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defining the alpha mentality

Defining The Alpha Mentality – What It Means To Be ‘Truly Alpha’

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The topic today is defining the alpha mentality. Basically, we’re going to talk today about what it means to be truly alpha

First, I’m just going to start off with a little introduction to this—and say that, for me, the alpha mentality was really the ‘mental shift’ that saved my life.

Before I found the alpha mentality, my life was in a downward spiral to complete self-destruction. 

I did a lot of crazy stuff. I messed up my life in a lot of crazy ways. 

I drove the ‘ship’ of my life absolutely into the rocks, and sunk it by making a bunch of bad choices. 

At the time, the thing that probably did the most damage to my life was my hedonistic lifestyle. 

See, when I was young, I was very fundamentally religious. And as I got older, I came to believe that I had ‘missed out’ on life due to my religious beliefs. 

Then, I left my religious faith at the age of 26. And I kind of swung way over and overcorrected into hedonism

And for those of you who don’t know, hedonism is basically a lifestyle characterized just by living for pleasure

Webster’s Dictionary basically defines the term as such:

“The doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the sole or chief good in life.”

If something feels good, gives you short-term happiness, and/or helps to fill the void within you even for just a few moments, you do it. That’s pretty much the concept of hedonism—or at least, that’s how I was living. 

I was just chasing the ‘feeling of happiness.’ 

I call those my ‘drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll’ days.

But this whole mentality led to the downfall of my life in some pretty catastrophic ways. 

Eventually, my marriage failed and fell apart. 

And if you follow me on YouTube or on my podcast, then you know this ‘downward crash’ is really what began this journey for me.

I found myself alone, lonely, rejected, broken, literally financially ruined, with really no hope for the future.,

Worst of all, I had no idea what to do or how to fix it. 

My life was in shambles. 

I tried my best to do things the right way, or to just do different things. But nothing really worked. 

I ended up at rock bottom.

I thought about just giving it up and throwing in the towel. 

But then, I thought about my kids. And I was like:

“I don’t want my kids to grow up without a dad—and if they have a dad, I want him to be a true father figure who they can be proud of. So I’ve got to pull through this—I’ve got to get this together.”

And so, I did. I decided to give it (life) another try. 

And I really put myself through a process of trying to figure out what went wrong, and how everything got ruined and came crashing down. I was trying to ‘back engineer and understand my own failure.’

And what I came up with was this:

I had been living a very reactive lifestyle, where I had been giving away all my power. And I realized that I needed to start taking back my power from the chaos of life, other people, and circumstances.

I needed to start being intentional about my life, making a plan, and deploying that plan. And when I failed, I needed to analyze it, learn lessons, and then adapt.

How I Started Discovering The ‘Alpha Mentality’ In My Own Life

This very simple realization led to me forming my own life code. 

And this, in turn, led to me trying to figure out some kind of philosophy for success—which, over time, actually worked really well—and turned into what I now call the alpha mentality

Actually, the very first step in this process was writing down the 18 Vows of the Oath of Kings and Queens

At first, these weren’t really intended to be ‘vows’ necessarily. I just started writing them down as rules for myself as I became aware of things I was doing to sabotage my own life.

So I started to write down rules so that I wouldn’t repeat those behaviors—and that’s how the vows started. 

At first, I started with like 4 or 5 different rules—and then I just kept adding more as I identified more and more things that I was doing to sabotage my own life.

I continued this process until I had 18 complete vows, and they covered pretty much everything. 

That was really the basis of my version of the alpha mentality—and I stuck with it because it actually worked. It just really helped me to radically transform my life in all kinds of positive ways. 

(Note: If you want to learn more about this alpha-mentality business, download my free ebook:  An Introduction To The Alpha Mentality: The Evolutionary Key To Succeeding At Dating, Relationships, Business, Fitness, And Everything Else That Matters. It’ll explain everything you need to know to get a basic understanding of what this means.)

Can Both Men And Women Be Alpha?

Absolutely. 

A lot of people talk about alpha males—but people don’t talk about ‘alpha females’ very much—despite the fact that true alpha females are amazing. 

This is not a gender-specific thing. The alpha mentality is just as important for women as it is for men. 

To learn more about what I mean by this, you should check out this post: 21 Alpha Woman Traits For Women Who Wish to Change The World

You can also read this post on the topic: What Is An Alpha Female?

Alpha Mentality Definition

truly alpha

Here’s exactly how I define the alpha mentality. 

Note that I went through several different revisions before I finally arrived at this version. I needed to walk the alpha journey, learn about the mentality, and also figure out what being ‘alpha’ was all about before I finally came to settle on this particular definition. 

But this is the definition that stuck—and it has turned out to be massively useful and helpful to me in helping me to sort out my life and get it back on track. 

The definition of alpha mentality: Being ‘alpha’ means: to take action-oriented, intentional control of your life energy, resources, and strategic trajectory—embracing radical self-responsibility, shirking victim mentality, and determining to utilize your time and resources wisely to proactively create a meaningful, significant destiny and lasting legacy of greatness in the world.

