You Don’t Need a Diagnosis to Need Help
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You Don’t Need a Diagnosis to Need Help


On this family vacation, we went off the beaten path, through icy waters and deep into breathtaking beauty. Photo credit: Brian Deutsch

“I’ve worked with people with a variety of communication and cognitive disorders secondary to a variety of diagnoses, including head and neck cancers, head trauma, stroke, degenerative neurological disease, and brain tumors.”

This is on my resume, and it’s true.

But I’ve come to realize that you don’t need to have a diagnosis to need help.

This revelation felt like an important part of my own evolution away from perfectionism and towards wholehearted living. Sometimes, compared to others with very visible and dramatic losses, it was easy for me to dismiss my own needs or discomforts. Who was I to complain? I didn’t take my adult developmental pain seriously.

But the pain of not living the life you know you’re capable of is very real.

When I transitioned back to work after being home full-time with my children, I struggled with anxiety over the impact of my actions on my — and my family’s — well being. I questioned the wisdom of this path I’d chosen, one that was taking me outside the oh-so-cozy comfort zone I inhabited. As I continued to feel my way along this path, I stayed alert to what worked and what didn’t work for me professionally.

One of my great discoveries along the way was coaching.

I hired a coach so I could learn more about the field of coaching as a possible new career for myself. I considered this to be “field work” that allowed me to study the process and legitimacy of coaching firsthand. (I’ll admit it, I was a skeptic.) 

But then I experienced how my coach helped me grow in healthy ways in the few months we worked together. I learned more about myself and how to stay on my own side as I plotted my next inspiring personal and professional challenges.

Looking back at that time of transition, I wish I’d hired a coach earlier. Even without an official diagnosis, I could have used the help.

I still work with a coach, which I am convinced makes me a better coach for my clients.

My clients hire me because they are enthusiastic about life. They love to use their whole minds and their whole hearts as they walk their own paths. They value right work and true rest. They want to learn how to be on their own side as they pursue their dreams.

How do we do that?

We unearth core values, strengths, and unique gifts. We might use tools like the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, the EQ-i, 2.0, or any number of coaching tools. By far, the most potent tool I possess is my deep, intuitive listening.

My clients learn to identify and manage their saboteurs. They create an inspiring vision and identify the doable steps that bring them closer to that vision. We map out a plan and re-visit it regularly. Last, but not least, I provide my clients with accountability. 

What about you? How do you support yourself when you find yourself at a crossroads? 

Do you want to learn more about coaching and whether it’s for you? If you have any questions or would like to schedule a complimentary session, contact Melissa at melissa@melissapagedeutsch.com. I look forward to hearing from you!