Meet the Coach: Tim Carter
Tim Carter is a life coach in Bristol and online
What attracted you to become a coach?
I have always been interested in what makes us tick – what is it that enables some of us to be more able to deal with life’s challenges, more able to make decisions or just seemingly able to enjoy the world around them? Are there simple things that we can learn which will enable us to realise our dreams, achieve our goals and make sense of difficulties, loss, and love?
These are the questions I have spent many years working with and drew me towards training in counselling, family therapy and coaching.
It can be very difficult to find yourself in a place where you feel stuck, even though you want to change your situation. Coaching and counselling offers you a way forward with simple tools, strategies and resources that will help you achieve what you want for yourself.
Where did you train?
I undertook my coaching training with ITS (International Teaching Seminars)
What kind of coaching do you offer?
Coaching is all about helping you to identify what it is that is getting in the way of you being able to move forward – whatever that might be. And I start from the position that most people carry the answer to their own problems: it is just that the answers can become difficult to find as the same questions go round and round in your head.
What I will do with you is to look at these thought patterns and help you identify what is going on as you wrestle with these questions. Together, we can gain greater clarity about what it is you really want and also how to take the steps to get there. You will begin to build confidence in your own ability to identify how you have got to your current position and where you are intending to move next.
It can be illuminating and incredibly satisfying as you identify insights and find (or re-discover) resources you did not realise you had.
How does life coaching help people with making decision and overcoming obstacles and barriers in their lives?
I start from the position that, as human beings, we all possess an incredibly complex machine, that we call our brain, which has far more capacity than we ever use.
Even though we all have this, our lives can sometimes feel rather limited or even predictable. This is because our brains like routine and certainty and are less keen on change and the unknown. When we find ourselves with new challenges, inevitably we adopt the same strategies and approaches that we have always used as those are the ones we are used to but these may no longer be very effective for new situations.
Life coaching looks at these behavioural patterns and how we can challenge some of the assumptions our brains may be automatically making without us realising. We carefully look at this together and gain greater insights into how your thinking patterns are working and what you want to change.
What sort of coaching clients do you usually see?
I see all sorts of people from different walks of life:
- Some people want to look at their work situation where they feel stuck or unfulfilled and want to change their approaches to work.
- Other people are struggling with their self-esteem, confidence or anxiety. This may be a new experience for them and so a little frightening.
- There are many people in relationships which no longer feel quite right or where there have been life changes which present new challenges and questions.
- And then there are people who more generally simply want to take stock of where they are in their life and spend some time reflecting on what they have done and what they might do next.
One of the most stimulating things about coaching for me is that every person is unique, which means that no one set of circumstances is quite like the next. We will work at your pace and in a way that fits best for you.
Do you ever suggest books or other materials to clients?
This all depends on what you want or need. I have produced a number of my own resources that I offer when it is appropriate and of course, there are a range of helpful books and presentations that can be recommended.
What do you like about being a coach?
I consider it to be a privilege that someone wants to share a little of their life journey with me.
Generally, I find that within quite a short space of time people open up about all sorts of aspects of their experience that they would not normally share more publicly and this needs to be treated carefully and with respect.
If someone is prepared to trust me, I want to make sure that I give them the best that I can by providing a safe space for them to think, talk and explore.
What is less pleasant?
I have found that coaching is such a useful way of working which has such positive results that I wish that more people had information about its value and the opportunity to receive it.
What is one life lesson you try to live by?
Try to walk in the other person’s shoes and see the world through their eyes before drawing any conclusions. It is amazing how illuminating this can be!
What do you wish people knew about coaching?
That it is really very simple – just try it!
Do you have a favourite client testimonial or particular success story?
Oh dear, there are so many really. Each person who comes to see me has their own success but I suppose the stories that immediately jump out are those where people have successfully moved onto new, more fulfilling jobs; where people have identified unhelpful thinking patterns that have been holding them back from really believing in their own abilities; where people identify and tackle behaviours that were developed in childhood as a protection but have been carried into adulthood and where these behaviours can now be seen as getting in the way of who they want to be.