Beta Mentality Definition

Beta mentality is basically the opposite of the alpha mentality. 

Being ‘beta’ means that instead of creating your destiny intentionally, you just react to the chaos of life and the world—allowing the actions and decisions of other people and outside circumstances to decide how you’re going to live, and whether or not you’re going to succeed.

Alpha Mentality Vs. Beta Mentality

There are a lot of inherent differences between the ‘alpha’ mentality and the ‘beta’ mentality.

In fact, you can read a blog post I wrote on this topic here: The Quickest Way To Determine If You Are An Alpha Male Or Beta Male

These things really exist on completely different sides of the human behavior spectrum. 

There are a lot of differences—but here are some common characteristics that might help you to understand exactly how they tend to be different in real-world terms. 

Characteristics Of The Alpha Mentality:

The Alpha: 

  • Understands that they must create their own meaning in life by choosing a purpose and committing to its pursuit
  • Identifies the challenges or obstacles standing in their way, and takes radical self-responsibility in life to shoulder the burden of facing and defeating those obstacles  
  • Decides to take intentional, proactive action on a daily basis 
  • Makes a plan 
  • Executes the plan 
  • Analyzes and adapts when they face failure 
  • Turns failures into lessons 
  • Continues onward to create their own destiny and legacy in life

This stands in stark contrast to the beta mentality.

Characteristics Of The Beta Mentality: 

The Beta: 

  • Believes that they’re a victim in life 
  • Gives away their power because they don’t want to accept full responsibility for their existence 
  • Doesn’t have a sense of purpose or meaning; sometimes because they believe that the universe owes them these things (false sense of entitlement) 
  • Shrinks away from difficulties, obstacles, and challenges 
  • Reacts to the chaos of life instead of making a plan and taking proactive action to execute that plan 
  • Complains and blames others when they face failure 
  • Stays in their ‘comfort zone’ and lives a mostly risk-averse lifestyle

Why Use The Term ‘Alpha?’

fake alpha

I get this question all the time. 

A lot of people say things like:

“Well, Josh, I understand wanting to be intentional, wanting to be proactive, wanting to develop yourself to be a better person, etc. that stuff is all awesome. But why the term alpha? Isn’t the term ‘alpha’ kind of a hijacked term that a lot of weird men’s groups use to like, you know, talk about pickup artistry and all kinds of weird sexist stuff? Isn’t that kind of a taboo word?”

This is a great question. But there are a few different reasons for why the designation of ‘alpha’ is important. And it really all comes down to an understanding of human social hierarchies, and how ‘rising to the top’ of these hierarchies, in an intentional manner, empowers you to succeed at most of the things humans care about succeeding at. 

You can learn some of the basics of human male alpha behavior, and why it is important, in this post: The Alpha Male Explained: 9 True Signs You’re an Alpha

Let’s start by defining what the word ‘alpha’ really means in a scientific context. 

The Baseline, Scientific Definition For The Designation Of ‘Alpha’

The word ‘alpha’ simply means this:

To be the highest ranking member of one’s own gender within the context of their significant social groups and hierarchies. 

I describe this in terms of my own personal journey through my personal mission statement: 

“I’m on a mission to become a ripped, attractive, successful, powerful alpha millionaire leader with amazing dating life and tribe.”

Status Is A Hierarchical Attribute – And Status Is Required For Attraction

This is true for men more than it is for women. But it’s still important for women if they want high-value men to take them seriously as potential life partners. 

Now, there are a lot of weird ideas that go around about the alpha mentality. 

People used to have this weird idea of ‘alpha wolves’ that ended up being discredited, for example. 

People have also had weird ideas about alpha chimpanzees and other animals—and most of those things have been discredited. 

One person who I think does an amazing job of actually talking about real alpha behavior and what it means is Frans De Waal. He wrote a book called Mama’s Last Hug, which is about chimpanzee emotions, and how they are incredibly similar to human emotions. 

He also wrote the book Chimpanzee Politics, and is just an incredible man with a very realistic and scientific perspective on exactly what alpha mentality (and alpha behavior) really is.

You can learn a lot about the true science of the ‘alpha male’ in this TED talk by Frans De Waal:

Frans De Waal is probably, what I would consider, the leading authority on the scientific topic of ‘alpha behavior,’ and I love his books and his content. 

But the main idea is this—the real ‘alphas’ who rise to the top of the hierarchy don’t actually successfully become leaders by being dominant bullies or oppressors. The real successful leaders in social groups become leaders by actually embracing positive leadership attributes, by lifting up their fellow tribe members, by being a ‘servant leader’, and by being the ‘consoler in chief’… the emotional backbone of the tribe. 

The Term ‘Alpha’ Helps Us To Cover The ‘Status’ And ‘Hierarchy’ Dimensions Of Attraction, Power, And Success

If we used the term ‘intentional’ mentality, or ‘proactive’ mentality instead of ‘alpha mentality,’ we would be missing a huge foundational part of the equation. 

The alpha mentality does contain these things—but the ‘alpha’ part is an important filter for these other behaviors. 

