What does my 15-year-old crush story have to do with managing career

This email will not talk about COVID-19 or the immediate hardship that we’re experiencing in relation to it. I am working on posts and resources for you that'll add levity and inspire connection during these times. For now, let’s remember what life was like before this all hit us and what priorities we had before and will have after it's over. Because this, too, shall pass.

When I was 15, I fell in love for the first time. To say it was strong teenage affection would be an understatement, it was an all-consuming, exciting and scary feeling for me, all at the same time. 

Long story short, it lasted a few months, brought a couple of flower bouquets tucked in my door, some high-intensity interactions and even one “double-date” to watch Gone with the Wind on VHS. It remained totally platonic (in case you wondered) and I’m still not sure if it was really reciprocated by the object of my desires, at least not at the same level of intensity and commitment that I had. 

Shortly, he became a couple with another girl. I was devastated, cried a lot (but remained stoic under the circumstances), got to college and continued my life as it’s appropriate for that stage of life. 

How is this relevant considering that our subject is career and leadership? Very much so.

For a while after that incident, I carried the hurt and resentment because my full devotion and commitment to something (or someone) was unanswered and brought me pain instead. I started harboring the belief that following my desires is unsafe.

But let’s examine it a bit closer. 

During my love fever, I was thinking, brooding, waiting, hoping, dreaming (occasionally crying or feeling elated). All, I may say, very reasonable behavior for a teenage girl in that situation. But I was NOT calling, NOT showing up vulnerable and saying how I felt. 

I was not taking action or demonstrating my commitment, which means I was not really all in.

Only I knew about my tears and longings. He probably could’ve said the same - I was not sure if my feelings were reciprocated, so I went with someone who was clearly interested (a very reasonable behavior for a teenage boy). 

It pains me to say that I see now that what happened to me was fair! (I almost don't hate that girl anymore.)

Still not sure how this applies to you and your work situation?

If you feel frustration, resentment or disappointment towards your job (or anything in life, really), ask yourself how committed you are to changing it. 

Are you prepared to take action? Do your daily actions reflect your desires? 

For example, if you say you want more peace and calm and the first thing you do in the morning is grabbing your phone, then you are sort of doing what I did at 15.

If you want to contribute in a meaningful way and you don’t invest time, effort or money to deep dive and think about a bigger picture, what matters to you and where you can add value, then you are not being committed and taking action.

If you say you’re burned out and can no longer take it, and you keep tolerating it day in and day out, you should just stop saying that and accept that it is what it is.

If you are not ready to accept this (I hope you aren’t), I can offer you support.

The Fire Starter Sessions Group Program that I’ve designed based on Danielle LaPorte’ material, will help you break this vicious cycle and bring your work and life in line with what you want it to be.

This kick-start program will help you get clear on what’s important to you and what depletes you, and take practical steps in the areas of task- and time-management,  goal-setting, personal brand-building. After the program, you’ll be able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to things at work and in life mindfully and intentionally.

Your desires reflect what's truest about you. If your current reality is not what you want it to be, you need to commit to dreaming on a regular basis. Your desires will lead you home. There is a method to it, which we’ll be following in the Fire Starter Sessions kick-start group program. This will be a small, intimate group setting to give the participants individualized attention, so don’t wait until the group is full. 

Check out the program details here.

Patience is a virtue?

Remember when my sweetheart “dumped me,” I remained “stoic”? I was quite proud of it. 

Now I know that patience can be the worst curse. If your strategy till now has been "do what it takes, keep cool, no pain no gain", and all that jazz, by now you may be so used to living in the land of toleration that it’s hard to take action even if staying where you are is hurting you badly. I really want you to stop doing this. 

Learning to listen to your desires and allowing them to guide you will help. We’ll do this in The Fire Starter Sessions Group Program.

If it seems that I am trying really hard to get you interested in the program, it’s because I am. 

I know what living in the land of toleration is like, because I’ve been there, and I also know that this program can help you get out of it. I want you to live an easier, enjoyable life and express yourself fully through what you do and be proud of it. 

They say that doing things the same way and expecting different results, is a kind of madness. We all live in this type of madness, now probably more than ever. I offer you a tool to change it. 

I hope you take me up on this offer and check the program details here, and reach out to me if you have any questions or just reactions to what I say here. 

I wish you to stay healthy and safe, and keep in sight your longer-term goals and aspirations, which are easy to forget in this “interesting” time. But the time does not stop to wait out the craziness and I don’t want you to put your life and dreams on hold. Yet again.



Sveta Parilova is a career and leadership coach who partners up with mid-career professionals to help them get rekindled and renewed about their work/career so that they feel less stressed and more joyful at work and at home. She is passionate about supporting people in their search for purpose and meaning in their work and life, and is humbled and honored to be part of their journey to a more joyful self. Click here to schedule a Complimentary Discovery Session and learn more!


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Svetlana Parilova
Thrive Network International, LLC