Masculinity and How to Figure Out Your Beliefs with Alex Holmes

In this episode, we talk to Alex Holmes about identifying where your beliefs come from, which are really yours and having the conversation around masculinity.

April 12th, 2022

Episode Notes

Memorable Moments:

  • 3:29  We are here on earth with our purpose and we are driven by our purpose and it’s based on four tenants of responsibility, authenticity, consequences and freedom.
  • 6:36 There’s a whole phenomenon that happens inside us. When we go through particular things in life, we experience so much, and it does mess with the way that we think about the world and the way we see the world, especially when there’s somebody who feels that they are absolutely powerless in a situation. That is one of the most crippling things.
  • 6:54 I can attest to that personally and it’s not until you find your personal power that you can then become different and make a step and change things that you want to change. 
  • 8:06 What does it mean for men to be men today? What kind of, what element of masculinity do we bring forward? And as you see it across the world and in the cultural zeitgeist of the West right now, we’re having a huge resurgence of what masculinity does for the world, what it does for us. So I’m asking all these questions and I feel like I owe it to myself to ask these questions.
  • 11:15 I had to write down all the things I believed about myself, that were inherently told to me, taught to me, expressed to me, whether that be directly or indirectly. And then how that has shown up in my life as an adult man. Right. And in doing all of that, I’ve really sat down and thought, “wow, all of these beliefs are not mine.” None of this is mine and I’m holding all of these things that so many people have put to me and said to me, and act it out towards me. So I had to go about trying to undo those beliefs. 
  • 12:47 I think that it’s important to really think about those things. And that’s where I would say to people, to really be able to look at really just kind of go and do, go and examine where these things come from and to spend time really having that honest conversation with yourself.
  • 16:53 Like we are taught to mask a lot of stuff, to hide a lot of stuff, to keep things inside. A progressive stance, say a protest around, for men would probably, a progressive one, would look like men being able to really fight for paternal rights or to really fight for emotional intelligence among boys, or to really fight for…those are the things that would really center in around men’s progress. But, the kind of established network and structures of patriarchy and you know, I hate using this term, but the toxic side of masculinity inhibits us from being able to fight for that. So we move all of that energy away from ourselves and put it into things that are external to us. 
  • 18:08 So, the question for me is, where and when will we be able to, as men, really want to stand up for our own fight and healing, as men, and be able to allow and create this progress to then move forward together with everybody? Because obviously we intersect, we’re human beings. We’re on this earth together. 
  • 20:31 We have to have those conversations about consent. We have to have those conversations about safety and safe spaces. We have to have those conversations about oppressive language. Things that men are not taught to be careful about.
  • 21:52 We’ve had all these conversations but the real conversation that is upholding a lot of this and holding, trying to hold onto that oppressive night together, is masculinity and we’re not having that conversation. And it’s very difficult to some people, a lot of people don’t want to have it.
  • 23:22 What’s important to me is that we have, we have these conversations, we continue to have these conversations. And it’s not about this whole thing, where you go in with one set of ideas and you should, and you hold onto these ideas for the rest of your time and having conversations. I’m open to knowing more and changing my mind and knowing different, right? I’m open to all of those perspectives and all these different things. Not everybody’s going to agree that everyone’s going to have the same perspective and same view, but that’s the joy of a school being able to learn together and move together.
  • 23:57 my hope is that, and the one thing that matters most to me is that we get to a place where we can actually sit down and have a conversation that is progressive and can actually really push us, push us in a direction that is to change.

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This podcast is hosted by Allison Walsh and Dr. Angela Phillips. It is produced by Allison Walsh, Ashley Tate, and Nicole LaNeve. For more information or if you’re interested in being a guest on this podcast, please visit

Show Contributors

Alex Holmes

Alex Holmes is a London-based writer and existential mental health coach. In 2021, he won the Creative Impact Award for Best Mental Health Awareness, for his writing and conversations on mental health. He was also featured among Positive.News ‘20 Mental Health Leaders Supporting The Nation’s Wellbeing’, and won the Creative Impact Co Awards For Mental Health Awareness in 2021. His debut book Time To Talk: How Men Think About Love, Belonging, and Connection (Welbeck/Trigger). He writes weekly notes on his Heart-To-Heart Letters, exploring love, belonging and connection, He is also the founder and creator of the leading podcast Time To Talk with Alex Holmes, highly commended by British GQ as a top podcast for 2020 and 2021.