The Bingo Theory: A revolutionary guide to love, life, and relationships - Mimi Ikonn (2016)
Part III. Bingo
Chapter 9. BECOMING A BINGO FOR FEMININE STRENGTH MEN AND WOMEN
IN THIS CHAPTER, we’ll discover how Feminine Strength Females and Males can bring out their masculine energy. I’ll share simple, actionable steps that you can take right away. If you’re a Masculine Strength Female or Male, feel free to move on to the next chapter, where you’ll learn how to bring out your feminine energy.
How do we balance our energies? How do we become a Bingo?
The first step is to Own Your Strength.
If you are a Feminine Strength Person, like Lily or Chris, you are probably kind, caring, connected, intuitive and creative. You’re popular and easy going. You have many wonderful qualities as a result of this strength—but you don’t need to develop them anymore. Instead you need to bring out your organized, confident, go-getting masculine energy.
How do you do that?
Let me show you how Lily brought out her masculine energy.
Remember that Lily lost all structure in her life after she was laid off from her job; she started partying and living off credit cards. Then she became isolated and depressed. How did she come out of her situation?
The best thing that happened to Lily was that her money ran out.
Lily thought the money would last forever, but it didn’t. In fact, she burnt through it within a year. Then her credit card debt began mounting. She asked her parents for a loan but for the first time ever they refused. “It’s time to stand up on your own two feet,” her mother told her. “We’ve been helping you out long enough.”
Lily was outraged, but it was the shock she needed to wake up. She contacted everyone she knew, looking for work. A friend told her about a job that was much more senior to the one she had had at the magazine.
It was the role of deputy editor at a design website and it involved managing people and budgets - something she had no experience with - but out of desperation, she applied. To her utter amazement the interview went well and she got offered the job.
For the first two months, she felt out of her league. The job stretched her in every way. She had to be organized and responsible, show leadership and manage the books. But she amazed herself by doing it. She had a few tough moments - mostly when she had to confront staff about poor work - but she learned to handle those conversations. She could see that people respected her for making a stand.
The boost to her confidence was so strong that she felt like she could do anything. Her energy went through the roof - so much so that she joined the gym at work and started doing high- intensity workouts. The lethargy was gone. She stopped drinking during the week. She was able to think clearly for the first time in years. She felt that anything was possible.
Lily was forced by her financial conditions to develop her masculine energy. Challenging situations can often be our greatest teachers.
She could have continued living off credit cards, but she didn’t. Instead, she used her masculine energy to get real and take action. She didn’t think she was good enough for the job but she went for it anyway—again, this was her masculine energy.
Feminine Strength People doubt their abilities while Masculine Strength People think they can rule the world. Somewhere in between ‘poor me, I’m useless’ and ‘check me out, I’m fabulous’ is a great place to be.
For people like Lily it is sometimes necessary to fake it till you make it. When she got the job she had to fake it. She had to take on organization, leadership and management. None of this came easily to her but she did it.
Lily also had to face one of her greatest fears - confrontation. She still felt shaken up after such conversations, but she learned how to hold her own. The ability to hold your own makes a huge impact in all areas of life. If you can learn to stand up for yourself at work you will find it easier to do it in your personal life as well.
Vigorous exercise also really helped Lily. She ditched her yoga class, with its plinky-plonky music, and toughed it out in the gym, lifting weights and breaking a sweat. As she got physically strong, she got mentally strong.
As a result of working out, Lily started to feel more powerful, more in control.
Meanwhile, Chris, our Feminine Strength Male developed his masculine energy in a different way.
Working for his domineering dad made Chris miserable. For months he sat in the family office listening to his father make belittling remarks about how Chris would never amount to anything; how Chris should have saved himself a lot of time and come straight to the family firm.
One day Chris snapped. “I am done,” he said, “I’d rather starve than spend another minute listening to you.” Chris walked out of the family business that day and he never went back. His heart raced as he walked away - it was the first time he stood up to his father like that.
That night Chris asked a friend if he could crash on his sofa for a while, while he sorted things out. He got in touch with his old boss and she offered him freelance shifts. In the evenings he worked on his dating site—enough messing around. This time he was going to make this happen.
For weeks he felt like he was getting nowhere. He couldn’t afford proper developers, so he taught himself the tech side. It was slow process but he kept at it. Then, one day, he bumped into a guy he went to school with. They didn’t know each other well but they had a coffee and it turned out Harry was a developer.
Harry didn’t pull any punches. ‘This site is a mess,’ he said, looking at the beginnings of the dating site. The old Chris would have run away but the new Chris knew he had to take the criticism.
Harry sent him away with a bunch of tasks and told him to get back to him by the end of the month. Chris did what Harry recommended and Harry gave him more recommendations. Again, Chris followed through.
After a few months, Harry suggested they go into business together. They were the perfect match - Harry (a Masculine Strength Male) was experienced and solid. Chris was creative and had great contacts. It was the beginning of great things.
