“The first year that I face the challenges of any new environment has always been a time of fevered insecurity, a reflexive terror that I’ll fall flat on my face,” Sotomayor told PBS’s Gwen Ifill Wednesday, according to a transcript from Federal News Service (a sister company to Lawyers USA).
How did she get over the insecurity? By working hard “with compulsive intensity and single-mindedness until I gradually feel more confident,” she said. And by taking the advice of those who had been there.
“We’re not born anything,” she explained. “We’re not born a lawyer; we’re not born a judge; we’re certainly not born a justice, which is something that Justice John Paul Stevens reminded me during my first year on the bench one day, when I was actually disclosing to him how anxiety-ridden I was about being a justice. And he just touched upon a reality for me. He said, Sonia, none of us is born a justice. We grow into becoming one.”