Overcoming Insecurities - Men N' More Interview
Overcoming Insecurities to Become A Confident Man
Kavesh: Hello everyone, welcome to another edition of Men n' More podcast. I'm Kavesh and I'm joined by my co-host Vincent. The rise of insecurities is a common phenomenon amongst young. They're becoming insecure about their own personality and competing with superficial and unrealistic benchmarks. Today, we will be discussing and diving deep into the same topic and we are joined by a very good friend, Justin Estrada. He's an entrepreneur and he owns a website, Top Shelf Goods. He specializes in men's lifestyle products and he's a very confident guy himself. So together, we will be discussing the same topic and we'll find out ways how men can become a better version of themselves and look confident and feel confident. Hi Justin, welcome to the podcast.
Justin: Hello, Men n' More. This is Justin Talk Shop Goods Estrada, founder of topshelfgoods.com, it is great to be on the podcast, I've been really looking forward to this. So yeah, we're going to be talking about conquering insecurities and becoming a confident man of action.
Kavesh: So, Justin, to start with, like me, Vincent and a lot of other men are facing this issue that young men are nowadays becoming more insecure about themselves, about their appearance, about their skills. What is your take on this particular scenario?
Justin: I've seen firsthand how men are becoming less of a man, they're staying in their adolescence as boys. Just the other day I was in L.A. and I saw this couple, at least I thought it was a couple, I was in an Uber and they're walking down the street and this couple, they stopped at a stop sign and the man was leaning in to comfort the girl. It almost looked like he was the girl and she was the confident man in this scenario and it just baffled me. That really got me thinking about how men are being less confident in not only their style and how they carry themselves and they're less sure of themselves, but it transfers over to their relationships. I'm really happy to be speaking to you guys so that we can help young men become better men.
Vincent: Right. Even guys with those six pack abs and big muscles, with a lot of hair on their head, even they have insecurities, this all stem from something. I guess it is okay to have insecurities, I think we have to address it. What is it that is causing these insecurities in me? What is it that I am doing? What is it that I'm not doing that is causing me to feel insecure about myself? For example, we have a day job, right? We work nine to five, me and Kavesh and we are always constantly thinking, ok man, what if we lose this job someday? So, we ourselves are insecure about our jobs.
Justin: Yeah, absolutely. That comes down to men or these boys are more fragile. I had a buddy call me the other day and he kind of lost his job and he's like, what do I do? I asked him, don't you have a skill, can't you just go get another job? He's fragile. We have to become anti-fragile. How do you become anti-fragile? You have multiple streams of income. That's why you guys have Men n' More, that's why I have Top Shelf and because we want to be anti-fragile, to protect against losing a job.
Vincent: Any adversity for that matter.
Justin: We're concurring adversity by broadening our business.
Kavesh: So, Justin, the other thing, which I think is a very valid question because we talked about it a lot in our podcast, in our articles, videos, everything about style. So, do you think style is another factor which men are overlooking, and it can help them become a better and confident human being?
Justin: Absolutely Vincent. As we discussed before the podcast that we've been noticing that boys, they're just wearing t-shirts. Unless it's for prom or unless it's for a special occasion, then they'll put on a suit and a tie and a colored t-shirt, but they look so uncomfortable in it because they're not used to wearing it. So yeah, style is definitely being overlooked, that is a good thing you noticed, Kavesh.
Kavesh: I don't do that. I think it's not just about wearing a suit, it's not just about wearing dress clothes, it's about wearing them and feeling comfortable with it, as you said, so I think that's also a very big part of it. On the similar lines, I would like to discuss something different, which is, there is a rise of this hobo hipster beard culture. What is your take on that because everybody is looking like everyone nowadays? They have a man bun, they have a long beard which they can't maintain also, and it looks very out of place at times.
Vincent: They think that growing a beard and having a big man bun makes him a man. What is your take on this?
