Imagine transforming your life, finding your voice, and enhancing your relationships through the power of coaching. You might still be wondering if it is possible for you. In today's episode, Rupa, a full-time ophthalmologist and mother, will be with us to share her experience becoming her favorite version of herself.
We explore the effect coaching had on Rupa's life, relationships, and career and how it could potentially transform yours too. Our conversation opens up opportunities for you to engage with coaching to invest in your personal growth and well-being.
Change is possible, and Rupa's journey is a testament to that. Tune in and let her story inspire you to seek out your favorite version of yourself.
Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, book a consult to learn more about working with me as your coach.
"Being able to admit to your kids, your husband that you made a mistake, and asking to do it over. It's another chance to figure this out and I love that. I never did that before, and it's so powerful." - Rupa
What you'll learn in this episode:
How coaching helped Rupa find her voice in a male-dominated industry
The support group coaching provides in times of vulnerability
Finding the strength to ask for help when you're not sure what to do next
How group coaching is not about seeking for validation but to actually see and feel the change
" Group coaching is such a comforting space to know that I'm not judged here, and I can literally just bring up whatever it is that's bothering me today." - Rupa
Mentioned in This Episode:
“Making Marriage Simple” by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt
Be sure to sign up for a consult to see if coaching with me is the right fit for you. Join me on a powerful journey to become your favorite you.
Listen to the full episode:
Read the full episode transcript
Hey, this is Melissa Parsons, and you are listening to the, Your Favorite You podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women like you with beautiful brains, create the life you've been dreaming of with intention.
My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend. If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around.
Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Your Favorite You.
I am sure that you guys enjoyed last week's episode with Annette and Maggie, two of the amazing clients from my Your Favorite You group. This week, I'm bringing you another of the fabulous women from the group.
Her name is Rupa, and she and I are gathering together on a Friday night because we're two wild and crazy gals to record this podcast for you all, and I had asked, as I talked about in the last episode. I had asked anybody who wanted to share their experience so that other people could hear what it was like to be coach and what it was like to be in the group.
And Rupa wasn't able to make it when Maggie and Annette were, but she was gracious enough to say that she could come at this time. So here we are. I'm going to ask you to introduce yourself, Rupa. Tell everybody listening to Your Favorite You about your amazingness.
Oh, thanks so much, Melissa. So, just to be a brief background on myself, my name is Rupa, as Melissa mentioned, I'm 43 years old and I'm a practicing full-time ophthalmologist in private practice, and I have two young girls, ages 10 and 12, and I'm also married to another doctor as well.
So, and he happens to be a psychiatrist so a lot of different dynamics in the household at all times, of course. But I had actually started working with Melissa. It's been over a year, and we started with one-on-one sessions, which was really life-changing for me, and then I decided to sort of transition to this group-based approach, which has been also an amazing experience. So, I'm excited to be here, yeah that's so great.
I was going to segue immediately into that, Rupa, so you like teed it up beautifully for me. You have a really unique perspective because you have been both a one-on-one client and now, you're a group client. So, I'm curious what it was that you loved about one-on-one, and then, of course, I also want to know what you love about group.
Absolutely! Well, this was my first introduction to coaching, to be honest, so it was a really new experience for me. So, I really did not know what to expect when I started one-on-one, but it really did. Even from the first time I met Melissa, it really exceeded my expectations. I like the fact that, of course, I was 100% focused on everything that I was experiencing, and the feedback was right on, and I could get immediate sort of feedback right as we were going through these experiences.
And it happened to be a time in my life that I was very vulnerable, going through changes both at work and even through my marriage. So, it was absolutely what I needed at the time. It really was a support that I needed to get through what I had to get through.
But my decision to go to the group was I felt like really, I was in a really good place, some of the skills that I sort of learned through Melissa in terms of how I want to approach my day to day. I felt stable enough that I thought, you know, I want to see how other women with similar backgrounds are just kind of experienced life and see if I'm kind of doing all the same things that they are or how can I do things a little different too? So, it ended up being exactly the right thing I needed at the right time.
