Archives for April 20, 2016

Man Of The Week – Tim Collins

Here at ManTalks’ Man Of The Week, we love hearing stories from people who have overcome severe challenges in their life and persevered. There is something beautiful in being able to power through an uncomfortable feeling or emotion and then helping others around you conquer their own fears. This week we get to highlight an incredible Man, Tim Collins, who suffered from severe and crippling anxiety that it prevented him from being functional in a day-to-day manner. Familiar examples are when Tim went for a job interview and soaked through his entire shirt or when Tim had to present in front of senior directors in the company and suddenly felt like he was unable to breathe. After some deep thought and consideration, Tim decided his lifestyle strategy of resisting and suppressing his anxiety wasn’t working, and if he was ever going to overcome it, he had to be vulnerable and change the way he was living his life. Overcoming anxiety, he learned, is not a over-night fix but a project that requires constant work and support. Today Tim empowers others and teaches them ways to overcome their own challenges by three ways: through one on one coaching, through a podcast he founded called The Anxiety Podcast, and his blog. If you suffer from anything similar, Tim is definitely the man to whom you should reach out!

Age – 38

What do you do? (Work)
I Support People to Overcome Anxiety and Stress and Consider What is Possible in Their Lives.
I am the creator and host of “The Anxiety Podcast” and also a Stress & Anxiety Coach

Why do you do it?
After years of being on the business hamster wheel of life I was personally affected by Anxiety. It knocked me off the treadmill and as I dusted myself off I took the opportunity to make some changes in my life.
When trying to get help with my own mental health challenges I felt the traditional system didn’t support me well.  The doctor just wanted to prescribe me with medication, psychologist’s didn’t seem to get it.  I felt lost.
So I started making changes in my own life that moved me in the right direction.  After lots of trial and error I recovered and built a life for myself that I LOVE.
Now I see it as my mission to help others who are in the middle of their own personal battle. By believing in them when they don’t believe in themselves and showing them the way to no only deal with stress & anxiety but also to get aligned to what’s really going to create meaning in their life.  Hence my tag line Less Anxiety, More Life!

How do you make a difference in the world? (Work, business, life, family, self)
My work is really about allowing people to move through fear and then look at the possibilities.  Providing inspiration for people to change it what makes me jump out of bed in the morning.  Through the podcast and my work knowing that I support people has huge meaning for me.
In my family life I have 3 beautiful boys who now are able to look at me as someone who’s making a difference instead of my previous life which was all about making money at any cost.

What are 3 defining moments in your life?
– After starting to play hockey fairly late in life at the age of 13 I had a lot of catching up to do.  Growing up in England ice hockey is a minor sport to say the least but I totally fell in love with it.  When I was 19 I came over to Canada to try out for a Junior A team and much to my surprise I made it.  That proved a valuable lesson to me, which has served me well.  I can do anything that I put my mind to.
– Having a panic attack in front of a room of people was I feel the lowest point of my life. It made me question everything most significantly my confidence, ability to provide and sanity. It took a lot of courage and working on myself to come back from that and many changes in my life were made to accomplish that.  But in a weird twist of fate it’s what now gives me the most pleasure as I’m able to use that gift to help others recover and transform.
– Most recently sharing my struggle and receiving massive amounts of support and empathy has made my heart feel fuller than ever. The power I feel from being able to act in the face of fear and anxiety and continue to move forward is immense. My courage and confidence had to be rebuilt from the ground up but the foundation is now stronger than ever and that makes me feel extremely fortunate and grateful.  I’m able to be ok with vulnerability and failures and embrace them as part of the process.

What is your life purpose?
To serve as an example of what’s possible. The inspire people to change their lives to lean into fear and see what’s really possible for them.

How did you tap into it?
Ultimately by living it. My light was in my darkness.

Who is your Role-Model or Mentor?
Philip McKernan, a man who’s asked me questions that no one else ever has in pursuit of finding the truth.  His ability to see past all the bullshit is truly a gift.

Do you have any daily habits? If so, what are they?
I start my day with a cup of tea and end it the same way. I love to exercise so do something every day.

When do you know your work/life balance is off?
I really see my life and work are intertwined.  I believe part of what I do it live as close as I can to my truth.  Out of that comes lots of content that ends up being my work.  If I feel tired or not inspired I know it’s time to back off of computer time and reconnect with the world.

Vulnerability is a challenge for most men – share a vulnerable moment from your life with us.
When I announced to the world that I suffered from Anxiety and panic attacks. I was so embarrassed by what happened to me I really saw it as a huge weakness at the time so doing that felt like there was no turning back.
The interesting and wonderful part was the response. I was met with empathy, love, support and understanding. It also deepened many relationships where people were able to reciprocate and share parts of their lives that were difficult.

What did you learn from it?
Everybody struggles.

