Best-selling author Lewis Howes talks new book, 'The Mask of Masculinity'

The author, entrepreneur and podcast host opens up about the motivation to write his latest book to redefine masculinity because "men are suffering."
22:24 | 10/30/17

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Transcript for Best-selling author Lewis Howes talks new book, 'The Mask of Masculinity'
Hey dad I'm on an about live in New York while the best selling author of the school of greatness. Is back this time with more on python he could be living your best life. Lou with house joins me here in this media thinks so much for being here Trout make your new book is right here is the mask of masculinity. It's how men can embrace vulnerability create strong relationships and live their fullest lives it's a much more sort of interest active. Critics say in the last one had to get him. Developing awareness with ourselves to see what works our life from what doesn't work what's effective what's been effective not what's right and wrong. But is it creating inner peace the decisions the reaction we make here is it moving us closer to our vision. That's how we should be thinking about things does it get a closer to our vision based on our respond to things or food you react to negative way to the horseback from that. And that's with the camp and all of this through the lens of what it means to be a man today yeah idea masculine talk today about how white your front at this. Who I just think there's so much happening in the world right now that is addressing men again addressing men because manner in the media right now lot you look at Charlottesville you look at sexual harassment happening it's. And Hollywood lately you look at the Vegas shooting. You look at sexual violence and that domestic violence. You look at Charlottesville the racial marches all these things are men leading the way between. There are defensive they're guarded to try to protect themselves from something that they're afraid. And we haven't been condition and taught us man. In general how to. Express ourselves. In a loving way or how to be more courageous expression and how to communicate from love as opposed to pain anchor fear. We've been conditioned to respond and react and to be tough to not show motion. You know it. To make fun of people all these different things yet to be able it like being a man just yet giving a man it's what you gotta be strong all the time commercial motion otherwise you're weak winter less than a man or all the eastern things that we put taught as kids growing up. You know I've played sports in the midwest and in the locker rooms a lot of that talk you couldn't just say hair who prevail well there is everything okay it was like. Get off me man you know. Don't talk like that that's acceptable like you gotta be we gotta be rough and tough you gotta be always put together. Do you do this whole break down with masks he could have defined and you talk a lot of psychologists and experts in the field. You talk about these different masks the different men Wear walking through a couple of exam. You know I wanted to. Not sit necessarily put people in a box for Pittsfield to identify what these characteristics are PM so there's nine different masks and I was the athlete masked the aggressive mask and Pete Alfaro this actual mask. Predominantly although I've worn the mall and I'll probably still Wear a lot of them the rest of my life and then it's more about being fully aware. Of the mass that I'm wearing as a man. And again isn't it is an effective in the moment when I'm wearing it or is hurting me and hurting other people by wearing that night. He can Wear multiple mask it's not like a tight its army the different ways in which you might even asking are hiding or failing to acknowledge. What's really happening for me to for example when I. I was picked on board as a kid in sports must pick last and so wise said I'm never have picked last again I'm be so big fast and strong. So valuable that kids have to always want me on their team. So what put on the athlete mask every single day after school I trained like a machine to be the best athlete I could be. And it worked it got a great results of as a great athlete high school college put professional football. But I couldn't turn it off what could never take off the mask I had to win in sports and win it everything in life so my intimate relationships. You could ask my past girlfriends has probably really challenging to be with me because. Every little thing was a competition every little argument I had to be right everything was life or death I'm either. Gonna win and be accepted and feeding or I lose than it was an attack on my identity was that masked that was really afraid to lose. So for me I was condition to be in athletes and had to Wear that mask. And I never understood the concept that I could win in other people could win around me. Listen there's no I never know what that was until a few years ago. And you know if you think about the Joker mask think about the man in your life may be who are always pleading with humor ranked work constantly making a joke even the most sensitive moments you talk about the material masks to immaterial and wealth and we're meant he wins and yet when men are focused on. They're they're self worth being defined by how much money and they haven't a bank account isn't. That's a scary thing because you're attracting people who are defined by just money alone suppose a connecting to your compassion your giving nature you Mandy how you shall from the world. And when you start to lose money then you start to lose that sense of identity because you're wearing that mask was really just being aware. I'm not saying these things are right or wrong because the athlete mask worked for me right putting on a dollar don't got you where you are governor results yet. You know there's a lot of guys who make a lot of money it got them