I think Amazing. Okay, so do you mind expounding a little bit on what you were kind of struggling with that? Had you looking for a coach in the first place?
Absolutely! So, I had transitioned to a new position in my career which coming out of another busy private practice for five years and then starting another completely starting from scratch, what it seemed like at another group, and I was about two years in and coming in with a whole different mindset than my coworkers and some of the dynamics I was dealing with within the office.
We had a kind of a toxic business administrator, and I was kind of the only vocal one trying to instill change within the situation, which is really different for me because I'm not the one to really wrestle kind of ruffle feathers, I guess, is what I meant to say so and I was struggling with how to find my voice as well and also bringing home the work.
Stresses at home were becoming really burdensome and taking a toll on my husband and I, and so it was just that those were my main motivations for seeking, like, some different perspective. I knew I had to do something different, whether it was how I'm dealing with work and how I can also translate into being more present at home and not bring home the work, but how I could also progress in my field without feeling like I was doing anything wrong.
Yeah, so beautiful. So, tell everybody, like, what you have accomplished, like I want to hear all the celebrations that you can think of, so many. I'm sure you're going to have a hard time remembering them all.
Well, I think the biggest thing was standing up for myself and not being afraid to speak up and have a voice. I think, as women I mean we all know this it just were always the quiet ones, I guess.
I guess at least that's the way that I've always been, and this was the first time in my life I felt like I had a voice, and it was amazing once I stopped caring about anyone else, thought it was just so clear to see the right path and I was able to convince everyone around me without getting emotional, without getting upset, and we've made some huge changes. We were able to finally let go of this person, bring on somebody of my choice and I spearheaded all of this and it's just such a better working environment now and I feel so happy and proud of how far we've come.
And not to mention, I just feel better.
I feel better at work, I'm not stressed, it's just a place that makes me happy again. And then, translating into just my, my marriage stuff like being married to a woman is just has a lot of different layers of complexity.
So being able to really sift through some of the struggles that we've had in terms of like the same arguments over and over and how to break free of some of the that toxicity has been really life changing for us, like in terms of and I think it's really it's really been my partner to see things a different way, and he's it's just challenging him in a different way to that he hasn't been used to, but it's really been eye opening in that way.
Yeah, that's amazing. I'll never forget when you came to one of your calls saying that, like my husband is like seeing the value of this and it's so different than anything that he's ever heard of or done, and that type of thing.
And that was the biggest thing. That was just not that I didn't come into this seeking any validation from anyone but myself, really, but to hear that after all these months that he was the one that said I see a change, I see the change and how you react to things, how you're at home, and it's just, I'm just so happy. And he's not the only one.
Even my close family, my brother, for instance, who I'm very close to, has said the same thing. And it is just the best feeling ever to know that, gosh, you know you. You work so hard at all these things, but you know life in our career we're so busy doing that day to day. Really, this is not a priority I've ever made in my life up until now, which is sad to say, but I'm in my mid 40s almost and it's just. It had to happen, and I don't think I could ever go back, you know.
Yeah, that's the beauty of it, like once you see a different way, it's like you know you might go back for a minute or for a day or, and you're like, okay, wait, no, I don't have to live this way and more.
And I know, Melissa, we've talked about this so much but just the effects of having two young girls, it's just, you know, the things that I want to be able to show them and how I want to be at this stage in my life. I want to make sure they remember, and they reflect on that and are able to also mimic some of those similarities as they get older too.
So that's also played a huge role and also one of my decisions to start. But then I'm seeing some of that and of course, we can't gauge it right now, but I just pray, I know that and when they're in their 20s or 30s or whatever, they're going to be able to look back and be like you know, mom was right, she was, she was doing some of these things already.
I think just setting the example of, if you're stuck in life or you're not sure what to do next, like it's not a problem to ask somebody who's a couple steps ahead of you for some help. Oh gosh, absolutely.
There's no shame in it and that's huge. That's a huge thing that is going to be. I think they're going to understand that and we, you know, as a family, know that there's always a way to get out of whatever it is that you're struggling with. And the biggest thing that I love is that they know like I've made mistakes.
