Chatting with Bruce Langford on The Mindfulness Mode Podcast

Had a great chat with Bruce on The Mindfulness Mode Podcast about stepping towards your fears and leaning in to your anxiety. 

The Mindfulness Mode Podcast helps listeners increase their calm, focus and happiness through mindfulness & meditation. It's a podcast hosted by Bruce Langford and is for entrepreneurs, executives, business owners, CEOs, teachers & parents. 

You can check out my interview here

My Interview On The Inner Changemaker Podcast!

I had a great time talking to Jay Wong on his amazing podcast, The Inner Changemaker. You can listen to our interview here:

"Have you ever suffered from a really bad anxiety attack? How about a panic attack? 

IF you are anything like myself, when you start feeling anxious, all the negative emotions tend to come up as well. 

From fear to anger, to limiting beliefs. It's a cycle that doesn't end. 

This week, we have Tim JP Collins from The Anxiety Podcast on the show breaking down HOW we can not only overcome anxiety but to discover how to thrive with anxiety. 

You will discover what Tim did to overcome his anxiety attacks and how you can replicate the same results in channeling anxious energy. "

HOW I GOT 2 YEARS OF MY LIFE BACK [AND WHY SUFFERING MAY BE THE START OF SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL]

Below is an article I recently wrote for Mantalks.com

It was snowing outside, I was on my way home and my normal 90-minute drive from the office was already up to 4 hours.

4 hours in my car.

My back hurt from sitting in the same position for so long.

I sat there doing calculations in my head. Then, when I realized I couldn’t add very well, I pulled out my phone (I was sitting still so no worries about distracted driving).

If I average 3 hours a day commuting which was my average on a good day and didn’t include snow or accidents…

That’s 15 hours a week.

60 hours a month.

720 hours a year.

Let’s say I worked in this job until 55 years old (another 20 years) that’s 14,400 hours:

14,400 / 24 = 600 DAYS

Holy Shit, that’s nearly 2 fucking years! Knowing this, I should have decided there and then to change my life.

Change is easy for me these days, as I’ve done so much of it. But back then, no way.

I sat there and justified to myself why it wasn’t that bad: “I have a good job and am making a lot of money. We live in a nice house and my kids are in a good private school. I’ll just suck it up, be a good father/ husband and keep going through the motions,” I thought.

I see this type of justification a lot in my work now.  In order to make significant change people need HUGE amounts of pain and suffering. For me, even knowing that I’d spend 2 years in my car did little but give me something to feel crappy about on a cold dark night in December.

People on their deathbeds regret not seizing the moment, wasting life. I got lucky. I got Anxiety.

Why Anxiety Was a Gift — Getting My Life Back

People frown when I tell them that I see my experience with anxiety as a gift. I get it. Why would something that caused so much mental pain be a gift?

I wasn’t willing to slow down voluntarily. But severe panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, and physical pain finally got me pondering if I was on the right path.

I have come to believe that anxiety comes from living out of alignment. The more out of alignment we are, the more the anxiety rears it’s ugly head.

I began working with a coach and at one point asked him this question: “Am I broken or is my job/ lifestyle making me feel so anxious all the time?”

His response was simple, profound, and gave me permission to start making changes: “Why don’t you change your job or lifestyle and see what happens?”

This speaks to the fact that making any decision about your future is better than staying the same.

I had been asking myself these questions:

Why is this happening to me?

Why can’t things just go back to the way they were before?

Why can’t I just feel normal again?

Continuing to stay on the same path would ensure continued anxiety. I’d passed the point of no return. There was no going back.

Trying to go back would put me on the same road to anxiety again. An infinite loop of misery. No. This time I had to change. I recently came up with this saying, “Stop Coping, Start Changing,” as a way to help my clients create positive change.

In the stress and anxiety space there are so many ways that we cope without addressing the underlying issue.

For example, I learned some elaborate breathing techniques, went on prescription medication, and saw a psychologist. But if I didn’t change at the core then I couldn’t expect my anxiety to just vanish.

This is why I’m not a fan of meds. They allow people to bypass difficult conversations and changes and avoid addressing the actual struggle. Not to mention the potential side effects that come with them.

So I began to make changes, small ones to start with, but eventually I left my job and regained those 3 hours a day I was losing to my commute.

I literally gained 2 years of my life back.