results by wearing a mature on last so I think it's about being aware. Of okay. This is support me to be aggressive in my intimate relationships with my fairly with my friends. Do I need to always Wear this mask again or I might. Pushing people away and we showing them so much why actually to the idea that it may work for whenever it's targeted towards the that it will do irreparable damage and other parts I think I'm coming hold you back exactly and I think of Robin Williams right he would be he would identify as the Joker mask. One and we arguably the funniest men alive writes he made so many people smile laugh. Have a good time. But I can only imagine the amount of suffering he faced. When he probably could never just be himself as we can never just relax let his guard down because everyone wanted to be formed as well. So it's like okay turn it on when you're doing the movie when you're in the comedy club use that. To create your talent to make people laugh but then allow yourself to open up to people and other moments you can still be vulnerable and loving. And make people laugh cents. So you clearly come to this room for everything you've been through in your life you've reached a point of self awareness you've written this to help other people. But like a lot of things right people can't be helped unless they want it want to you gotta wanna yes so how do you get people I meant to even acknowledge these things in the first. Truck for me it was a catalyst you know for thirty years. I don't want to look within. I was like I've got this period out I teach this stuff like Alameda look at my own stuff you. House 'cause I was getting results so that what I'm doing it works. But on the inside I was suffering and I felt very isolated and alone like everything happening close intimate friends even though I had tons of friends and we'll. It's a premier took going through really toxic and bad breakup and a physical fight on about small port. In a breakup with what this is partners comic the perfect storm of toxicity word finally said okay. It may seem like it's working again but on the inside it's really not working at all and that's when I started to dive and so the challenges. We tip we do need some type of catalyst some type of near death experience some type of death then with my close friends and relatives some type of divorce or traumatic breakup some type of job break up you have to hit some kind usually well you gotta have something where you want your. Exactly and some type a catalyst usually via. That's the challenge so the goal is to just have these conversations. And have men and women start talking more about. What's working in your life what's not working as or something that's missing inside do you feel like you're missing something. We're do you feel a sense of pressure always on your shoulders on your chest if so it starts to have a look at this before there is some big. Catastrophic. Catalyst that comes up so. And I'm glad you mentioned women there because you also say that's not just. Format that this is something women should be reading so they can better identifying. Some of these things and the Madden in their. Absolutely I think actually it's going to be more powerful from women than men be angry I actually think. More women are going to be fascinated by this because it's understanding the keys to the kingdom yeah you can understand. Your father better your brother your intimate partner. Your song. Then who some of these men may be disconnected or emotionally unavailable. So what would it be like if you could have deeper more meaningful relations with all the men in your life. Richer Fuller honest courageous conversations. Where they were pushing you away we're guarded her defensive and angry. Not saying all the men in your life that way but won't it be like if you cannot just Richard conversations. And more harmony and peace. Those relationships. That's what this is giving give you a sense of identifying. What the mask is from the magnate lives and who. Why they're wearing the mask because as a reason and it's usually from some type of experience is over and over they faced. Which could understand what and why. I believe you can have a sense of compassion in awareness around it. Q don't get defensive and frustrated yourself as much in conversations. And if we can come together as just human beings not men and women put human beings can be more harmonious in our conversations. In our responses to one another whether we agree or disagree I just believe that is going to help humanity. I'm often that I mean it's the thing you talk about yearling. Timeline in this his dwelling in there's that paragraph in your to talk about why he wanted to write this in the first place that is mentioned you're at an all time low they had a bad break. He led all the six sacks of your previous book. Riding high but you were happy. In some way and I wonder how you think. Now you you're wearing all the masks for you know now what you were doing that. Are you know what I putting them on right now to still have you don't let the sun god that I like are you like you're all I didn't triggers it I still get triggered and I still wanna be aggressive sometimes and the idea responds. With us. Ego and defend myself and just want to you know I still get it but I patty object where. Well luckily I wrote a book were a couple hold myself accountable Clinton okay. I can't just talk I gotta like walk the talk right and so I take a breath I breathe. And I focus in the morning on. How I want to show the world that day so I sell my attention every single morning and I said okay how but I do yesterday. Without reactive when I was riding around in the city in the capital trying to hit me that I respond to them and a negative way. We're going to breathe and focus on what I can control so I give myself a score every day how to that deal. How could I be better today. And I allow myself to think of