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On our podcast ‘Tales That Tethr’, tethr Founder & CEO Matt Zerker interviews entrepreneurs, experts, thought leaders, and regular people about what is means to be a man, the challenges that modern men face, and how to overcome challenges and live life in a more connected and authentic way.

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Welcome to Coach’s Corner, a series featuring mental health and wellbeing professionals in the tethr community where we get to learn a little more about the amazing work they do. If you want to share your work with the community, click here. Today we’re featuring Neil Wattier, Resilience Trainer & Performance Consultant, who was previously a US Air Force & Army Master Resilience Trainer, now an MA Candidate, Performance Psychology.

What led you to a career in mental health and wellbeing?

26-year US Air Force career. Senior enlisted leader and resilience trainer. Pursuing my graduate degree in Performance Psychology.

For anyone who isn't familiar, can you explain the kind of work that you do with patients/clients? Do you have a specialized area you focus on?

I teach awareness of stress and the skills to improve performance, manage the stress response, and recover for better performance.

If you could only give one piece of advice to someone struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, what would it be?

Know the available providers and understand their purpose. A licensed therapist/counselor can diagnose and treat psychological issues while helping process and heal from past pains. A performance consultant teaches skills to enhance/optimize present and future performance.

What's the most important change you'd like to see in men's mental health? Or something you've already seen change?

Men have to overcome the Alpha Male Fraud. Flawed research led us to the belief that the toughest males rule the pack. It's led to men who misunderstand masculinity.

What do you value most about peer support in a person's mental health and wellbeing journey? What does peer support look like to you?

Men need to build their band of brothers for support and accountability. Connection and relationships require vulnerability. Vulnerability requires trust. None of this comes easy. It takes sustained effort from a dedicated group.

How do you explain the difference between thoughts and feelings and the relationship between the two?

Thoughts are your self talk. It's the constant internal monologue a person holds with themselves, and often about themselves. Feelings (emotions) are driven by self talk.  Since emotions are the result, they are neither positive or negative. Rather, they are either productive or counterproductive. If you have productive thoughts, you are more likely to have productive emotions. Likewise, emotions are the window into subconscious thoughts and beliefs.

What is the most inspiring part of your work, the thing that keeps you going? What is one thing you have learned that you want to share with everyone reading?

I love to help empower people by teaching them to grow and thrive through stress and adversity. Resilience and performance are built on learnable skills and repeatable processes. Confidence is dependent upon competence.  Happiness is dependent upon finding significance.

To learn more about Neil and his work, check out his website and Instagram.

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