The moment Chris stood up to his father was the moment he started using his masculine energy. Feminine Strength people can tolerate abuse in a way that Masculine Strength People would never accept. Feminine Strength People value other people’s opinions over their own, and as a result of this they can become dangerously passive. They can become victims. They need to use their masculine energy to stand up for themselves.
Chris also used his masculine energy when he took financial responsibility. He walked away from the security of his father’s business and family home and stood on his own two feet. Feminine Strength People can be too quick to rely on others. There’s a power that comes from looking after yourself.
Next, Chris did another thing he had never done before - he used his masculine energy to work consistently and with focus. He was smart enough to know that he needed someone to help him be accountable, someone to give him a plan and a list of goals.
What’s more is that Chris followed through. For months he did exactly what he said he would do—a trait that does not come easily to the flaky feminine energy. This proved to Harry that he was a worthy business partner.
How to Develop Your Masculine Energy
Not all of us go to the extremes that Lily and Chris did, but if you are a Feminine Strength Person, here are some strategies for you to use to bring out your masculine energy. These tips apply to both Feminine Strength Males and Females.
Don’t think you need to do all of them at once. Pick one or two things that you can do this week. It is better to make small but consistent baby steps than to do too much and then give up after a month.
Have a Plan
This is the single-most important thing you need to do. Really! While the Masculine Strength People draw up their five year plans the Feminine Strength People don’t even know what they’re doing that evening. Being spontaneous is great, but without a plan in life you will feel lost and aimless. A good plan acts like a map. It gives you direction and focus - both of which give your masculine energy a boost. As Benjamin Franklin said: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
There are a million ways to plan, but here are a few ideas:
✵YOUR LIFE PLAN: Block off an afternoon to decide what it is you would like to achieve in your life. An activity that may help is to cut out pictures and create a vision board. For more information you can watch my video on Youtube - How to Make Your Dreams Come True. Review your plan regularly. It will change as you do - and that’s fine. Nothing is set in stone. This is just a way of getting clarity on your life.
✵ANNUAL PLAN: Write down ten things you want to achieve this year. Now, break them down into months. What can you do when? Be realistic and specific with your deadlines. Put them in your calendar.
✵WEEKLY PLAN: Every Sunday afternoon or evening set goals for the week ahead. Again, give yourself specific deadlines. Thinking that you will do something in the next couple of weeks isn’t good enough. Schedule all your tasks into your calendar. If it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t get done.
✵DAILY PLAN: Ten minutes of planning every morning will transform your day. Begin every morning by asking yourself “What is the most important thing I need to do today?” Get that done first. I love a product called the Productivity Planner, which helps to plan your day by breaking it down into half hour segments. This is a product that I have co-created with my business partners Alex and UJ to make our lives easier and more productive.
All of this might sound like a lot of work, but I promise that it will make you feel much more grounded and in control. Feminine Strength People like to say that they are free-spirited and fun - which they are - but the reality is that they often spend their lives feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Planning eliminates a lot of that stress.
When you focus on what you have to accomplish, you become less focused on your ever-changing emotions and life become simpler. You know when to work and what to do and it gives you the satisfaction of crossing off achievements. To quote Phil Copeland, “The trouble with not having a goal is that you spend your life running up and down the field and you never score.” It’s time to start scoring.
Research shows you are much more likely to achieve your goals if you are accountable to someone else. Find a coach or a no-nonsense friend who will check up on you. Tell them what you plan to do and by when. Make sure they are a Masculine Strength Person who won’t take any excuses.
After planning, vigorous exercise is the most life-changing thing that Feminine Strength People can do—and no, I don’t mean walking around the block or doing a nice bit of yoga. I mean proper, hard-core exercise. Studies show that high-intensity workouts, including heavy weights and body weight, boost testosterone production and give you a rush of endorphins - which will give you a rush of the masculine energy. Boxing and martial arts are also a great way to feel stronger and more powerful. Team events such as boot camps are good because they make you accountable. Sign up to a class now. Put it in your calendar. Commit, commit, commit!
Recent research shows that if you strike a powerful pose - where you take up as much space as possible - your testosterone (masculine hormone) levels increase and your cortisol (stress hormone) levels decrease. Feminine Strength People are prone to fear and self-doubt. If you want to feel a rush of masculine confidence, simply lift your chin, put your shoulders back and open up your body. This makes you look - and feel - more assertive. Before a big meeting, stand for two minutes in the ‘wonder woman’ pose, with your legs wide and your hands on your waist. It’s amazing how much stronger it makes you feel.
Spend Time with Masculine Strength People
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. So who do you spend time with? Do you hang out with other Feminine Strength People? If so, it’s time to make new friends. Spending time with Masculine Strength People will help bring out your masculine energy. You might not feel like you have a lot in common at first, but you will both learn from each other. My feminine energy friends always tell me that they feel clearer, stronger and more confident after we spend time together.
Meditation helps clear your mind, keep you focused and stay calm—much needed skills for Feminine Strength People. The more you do it, the greater control you will have over your emotions. You will no longer be hostage to them. However, to get the benefits of meditation, you need to stick to it -this means using your masculine energy to be consistent and disciplined. Start small, with ten minutes of meditation every morning and evening. You can make the sessions longer as you get more practice.
