The 6 Biggest Challenges Men Face

Jonah Larkin

The following six issues represent my findings talking with almost 50 men as the biggest challenges that men in business are facing today.  

Almost every man reported at least one challenge and a few reported experiencing all.  A majority of interviewees reported 3-4 challenges, and of those all reported those challenges to be holding them back.


A majority of men feel like they’re going it alone and don’t have a place to fully be themselves.  They don’t regularly express their shame, frustration and self doubt to their friends, families, colleagues, or partners.  At the same time most also realize that in being invulnerable they are missing opportunities to get support for their weaknesses and play to their strengths. They are aware this gap prevents them from operating from their zone of effectiveness and passion.


Time feels like it’s speeding up and men are finding it challenging to stay up to date with the technological pace of innovation.  Many feel technologically and socially alienated from the digital natives of Gen Z.  Additionally, rapid changes in the social structures at work are changing the political calculations of being male and being privileged.   There are tons of decisions to make and yet men often find themselves not having the information they wished for or feeling like they can rely on trusted counsel or confidants.  Additionally they often feel burdened by the sheer amount of tasking that they are responsible for in work and home life.


Men have a sense that there is more to success than simply having ample money (though it helps.)  But even when they have significant financial assets they are still looking for their true purpose and place of contribution.   They notice that their idealistic beliefs have been traded in for REALITY.  Men have strong values but often don’t act on them for fear of the consequences and retribution or ridicule by those in their professional or personal life.  Or they feel trapped by financial circumstances and feel unable to step out of the race and live life on their own terms.


Imposter syndrome, hesitation, slow decision making, sexless relationships and negative self-talk are common symptoms of old issues and traumas that continue to haunt 80% of men in our survey.  Most men reported not having spaces where they feel secure enough to let down their guard and dive into the real pain this causes in their day to day lives.  About half reported seeking counseling or therapy at one or more points in their lives, but only a small percentage reported seeing a therapist consistently.


While virtually all of the men I spoke with are high performers in one or more areas of their lives, all have areas where they are significantly underperforming.  There are important things (like exercise, contemplation, downtime or relationship work)  they tell themselves they will get to but continue to push it off indefinitely.  On the surface, few men were initially willing to take 100% responsibility and instead laid the blame  on life circumstances.  Upon further inquiry many admitted that they indeed did bear some responsibility for their choices. A majority reported not having a support network to whom they are accountable outside of immediate family.


Despite men acknowledging that their health is their most important asset there is a divide between those who have well established and consistent health (exercise, sleep, mindfulness, low to no sugar/alcohol) practices and those who do not.  Remarkably those with less established health practices reported feeling generally healthy and energetic.  It wasn’t until those men were pressed when they admitted that they would like to engage in better and more consistent health practices.