But now I realize like we've had this conversation so much, even in our group would, just recently, just love this past week of do overs and the power of that and also being able to admit to your kids, your husband, you know I made a mistake, but I'm going to. You know let's do it over. This is another chance to figure this out and I love that. I never did that before, but it's so powerful.
Me neither, and I think the shocked look on my husband's face, especially when we were arguing about something, and I was like I think you're right, and he was like, wait, what? Yeah, can you repeat that please? Am I hearing you correctly?
And yeah, just being willing and able to go and just do things over again and again and again until it feels right, and you know, knowing that you can screw it up, and you're just doing the best that you can with the tools that you have.
And the more time that goes on, the more help you receive, the more books you read, the more you educate yourself. Like you're going to just keep getting more and more results and some of them are going to surprise you and some of them are going to be unexpected and it's just so fun to think about, like the ripple effects of doing this work 10 years, 20 years.
Like the type of grandma that you're going to end up being if your kids decide to have kids, or the type of mother-in-law you're going to be based on everything that you've learned in coaching. Absolutely, I agree, yeah, so good. Can you think of anything that surprised you about coaching that you were kind of not expecting?
Yeah, I think some of the when we've kind of dug deep into my relationship with my husband and some of those things, and I've always had this firm belief that I was right Like this is just the way it is and there's only this one way to think about it. What he's saying makes no sense whatsoever. But there's been so many times when you've said, gosh, wait, what if that is true? What if it is? That's what he thinks and that's okay.
And to be sit with that thought that you know our truths are our truths, regardless of you know, regardless of the situation and I know it sounds like a simple thing, but it's really helped me to understand also where he's coming from.
And the other thing that's been so surprising I think it plays a role in what I'm saying is also how much of our own childhood trauma we bring to our day-to-day interactions with our spouse for one thing. But that's been huge and I've never, never even considered that as a reason of why me and him act the way we do in certain situations.
And it's been much easier once to gain that sort of perspective, to really make more sense out of some of the day-to-day struggles that we might have but are able to really resolve much quicker.
Yeah, that's so good. What Rupa is referring to is my marriage coach, who is still my one-on-one coach right now. Maggie Reyes recommended that I read a book called Making Marriage Simple, which we will link in the show notes. It is by Helen LaKelly Hunt and Harville Hendricks. They're a married couple, they're therapists, and a big part of the book talks about how 90% of the arguments that you have with your spouse have to do with old wounds that you have from your childhood, which means that only 10% of what you're arguing about actually has to do with you and your relationship together.
And for some people that's scary, but for me and I try to coach my clients into thinking like no, this is the best news ever. If 90% of what we're arguing about is within my control and I can figure out what those old wounds are and how I can heal those, then we're only going to be left with this 10% that we have to figure out between the two of us.
A lot of us are lucky in that our spouses want to be with us and they're willing to do the work to heal their 90%. They don't have to in order for you to have a better relationship. It helps. If they do, they don't have to. We certainly can't make them do it. We certainly can't make them do it on any sort of timeline.
But one of the things that I think I definitely learned in my marriage coaching is that it only takes one person in a system to change in order for the whole system to change. So, I didn't have a problem going first and Rupa has gone first in her relationship, and it'll be interesting to see how the dance kind of changes over time.
Yeah, I think that's been something that's really been, I think, very influential in how we both have come to. I've actually made my husband read that and listened to that and we've gone through a lot of those exercises, and it has helped so much.
Okay, wait, did you make him, or did you ask him?
I asked him and he's been very initially resistant but after several times he's like, okay, I'll give it a shot. And he was really happy to kind of gain that different perspective because he didn't realize some of the things that he does, that how he reacts to certain situations, are very much linked to how he felt as a kid. And it's really, it's really interesting.
Yeah, so beautiful. Yeah, that's awesome. Okay, let's shift a little bit Rupa and talk about the group. Like, what surprised you about the group? Like what, what were you expecting? What was what you expected? What was different?
