shift – Does it work for you?

I talk a lot about my shift, my discovery of myself as a man, my realisation about masculinity.

In ‘When I let Go I became a Man’ I talked about how I realised I was completely failing when I was pleading with my lover. Then things changed inside me, I understood myself, I stepped into uncertainty. I didn’t need her any more, I didn’t need the certainty. I didn’t need someone else to make me who I was. I was sufficient.

It seems so easy when you read about it. You just shift what you think and how you feel and you have changed. You become a man, able to deal with the uncertainties of this world but certain of yourself, your strength, your power.

Thus times do shift, each thing his turn does hold; New things succeed, as former things grow old.
—Robert Herrick

It would be great if it was that easy, if a simple shift was all that was needed. For many people this simple act eludes them, the courage to become vulnerable just slides away. There is so much attached to their view of themselves that they feel they can’t let it all go. Fear creeps in and takes over, but what if…


I had a fascinating response to my post on letting go, a response that led to a conversation. My friend has agreed to let me publish this conversation with its conclusions in the hope it may speak to others.

My Friend:

So I just read your ‘Grand Canyon Light‘ blog but then went back and read ‘Who is Graham Phoenix‘.

Although your ‘GC’ blog says there was no polarity with you and the lady and that you needed to step in to the unknown… It seems to me that you led quite an adventurous life, after having read the ‘Who Is Graham Phoenix’ blog. It leaves me curious to know what you started doing differently that created the polarity for you and your lady… care to share?”

In the latter post, I talked about my life and adventures I had been through. My friend was right, I did lead an adventurous life, or so I thought.
He raised a great question. It’s one that took me some time to answer.

What I realised was that polarity was a question of energy that incorporated the physical and the emotional. The physical was something I was used to, but the emotional was very undeveloped. I thought a physical connection, along with a desire for an emotional one, was enough. What came over to her was a neediness which she saw as a weakness in me. This prevented any polarity because there was no balance energetically.

When I let go of my neediness and stepped into uncertainty I gained an emotional strength in myself. She saw this strength, this certainty in myself, and was really excited by it. She saw a man who stood by himself and didn’t need her to fill his emotional gap.

This energetic/emotional shift totally transformed the physical relationship, allowing a strong polarity to develop.


My Friend:

Will you go a little deeper with me?

I personally have worked on developing and letting go of some of my neediness (through trainings, personal inner child work and with the community of men now growing here) but I have an inkling there is more there to satisfy.

Will you share what you did or how you filled our own emotional neediness gap?

My neediness was about seeking approval for who I was and what I did. I didn’t feel worthy enough and I, ultimately, didn’t think I would be loved back. The sense was that if I just was who I was, without any ‘bells and whistles’, I was not going to be able to win her over. She was not going to be with me just of her own accord.

To bridge the gap I went into persuasion mode. This had always worked in business, I was really good at it. So I spent my time persuading her that it would be a great idea for us to get together. I suppose I was hoping to cover my own sense of inadequacy.

It wasn’t good enough for me to be strong and tell myself I was a fabulous guy. Even if I believed it there was still this neediness inside. This neediness had been there for a long time. I realised it was behind many of the arguments with my ex-wife, I needed the approval that she wasn’t giving me. I tried to persuade her too, without success.

What shifted was that, for the first time, I realised it was just about me. I needed to give myself approval, not get it from someone else. She hurt me by pushing me away but she had my interests at heart. She got me to realise that it was about how I was, in myself. It was about what I thought about myself. The source of the neediness was irrelevant, it was the internal dialogue that was critical.

I am focusing this site on the concept of having the courage to be vulnerable. It is the courage to step up and do or be whatever you want to be. The vulnerability comes from not knowing what you are going to hit, what the reaction is going to be. This is the antithesis of seeking approval. It’s just saying I am good enough as I am and I don’t care what anyone thinks.

I suppose I filled the gap with myself. I finally accepted that I would be what I was and let everything else go. The result was astounding, apparently when I went back to see her, my voice had noticably changed. She sensed the difference in me immediately and her only question was “will it last?”.

All I can say to you is find a way to accept who you are. You don’t need to change who you are, just accept that it’s OK. You need to accept the uncertainty of where this is going to lead and the vulnerability to accept wherever it leads.

I got such positive feedback on my shift that it was re-inforced and grows to this day. I wish that for you, my friend.


My Friend:

Wow! I feel so grateful that you took the time to share your experience with me. I’ve often felt alone with no great men to learn from and now I am receiving your knowledge and wisdom.

My main fears that lead me to hold back in doing what you describe, at the next level, is fear for survival. If I was to be who I am, open and authentically at the highest levels, I ask if society would approve in a manner that would enable me to earn my money, or so much money? (Of course another part of me says its my authenticity and trust that will ultimately lead to that success… that is with money and women.) Right now I hold back in my job often simply for fear of THEIR response and getting fired etc.

Either way, I love your share and it encourages me to keep going and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, more and more.

There is power in living truth, I’ve felt the shifts in myself when living my most authentic and vulnerable.. I’ve seen people respond to me differently. Its great.

People do respond differently when you live in your truth, when you shift into your authenticity and vulnerability. The thing is, though, you have to make the shift and stay there!

Fear is a great deceiver, it persuades us that what we think won’t really work, that we aren’t enough as we are, that we are just not worthy. It makes us wear a mask, invent a personality that is successful, that will get the girl. The real deception is the belief that people are taken in by this mask, that others actually believe it’s you.


My friend can do all the training and inner child work he likes, but if he is taken in by the fear he will never move on. If he needs society, or anyone else, to approve of what he does, then he will get nowhere.

The shift is simple and, as Tony Robbins said, it can be happen in a heartbeat. Just decide you are good enough as you are, don’t change, just accept yourself and step into the uncertainty of the consequences. You will, however, be stepping as you, open and authentic, in your power and strength. It won’t matter what people think, how people react. You will be living your personal masculinity. You will know that you are right.

When an idea reaches critical mass there is no stopping the shift its presence will induce.
—Marianne Williamson