For the past five years, I’ve had a weekly checkin with my friend, Kate Wing. It has been one of the most valuable professional practices I’ve ever done. It’s equal parts peer learning and coaching, but it feels like I’m just chatting with my friend regularly (which is exactly what we’re doing)!
Yesterday was one of those days when I just needed to vent. I’ve been frustrated with my perceived lack of impact and my ongoing failures, which have been wearing on me. Kate mostly listened. Later in the evening, she forwarded this Humans of New York Story via Instagram:
I’m very thankful to have friends and colleagues like Kate who share little bits of wisdom like this when I most need them.
I first ran for Congress in 1999, and I got beat. I just got whooped. I had been in the state legislature for a long time, I was in the minority party, I wasn’t getting a lot done, and I was away from my family and putting a lot of strain on Michelle. Then for me to run and lose that bad, I was thinking maybe this isn’t what I was cut out to do. I was forty years old, and I’d invested a lot of time and effort into something that didn’t seem to be working.
But the thing that got me through that moment, and any other time that I’ve felt stuck, is to remind myself that it’s about the work. Because if you’re worrying about yourself — if you’re thinking: “Am I succeeding? Am I in the right position? Am I being appreciated?” — then you’re going to end up feeling frustrated and stuck. But if you can keep it about the work, you’ll always have a path. There’s always something to be done.