Yeah, I really didn't know what to expect. I was worried initially. My thoughts were like, how am I going to be able to say anything? Or I know there's so many of us, but really not so many. But also, I'm very soft spoken and I felt very nervous about even talking. But I found myself with time and it took a minute, I think, maybe a few sessions, to really kind of speak up.
But with everybody else's vulnerability and some of the broad range of topics, it was so easy to just jump in and, you know, talk about whatever it was that was really bothering me, as little or as big as that was. It was awesome to have other people lead by example.
Initially I couldn’t say I was the one that initially jumped right in, but it was such a comforting space to know that. You know, I'm not judged here. I can literally just bring up whatever it is that's bothering me today.
Yeah, you can show up exactly as you are so beautiful.
I think that, yes, I was nervous about how I would feel, or if it would. It was just probably after the first session I kind of understood, okay, this is the dynamics, and I felt a lot better. But it's probably a natural feeling initially.
Oh, yeah, for sure. I think there aren't many places where we can share ourselves vulnerably and talk about the real shit in our lives, like most of us who are at work and you with patients or you know people at the grocery store, we tend to keep things pretty superficial and not much superficial about group coaching.
We tend to get right into it, and I try as many times as possible to make it so that it is applicable to the whole group and, you know, show different people in different situations. You know you could apply this here, like this is for you, to that type of thing, which is kind of fun to tie it all together.
I know I love that.
I love that you do that. I mean, just as an example of this past week, I was talking about my daughter and how a preteen can be so challenging to deal with and it bridged to Annette with the same, you know, having some same issues with not so much the kids but her husband, and it was just so nice and you weave that all back together like how we can take my example and kind of apply to what she was going through too.
And it's just with the kind of issues we've all been talking about, like I said, such a broad, broad range. But it's amazing to hear that in every situation there are common threads and there's common ways to sort of get through those pain points in life.
And they may seem so small, you know, at the moment, well small looking back, but in the moment when you're really going through it, it's just like wow, that relief you get by letting it go and having someone professional evaluate it and say you know, think of it this way, and it just feels like a load off your back.
I love it. I love it, I love it. Okay, tell me what are some of the old beliefs that you had about yourself that were likely handed to you by others in your childhood or your young adulthood, or maybe even your training, that you've been able to kind of let go of due to coaching?
Yeah, looking back, I think you are rewarded, and I was the same way of being the agreeable one, being the nice one, being the one. That's going to be okay, going along with whatever, it is and even with my experience from my previous jobs, the same thing that you know well, she'll take care of it, it's okay. It was just somewhat expected. Being a female professional in an almost somewhat male dominated field is tough.
There's so many other layers to how, especially also surgical subspecialty, where you aren't viewed as much as an equal to your male colleagues and having to really work so hard to build that reputation, and I found myself actually compensating so much for, like, the nicer I can be, the more respected I can be, and I've really questioned that.
Now I can be direct and it's okay, and it doesn't mean I can be just as direct as my male colleagues.
Nothing's going to happen, it's okay to do that, and so these kinds of things were just something that I've just naturally done for years. It's really hard to even say consciously I was doing them, but I knew that they were being rewarded in some way.
Oh yeah, and I mean, like there's no like bones about it, there definitely are more male physicians who are surgical ophthalmologists, for sure, and the statistics just today were shared at this conference that I'm at an Institute for Physician Wellness conference where, still in the medical field, male physicians, for every $1 they make, women make 74 cents. So no, it's absolutely true.
It's still there and you know you're doing the exact same surgeries, and the studies also show, and this is no diss to our male husbands who are physicians, but the studies also show that female physicians have better outcomes. I mean, it's just like the statistics don't lie and right. People like being taken care of by female physicians.
Maybe it is because we're nicer and people pleasers and that type of thing. I like to think it's not those things that we're trying to come out. But you know we're still kind of swimming upstream in every field. Medicine is no different.
So, I know it's so hard to challenge that sometimes, especially with your colleagues, and demand something more, and that's been hard for me 100%. But I think, through this experience of just saying there's nothing wrong in getting paid for what you do, and in a timely fashion, and be deserving of the work that you know, being able to be compensated fairly and all of those things are absolutely okay and should be happening.
