How do you navigate anxiety about work?
Patience and empathy. This is something I am constantly working on.
When things feel uncertain or overwhelming, I find myself catastrophizing to prepare for the worst. I worry that I am not doing enough, that I’m not good enough, that I’m not growing at the rate I thought I would, and it can become pretty consuming.
The reality is, there is so much that goes on behind closed doors and things that amount to a greater picture beyond work and beyond the day-to-day.
Focusing on the things I can control and letting go of the things I can’t has been my recent mantra. That, and giving myself the space to step away, breathe, and rationalize. We live in times of instant gratification, which I think might lend itself to feeling the need to create immediate solutions. But the reality is, very few of us are saving lives and we can benefit from taking a beat on the things that need it.
What do you want to be doing in five years?
Truthfully, I find it incredibly difficult to set long-term goals for myself. I definitely have pipe dreams beyond the world of design, but I also know that where I am now is not where I thought I would be five years ago—in the best way.
I’m working on the mentality of being better tomorrow than I am today and celebrating the small wins. I’m sure those will amount to a big victory—whatever that may be.
What is the best career advice you’ve received?
Get over yourself.