I have a major assignment due next week. Because of how I chose to prioritize my time the past few weeks, I am incredibly behind. I am fairly certain that my end product won't be very good, and that most likely I will receive a low grade.
I will confess to feeling some stress over this, but I am actively choosing to shift my thinking. The truth is that one bad grade is not determinative of my future. I can learn from it and move on. Furthermore, regardless of whether I got a stellar or a horrid grade on the assignment, I would still be incompetent as a legal writer. This sort of skill takes practice. I'm sure that the first 10, 50, 100 writing assignments I produce as a lawyer will be far from amazing.
Yet I still recognize a subtle panic that comes over me when I think about this assignment. Perhaps this too is part of learning how to be a lawyer, how to manage this panic. Because in the future, it won't be my grade that is on the line. It will be a parent's right to child custody, it will be an entrepreneur's dreams for her business, it will be a prisoner's plea for exoneration. In the future, clients will say "I don't understand my rights, so I'm putting everything in your hands." This is an awesome responsibility. Learning how to manage my emotions now is a crucial key to serve my clients well.