top of page

Becoming Unf*ckwithable: Three More Ways to Face Adversity

Happy day before tax day! 🤦🏻‍♀️

When the apocalypse is probably near but you can't take it seriously because you are so jaded and numb from the disaster marathon that started in 2020.

Anybody else feel this way or is it just us?

Ah well. When you can't do anything about it, you gotta laugh so you don't cry.

In this post we are continuing the theme for April, which is Becoming Unf*ckwithable, an incredibly important aspect of emotional intelligence that brings inner peace. If you needed a reminder of what this term means, here it is:


If you need to get caught up, here is the link to the previous blog (I recommend reading that post first and then reading this one) where we first explored the concept. In that post we also talk about how to develop and use equanimity in your daily life to reduce stress, improve relationships, and generally rule as the veterinary kings, queens, and the various other royal animal healthcare people you are.

In this blog post, you will learn three more ideas that you can ponder and apply to your own journey of elevated emotional intelligence and mental resilience - aka how to channel MFing peace in the midst of the storm.


Enough word salad - let's get into it.

Becoming Unf*ckwithable: Personal Agency

Agency is the sense of control that you feel in your life, your capacity to influence your own thoughts and behavior, and have faith in your ability to handle a wide range of tasks, situations, and obstacles. Your sense of agency helps you to be psychologically stable, yet flexible in the face of difficult situations, a.k.a. unf*ckwithable.

People who exercise personal agency believe that life happens through them, not to them. Another concept similar to personal agency is self-efficacy - your belief in your ability to succeed in a given situation.

I learned a lot about personal agency from Albert Bandura, a Canadian-American psychologist who was a professor of social science in psychology at Stanford University.

He breaks personal agency down into four functions:

Self Reflection

Sometimes when we are struggling we can’t see the forest because we are in the trees. We are so caught up in the narrative that we are writing about our struggle that we can't see the opportunities. That is where the first element of agency, self reflection, comes in handy.

Self reflection allows you to think about and evaluate your motives, your values, and your life goals. Self-reflection entails stepping back from difficult situations and obstacles and looking at them from a macro level. Self-reflection allows you to step away from intrusive negative thoughts and emotions (that are usually based in fear) about an obstacle. You can pause, breathe, let the emotions come and go, and then evaluate the situation like an objective scientist.

Before you do this you want to be calm and in your logical brain. Don’t evaluate your situation from an angry, scared, grief stricken, frustrated, reactive, judgmental state of mind – you really don’t want ANYTHING that you mentally create from that mindset. If you try to reflect and find yourself still too emotional, try describing yourself and the situation in third person, like you are talking about somebody else. If that doesn't work don't go it alone - get assistance from a therapist.


Intentionality is a willingness to make a proactive commitment to take action in whatever situation you find yourself in. You do not let others around you force your actions or dictate how you feel, you choose to act and take control of your life. This is a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute commitment to yourself and your life. You are the one in charge of your life and how you approach any challenges that arise, and it starts with a commitment to yourself to control the things you can.


Forethought helps with anticipation of future negative events. It provide hindsight in advance - you anticipate what may arise ahead of time so when it shows up, you have a back up plan. Some people call this defensive pessimism.

I used this on my kids. I would anticipate how they would act during certain situations and headed inter-relational problems off at the pass.

For example - if I corrected one of my kids, they would often go and project their frustration on a younger sibling. By using forethought, I was able to communicate to my kids ahead of time to not do that (and what is actually happening when they do) and guess what? It WORKED. My kids became more mindful of what they were thinking, feeling, and doing in the moment and chose differently. I've also used this to be strategic with potential adverse events with clients, coworkers, the IRS, etc. ;-)

The best way to use this is ask yourself "What will I do/how will I think and feel if ________ happens?" For others it is 'What will they think/feel/act if ______ happens?"


When it comes to difficult situations, you have the ability to act on your plans and monitor your progress, and make course corrections. Self-reactiveness means that once you have intention and a plan, you do not sit back and wait for the results to appear but you are deliberate in acting towards overcoming obstacles and reaching your goals. Make a plan. Take aligned action every day. Every little step gets you closer to your goal. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You know the drill.

Becoming Unf*ckwithable: Learn to Ask Empowering Questions

The second part of raising your uf*ckwithable quotient (I call it your UQ lol) is to ask the right questions. So many people are confused. When confronted by adversity, they have been conditioned/trained/programmed/whatever you want to call it to ask disempowering questions.

This can include questions like:

Why me?

Why is this happening?

What is wrong with me?

Who is to blame?

These questions are disempowering because they create excuses and blame stories, make you a victim of something else, and take your power and put it somewhere outside yourself.

Pssst that is called having an external locus of control, where life is happening to you, and is the OPPOSITE of personal agency.

The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves. ~Barbara Corcoran

Let’s get this straight once and for all: no matter what your political party, the news media, or your mother tells you, blame stories are no longer serving your highest good. They just serve to keep you angry, disempowered, and stuck (and they do that sooooo well).

In contrast, unf*ckwithable people ask empowering questions that are growth oriented. Instead of asking ‘why me, why is this happening, and who is to blame, they ask:

What good is here that I presently cannot see?

What gift is trying to be birthed into my life right now?

What is trying to emerge?

You know that the question is empowering because the answer gives you new information that you can use to grow yourself into a more resilient human.

These questions can be harddddd to answer, especially if you have been conditioned to view the world with a victim mindset, but if you ponder them and bravely answer them, everything (and I do mean everything) changes.

Listen, I know this current world state is…challenging. But complaining about it or wondering why it is happening to you or obsessively watching the news is a waste of your precious time and energy. Don’t waste time doing that. Instead, use this time to become a better version of yourself.

Here is a a hard question, that if you allow yourself to sit with it can PROFOUNDLY change you:

If this intense cycle that the world is in right now lasted forever, what quality would you need to cultivate in order to have peace of mind?

If you sit with this, feel into it, get an answer and then pursue that quality with your heart, soul, and mind, then when all of this drama is over, that quality will be prominent in your life, and you will have participated in your own unfolding. What greater thing is there than that?

What comes out of your mouth...comes into your life. ~Jen Sincero, author of You Are a Bad Ass

Becoming Unf*ckwithable: Remember You're a Butterfly

butterfly emerging
Does the process know we are trusting it? 😬

We all know that butterflies have undeveloped wings when they emerge from the cocoon. The bug geeks among us also know that if you cut a cocoon to allow a butterfly to emerge more easily, the butterfly dies. The butterfly must struggle to exit the cocoon because the effort forces blood into the wings so they can spread open and fly.

The same goes for us.

So, if you are struggling, remember - you are a butterfly (you are also a mantis) and your wings are getting stronger.

Trust the process. Apply the concepts, and you will fly.

Action Step

Pick one concept that stood out to you in this post. Apply it daily to your life for 15 days. See how your life unfolds differently. If you are serious about becoming unf*ckwithable, you'll find a way. If you're not, you'll find an excuse.

From our slightly scandalous hearts to yours,

Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, CVJ and the Vets Against Insanity Crew 😆

sarah wooten

👇👇👇👇👇 JOIN US IN NASHVEGAS 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

Join us at the third annual Vets Against Insanity CON, where we learn things, laugh a lot, and definitely engage in veterinary-related shenanigans.


bottom of page