Men are expected to excel, perform professionally, succeed in their careers and be the sole breadwinners for their families in order to be accepted and validated by society. The sense of competition and professional expansion is created in minds of young men from an early age. Boys grow up thinking that one day they will become some kind of ‘superheroes’, with money, power, strength and intelligence. This dream which most boys grow up with is inculcated in their minds from an early age by the pre-set gender roles of masculinity. They are made to believe that they will be respected, loved and validated by their parents, spouses, children and friends only if they excel in their careers and become ultra wealthy.

There is nothing wrong with this mindset as long as it is not the only criteria for acceptance from others. It is important to remember that not everyone ends up doing ‘well’ in life and not everyone is born with ambitions. So how do men feel when they are constantly being measured in terms of their financial success and power? Do they really feel loved and validated from others when they know that all they are getting is a conditional acceptance? And what about those men who don’t end up achieving pre-determined financial goals? Are they not worthy of acceptance and love from their families?

The harsh reality is that no one truly wants to be wanted, loved and accepted on the basis of his “financial worth”. The constant pressure to perform well takes a toll on the mental health of many people and they end with depression, alcoholism and physical health issues.

Men who are on weaker grounds professionally can develop other attributes to contribute to their families such as emotional support, intellectual contribution and involvement with children. It is important for men to keep in mind that your self-worth is not defined by your profession and your net worth. You truly deserve love and care regardless of your financial achievements. It is okay to fail sometimes. It is okay to take a break from the need to perform continuously. Lastly, it is absolutely okay to give yourself acceptance, validation and love, unconditionally.