Justin: Well, I think it's funny when the man bun, beard guy, he spends a lot of time on his beard but his business isn't doing well or his relationships. He's acting too much like a woman, so women are leaving him for other men. He's not focusing on himself internally, just focusing on himself externally. We all want to be more presentable, but I don't think a longer beard is a solution to an underlying problem. Maybe it's masked in the insecurities of that he's not as capable as he appears.
Vincent: Exactly. That was a good point. So, let's talk about the physique that most men want to achieve. People want broader shoulders, six pack abs, 20 pounds of muscle on their body to look attractive. Do you think people who want to become muscular and want to look attractive have some insecurities or do they do it for health purposes in the first place? What do you think?
Justin: Yeah, Vincent, that's a good question. Personally, I respect anyone that is disciplined enough to hit the gym consistently to acquire those muscles because that's not something that's given to you, you have to earn it. But then again, if you are a gym rat and you spend all the time in the gym, you aren't rounding yourself. It's just like you're just focusing on your upper body and your legs, you skip leg day, you're focusing all your time in the gym, but how is your business doing? How is your bank account? So, in order to be a well-rounded man, you have to allocate time and be organized to spend time on fitness, spend time on women, and spend time on your business. Not in that order, I'd probably do business, gym, women, in that order.
Vincent: What I want to discuss is that the guys who want to put on muscles do you think they have some insecurities within them? Many guys think that they are weaker, and they have to put on muscles to look stronger or more like a man.
Justin: I had a friend in high school, I ran cross-country with him and he was definitely skinnier than the rest of us. So, I think out of high school he started hitting the gym a lot and he got bigger and then some girls took an interest in him and I think that it was literally his first girlfriend ever and he married her. I think that you hit the gym because you thought that's the only way that girls would notice you and then you lash on to the first one you found. That's not really a good strategy because you have to definitely know what you like before you get locked into a marriage situation. So yeah, I definitely think that that is a route that men generally try to solve their insecurities with. They think that muscles will do it, but it's used to really mask that underlying problem. If you don't mind, I'd like to speak about how to solve that insecurity.
Justin: Ok. Yeah, I think that solving that insecurity problem is, as I mentioned to Kavesh earlier about affirmations, affirmations have been good to me and help in my business. An example of an affirmation is you just say in the mirror, I'm a champion and will conquer anything in my way, or when you're talking about business is that I will handle all the business today and make a lot of money. You say this in the mirror and then later on in the day you hold yourself accountable whether it's subconsciously or not, you hold yourself accountable to what you told yourself. That's a way to solve those insecurities and then the insecurities with going to the gym, yeah, being fit is definitely a central part of being a man but it's not the whole picture. You have to solve the problems in front of you and I don't think that getting muscles is solving the problems. Like, if you get nervous when talking around chicks, you just have to talk to more chicks. If you're nervous, books can do a lot for your mindset for sure.
Kavesh: The interesting thing here is that we are talking about how people overcome insecurities by pumping dumbbells and by just hitting the gym for no reason, just growing a beard but it's actually the knowledge that makes you a man.
Justin: Internal confidence.
Kavesh: Yeah, books are the most, I would say masculine tool a man can start to invest in.
Justin: I have a couple buddies and I was just talking to them the other night and they don't seem to be pulling any chicks from their nightlife. And I think that they, at least what I hear from them, it sounds like they aren't connecting with any girls because their motives are to hook up and that's about it, instead of being knowledgeable and just carrying a conversation about relevant topics and you get that from books and knowledge. When you're able to speak with someone on their level about topics, you connect with them more. Anyways, let's get back to what you were saying, I think I went on a tangent there.
Kavesh: The next thing that I want to discuss is how social media is making us insecure. On Instagram, you see all kinds of models there, I don't know if they are all real or photoshopped and that has set a very high standard for us.