Fixing the Core Problem

If you’re struggling in some part of your life today (and I suspect you are — everyone struggles with something), then instead of looking to fix the symptoms, look at your alignment.

If you have a car with a shaky steering wheel and you replaced the steering wheel, would it fix the problem? How about getting a nice soft fluffy cover for your steering wheel? Would that fix it?

If you’re like me you’d take it to a garage. They’d most likely investigate the wheel balancing, tire pressure and tread, suspension etc. See what I mean?

If you ignore the shaky steering wheel for long enough it may go from being an annoyance to actually being dangerous.

For many of us being out of alignment results in anxiety, depression, being overweight, relationship struggles, disease, or lack of confidence.

If your steering wheel starts shaking, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and consider the source.

Once I began to address the alignment in my life not only did my steering wheel stop shaking, but I also got a new life on a new road, and I’m even becoming a better driver.

Read More By Tim Collins on the ManTalks Blog

5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Best [Instead of the Worst]

10 Simple Ways to Be More Selfish [and How it Helps You Avoid Anxiety]

4 Ways to Get More By Having Less: How to Downsize for Simplicity

Man Of The Week

I was recently interviewed by Man Talks to be their Man Of The Week.

Here is the intro from the article: 

"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!"

To read the Q&A part of the interview please click below:

http://mantalks.com/man-week-tim-collins/

5 WAYS YOU CAN PREPARE FOR THE BEST INSTEAD OF THE WORST

I stood there in the washroom, looking at my reflection in the mirror, sweating, shaking, judging myself and contemplating losing it all.

 

At this point my stress filled life had tipped over the edge into new territory.

 

Anxiety.

 

People often ask what’s the difference. My answer is usually that stress is event based or situational whereas anxiety is random and shows up at the worst times. Stress can be used as a motivator and can be positive. Anxiety leaves us with an emotional hangover that makes us feel tired and weak.

 

As I stood in front of that mirror, my mind was racing.

 

  • What if I get fired?
  • What will people think?
  • Will my family still love me?
  • How will I ever get another job?
  • Will I have to sell our house?
  • Will I go crazy?

 

It’s called catastrophizing. I don’t use that word too often though, as it’s hard to pronounce.

 

But once my switch was set to worst-case scenario thinking, it was like a virus I couldn’t shake.

 

Each day I’d worry constantly about the “what ifs.”

 

It was all consuming and extremely tiring.

 

My brain felt like a computer running every program simultaneously, without ever coming to a conclusion. I was low on RAM.

 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Having now come out the other side of these dark times I realized that so much time was wasted on spinning my mental wheels.

 

The things I was worrying about the whole time didn’t come true. If I could bottle all the energy I wasted worrying I’d be able to power a small city for a year.

 

I had my first panic attack during a presentation, so that was something I worried about even as my life improved in many other ways.

 

If I had to give a speech I’d revert to my old patterns.

 

“What if I can’t get my words out?”

“What if people didn’t like my talk?”

“What if I collapsed on stage?”

 

This ruined the experience for me each time, as I was never able to be present. I’d worry, show up, do a good job, be relived that I hadn’t fucked it up, get lots of praise from the audience and usually have a brief moment of euphoria.

 

But then the next speaking engagement would come and I’d go back to worrying and what ifing.

 

So, I’m coming from the future to give you this message.

 

You CAN choose to have a different experience.

To read the rest of this article and see my 5 WAYS YOU CAN PREPARE FOR THE BEST INSTEAD OF THE WORST, click below:

http://mantalks.com/collins-prepare-for-the-best/

4 WAYS TO GET MORE BY HAVING LESS: HOW TO DOWNSIZE FOR SIMPLICITY

I once met a sailor, who seemed to have everything, yet in physical terms he owned all most nothing.

No house.

No car.

No basement full of shit he had forgotten about.

No rented storage units containing furniture he’d never use again.

No relationships with people who dragged him down or dumped their problems on him.

No jobs where he was responsible for showing up and building a career.

Just a simple sailboat.

He’d sail from Vancouver to Mexico, hang out for a bit, then head over to Hawaii. He’d work for a couple of weeks to save up enough to buy some more supplies, work on his boat and then he’d be off to the French Polynesian in the South Pacific.

He had a sense of calm about him. My favorite quote of his was, “I don’t make any plans, and I’m sticking to them.”

