Ben's Beard Story

February 12, 2018

Ben's Beard Story

“I become the Mastery of Self when I stop pretending to be something I am not.” – don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

It’s not a trend; it’s a lifestyle.
Every beardsman, whether they consciously realize it or not, personifies the creed: do better every single day.
That is to say, our beards are a direct reflection into the men we are and the people we hope to be.
I know; I know… it sounds corny, right? Stay with me.
Let’s face it: Growing a beard sucks. It takes a ridiculous amount of patience, motivation and confidence. As in life, our “beard journeys” are fraught with seemingly insurmountable peaks and valleys. There are countless times along the way where everything in you wants to give up.
Start over. Hit the reset button.

Is that not an exact representation of life in general?
You’ll compare yourself to other men with so-called better beards. You’ll tell yourself it’s pointless. “My beard will never look that good,” you’ll think. “This is embarrassing; what are you even doing?!”
That’s what happened to me. Hell, it still happens. Every. Damn. Day.
I first started growing my beard in 2012. After a month of growth, I thought I needed all the oils, brushes, balms and butters that money could buy. Indeed, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that if you’re confident and pleased with your look.
I wasn’t, though. In fact, I’ve never been all that comfortable with how I looked to others.

I’m not sure where it started, but I know it started to spiral out of control when I was diagnosed with cancer at age 14. Cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me because it led me to my wife, but looking back, my outlook on life changed drastically as “worry” started to take hold.
As the most impatient person on planet Earth, when I decided to let my beard grow, I’d constantly compare myself to every other dude on Instagram. One minute I was happy with my growth. Then I saw a photo of an epic beard, started feeling defeated and shaved it all off.
I’d then re-motivate myself, grow it back for a couple of weeks and dye my beard dark brown to make it seem as if my beard was longer, stronger and thicker than it really was. As a Swedish guy with blonde hair and red undertones, I can confidently say that dying one’s beard black is most certainly NOT the way to go.
It was a perpetual cycle of doubt and failure, that mirrored my actual life, stemming from a much deeper problem.
The emotions I was feeling at the time manifested themselves in my beard journey. My state of mind was largely rooted in fear and guilt – the two greatest enemies of mankind.

I worried my beard looked awful. I feared it would never get to the point I was comfortable with. Fear and worry are wasted mental energy, and they actively work to take your thoughts away from the present – where health begins.
I’d love to tell you I have it all figured out now. But I don’t. Over the past six years, I’ve cut my beard short, trimmed it horrendously, continued to dye it and bitched about how my mustache hair curls inward.
Nevertheless, I keep pressing on… in spite of myself.
But that’s part of life’s doctrine, right? To learn from our mistakes, grow through our failures and strive to be the best man possible.
Here’s my point: Your beard looks fucking awesome. I don’t care what color it is, how many patches you have, if you just started growing it or if you’ve surpassed the coveted “yeard.”
Your beard is amazing and uniquely you – perfect! Don’t let anyone (or yourself) tell you otherwise. welcomes you with open arms.


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