Justin: Yeah, I see that problem a lot. These guys they have excuses to why they're not connecting with the girls. It's because they don't match up with me or they're not good enough for me and it's like, dude you haven't connected with anyone in a year like you need to just go for what you can get. Obviously, we all need to have standards, but if you're not connecting with anyone then maybe you're raising the bar too high or you're just making excuses why you don't want to talk to that girl. Do you ever hear that? Like you're out with your buddies and you are like, go talk to her and it's like, no dude, she's not hot enough for me. It's like, you haven't talked to a girl in a week, dude, that would be a step up for you.
Kavesh: This is very true, and this actually shows how insecure the guy is, that he's actually looking at a female and saying that she's not good enough for me. I would also add on to this that nowadays men want this instant gratification which is also a very big, I think, issue in this particular scenario and they want to be popular for no reason, for no skill set. I think that is where your insecurities start to increase because you expect way too much.
Justin: That's a good point, Kavesh, that they are expecting too much when they really haven't done shit. So, before you start trying to build a social media empire or before you try and become a celebrity, actually have skills. Which is why I respect these, I don't know if you noticed but on my Top Shelf Goods, I had the Steve McQueen as my profile picture for a long time. I was posting a lot about Steve McQueen because these old-school celebrities like James Dean and Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando, they were actually like bad asses in real life before they ever became celebrities. They knew how to work on cars, they drove race cars in their spare time and they were actually real men before they ever hit the film industry. With the Disney Channel stars and stuff and the kids, nowadays it's like all they're known for is just being a star, they don't have any actual skill sets that make them real men.
Kavesh: So, are you saying that because of these new age celebrities and these new Instagram stars or social celebrities, do you think that's also a reason people don't have anyone to look up to? I mean, we are lacking in icons, manly figures and father figures.
Justin: Yes. I find myself looking to the past.
Vincent: Us too, even us look into the past.
Justin: Yeah. There are some G's out there like my Connor McGregor, right? That guy has unstoppable confidence. Have you ever seen an old interview with Connor McGregor? He told himself he was the champ before he ever became the champ.
Vincent: Wow, that's another level of confidence. For that matter, I even think Dwayne Johnson is a really good icon and the personal element.
Justin: Dwayne Johnson, The Rock?
Justin: Yeah, nice.
Vincent: Whenever I am down, I just watch his interviews and I feel inspired. He's a very humble person and very down to earth.
Justin: Honestly, I mean, you'll always see him on big blockbusters, big films, completely back-to-back. He's on everything because his work ethic is so strong.
Vincent: Why did people pay so much attention to their dressing back then and what can men learn from these movies, from The Godfather movies? The Godfather is an amazing movie and I think every man should watch it at least once, but what is it that a man can learn from The Godfather movie?
Justin: Absolutely. The Godfather is an amazing movie because it has Al Pacino and Marlon Brando, the cast is stacked, and it was written by a guy who he saw firsthand the mafia lifestyle. So, the movie was written in a book and then it was even amplified in the movie. So, a lot of people even say that the movie is even better than the book which is rare because they had a second time to go over it. So, the entire movie resembles what an alpha, charismatic and confident man should be, and it opens up beautifully with high-level politicians and people in Italian society, coming to the Godfather on his daughter's wedding today asking for favors. So, The Godfather is the alpha because other people are coming to him, he doesn't go to other people. Then, if you can watch like when Vito Corleone, Marlon Brando is the Godfather and also when Michael is the Godfather, Michael Corleone, Al Pacino is the Godfather, they're so slow and relaxed and they always conserve their energy. They move slow and purposefully, they are male lions and every action people take notice. So, like everything they say, people are quiet when they talk and it's because everyone has such tremendous respect for them, they move like slow lions.
