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Jake is three and he is tired. He wants to be picked up and held. “It’s okay sweetie,” his mom, Kate, sings as she reaches down to pick him up. Midway through the lift Jake writhes, throws his head back, and knees her in the stomach. Kate knows she should not take this breakdown personally, yet sometimes she does. But most days she knows that “mom” gets kicked; it is part of the job. But when Kate takes a kick at work—when her report is criticized in a meeting—she does take it personally.


O'Brien, Timothy. "When Your Job Is Your Identity, Professional Failure Hurts More." Harvard Business Review. June 18, 2019.