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Life Coach Inspires Us All to Overcome Obstacles

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At 25, Dar worked in a hospital as an occupational therapist helping patients recover from traumatic brain injuries. Her husband at the time and she were planning to start a family in the near future. She was always very active but hurt her back while lifting a patient and went to the chiropractor for an adjustment. Over the next couple of days, she began experiencing dizziness and blurred vision. “I felt off, blaming it on working too much and being tired,” reveals Dar.

A week later her vision became inverted and she began vomiting for no reason. She went to the hospital where they did an MRI. The doctor discovered she had a ripped artery in her brain from her chiropractor adjustment. He confirmed she was experiencing a stroke. Her doctor told her, “The bad news is that you have a blood clot in your brain. It could dislodge any day. The scar tissue could hold the clot in place, but if it moved, you could die.” She was also told that carrying or delivering a child could kill her. “I walked out of the doctor’s office at 25 years of age with a diagnosis that made me feel 85,” shares Dar.

She was 38 years old when she had her second stroke. Despite going through a divorce and accepting the fact that she could not have children, she felt like she had hit her stride in life. Her career was going great, but the pace of her life was too busy. One morning, she was putting on her makeup. She meant to put concealer under her eyes but ended up putting it on her lips. A trip to the doctor confirmed that she was indeed having another stroke. It went on for a while, but Dar knew how to manage and rehab herself since she was an occupational therapist.

Her third stroke came in 2018 when she was 43. At the time she was a mental skills coach with the Phoenix Suns. This time the stroke started out as a migraine. For a week, she struggled with the pain until one morning she was staggering down the hallway after a meeting. She made it to a clinic on the corner where they confirmed she was having a stroke. Unfortunately, they did not take her insurance so she took an Uber to the emergency room where she prayed her body would not flatline. Coach Dar did her own rehab, fought through post-stroke depression, and reframed her setback.

Everyday Dar wakes up she is thankful to get to help people reach their greatness and is grateful to be alive. She realizes that any day could be her last. It could be the day she has her fourth stroke. Instead of being fearful, she chooses to trust God because she knows He has her here for a reason. (She still has balance, vision and fine motor issues. She tends to easily drop things.)


Although Coach Dar has been a Christian most of her life, she made a deal with God after her first stroke. She promised Him she would “begin again with a renewed spirit and faith, and that she would dedicate her life to helping people awaken their greatness and live out God’s purpose for their life.” And for the past twenty-five plus years she has done so. At 33, Dar was baptized. She credits Jesus for giving her the ability to serve those around her. She knows that she wouldn’t be here to tell this story if it wasn’t for Him.

Coach Dar is a Board Certified Occupational Therapist, CEO & Founder of Performance Meets Purpose Consulting, author, and keynote speaker. She has helped individuals, corporate executives, and professional athletes discover their own personal missions, individual gifts, and set their sights on the goals that they thought impossible. “I combine science, psychology, leadership, and personal wisdom to change the way they (her clients) respond to challenges, obstacles, and mentals blocks,” shares Dar. 


Anyone can benefit from Coach Dar’s Bounce Back Coaching System. Her coaching helps you to reframe the way you view obstacles and turn them into opportunities. It will take time, but it is worth it. She offers the following advice on how to turn setbacks into setups:

1.  Embracing the Suck - As a mental skills coach Dar has to practice what she preaches, but she too can struggle with adversity. Some of her setbacks include: her first stroke, when she was told she could not have kids, she went through a divorce, had a second stroke, had a third stroke, which temporarily took away her ability to speak fluently, her insurance wouldn’t cover her rehab, she had no speaking gigs to help pay for her medical bills, her mother died and her father died. She says, “Setbacks are never welcome, but they can help you come back stronger than ever and help you reconnect with you purpose.” 

2.  Understanding Who You Are – Discover your Fundamental Hardwiring. It helps identify the gifts, talents and skills that help keep you in the best flow state. A wonderful way to discover your hardwiring is to take a personality assessment. 

3.  Seeking and Applying Feedback – One of Dar’s clients is a professional basketball player who felt he had lost his edge. She helped him rediscover why he was great in the game by having him write it down and watch video of himself so he could reconnect with his talents and gifts.

4.  Discovering Your Why Power – Mission Statement (guides you) + Power Word (inspires you) = your Why Power. For Dar, she says her mission statement is to “inspire, empower, and awaken greatness in myself and others globally.” Her word power is “greatness.” Coach Dar reveals, “With your why power you can power through setbacks because you can recognize the obstacle for what it is: an opportunity.” 

5.  Creating Your Bounce Back Environment – Make sure your environment is not adding to mental chaos. Eliminate unhealthy people around you that are adding to the confusion in your life.

6.  Activating Emotional Intelligence (EQ) – Being aware that your emotions drive your behaviors so you can make decisions, solve problems and communicate more effectively. Dar was recently coaching an executive who struggled with making mountains out of molehills. As Dar helped him get his emotions in check, her client began to see how his emotions were playing a key role in his reactions. Once he saw the situation clearly, he was able to move forward and communicate a solution.

7.  Reframing Setbacks – Talk to yourself about the setback you are facing within a positive framework. When Dar struggled with depression after her strokes, she had to tell herself, “Dar, you’ve got to think bigger if you’re going to bounce back from this.” A few weeks later she gave a keynote speech with impaired balance and the inability to fully speak consistently because she was struggling with expressive aphasia (when you know what you want to say but the wrong word comes out). Fortunately, she was able to give the speech even with her impairments. It helped her to get back into her daily routine and flow.

8.  Cultivating Grit – “Grit is one’s ability to tolerate hardships and keep a goal focused mindset in order to reach the other side,” shares Dar. After her third stroke, she was managing her own rehabilitation at home since her insurance did not cover it. She can remember her hands barely working to prepare food for herself. She struggled and battled through this difficult time reminding herself that she was here for a purpose. Her grit was also tested during COVID. She went from having a solid list of clients to having one paying client in the spring of 2020. So, she started giving away her coaching for free. Every morning, she filmed a coaching video to post on Facebook. A year and a half later, she was asked to be on Fireside Chat, a Mark Cuban podcast app. Today she has more business and work than she ever had.

9.  Turing the Page – Dar began experiencing headaches again while writing this book. She didn’t know if she was having the fourth stroke. When she finally spoke to a new neurologist he asked if someone had told her she couldn’t have kids. Dar explained that she had been warned against childbirth because of the strokes. The doctor said, “I’m so sorry but this blood clot shouldn’t have stopped you from conceiving. There are many ways we could have made it safe for you to carry a child. Whoever told you that was wrong.” Dar had no words. She had lost so much when she embraced the idea of not carrying a baby. Her marriage ended and she avoided relationships with men who she knew wanted kids. As she tried to process this news, she also knew she had to reframe it and focus on all that she was able to do in her career versus what she wouldn’t have been able to do if she had a family waiting for her at home. 


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