I was experiencing “a whole lot of things I did not want to” before I started coaching with Melissa. At work/graduate school for example it seemed impossible for me to get much momentum built towards the writing of a sizeable writing task to which I was assigned (6000-word review paper in my field of research). I would find myself extremely anxious as soon as I would sit behind my computer to write. I would question every line of reasoning I would come up with, thinking it was not good enough – in fact thinking I was not good enough. Back then, more generally speaking, many facets of my life felt as loud reminders of the concept that: “You, Farshad are just not good enough. You may be good in general, but not good enough to really get it all together”. My major issue back then, now i I have come to appreciate, was a poorly self-evaluated self-image, hidden underneath the busy nature of the days of my life since the very first day I became an immigrant in Canada.  

It all started when I had to write a major review paper in my field in spring 2019. Having failed to get much done, I started my coaching experience with Melissa in April and in a span of 3 months, I went from being told (by my supervisor) to be a bad writer and feeling cowardly towards writing, to submitting the first “accepted-as-is” manuscript in the history of my supervisor’s laboratory. I just could not believe how that happened, but it did!

Now, I find writing actually quite enjoyable, since I see how it allows me to materialize a lot of thoughts and ideas that I had long held onto only in my head. More critically, my significantly improved confidence in writing has allowed me to more confidently communicate verbally, which has proven extremely transformative in my relationship with my supervisor – but also with family, friends and even with myself (i.e. my inner voice/conversations are more clear now!)

But more importantly than all the above, has been my improved self-evaluated self-image. These days, I feel at peace in my life, and as I have learned from Melissa, “I am exactly where I need to be. In fact, I have always been exactly where I needed to be!”

Melissa’s coaching style is focused on self-discovery, rather than technical writing lessons. Her guidance allowed me to find answers to my own problems, even when those problems are emotionally overwhelming. Melissa has coached me to implement a few major skills in my professional and personal life, including journaling my daily intentions first thing in the morning, journaling emotionally burdening and distracting thoughts so that they would not take away my focus, systematic calendaring of my many commitments (which had overwhelmed me for years), and many more tips and skills. Of note has been her T charting technique which has allowed me to quickly deal with writing/decision making blocks. 

To sum it all up, Melissa is that voice of reason and wisdom that we all would love to have in our head – helping us with making decisions in life. How badly we need such a voice has to do with the number and the complexity of our choices in life. Melissa helped me and also helped me guide myself though the writing of a scientific review paper whose production required literally thousands of such choices to be made. 

This may sound cheesy, but Melissa’s program resuscitated my long-gone happy self. It has brought back the love of science and scientific investigation in me, and has taught me how to process complex (and oftentimes anxious) feelings I feel on a daily basis around different aspects of my graduate education. In short, the program has brought me a level clarity and self-awareness that I had never known before and this clarity has allowed me to become and stay happier more frequently.  

The program means a lot to me! Just simply “a lot”. Melissa is that person you probably never see in person, but will always consider as the closest friendly voice in your head – helping you not only pick between the paths in your life (or writing tasks) but also feeling confident and good about your choices. 

Since I immigrated to Canada (I was 20 years old), I had been so hung-up and anxious on what good (or bad) comes off of any decision I make in my personal and professional lives, and in so doing missed out a whole lot on “really feeling my life”, a skill that was my strength before. The program helped me to start transforming myself to a more mindful person. I feel a lot of good change in me, but i have a feeling this is only the beginning of even a more wonderful intentional life. 

I have had many phone conversations with Melissa so far and almost invariably she showed up with complete focus on and knowledge of my concerns (as communicated to her in the form of progress reports, and so forth). Her assertive yet objective voice has allowed me to find respect and trust in her, which I believe is crucial to a coach-pupil relationship.  
If you have ever had something in your life that you needed to transform (and i mean truly transform not just surface-level change), go coach with Melissa.