Take on Challenges
Take on big work projects, agree to do public speaking. ask for a pay rise. It doesn’t matter what it is, and it doesn’t matter if you succeed. All that matters is that you aim high and take action. Masculine Strength People love a challenge, so take one and it will bring out your masculine energy.
Ask a Masculine Strength Person if your bum looks big, and they’ll tell you the truth. Ask a Feminine Strength Person and they’ll tell you that you look beautiful even if what you are wearing isn’t flattering. Feminine Strength People are endlessly polite and diplomatic. They don’t say what they really think for fear of hurting other people. They also don’t stand up for themselves or ask for what they want because they fear the other person’s reaction. To bring out your masculine energy, be direct and honest in your communication. Say what you mean and ask for what you need. Be assertive. People are not mind readers, and while others might not like what you say, they will always respect you when you speak the truth.
Keep Your Word
Feminine Strength People can be unreliable. They have the best of intentions but they make all sorts of promises that they don’t follow through on. They cancel at the last minute and fail to meet deadlines. They make excuses. Does this sound like you? Be honest. This habit annoys other people and it disempowers you. It makes you think you can’t do anything you say you’ll do. When you follow through on something even when you don’t want to do it, you will feel a surge of personal power. For one week make it a goal to do everything you say you will do, even if you don’t feel like it. You will be amazed at how much stronger this makes you feel.
Eat More Protein
Feminine Strength People are prone to emotional highs and lows. The last thing you need to add to that is sugar highs and lows. To feel strong and calm, eat a clean, healthy diet that is rich in vegetables and protein. Protein is necessary to build lean muscles and it gives you sustained energy throughout the day. Eat at least a palm-sized amount of protein with your meals, and snack on seeds and nuts, or nut butters. Good sources of protein include quinoa, beans, lentils, spirulina, nuts and seeds.
Experiments have shown that not only do our clothes affect how other people view us, they also affect how we feel, think, and act. For example, volunteers wearing a doctor’s coat performed better in tasks that required close attention than those wearing normal clothes. Other studies have shown that people perform better in negotiations when wearing a suit, compared to when they are in jeans and a t-shirt. Our clothes convey messages of status, power and self-worth. Therefore, if you want to feel more powerful, start power dressing. Sharp-tailoring and darker colors will bring out your masculine energy.
Take on mental challenges with mind teasers and crossword puzzles. Read serious non-fiction such as business books or anything that will bring out your logical, fact-driven masculine energy. Fiction helps Masculine Strength People get in touch with feelings and creativity, but this comes easily to Feminine Strength People. What you need to do is become more rational; a better problem solver. They say that information is power. Inform yourself about history, business, or science and this will help you focus on the outside world instead of the inner world of feelings.
Help out in the local homeless shelter, teach in a third world country or volunteer with children. Feminine Strength People are caring and can cry over all the atrocities they see on the news. They feel other people’s pain acutely. But they rarely tend to do much about it. Doing something to help another person takes you out of yourself. People live in circumstances you can’t even imagine. When you engage in physically doing something about it, you will feel grounded, strong and empowered.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Go camping, take up gardening, learn to change a tire. Do anything that gets your hands dirty - literally. Feminine Strength People like the luxuries in life and don’t like muck or mess. Getting your hands dirty will bring out your masculine energy. Here’s a crazy statistic: men who chop wood experience a 46.8 percent increase in their testosterone levels. Maybe it’s time to do more than just wear that lumberjack shirt!
Can you change a light-bulb, put up a shelf, or assemble a piece of furniture? If you can’t, then learn how. Feminine Strength People will happily wait around for someone else to do practical jobs for them. Doing it yourself will make you feel powerful, confident and in control of your life. Big claims for a little light-bulb, but try it.
Make a Decision
Feminine Strength People can spend twenty minutes looking at a menu and then ask their dining companion to order for them. They lack the confidence to make choices; they drown in options, so practice making decisions. Start small. Decide quickly on what you want to eat in a restaurant. Make a decision about something you have been procrastinating about at work. Accept the fact that once you make a decision it’s done. Don’t over-analyze or worry about the results. It’s OK to make mistakes, they help you grow and learn. The fact is that once Feminine Strength People get the confidence to make decisions they, usually make the right ones, thanks to their great intuition.
Cut Up The Credit Cards
Last but not least, get rid of your credit cards. Now. Please. The tendencies that Feminine Strength People have to enjoy beautiful things and live-for-the moment are lethal when combined with a credit card. Remove all temptation. Masculine Strength People can be organized with their money. They keep track of it and they want more of it. Follow their lead and make it a habit to check your bank balances every day. If you are in debt, that’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up about it or play the victim. Facing the facts is the first step. Now, make a plan to earn more money, or to manage the money you have more effectively. Get busy selling stuff on eBay, ask for a pay raise, stop buying scented candles…get real with your finances.