the different things what do what happens of my girlfriend says something that triggers me. Yeah how much it respond what happened to profoundly America something he can't mentally emotionally preparing myself. For the day and I think some people might say well he should prepare for the worse you should prepare for the best arguable. I say okay if this happens when a breathe. With a smile. And a try to come from eleven place as opposed to. Automatic pilot where I'm reactive we're used to always be reactive. Just if someone was attacking Meehan anyway whether with a nasty tweet on line whether they cut me off on the street. They looked at me funny I had to defend myself when they didn't support my inner peace and it can support my vision and my purpose. And that's where come back to its like again what's not it's not about what's right or wrong here about the opinions you have your viewpoint on politics things like that. Does the support your inner peace. Does it that or are you do for more stress and pressure when you react to certain place and does it help you move towards the vision of a life you. He wrote this to try to help people and honestly even in your previous book in the schools of greatness that was at the idea of helping people right to be the best possible version of themselves. He the pod cast by the same name school and greatness when the top podcasts on ninety into the millions of downloads you must have people coming at you all the time. With questions. And by east looking for guidance. What stands out TO from that what what if people ask you get public the most talked about how. I know what it how to let foreign my purpose. Lot of people Seau I don't know what I should be doing because I have all these ideas again. A guy wanna do this thing in this thing in this thing but I'm broke and I have no resources and I'm not sure where to get started. Well some people have no ideas and their constant like unsure of their purpose and it's a hard thing that we're purpose it's challenging thing because. When I was a teenager my purpose was to get a girlfriend you know it's like I just wanna go to like me put it. Thirteen that was the mentioned that was the purpose and I like everything I could do to get a girl say yes but that. And then you know it in college officials I wanted to be a great college athlete and I wanted to professional football so I think our purpose. Their balls based on the season of Arlen Clinton. And we get to costly be aware of how we're feeling and what we want. I like to think you know farther in the future and see you okay from looking back in my life. What I want to say that I was inspired buyer when analysts say I was glad that I did nothing about those things but I think. Purpose is challenging thing and I always tell people to lean into your curiosity. The more you're curious about something and if it brings you joy do that. Its franchise he mentioned looking back on your life and when ask you about a key part of nearly six to open up about in this book. And it's a very personal traumatic event he went to you as a young man. You were sexually abused by someone that you knew you talk about it in here about the impact it had on you. Why did she choose to share so much of that now and and how you think that's sort of informed the book is you approached it. I opened up about this for years ago when I finally. Have the courage to talk about it in text someone else 45 years and Antonio won because I was ashamed those cute videos insecure about it. I was angry all these things. And I just didn't think I was allowed to talk about it I thought that it would make me weak. That people want to lot mere except anymore so for me. I finally had the courage through again always rock bottom moments. Finally maybe say okay what is one of my missing what we're not sharing when in my hiding what am I free public policy. And learn about war and in a workshop finally opened up about the sexual abuse. It was like a sense of freedom. Was like a sense of freedom just lifted off my shoulders and off my heart. What felt like I was a prisoner and mark my heart personal law. And I finally started open up and and share with Pam remembered my one friends one by one it was terrifying at first I mean I say it. Casually now but it was terrifying at first and it's probably one of the hardest things to do. It is terrifying and crippling to try to tell family member that you were raped it's horrified. So I'm not trying to say this lightly but once I did it. He was like freedom. For the first time I felt like a free man I felt like I didn't need to worry about what people lot of anymore I didn't need these masks on and protect myself. Because they knew the worst about me if people could see the worst about near the things that I thought were the worst thing homeland security's and they still accepted me. They still love me they were still there for me even more so they trusted me more so than before was like how. Wanted to do this with everything talk about all the things that I'm afraid upper insecure about her uncertain uncertain about. And I do it in people elect. And I just cost you more I just wanna be around you mortals like what this is the secrets of like having great relationships are actually being yourself what a concept the and I think as men in general. The way I grew up we weren't condition again to like form groups and just sit down and talk about our feelings like Tony Holyfield rain that's just not something we're taught to do. Whereas a lot of the girlfriends that I know are getting together every day talking about. Going through this challenge why are they shipper on insecure about my in manager Mike self worth and has your guys are talking about it I feel like in general. A lot more these things you're able to express things and out your way. I'm curious how your processing because are at a point in time when so many people write with all these new