Introducing you to interesting people around the world
Meet Ivan Hunt
– Transformational Coach, Radio Show Host, Motivational Speaker (Miami, Florida, USA) –
A personal coach can become the perfect guide on the path towards finding yourself. Women are more exposed to the benefits of coaching (as they feel more at ease to open up), yet both my guest and I believe that men could also do this, if society would promote this action, instead of trying to impose men to keep their balls at sight and restrain all their feelings, just because “big boys don’t cry”.
In this extent, I’ve recently connected (via LinkedIn) to an amazing Certified Professional Coach and I would like you all to make his acquaintance. Therefore, below you will find an interesting interview with Mr. Ivan Hunt, whose purpose is to help men (and women alike) look into themselves and break the boundaries of prejudice imprinted by this plastic world.
1. Mr. Ivan Hunt, please tell us a bit about yourself, so that the readers can get to know you better (e.g: where were you a few years ago and who are you today – how did you get here?).
The past few years have really been about personal growth. Virtually every aspect of my life has been impacted as a result: my marriage, my relationship with my kids, my career both old and new, finances and my relationship with myself. My personal transformation was not something that I set out to do, rather it just evolved. The more I started gaining clarity, the more I wanted to learn and grow.
2. From your perspective, do men go through similar (or even the same) kind of feelings as women do?
Obviously I’m not a woman so I can’t totally speak for women, but the short answer is yes. I think at times men are not seen as having emotions. The irony of it is that men are human beings too. Men can have hurt feelings, conflicting emotions and insecurities. People are people. Feelings are feelings.
3. Do men seek for ways to build their self-esteem on a conscious level or are they rather led by doctrines only?
I think the level of maturity determines the need of building self-esteem. The more mature the man, the less need for external influences to build up his self-esteem. Maturity – in this context – is about self-acceptance, self-respect and self-love. It’s important to note that the level of maturity is not predicated on age.
“I have a process I call BREAK –
break free from the old and embrace the new.”
4. How open are men to change, especially if they have failed in the past? Do they criticize themselves harder than women think?
It depends on what type of change we are discussing. If change in a relationship is needed from the man, then more times than not, the changes are made from a place of pain. The stigma I see the most is the perception that men are not human. Women are typically more open about their needs/wants/desires to change and their own criticism of themselves. A trend I see starting is that men are being encouraged to be more expressive of their needs/wants/desires and their own insecurities. That’s a huge change.
5. How do you see a soft man (that reveals his true feelings and accepts to be crying, at times): weak or strong?
I don’t consider a guy who is expressive and open about his thoughts, feelings and emotions as being soft. Now, when I use the term “weak” or “strong” as a descriptor of a guy, it’s typically in the manner of not having heart or not standing up for himself or his family. I don’t mean physical confrontation. I mean not standing up for his values, morals, and/or principles. What I found in those cases, is that the guy has a low self-esteem. As a Life Transformational Coach, this is common amongst my clients. I partner with this client as we slowly restore his confidence and self-esteem. The results lead to a greater sense of self-worth, clarity and understanding, and a stronger and a healthier relationship with himself, loved ones, and co-workers.
6. I believe that society is trying to build a wall around the concept of “the strong gender” (as men are categorized). Do you see men, somehow, keeping themselves back from revealing their true selves, out of the (unconscious) fear of being judged, criticized or labeled as weak, because of this wall?
As Coach Ivan, Transformational Coach: I would challenge the idea of this existing wall and seek to better clarify my client’s meaning of “the stronger gender”. The reason being, there seems to be an assumption that because a man won’t open up, it is due strictly to this societal wall. This societal wall is merely an in-figment of the client’s imagination. If my client is seeking to be more open in his/her relationship, then my job as a transformational coach is to move my client in that direction; thereby, bursting through that wall.
As Ivan the man: the concept of a stronger gender is not new. What I do think is new, is the current climate of encouraging men to become more emotionally intelligent. Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs incorporates emotions, but the term “Emotional Intelligence” arose in 1990 by Peter Salovey and John “Jack” Mayer. I think that men have improved greatly in this area, still a way to go, but the old precept of hegemony is greatly being challenged. As it should be. Intellectually, I would argue that this societal wall is not gender specific, but economically specific.
7. Was this belief of yours the spark that lit the will of helping men?
No. What sparked this journey and mission was from my own understanding of how much destruction I caused to those that I love. I had to ask myself some really simple questions, but come up with some really hard answers. Once I realized the damage I had caused and started to take corrective actions, I became more observant of my past behaviors compared to my current behavior. I’m a transparent person, so I was open about the challenges I had went through. I discovered a common denominator with the guys I interacted with and that was their lack of emotional intelligence and also the presuppositions associated with it.