People often asked him about his life and seemed very envious of it. But he said when they realized he’d given up almost all material possessions, had no house, car, or vacation home, they knew it would just be a dream.

The societal pull is strong. We care so much what others think of us.

Probably my favorite all time quote:

“The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.”

Isn’t it interesting then that most people act in completely the opposite way?

We don’t buy the house we need, we buy the house we can afford.

We chase the pay raises, promotions, and progression that take away our liberation. Each time those freshly printed business cards with a fancy new title roll off the printing press we feel great, but the reality is we just gave away a bit more of our soul.

Read Tim’s previous article on the ManTalks blog: “10 Simple Ways to Be More Selfish [And How it Helps You Avoid Anxiety

There are ways to reverse this trend. Below I will share the five top ways to simplify.

To Read the full article "4 WAYS TO GET MORE BY HAVING LESS"

Click Here:  http://mantalks.com/simplicity-tim-collins/

10 SIMPLE WAYS TO BE MORE SELFISH [AND HOW IT HELPS YOU AVOID ANXIETY]

I recently wrote this article for ManTalks.  I've spoken at their event before and LOVE what they're doing in the pursuit of helping men be better men. 

I was so consumed with trying to please people for so long that eventually I started having stress induced panic attacks.

I worked long hours, commuted for 3 hours every day, earned a top salary, was a ‘good employee,’ and tried to keep everyone happy.

I tried to be a good father and husband with the little time I had left in my day.

Still not content with doing enough I even convinced my wife that we should start another business on the side, hoping to get some more money in the bank for retirement or some other unnecessary purchase. So now I could work when I got home from work.

Perfect.

Often, I would get home from work, grab something to eat, and then go straight to work on my start up. I would finish at midnight, only to fall asleep and prepare to do it all over again.

The fucked up thing is that many people actually admired me, “Look at Tim, he’s doing his best. Trying to provide for his family, working hard. It’s not easy you know.”

In that culture, lack of sleep was worn like a badge of honor. The less sleep the better, as then you could be more productive and get more done.

During this time I never thought about myself. I was just trying to scrape through each day and hold everything together.

“Must keep work happy.”

“Must keep wife and kids happy.”

“Must make more money.”

“Must keep up appearances.”

“Must neglect my own well being.”

Whenever I’d go away on business trips I was torn. My wife would be waving me off, frequently with tears in her eyes, as I’d be leaving her to look after our young family, while I went off for some unnecessary meetings. On the other hand, I’d have my boss phoning me and encouraging me to get out more.

To read the rest of the article including the 10 Simple Steps click below.

http://mantalks.com/selfish-avoid-anxiety-tim-collins/

Keeping anxiety a secret makes it thrive

I recently wrote this article for alustforlife.com a website started by Niall Breslin a fellow Anxiety sufferer who is creating awareness in the mental health space to support others


When I had my first major anxiety attack it took me completely by surprise. Yes, I’d felt nervous in the past but really only natural nerves, the kind you get before a big presentation or job interview. I knew deep down that once I got going I’d be fine and the nerves would dissipate.

This time I felt like I’d been punched hard right in the face. I was totally out of sorts, sweating, cold, dizzy, shaking and extremely concerned about what everyone thought of me.

My first major panic attack happened when I was giving a presentation in a business setting, with a group of people eagerly awaiting my wisdom. The shame and judgment I felt was massive. I would have loved to have been swallowed up by the ground at that point. That day was the beginning of a number of years of struggle for me. Each day, the what if’s and worst case scenarios would pulse through my mind, always keeping me on edge and constantly drip fed with adrenalin.

On one occasion I was interviewing a potential employee, when I broke out sweating, a lot! The person stopped talking and looked at me and said ‘are you okay? You look really nervous?’ to which I replied ‘no I’m fine, please, carry on’. Oh no I thought, my secret is going to get out and then everyone will know. What am I going to do? Obviously that person didn’t get the job. Secret safe for now.

My anxiety kicked off because of the huge amount of pressure I was under, some self-induced, some from work, some from home. I was desperately trying to make the anxiety stop while keeping everything intact.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Everyday keeping the anxiety at bay, fighting it, suppressing it and feeling generally terrible was doing nothing but feeding it and making it grow.

To read the rest of the article go here: http://www.alustforlife.com/personal-stories/keeping-anxiety-a-secret-makes-it-thrive