I think that was definitely helpful for me to go through these exercises and being able to feel strong enough to feel that way and really it probably was coming from some sort of inner feeling that this is no wrong. I can't ask for these things because I don't deserve them, because of such and such. But that's not true. That's not true at all.
So, we call it Melissa Parsons coaching bullshit.
Yeah, I know absolutely, but no, that's been huge and it's funny in some ways. I know my husband has his. We have our ups and downs, but that is one thing he's always told me, but I never always brush it off to the side. I didn't quite understand what that really meant, and I think that's been great for him to see that evolution, that okay, she gets it. Now she understands that she can demand what she wants, and that's also been so awesome that he's recognized that too.
Yeah, amazing, what you want and what you deserve for sure. Okay, we're getting down to the final questions. What was your favorite thing about coaching with me, or what is your favorite thing since you still are coaching with me?
Oh gosh, I think from the minute I really met you when I decided to do this, it was just so easy, Melissa, just this warmth, this feeling that I really could open up and not feel like I was, I guess, not feeling judged in some ways, and that you wholeheartedly have a genuine investment in the well-being of who you're working with.
Like it is just so genuine, and it comes across in so many different ways or so little but so meaningful to all of us, like in me in particular. And I think that, vibe, I felt initially it was, that was a deal I knew. I didn't know where we were going to go from that meeting, but it was just one of those things I just felt right away and it's hard for me to express, but I think it was just that comfort.
Comfort in knowing that you know she kind of gets it and I felt that from the minute we even connected and met and then I decided to do it, and that for me, for me to have that feeling initially, was really important for me to make an investment in actually doing this and taking the time and effort and, of course, the financial investment absolutely.
But it really was just, I guess, a gut feeling I got from the minute I met you and then it just sort of built from that. So, it was just that from the beginning.
But no, as obviously your skill set is so amazing, like for you to be able to draw out all of these things that have occurred over my life, over those months, and to really help me understand and, you know, dig deep to figure out. Okay, how am I going to approach this, and really making it as if I'm coming up with these solutions on my own.
Because you were.
But that's the beauty of it, and it's just like you when you bounce things that are so obvious back, but it does. It's such an organic process that it feels so empowering to know hey, did I really come up with that on my own? But I don't know if I did.
The answer is yes. You've come up with all the answers that you have come to on your own.
But I think facilitated it with my questions and my love and my unwavering belief in you. And I was just talking to one of my fellow coaches, Laura, out at the pool at this conference and I said I love it when people try to argue for their limitations in front of me and I was like it's not going to work, especially you.
You are a bad ass. I surgeon like you're doing microsurgery on people's eyes and having amazing outcomes and people taking them from not being able to see well to being able to see clearly like helping people. I could go on and on.
And you're an amazing mom. You're an amazing wife. You're an amazing daughter and amazing sister. Like you can't tell me anything. Like if somebody tried to tell me something bad about you, I'd be like no, I mean, we all have our shadow side and our bad things and that type of thing, but I would just be like not my Rupa no.
Well, I received that, that's. That's another thing I learned from you. To just that it's okay to feel the compliments sometimes because I was always something I never was used to, but I really, I feel that thank you so much, but I also feel the same way about you and return.
Yeah, yeah, that's so beautiful. I receive it as well. Okay, let me ask you one more question. You kind of brought it up about the investment of time and money and that type of thing. You know, I was just in this forum, and somebody was asking about things like what's the best investment that you've ever made in yourself, and I was like coaching hands down. I'm curious if you have similar thoughts or what are your thoughts about that.
Absolutely. I think initially I, you know this when we first talked, I was like I'm going to do this 100%, but, and then I found out, okay, so it is a little costly, but. But then, when I thought about it, exactly as you put, you know, you kind of made me think a little bit. You know why it's stupid.
I'm investing in so many other things, like trying to work out. I'm investing in a personal trainer to keep my body healthy. I, you know, also try to eat super healthy. I'm doing all of these things, and why not?
That's the one thing that's missing, you know, my life is the taking care of my mind, like there is nobody that is doing that or looking at it. And when I thought of it in that way, it was such a no brainer for me and, of course, some were so fortunate that I could do this.