8. Is your activity designed for men only?
No, it is not. Women, a lot of times, want to better understand their spouse. I can help with that. The big thing for me is that – as human beings, as people – we all have the same types of feelings, emotions, thoughts, mental walls, challenges and the rest of the spectrum. We all have ups and downs. The partnership between coach and client is as a motivator, strategist, an accountability partner and the client’s biggest cheerleader/supporter. The method I use as a transformational coach is universal. I have a process I call, BREAK – break free from the old and embrace the new.
9. For how long have you been doing this?
I graduated from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC) in 2017. It’s an accredited life coaching program, where I received over 380 hours of hands on training and studying. Going through that program was one of the best decisions I’ve made in life!
10. What kept you going, in times of hardships (on a personal level)?
Wow, that’s a tough one! I think ignorance. :)) I was too ignorant to understand just how bad things had gotten for me. After my divorce, I found myself sleeping in my car, on the floor of my job, renting motel rooms before renting a room from people’s homes and such. It was a dark and lonely time. I just think I was too ignorant to know that I shouldn’t make it out.
“What sparked this journey and mission was my own understanding of how much destruction I caused to those that I loved.”
11. Do you see an increase in the percentage of men who will ask for help in the upcoming years, as a feasible option to recover after an unfortunate episode of their lives?
Yes, absolutely. That’s what I’m here for. If I can share my story with enough people, some man (or woman) is bound to hear or read my story and find the strength and courage to raise their hand… then my life wasn’t in vain.
12. What is the main reason men to come to you for?
They are broken. They are tired. They want freedom. They have kept it all in for so long that they are ready to explode. Well… I offer them a safe, non-judgmental and confidential environment, where they can just be a human being. There are no pretenses, assumptions, or anything like that. When I see that glimmer of hope in my clients’ eyes… it doesn’t even have to be my clients, I do a lot of volunteer mentoring… But when I see that relief of knowing that they aren’t alone, it’s a feeling that I can’t explain. I get goose bumps right there with them. I love it!
13. Some past experiences (from childhood, for instance) have terrible effects on people and men are no exception. Please tell us… As these issues are amplified as years go by, from your point of view, is a man’s self-esteem harder to re(build) or restore than a woman’s?
I think all men and all women go through periods of low self-esteem. It’s part of life’s journey. How quickly it’s restored is contingent upon the individual, regardless if it’s a man or a woman. The only real difference is that women typically ask for help more or quicker than men do. Again, that’s changing…
14. Compared to the last 2 years, do you think that men started to loosen up and understand that communication is more important than pride?
First of all… Love has no pride. Most men, at some point, realize that communication is important. This is where the importance of emotional intelligence comes into play. When a man hears the dreaded words of “we need to talk” or “can I ask you a question?” the guy automatically shuts down. It feels intrusive and the guards go up. The words have put him on the defensive. Suddenly, there is this expectation that he is supposed to say something, anything… If there are expectations, disappointment is soon to follow.
Men learn later what role listening plays in communication. As a coach, I teach my clients how to become an active listener. I go in much deeper detail during my coaching sessions, although, I can tell you, there are drastic improvements in their relationships. My marriage improved considerably as I learned how to become an active listener.
15. Can you share at least one successful story with us, as a result of your activity?
I had a male client that came to me shortly after a divorce. He was an entrepreneur and his business was struggling, he was financially distraught and emotionally beat, battered and bruised. He harbored a lot of ill feelings towards his ex-wife… We first worked on forgiveness. He was able to eventually forgive himself and his ex-wife. That was the beginning of his transformation into the man he wanted to be. His relationship with his child was restored, he and his ex-wife had developed a co-parenting plan, he started several more businesses and is generally – overall – happier in his day-to-day life. We still keep in touch to this day!
“If there are expectations,
disappointment is soon to follow.”
Thank you for having been willing to share your story with us and I would like to have you as guest on this blog, whenever you may feel comfortable with it! May your activity grow wings and I hope men will start trusting this option, envisioning a brighter future for all of us!
To all my beautiful readers, Mr. Ivan Hunt can be followed through the below channels:
Facebook (Life Coach):
Facebook (Keep It Moving):
* Photo credits – courtesy of the guest himself. Any unauthorized use may become subject of copyright!*