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.
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 Tim Snell, Coach & Wisdom Keeper.
What led you to a career in mental health and wellbeing?
I am a Life Coach certified with the International Coach Federation and trained in Business & Personal Coaching by Barefoot Coaching. I teach people how to use Breathwork and mindset shifts so that they can build resilience and manage stress and anxiety 'in the moment'. I'm certified as a Master Breathwork Instructor and Breath Therapist by SOMA Breath. I've also studied Natural Wisdom Leadership, Reiki, and other Energy Healing modalities that give me a unique perspective on emotional challenges and how to shift heavy emotions.
For 20 years I helped organizations to solve highly complex problems and for a decade I led high pressure teams to win new business in extraordinary circumstances. I experienced my own corporate burn-out as a result of constant low-grade stress and ongoing peaks of high stakes pressure, and as a result I was forced to pause and take stock. I learned better ways to work, to lead, and to support team members to even higher levels of performance. I focused on cultivating an alignment to purpose, empowering them to make better decisions about work life balance, and equipping them with tools that supported a balance between mental wellbeing and high performance.
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 help people to navigate complexity and uncertainty in their lives so that they can make the decisions that will help them create their best work in the world. I equip them with tools and techniques so that they can make the changes that will bring them back to balance, and create a strong foundation for what comes next. I also help people to identify the obstacles and challenges that are standing in the way - sometimes deeper emotional challenges - so that they can gain insights and becomes agents of change in their own life.I support men from all walks of life, and as a gay man I am able to bring that perspective to other gay men and the challenges they face.
If you could only give one piece of advice to someone struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, what would it be?
You are not alone. Asking for support may make you feel vulnerable or uncomfortable, but once you're able to admit that something is out of alignment, you empower yourself to make a different decision. The biggest step may initially be in asking for support you open yourself up to a world of new possibilities and putting foot in front of the other after that becomes easier each time.
What's the most important change you'd like to see in men's mental health? Or something you've already seen change?
I've seen men becoming more open to coaching and receiving support. I would like to see a normalisation of coaching, mentoring, and peer support groups as a way to help men develop resilience, agility and support networks. I would most like to live in a society where people feel comfortable expressing their emotions in healthy ways.
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?
I value the reflection that I'm not alone in what I'm experiencing, and that there are other people out there who have felt the same or who may even feel the same. This helps me to feel more at ease in my own experiences and gives me new perspectives. Peer support comes in many forms - from small groups or circles, to apps like Tethr where peer support happens spontaneously amongst community members so it can be formal or informal in that sense. It can also be structured through 1:1 or programs.
How do you explain the difference between thoughts and feelings and the relationship between the two?
Feelings are impulses we have in our body and they show up as a 'felt' sensation somewhere. They can also show up as an emotion which I explain as energy in motion. Our emotions or feelings can be stimulated in response to a 'thought' or belief that we have which originates in the mind. Our thoughts and beliefs create a reality map of how we navigate our own world. Through this reality map of beliefs, we respond to the world which generates certain feelings and emotions which is why a specific event will evoke a different feeling or emotion in one person compared to another.
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?
What keeps me going is the impact that people share with me and how the work that we do together has helped them to create a new reality and make changes they never thought would be possible when we began. One thing I've learned is that it is through a continuous cycle of taking the smallest steps outside our comfort zone - whether that is physically, emotionally, or mentally that we expand it beyond measure. When we have a deep insight into our own conditioning, we become agents of our own future and we can re-create our reality in a way that is aligned to our greatest contribution. Sitting underneath all of this is our ability to master our breath as a way to master our emotions and therefore our experience of life.