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Stuck in Neutral: Racing at Full Speed and Going Nowhere

by Kavita Battula, VPG Contributor

We live in a world where we are constantly looking for ways to get things done faster. Hacks. Multitasking. AI. Don’t get me wrong; I love technology. However, a hack isn’t a help. A shortcut ends up leaving someone short-changed. Multitasking often leads to mistakes.

rusty old car

Having recently returned to working at a law firm, one that is lucky enough to have more than enough work to keep the team busy, I’m trying to ramp up. I’m trying to do what I feel like everyone else has under control. It’s like jumping in the pool thinking you can swim while you are still figuring out how to be in the water without panicking.

We all have moments where we are out of our element. In those times, we often decide to just work harder. I find myself making lots of small errors. It’s humbling. I don’t have an answer for how I’m going to get better faster. In corporate America, there isn’t often the luxury of time. So, even after 20+ years of experience, I’m second-guessing myself and my abilities. Did I make the right choices? What would I have done differently?

Most of the things we fear do not come to fruition. We suffer more in imagination than reality. We wonder “what if....” The reality is that we only know what is here right now. Yet we often lose sight of the present moment.

I remind myself to breathe. To Be Here Now. It’s simple; it’s just not necessarily easy.

After having lived over half my life, I find I’m still figuring it out. I suspect that will be a life-long exercise. What gives me hope, courage, and strength is that I feel we are, collectively, moving to a place, both in our personal and professional lives, where we can talk about the struggles that make us human and help each other through.

So, if you, too, are finding your feet and learning how to navigate, you are not alone. I don’t have brilliant insights on how to get where you want to go other than to slow down, recollect, and start over exactly where you are.

Try to resist the urge to speed up. Lean into the discomfort, feel it, and see what you discover. Don’t let fear prevent you from learning, growing, and loving yourself through it all. Cut yourself some slack. You are where you are because you belong.

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