The health, wellness and sustainability community is vast and includes many types of businesses that we think are interesting and different. New years bring new opportunity, and we thought it was a perfect time to chat with Tommy Dott, a personal transformation and relationship recovery coach about his field and how he helps his clients through challenging and growth-filled times.
EF: Wait, don't you own the Lamb & Lion Inn in Barnstable? When did you (seemingly) shift gears into life coaching?
TD: Getting certified as a personal transformation coach is very time consuming. Owning a business and having a supportive partner allowed me an opportunity to get there. In a way, innkeeping planted the seed. A successful innkeeper is interested in the personal stories of others, strives to enhance lives and creates a nurturing environment to do it all in. Same goes for being a coach.
EF: How is coaching different than traditional talk therapy?
TD: Therapists analyze their client’s past in order to understand present behaviors. Life coaches identify current problematic behaviors and work with clients to modify them. Therapists focus on why behavioral patterns occur, and coaches work on how to adjust those patterns in order to achieve specific goals. I spend more time in "the now" than the past. The past is gone, how are you going to more forward? Also, my support doesn't end with the session. I check in with the client to see if they're meeting their weekly goals that we set, and if not, what's stopping them? Accountability is key.
EF: You specialize in personal transformation and relationship recovery - what does that even mean?
TD: Personal transformation coaching concentrates on not just correcting the behavioral patters that have been stopping or slowing down the client down, but permanently changing those patterns. We all constantly fear that change can threaten one of our 3 basic human needs: Love, Safety, and Belonging."I'd like to continue my education, but it will take too much attention away from the kids" (fear of losing love). "I can't quit my job because I'll never make this kind of money again" (fear of losing safety). "I won't go to the beach with my friends because I look terrible in a bathing suit" (fear of not belonging). Fear sneaks into even the smallest decisions. I emphasize "relationship recovery" because the the blow of a bad breakup can be devastating. When we lose someone, all 3 (Love, Safety and belonging) are affected. We've all been there. But if you can turn that negativity into personal reinvention and move forward, it's incredibly empowering. I help people get there.
EF: Who should give you a call?
TD: It can be someone who is sick of living with stress, or struggling with negative self talk, or is at a crossroads in their life and needs help. As long as someone wants positive change, it will happen. Being willing to stretch yourself and re-invent your comfort zone is really all it takes.
EF: What is the one piece of advice you would give people looking to make lasting change in their behaviors?
TD: I love the saying, "Small hinges open big doors." You don't have to drastically change your life or make huge sacrifices in order to achieve your goals. Major personal changes comes from tiny tweaks. The process can be fun, and the outcome can be exhilarating!