And you know, and I want to continue, and I know, not everyone has that opportunity, I'm sure, but this was something that was a no brainer. I, after I wrote the first check, I was like this is it. I'm, I'm going to put every, you know. I know this is going to pay off and it has. I haven't even thought about that once. You know not even once of like this is what it cost, or anything like that. It's just been a gift that keeps giving really.
I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that. Yeah, it's how I feel about coaching. The initial investment I was like, and then everyone after that, I'm like this is the next thing, exactly, exactly.
It's just sort of okay. This is what it's going to be. There are a lot more things we waste our money on than it would never do anything like this in return, and not just the resources that have been introduced to me that I otherwise would have. I may have stumbled upon this on my own in 10, 15 years, maybe by the time, but just these, I mean.
There have been a plethora of books that you've introduced me to, other resources. Also, of course, the network of women, now that we've forever, you know, developed a relationship with. It's just something you can't even put a price tag on.
Yeah, it's so funny because so many women you know who are not in coaching have such a hard time finding like-minded people to be friends with, exactly, and they're 40s and it's like oh, and that's saying that like you would buy coaching to buy a friend group.
That's not it, no but how many of us with our friends are. I guess you know there are one or two people in my life that I would consider my best as friends, that I can really sort of talk about some of these things, but not the traditional when you go out to, and these are things that are just not discussed on a day-to-day basis.
And so, it is cathartic in so many ways to get feedback consistently on what is happening. You know, every week it's like my space to do this, so happy that I made an effort. I also think it did take some time and effort on my part I had to switch around my clinic and all of that, but it's so well worth it and I look forward to that. One hour to myself every week, it's just. It's like it's just so awesome to have that protected time for me which I had.
Yeah, so many people are. As you know, I couldn't possibly do Wednesdays at one, which is when our group needs. Listen, if an ophthalmologist can do it, if an OBGYN can do it, if a business owner can do it, like anybody, like you, take time for what's important to you. Yes, now, you're just somebody that's important to you that you're going to take your hour every week to work through your mind, just like you take your hours per week to work on your health and fitness, to work on making healthy meals for your family. Like it's no different.
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, Melissa.
Yeah, you're so welcome. Is there anything else that you think the millions of listeners of Your Favorite You need to hear?
I would say I encourage anyone that's even thinking remotely about it. You won't regret it.
Yeah, join us in January, people. It's going to be amazing.
I really do mean that it has been life changing and I'm just so happy that this was a time. I guess it was meant to be this way, yeah.
It's just amazing. All right, thank you so much, Rupa. You're sharing and your vulnerability here and just everything that you said is going to help so many women, and maybe even men too.
So many humans in the world are going to be helped by your willingness to spend your Friday evening with me here recording this interview, so I appreciate you so much.
Well, thank you, Melissa, I appreciate you, thank you.
All right, I'll see you all next week for another amazing episode of the podcast. Don't miss it, folks.
Hey, everybody, don't go quite yet. I want to let you know all the ways that you can work with me.
If you've been listening to this podcast, maybe especially the episodes where I interviewed my clients and you are thinking like the older woman in the diner in the classic Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal film when Harry met Sally, where Sally, proving a point to Harry, is faking an orgasm while at the diner.
Sally finishes and takes a bite of her food and the older woman in the next booth says I'll have what she's having. This is your sign from the universe to schedule a consult with me.
I'm currently enrolling clients who want to work with me in a group setting. The group will start on January 10th, and we will meet every Wednesday at 1pm until July 3rd, 2024.
I'm very excited about the women who have already made the commitment to themselves and the investment in themselves to join the group and would love to have you be part of it. I also have a few spots available for one-on-one coaching with me, if that is a way that you want to work with me.
The way to contact me is to go to my website, melissaparsonscoachingcom, and either go to the group page and click Book Now or go to the work with me page and click Book Now.
That way, you can schedule a consult. I look forward to hearing from you. Let's make 2024 your favorite year ever. As you become Your Favorite You.
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