So, in the pride lands with female lions, the females hunt, and they bring the dinner back and the male lions just rest, and they protect the property. It looks like they're lazy but they're actually not because they need to conserve their energy for when it's most important. When it's most important is when other alpha males come and try to take the pride lands away from them. So, that's how the Godfather operates, they conserve their energy and they have other people come to them until they're ready to make a move. Then, when they make a move, they attack ferociously just like a male lion would. They conserve the energy, the female lions bring the food to them and then if they have to go to battle, just lessons like that. There are all kinds of business lessons and strategies that can apply to any business that you learn from the Godfathers and there is this saying that Michael Corleone always says is that you keep your friends close but you keep your enemies closer. In the Godfather 2, he's really close to one of his enemies, he knows ahead of time that this guy is going to betray him. So, in order to recognize his movements, he stays close to him and he acts like his friend to keep his enemies close so that he can execute at the right time. What did you guys take away from The Godfather?
Vincent: We learned a lot of things from The Godfather. Whenever you're emotional, you have to give yourself some time, sit down, let it flow and think about the situation in a more rational manner. Because, when you're angry or emotionally hurt or something, we tend to make decisions that don't benefit us.
Vincent: Yeah, and there is one thing that I noticed in the movie is that when Al Pacino became the Godfather and when he became the head of the family also, he never smiled, he always grinned, he always had a grin on his face. Why does this guy always grin, and why doesn't he smile? Did you ever notice this thing about Michael?
Justin: Yeah, you're a fucking millionaire bro, smile. That is just so cold and calculated.
Vincent: Actually, smiling is an emotion because when you feel a lot happier that is when you start smiling and Al Pacino always showed that he's ok. It's a good thing but it doesn't matter to me a lot, so he had control of the situation.
Justin: Smiling is reserved for when you want people to like you, you smile, right? So, he doesn't need people to like him because they already fear Him. Yeah, because when you smile you tell that person that they're doing something right, but he doesn't need to tell them that.
Kavesh: That's true. And, my take I would say, so my personal take is that you can leave anything in the world but values. I think this is the biggest take away from the movie because your values are something that will keep you alive. Just how the film is, I think about values and about the family that you're in, trusting them.
Justin: I feel like I should add that to my blog post.
Kavesh: Yes, definitely. I think values are important and that is what makes a man and how they treat their women, also, in the film is very, I would say something to learn from because they respect them a lot. I can give you an instance when Don Corleone is in the hospital, the mother, Don Corleone's wife, she's binding the family, she's cooking dinner for them. I mean her husband is in the hospital, he's on the deathbed, any person with the right mindset cannot do that, she's a very headstrong woman. So obviously, that is one aspect of the film which people overlook, the women are really strong in the film.
Justin: [22:48 overlapping talk]
Kavesh: Yeah, definitely. The women are strong, so even if you talk about Vito's mother in the second part how she goes to the don, she confronts him that he's a child he won't do any harm to you but when it comes to taking a bullet, she does that for her son. So, I think if you see the film properly, if you read between the lines, you will get to know how strong the women are, what role they have to really play in this particular universe which is being run by men mafia and still they have a say of their own.
Vincent: Yeah, because when you're working in the mafia, there's no guarantee of your life, but still woman choose them.
Justin: The point like you said like even though she was by his deathbed and when he's in the hospital she was still headstrong, and it takes a really tough woman to not be hysterical at that moment and to like hold it down.
Vincent: Yeah, that takes a lot of courage.
Justin: Like when he met with the five families and they killed his son and he just treated it as just business, no emotion at all, that was powerful, it's like are you kidding me? You just want to put all that aside like they killed your son and you just treat it as just business! It just wow, emotions really do not serve a purpose there because where would emotions get you? It would just get you more war.
Vincent: Whenever you think about blaming someone else, looked into yourself, it was you who made the decision in the first place.
Justin: Yeah, to trust that. Absolutely.
Kavesh: There's an instance when he's lost a job and he's in need of that at that particular moment, he doesn't backlash on his employer, he wishes him the best. I mean, he could have killed him, obviously, he had that potential, but he didn't do that he just waved goodbye. This is very manly when you forgive someone.
Justin: Absolutely, forgiveness is much harder than moving on. But then you just got to see it, it's just business.
Kavesh: Yeah, that's what it is, and you can obviously kill a few people when it is required.