If you are or were going to be a mentor for another man, what is one piece of advice you would give him?
Make sure you put yourself first in your own life.  So often people are working hard and toiling for others to their own detriment.  Only after you be the best you can you be the best to anyone else.

How do you be the best partner (Boyfriend/Husband- past or present)
See above.  By being the best me. After that I make my wife a lot of perfectly brewed cups of tea and that keeps me in good favour.

Do you support any Charities or Not-for-profits? (Which one(s) and why?)
A charity in called “Covenant House”  their mission is to help homeless youth’s to have a room and some food and the skills to transition to a life away from the streets.

If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Passenger – Scare Away The Dark

Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
In a position that everyone struggling with Anxiety or Stress knows that a different life exists for them.

What legacy do you want to leave for future generations?
A belief that we can lean into fear and embrace the challenges we face.  And that what you own owns you.

What One book would you recommend for any Man?
Anything you want – Derek Sivers

I Want My Son to Know…

I see a beautiful boy’s beautiful world through the eyes of my son. He’s 9. Old enough to process complexity but still a child.
Yet, the world wants him to grow up… in that traditional way.
A way that would leave him emotionally bereft, a hardened manchild, which perhaps explains why we have so many emotionally crippled manchild men over 30.
Cynicism and ‘tough guy’ posturing aren’t natural for 9-year-olds.
But I’ve seen it in many.
Girls have their own set of pressure and false programming. Boys receive one message over and over, “Don’t show weakness. Ever. Under any circumstance.”
“Boys don’t cry,” the world says. But that’s not true. Boys cry rivers of tears. They just learn to hide it young. By the time most boys have become men they’ve lost the capacity to feel fully.
Many men can’t cry. Even if we wanted to. We’ve lost the capacity.
Too much joy and you’re a dork. Show compassion to another human and you’re soft.
What feelings are boys allowed to feel?
Anger of course. That’s manly and expected, which might explain why it’s mostly boys and men who get into fights, commit violent crimes, crash cars, and commit suicide.
Boys are discouraged from showing pro-social emotions that connect and bring us together.
My son is on his own journey. I can’t shelter him from hardship, but there are a few things I want him to know.
I want him to know he never has to ‘man up.’
Because that term is just a thin veneer over, “never show any weakness.” Every man, from Brock Lesnar to Stephen Hawking knows deep down that we aren’t impervious to struggle. We’re not all powerful.
We’re made of flesh and blood and we hurt from time to time. “Manning up” should mean being honest and courageous, even if that means feeling weak for a moment or two.
That’s what I want for my son.
I want my son to know that boys can do anything.
Boys can have meaningful relationships. Boys can be a force for good. Boys don’t have to be society’s problem.
Boys can be friendly and connected, loving and kind, while still retaining masculine strength and direction.
These qualities aren’t conflicting.
I want my son to know that that caring equals strength.
Compassion is the ultimate strength. But compassion for others is impossible without compassion for oneself. We have a culture of misguided boys that become self self-loathing men who are incapable of compassion for themselves or others.
Boys are taught that caring is weakness, but it’s the ultimate strength.
Show me a man who cares only about himself and I’ll show you a brittle man.
I want my son to know he’s not a danger to society.
Boys can channel their enormous power, focus, energy, and drive towards positive and healthy ends.
Too many boys grow up thinking their only power comes from rabble-rousing and stirring up havoc.
The world needs healthy masculine energy now more than ever. I want my son to know that.
I want my son to know that he can understand women.
Show me a man who says, “I can’t understand women,” and I’ll show you a man who isn’t trying.
I want my son to know he can understand women because he can understand people.
I want my son to think of women as allies, not incomprehensible creatures with incomprehensible needs.
I want my son to know the most incredible expression of strength is love.
Because his heart is more powerful than anyone else I know, and I know that by loving others he is fully self expressed.
I want my son to know that not only is there no shame in that. On the contrary, it’s a point of pride now and forever.
I want him to know that he never has to mute his ability to love and that anyone who tells him otherwise has simply muted his own.
I want my son to know his future doesn’t have to look a certain way.
Because I know his future is more incredible than I can imagine.
I want my son to know he never has to stop daydreaming.
Because daydreaming is what geniuses and little boys do [and that’s pretty much the same thing anyways].
I want my son to know the pursuit of more for the sake of more will not make him more.
I want him to know that he’s complete as he is. I want him to pursue his wildest childlike dreams because what the fuck else is there to this life?
I want my son to know I will always love him.
Even when he pisses me off. Even when we disagree… especially when we disagree.
Read More By Zander Robertson on the ManTalks Blog:
There’s Nothing Left to Do But Die
The 5 Key Steps to Editing Your Life Story
Zander RobertsonZander Robertson is editor-in-chief of the Mantalks blog. He’s ghostwritten more than 20 books for major publishing houses and self publishers. Zander believes that the world turns on powerful, raw, and true stories. Visit his website to learn more. 
Email him at [email protected] to pitch your article idea for ManTalks.
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