Get Back Up with Coach Dar

Trust in God’s plans to help you bounce back better

Darleen Santore, known to many as “Coach Dar,” recently spent some time talking with Family Life Radio about how God led her from working with brain trauma patients as a Board-Certified Occupational Therapist to coaching people on a resilient mindset, inspiring positive change that impacts their lives.

Using her knowledge and education in the areas of science, psychology and achievement with her personal passion for life, Coach Dar speaks and coaches all over the country. She works with corporate executives, individuals and all the major sports leagues as players’ personal and mental skills coach.

Having suffered a major setback when she experienced a stroke at 25 years old, and then having two more strokes later, Coach Dar is no stranger to the steep climb challenges can present while attempting to reach goals.

Out of necessity, Coach Dar created what she calls a toolbox of how to bounce back when facing setbacks. She says,

“Setbacks don’t define you. Comebacks refine you.”

This has become her formula when she faces adversity.

The tools Coach Dar uses are:

  1. Know your “why.” As soon as it gets hard and you want to give up, remember why you’re working toward this goal.
  2. Be prepared for the bumps in the road ahead. They are guaranteed to be there. Have a plan.
  3. Get back up again.
  4. Focus on your “why.”

For Coach Dar, her “why” is helping people write their mission statement. Her mission statement is: To inspire and awaken greatness in people. God called her to this.
When she was having a really hard time, her sister told her she had to get back up. Coach Dar knew this, but she was really struggling. Her sister said,

“God did not give you new life to isolate or go back to old ways.”

“You’ve got to get back up. He gave you a gift to go help people. Now, go do it.”

That is what she did. Anytime Coach Dar finds herself in challenging situations, she thinks to herself, “Why am I doing this? I’m doing it because God gave me this purpose, and I have to get back up.”

Coach Dar’s thank you to God for having life is she gets back up and does what He has given her to do. “We are not here for ourselves,” Coach Dar said. When she really leans in and focuses on that, she has the power to get back up.

“I take myself out of ‘me-mode’ and I go to ‘we-mode.’”

“I know I have to go serve. When I do that, I bounce back faster. I reframe the situation and I get back up with clarity. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. It just helps me to bounce back better.”

All that she has been through lead Coach Dar to write a book called, The Art of Bouncing Back. The resilient mindset is key to continuing in excellence.

When you focus on God, who He is, and His plans for you, there is nothing too difficult when you are walking with Him.

“He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6 ESV).

Part of taking yourself out of “me-mode” and getting to the “we-mode” is focusing on God and what He says is true.

  • He provided His Son as your Savior.
  • He has given you His Word to learn from and to help you grow in Him.
  • You have His Holy Spirit who comforts, convicts and guides you.
  • And He has given you a purpose for living. That is to serve others and to share what God is doing in your life.

If you are feeling a bit challenged by the steep mountain you are climbing, remember you’re in good company. Coach Dar has been there and will likely be there again. She says you have to get back up. God tells you through Isaiah:

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 ESV).

You have a purpose. God has given you life. Let your pursuit of what He’s put in front of you, with the knowledge that He is with you over every bump in the road, encourage you on in love and all the good He does through you. If you make a mistake or get knocked down, know He is right there reaching an Almighty hand out to you. Grab it and get back up!

For the first blog in this series, Drop Your Nets and Follow, click here.

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