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?
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