Fearless Fathers Embrace Conflict and Lead by Example
Authenticity Breeds Conflict in Conformist Societies
Family men are bound to encounter different situations that can stir up conflict between our friends, family, and even strangers. This is an inevitable part of living an authentic life, where we stay true to our beliefs and values, even if it means going against the norms or expectations of those around us.
As a father, it is crucial to understand and accept this potential conflict and even embrace it, for it is a necessary aspect of being a leader and living an authentic life.
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Conflict is Good for Family Men
As a husband, father, and business owner, I have been through countless experiences where conflict arose between my friends and acquaintances, family members, and even the people I’ve offered nothing but support. These situations can be uncomfortable and demanding and, at times, even leave you questioning whether what you’re doing is the right thing, as nobody else seems to understand it.
The key to overcoming this self-doubt and the conflict individuality and freedom to express one’s self creates is found in our ability to stay calm, think objectively, and make decisions based on our core values.
The same principles apply when it comes to conflicts in our personal lives.
As fathers, we are responsible for not only ourselves but also our families. Part of that responsibility is to lead by example and show our loved ones that it is okay to stand up for what we believe in, even if it means going against the opinions or ideologies of our friends, family, or strangers.
In today's society, conformity is often seen as the norm.
Many people are conditioned to follow the crowd and avoid conflict at all costs. But for fathers, giving in to this mindset is not an option. We must be willing to face conflict head-on and make tough decisions, even if it means going against the grain. This is how we teach our children to be strong, independent, and authentic individuals.
A simple example we can all relate to of executing this was how Jackie and I handled COVID. Many ran and hid in their homes, hoping to get permission from the government to live their life normally again; Jackie and I said, “Fuck that.” and did what we wanted, when we wanted. It brought conflict to our lives, but we were living authentically and aligned with our truth, and we showed the kids how even when the world is stacked against you, you do what you believe is right.
A lie is not true, regardless of its popularity.
Being comfortable with conflict means being able to handle criticism and pushback.
It takes courage and resilience to stand your ground and stay true to your beliefs, especially when facing opposition from both the masses we don’t know as well as those closest to us.
As family men, we must remember that our authenticity not only benefits us but also the people around us. By living an authentic life, we inspire and encourage others to do the same. In this context, I’m not just talking about your children; your fellow dads, peer group, and network will feel the influence and replicate the bold approach the longer you continue to show the benefits of living in such a manner.
It may be lost in the focus on what is happening within our homes, but as fathers, we are not just responsible for ourselves and our families; we are also leaders in our communities. Our ability to handle conflict with grace and perspective can have a ripple effect. By being comfortable with the uncomfortable and finding comfort in discomfort, we set an example for our peers and become lighthouses of revolution and change in society that, at times, comes across as being like a ship lost at sea.
Inevitably, living an authentic life will bring about conflict, but this should not deter us. As Jocko Willink said, "Discipline equals freedom." By staying true to our values and handling conflict with discipline and composure, we can find freedom and peace of mind, knowing that we are living life on our own terms.
Your discipline in remaining true to yourself grants you freedom and order in a world of chain-free slavery and chaos.
It is through conflict that we can demonstrate our strength and leadership, inspire our families, and make a positive impact in our communities. So, let us embrace conflict and view standing our ground as an opportunity, not an obstacle, knowing that it is an essential part of being true to ourselves and living a purpose-driven life.
- Zac Small