stories about men in positions of power abusing their power. People coming forward now feeling like they can actually share their stories when of the criticisms is always why didn't she say anything first why didn't you speak up when it first happened here. Yes it's terrifying. It is so challenging. I think again the fear of being. Not accepted the fear of people looking down its use of fear of a number of things so the reason I didn't tell anyone it's here at the heart of a lot of fear I was afraid of everything there was afraid it might Delaware it. Loved me my friends Iverson's afraid. I did have courage. I thought I was a courageous man but I to have any courage and talks started to really open up and talk about these things. And the reason I did this book and started talking about it more is because when I I sure did on my podcast four years ago it was the most downloaded podcast. That Revver had. And probably the most powerful I was getting hundreds of emails assays from that. You knowing mean. Writing out their story word for word what happened in them you know what is similar circumstance 16 benefits actually abuse batters in recording right as I want one for. And it's. They were emailing me these long essays. So when he met Wayne worse situations than mine you know it made mine look like a PG movie compared to what they were telling me it was. Unbelievable. What's appointments like for you to receive all I was like process that he was. A lot of weight. You know it's like I've never been drunk in my life but it felt like to hang over for weeks to sort the emotional hangover of like receiving it and feeling so. Sad and hurt that. Sony men of boxes yes a lot of women have gone through this well. Human beings have gone these things are still hurt by it and sat and and is a very emotionally draining to receive an offer me. And I realize that many would say you know what thank you so much for sharing this because. I've been married for 25 years my wife doesn't know. My family does and now you've given me permission to talk about us now I have the courage. Man after man would tell me how many of tell my best friend I'm me tell my parents and we have tell this thank you. That's what I said. This is much bigger than business and entrepreneurship and always have things I was doing at the time this is like my purpose of my mission right now. They're probably will be for a long time having this conversation. Q what is don't know too many poll white jock American men are opening up about being raped I just don't know many of us talking about it. So I want to be an example. And use my platform to. Inspire and encourage them and they're not to publicly talk about it but just talk about what the friends of about the film and number. Find a therapist talk about incompetence just talk about the things that your ashamed of your afraid of your secure about. Because it will release that pressure on your chest. And it'll give you a sense of freedom to fool would go after what you wanna do without being afraid. By sharing your story not just about that part of your life but. All the other ways in which are trying to reach out to people to get them to connect to be better versions of himself. You're clearly on a mission. To help people dead right there at this whole idea of self help. Do you think that there's an assassin silenced so cynicism around that to write that like everybody could use a little help. So does a party feel like why why isn't this your when mission could do a lot of things right here at smarter guy here a hard worker you could do a lot of things why is this the mission. Because men are suffering aside and even though men have had way more privileges and opportunities and things like that for. Ever. I feel like. Men are committing more suicide the women that are committing more crimes minute they're more alcoholics and men and women mannered dying young men and women so why. Why did all these things happened the man. Why do men have more heart attacks why why they constantly have cancer why. It comes down to. The sense of pressure the sense of like why need to be a Mansour can't talk about these things be strong and always bottle and in. Or if I'm going to express its going to be through anger could be through punching someone it's going to be through road rage is going to be through something that is ineffective and doesn't help humanity. So my mission is to help me heal. -- start to feel more relaxed inside particularly they can express themselves however the issues in healthier forms. Even if it's not acceptable society you know as a kid I used to cry all the time from ages four to nine. I would scream in the middle of the night for my mom cry when I was afraid I was scared I was in secure lonely. How we cried during school I would cry on the playground. And there was told that crying is an okay for boys and it's not okay men don't cry. Over and over I was made fun of by my peers for crime knows made fun of by coaches whatever may be. And so I said OK I guess I'm not an emotional human being I guess I'm not sensitive I guess of not caring giving compassionate. I need to be something different. And I think that type of conditioning over decades for men me is crippling. Parents. A lot of men are suffering inside I just don't think men or women or human beings need to suffering side. And this is part of Amish. Think a lot of people out there can agree with a lot of impact Lou if house. To see the score the greatness is still out there available for everyone the pod cast is fantastic I've listened to it downloaded today in the new book. The mask of masculinity is out now thank you so much for being here thank you. Thanks to all of you for watching as armor but eighty in it not conduct any time for all the latest headlines for now. I'm on an Sanofi back here soon.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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