Justin: I really liked what you guys say about the values because I think at the core of The Godfather, that's what it is. It's Vito Corleone passing on his values to Michael Corleone and it's about a father-and-son thing, at least The Godfather one is, and that's what we need to do. It's like you guys said that you look to the old generations for the values and so do I and so we need to learn from our predecessors for sure.
Vincent: We started off this podcast on overcoming insecurities and now we are talking Godfather, it's fun.
Justin: There's nothing more confident than The Godfather, they're so assured of themselves.
Vincent: Let's end this podcast by talking about a few things that the men and youngsters can start doing their lives to become more confident.
Justin: Yeah. I think that a big one would be that they shouldn't be so sensitive, and they should learn to laugh things off. If they're rejected from a job interview or they're rejected from an approach to a girl, you need to be tougher and bounce back quickly because there's no time to waste on the past, just keep looking forward to your future. What do you guys have to add on the topic of overcoming insecurity?
Kavesh: I think to stop comparing yourself with others which is the biggest thing. You should be your own Idol, you should set realistic benchmarks. Ambition is good but having unrealistic benchmarks in your life can be draining your time. Accepting yourself, not taking yourself too seriously and you can start learning from other people, start listening to other people, which is very important. And, I think one should start to do these things then you become more confident.
Justin: For the first couple years of my career in programming, I didn't educate others in it, I just learned, I just learned a lot. Now, I feel really comfortable in educating people on programming because I've quite experienced myself. So, the best way to build confidence is to actually be experienced and well equipped in that field. So, if you want to be confident with women, talk to a lot of women, speak to other women, have good girlfriends. If you want to be confident in programming, spend years studying the craft. If you want to be confident in anything, spends years studying the craft.
Vincent: You have to put in the work, that's it.
Justin: Yes, and that will build genuine confidence, putting in the work.
Vincent: To people who are spending their time on social media, they're trying to build their lives as the people they see on social media. The thing is, nobody puts the sad part of their lives on social media and social media only shows the upper side of their lives. Stop comparing yourself to the models. The best thing, according to me, focus on yourself, focus on your inner self.
Justin: Yeah, I agree, Vincent. As long as you're better than you were the day before you're doing good.
Vincent: Right. I think even Dwayne Johnson has some insecurities because we humans tend to have insecurities. It's ok to have insecurities, but you must know how to address them.
Justin: You can either pick yourself up respectfully or you can embarrass yourself picking yourself up. The boys shy away from their problems, but the men embrace them head on. A couple months ago I had no idea how to sell physical products online. My world was just primarily software and I had to face this problem head-on, as I wanted Top Shelf Goods to become the go-to resource for men of action that wants to be well equipped with men's accessories. And so, I know nothing about this industry, and I'm just training myself, but I wanted to face it head-on, just dive right in. I'm going to make plenty of mistakes but that's okay with me. I'm ok with the failure.
Vincent: Once you taste the sweetness of failure you will want to fail a lot more times. So, Justin, it was a nice podcast, I enjoyed it a lot.
Kavesh: I love talking to you man. Thank you so much for being here, Justin, thank you so much for your precious time.
Justin: Thank you Men n' More for hosting me, Vincent and Kavesh. It's been a pleasure and I look forward to the next one.
Kavesh: Thank you.
Justin: Alright, take care gentlemen.
Vincent: So, gentlemen, that was Justin Estrada from Top Shelf Goods. If you want to buy something really amazing to give someone or for your own self, visit his website, topshelfgoods.com. You can also get a discount by just entering the code Men n' More which is M E N n' more and get 20% discount on your complete order, so order now. So, gentlemen, that's a wrap and we hope you like the podcast. If you really find that what we are doing is good, please don't forget to rate us, please share this podcast with your friends. We're on other media as well, so you can subscribe to our YouTube channel, you can visit our blog which is mennmore.com and you can also follow us on Instagram and Facebook. So, gentlemen, we will see you next time and until next time, keep hustling.