Another way to describe being ‘alpha’ is to describe yourself as having the intention, and behaving as though you desire, to be the very best man or woman in the room.

What Is An Alpha Personality Like? 33 Alpha Personality Traits

I’ve boiled down what I believe are the most crucial alpha mentality traits to this list of 33 different traits. You can read more about this in this blog post. But these are basically the personality traits that I often attribute to being ‘alpha’ as a baseline standard. 

  • Self-sufficiency
  • Self-love
  • Responsibility
  • Self-empowerment
  • Wisdom
  • Restraint
  • Balance
  • Bravery
  • Kindness
  • Respectfulness
  • Intentionality
  • Strength of character
  • Self-ownership
  • Gratitude
  • Honesty
  • Not afraid of healthy conflict/confrontation
  • Excellence
  • Self-improvement
  • Leadership
  • Ambition
  • They push themselves
  • Loyalty
  • Orderliness
  • Rationality
  • Relentlessness
  • Purpose focused
  • Cares about leaving a lasting legacy of greatness
  • Patient
  • No petty drama
  • High standards
  • Masters and overcomes guilt
  • Not afraid to go to war, but will do everything possible to make peace first
  • They are aware of their own mortality

How Do You Become An Alpha? 3 Steps

becoming alpha

This is a very complicated question to answer. 

For example—I’ve created over 400 podcast episodes specifically dedicated to answering this question, in all kinds of different ways.

I’ve talked about topics ranging from dating, to fitness, to business, to mentality—everything. 

And we never really reach the end of this question, because it’s an open-ended self-development process. 

In other words—the true alpha never stops developing, learning, and striving to level up and become better. 

However, for the purposes of this post, I have boiled it down to the 3 most basic bare-bones steps, just to give you a short-form version of what this process looks like.

1. Embrace Alpha Mentality In Your life

In other words:

  • Read the definition. 
  • Decide, “yeah, I’m going to be that—I’m going to stop being beta, and I’m going to start trying to live like an alpha.”
  • Then, you start actually living it. 

You start actually meditating on it, you read it (the definition) every day, you read through the 18 Vows, and you follow that basic framework, even if you don’t end up doing it perfectly.

That’s how you begin the alpha journey. 

You just start trying to live a more intentional, proactive existence—and you strive to be your best self while you’re doing it. And that’s really where it all starts. 

2. Start Leveling Up 

No matter how awesome you are, you’re not going to get it right at first—and that’s totally fine.

Life is messy.

Plus, when you first embark upon the alpha journey, your life may contain some ‘messes’ that’ll need to be cleaned up.

This is why it’s crucial to start leveling up.

The alpha mentality dictates that we strive to become better men and women than we were yesterday. 

And my process for this is always the same. 

These steps pretty much encapsulate most of the stuff you’re going to want to do as you’re leveling up in the alpha mentality.

At the very least, this will get you off to a great start. 

Mostly, you DO NOT want to stagnate in life. Don’t settle for just coasting along

Always strive to get better—because if we stagnate in life, we’ll actually deteriorate over time. 

This leads to a shittier life over time—and we definitely don’t want that. 

3. Strive To Become The Best Man Or Woman In The Room

This is a marker of excellence—and it includes the mandate to bring value to the tribe, to be competent, to be formidable, and to be effective at the things that matter. 

How do you increase your status in the hierarchy?

You do it by bringing value into that hierarchy.

You do it by serving the hierarchy (the tribe), and by making sure that everyone within that tribe becomes more successful as a result of you being involved in it. 

This is a leadership trait

A lot of people don’t understand this. 

But actual alpha leaders are not tyrannical bullies who just order people around and dominate their competitors by force or violence. 

  • They’re actually servant leaders who lead from the front. 
  • They are the types of men and women who are empathetic to their tribe. 

Sure, they understand that sometimes they need to be disagreeable—but they only resort to force in dire situations where they need to protect themselves and the safety of the tribe. 

  • They are consolers in chief.
  • They are the emotional backbone.
  • They serve as the strategic forward thinker who leads the tribe into a successful future. 

They’re there to challenge the most powerful members of the tribe, and to support and lead those members by example—and they’re there to lift up the weakest members, to say:

“Hey, it’s okay, let’s keep going. I’m going to help you, I’m gonna challenge you, I’m going to be here for you. I’m going to make sure that you’re continuing this journey, leveling up, and being as successful as you can be.”

Being an alpha is also about keeping order. It’s about keeping peace. It’s about making sure that everyone has what they need. 

These are powerful, effective alpha leadership traits. 

A lot of people get this twisted. They don’t understand the truth of this. 

But for those of us who wish to be real alphas, this is a very important thing to be aware of.

Final Thoughts

I hope that this post has helped you to understand the definition of the alpha mentality, and how it actually works to help you move up in life, overcome challenges, and strive for greatness. 

I’ve been on this path for some time now—and it has proven to be massively transformative. 

Stick with it, and don’t give up. 

You’ve got this! 

Go with grace, my friends, and never give up your power. 

Until next time…

Joshua K. Sigafus

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