Like many men, Michael Lauria was chasing ‘success’ as he understood it – wealth and power. But when his marriage of 12 years broke down, Michael’s identity was rocked to the core.
“I was suicidal at one point because of everything that was going on,” he told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast.
“I then was forced to take a look at myself and really dig deep and start to become much more conscious of who I was being as a man and a father, because by then my children were six and 10, and they needed me at a very high level.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to give to anyone, myself or anybody else, at anything, anything at all, that looked like a high level.
“Because I was still on this journey of trying to achieve something that just was not in alignment with who I was as a person, and that was this idea of success that society tells us is success these days, which is really the acquisition of wealth and to really gain a high level of status on society.”
As Michael went on a journey of self-discovery, he discovered that he wasn’t alone. His challenges were shared by many other men, world wide.
“Masculinity in our society has become incredibly denigrated and very weak,” he said.
“It manifests in either men who are expressing totally unconscious aggression, or they are retracting and withdrawing inwards, and they are not embodying what it means to be a man. They have no capacity to make good decisions or educate the young boys and bring their boys up to be well-balanced, contributing men of society.
“They get to what they believe is the end of it, where they can call themselves successful, and unfortunately, what happens is they have perhaps a full wallet but an empty house because their wife left a year ago or two years go because they became a workaholic.
“I thought ‘there is a better way here. I know there is. I just don’t know what it is, so I’m going to go on a search to find it’. I then decided I was going to become a counsellor, so I went off and I did my counselling diploma. Then I started facilitating men’s groups. During this whole process helping other men, I was growing, too. I was learning from them. And as much as I was teaching, I was also the student. This helped because, even now in coaching sessions with my clients, I still learn. I still learn because people challenge me at levels that I haven’t been challenged before, and it helps me to grow as well.
Now with 15 years of both formal and self education under his belt, Michael is a dedicated relationship coach, mentor for men and a family therapist.
But instead of conventional counselling, which deals mostly with the conscious mind, Michael’s focus is on the unconscious mind which he says influences 95 to 99% of everything most people do.
This is achieved through building self-awareness.
“We start to understand that just addressing behaviours is not good enough”, Michael said.
“This is why things like, I believe, cognitive behaviour therapy doesn’t work because we’re treating the wound, right? We’re putting a bandaid over the wound, and we’re masking the behaviour and trying to alter the behaviour without dealing with the infection underneath.
“The coaching method is very different. The coaching method really builds a sense of self-awareness. It’s not really about talking about the external stuff, which is your thoughts, feelings, and action. It’s going deeper than that, and it’s really starting to understand what you value and building a sense of self-awareness. Building a connection between the conscious and the subconscious mind and being able to observe.
“Self-awareness is really just observing your thoughts and feelings as they’re happening. That’s what self-awareness really is. So, when you can start to observe your thoughts and feelings as they’re happening, then you build a greater level of awareness around how those thoughts and feelings then translate into actions and then how those actions and behaviours produce certain results.
“It’s powerful. It’s quite powerful because when people start to come to conscious awareness of what is in the subconscious, they then start to be more intentional about the thoughts that they choose to focus on and the feelings that they choose to feel, as well, and then the subsequent actions as a result. And when you start to build that conscious self-awareness, you find that your results get much, much better, and then you become more of a creator as opposed to a victim of your results.”
Listen to the full interview here.
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