I was experiencing a few major hurdles with respect to the initiation and completion of a major writing task (which was the writing of a sizeable review paper, 6000 words with 5-6 figures and multiple tables of information). More specifically, I would find myself extremely anxious as soon as I would sit behind my computer to write. I would also question every line of reasoning I would come up with, thinking it was not good enough, even before putting my ideas into words.

In a span of 3 months, I have gone from feeling cowardly towards putting words down to now feeling very confident and in place with my writing tasks. Additionally, I now find writing actually quite enjoyable, since I see how it has allowed 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. 

Melissa’s coaching style is focused on self-discovery, rather than technical writing lessons. Her guidance has 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 the techniques she has share that have allowed me to quickly deal with writing/decision-making blocks. 

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.  

I have had more than 10 phone conversations with Melissa so far and almost invariably she has always 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.