Most of us were taught never to use vulgarity or ‘cussing’ only to discover its value later in life. There are studies that show that cussing at the right moments can relieve stress while expressing shock, exasperation, frustration, anger, or a combination.

Near the top of any list of favorite English cuss words is the one beginning with the ‘Ef’ sound (and I don’t meet ‘Phooey’). One of my life coaching clients, who colorfully used the term, inspired me to write this piece.

“Claire” is a brilliant, well-educated woman with many accomplishments, including starting her own non-profit organization for young women. I love her vulnerability and honesty as she works to shift into a new and better-paying career.

She’s also found a way to transform the ‘Ef’ word expression into a much better expression.

Lately “Claire” has been frustrated and angry about job applications. She has had nothing but disdain for the demands of some hiring managers who asked for complex homework in addition to her CV and resume. She’s felt that these essays and projects were a waste of time in determining her abilities. She even noted that some companies have used applicants’ materials to benefit the company without hiring or crediting the candidate (I think that’s a form of theft).

“Claire” coped by dismissing her rage…she’d just say: ‘Ef It!’

Maybe you can identify with my client. Have you ever:

  • Felt ghosted by companies after going through an arduous job application process?
  • Been ignored during a time of genuine need by your “best” friends?
  • Tried everything (short of writing a snail-mail letter) to get responses from people: phone call, voice message, text, social media, email, screaming at the top of your lungs at their front door?
  • Felt exhausted at the end of the workday only to face a sink full of grimy dishes left by someone else and a nice pile of morning poop left by kitty?
  • Opened a rental, insurance, or utility bill, only to see rates going up for no apparent reason?
  • Dropped your jaw when you looked at your weekly grocery?

Lots of reasons to be frustrated. Lots of seemingly justifiable reasons to use the “F” bomb!

But “Claire” found a new ‘Ef’ word by working with me. We examined her childhood and discovered  that she had been responsible daily to serve the sickly and irresponsible adults and needy children in her family system. She was the ‘responsible one’ on whom everyone counted.

The problem was that no one reached out to help her. They assumed she’d always be there for them. She felt abandoned and unworthy to think about her own needs.

She brought her childhood emotional neglect into adulthood and transferred some of her anger and frustration to hiring managers and interviewers, who didn’t seem to see her as more than just another applicant. This unexamined childhood resentment sabotaged her attitude and the way she came across in interviews.

 “Claire” transformed ‘Ef It’ into EF-FORT! She put more effort into her own life and into the present reality. She doubled down on honoring herself. She let go of feeling responsible for her family system. She envisioned a positive attitude about her qualifications for her dream job. And she’s stopped feeling sorry for herself.

She creates the rules of engagement in her job seeking.
She puts aside the condescension she feels at some interviews.
She serves her purposes with a positive Effort.
She sets her value higher than ever, in terms of salary and benefits.

Taking charge of her life has turned “Claire’s” frustration into opportunity and has brought her multiple interviews in several of her dream jobs.

She is living the future she’s always wanted for herself. Her tone, attitude, and ambition are soaring in a positive direction. She’s rediscovering the power she’s always had. And she fiercely plows through obstacles with grace and self-care.

How about you? What can you learn from Claire? How have you been dismissing challenges in life and career that have been sabotaged by how you were raised? You might be surprised that a memory of childhood, long since ignored, is the key to your success as an adult.

What Is Sabotaging Your Success?

  • Discover the messages you learned in childhood.
  • Clear a new path of self-understanding that will impact your career and relationships.
  • Join Michael Parise in a mentoring/coaching session that will move you forward. It’s all done over the phone in privacy and confidentiality.

Cost: $100.00 for one 45-minute session
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