Episode 4: Comfort Entitlement

The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast with Olivia Vizachero | Comfort Entitlement

The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast with Olivia Vizachero | Comfort EntitlementIn the last episode, we talked a little about discomfort avoidance. Basically, you identify the actions you need to take to create a desired result, but you don’t take the action because it’s uncomfortable. This is such a common problem, so today we’re taking a deeper dive, and looking at one of the biggest drivers of discomfort avoidance: comfort entitlement.

Comfort entitlement is an expectation that you should be able to take a particular action and that it feels comfortable in the process. When it turns out it isn’t comfortable, you make that discomfort a dealbreaker. But the discomfort isn’t negotiable. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it anyway.

Tune in this week to discover what’s going on in your brain when you’re experiencing discomfort, and why we feel entitled to comfort. I’m sharing why our brain thinks discomfort is an existential threat, why it’s not, and how believing it is a threat is keeping you stuck, not safe.

If you enjoyed today’s show, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a rating and review to let me know and help others find The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to follow, rate, and review!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why comfort entitlement is a problem if you’re trying to create new results in your life.
  • How to see where comfort entitlement is preventing you from taking action.
  • Where comfort entitlement comes from and why our brains can’t distinguish between discomfort and danger.
  • 3 things your brain is focused on and why discomfort feels like a threat.
  • Where comfort entitlement has come up in my own business, and how I overcame it.
  • Why avoiding discomfort doesn’t actually keep us safe, despite what our brain believes.
  • 3 questions to ask yourself to see what would be possible for your life if you weren’t entitled to comfort.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast episode four. We’re talking all about comfort entitlement. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach, Olivia Vizachero.

Welcome. How are you doing today? I am recording this episode right before the podcast launches. Literally, it’s the night before the first episodes go live first thing tomorrow morning. I am so excited I can hardly stand it. If you’ve already listened to the first three episodes prior to tuning into this one, first and foremost, I just want to say thank you so much. I hope you loved them. It’s an absolute honor to have the opportunity to speak with you each week through your speakers. I can’t even begin to tell you how humbled and grateful I am that you’ve embarked on this journey with me by choosing to tune in.

All right. Now with all that out of the way, let’s get to today’s topic. It’s a little bit of a natural extension to something I discussed on the last episode. In the last episode, I talked a bit about discomfort avoidance. As a little bit of a refresher, discomfort avoidance is where you identify the action you need to take to produce your desired results, the results you want to create. But then when it comes time to take that action, you don’t take it because it’s uncomfortable.

Instead of moving forward in spite of and despite that discomfort, you will avoid experiencing that discomfort by not taking action at all or doing something else instead that’s more comfortable in the moment. That’s discomfort avoidance. Okay.

Now today I want to talk about a related problem. It’s actually one of the driving forces behind discomfort avoidance. That’s comfort entitlement. What’s that? I’m so glad you asked. Comfort entitlement is an expectation that you have that you should be able to take a particular action and have the experience of taking that action feel comfortable.

The entitlement part comes in when invariably you go to take the action, and it isn’t comfortable. You start to feel that sense of discomfort, and you refuse to take action and move forward because you feel entitled to feeling comfortable while you take that action. You make that discomfort a deal-breaker.

Why is this an issue? First and foremost, it is an issue because it defies the natural human experience. Almost any time you’re learning, doing, or creating something new, whenever you’re changing the status quo or embarking on an intentional action that produces results you want in your life, you’re going to feel some kind of uncomfortable. Some flavor, as I like to call it, some flavor of discomfort.

All right.  Now if you’re feeling entitled to feeling comfortable. So much so that you make experiencing that discomfort a complete non-starter, you’re never going to accomplish anything you want to accomplish.

Now, where does this entitlement come from? There’s a primitive part of your brain that’s actually designed to keep you safe, and it’s always trying to do three things. Seek immediate pleasure, avoid immediate pain, and conserve energy. It perceives any type of discomfort as going against those three goals, those three initiatives, and it perceives it to be a threat.

This primitive part of your brain cannot discern between discomfort and danger. So it sounds the alarms when you start to experience any type of discomfort, and it tells you to abort that action in favor of maintaining the status quo. That’s what it thinks is the safest thing to do.

The problem here is that most of the discomfort we experience when we’re working on accomplishing our goals, when we’re working towards something and taking that intentional action, it’s not an existential threat to our survival, to our safety. So avoiding the discomfort doesn’t keep us safe. It actually keeps us stagnant. Okay.

In addition to this primitive preconditioning that’s always trying to seek immediate pleasure, avoid immediate pain, and conserve energy as a protection mechanism, we also tend to buy into the belief that we should feel comfortable all the time. All right. That if we don’t feel comfortable all the time, something has gone wrong. That there’s a problem, and we need to solve it. The way that we solve this problem is by avoiding the discomfort altogether.

Now, knowing these two things, here’s what you can do. First, when you understand that your brain’s natural instinct is to avoid discomfort in order to keep you safe, you can override this natural response by taking action in spite of and despite the negative feeling you experience.

Second, you can start to actually reconfigure the way that you think about experiencing discomfort in the first place. Instead of thinking that it shouldn’t happen, you can anticipate it and decide it’s not a problem at all. It’s all going exactly as it’s supposed to. It’s just part of the program.

After all, it really isn’t a problem. If you think about it, think back over the course of your life, you’ve survived absolutely every negative emotion you’ve ever experienced. So you can and will survive all of the ones you experience going forward. Experiencing different flavors of discomfort is not an issue. Okay.

Now that you understand what’s driving your comfort entitlement, I want to walk you through several examples of what comfort entitlement looks like. Okay. The reason I want to do this is because I believe that it’s the best way for you to learn and really understand this concept. I’m going to do this all throughout the course of the podcast because we learn when we see how it comes up in our own day-to-day lives.

Hypotheticals and theories are great, but you’ll really start to make meaningful changes in your life when you could identify when you’re indulging in patterns like this. Specifically, in this instance, when you’re indulging in comfort entitlement. When you can spot it in the moment and course-correct, that’s when things are really going to start to shift.

The best way to become skilled at making that identification in the moment is to see a ton of scenarios where this pattern comes up, this habit comes up so you can identify it. You’ll be more familiar with it, and it’s easier to recognize when it happens to you. Okay.

So I’m going to go through a bunch, but let’s start with a super common one. I want to start with saying no. All right. Someone asks you to do something, maybe it’s work-related, maybe it’s not. It could be going on in your personal life. Either you don’t have time to do it, or you simply don’t want to do it. Chances are it could totally be both right? Maybe you don’t have time for it, or you feel like you don’t have time for it, and you don’t want to do it either.

But when you think about saying no or you’re about to say no. Maybe you’ve decided ahead of time, I’m gonna say no, but then it comes time to actually say the words, “No, I’m not going to do that. Or no, that doesn’t work for me.” You start to experience some type of discomfort. It starts to bubble to the surface.

Most oftentimes with saying no, I find that people start to experience guilt or fear. Right? They feel guilty because they think they should say yes, or they feel afraid because they’re worried about what the other person’s going to think, how they’re going to respond, whether or not there’s going to be a negative consequence as a result of them saying no. Okay. Even though they really want to say no, they make that discomfort, that guilt, or that fear a deal-breaker.

Now, consciously or unconsciously, most people think that they should be able to say no and feel comfortable while they do it. They think the guilt or the fear shouldn’t be there. That it should be easy. That it should be comfortable. Because they don’t feel comfortable, they don’t move forward and say no. That’s comfort entitlement.

The next example I want to talk about is sticking to your schedule. I work with so many of my clients on time management. It’s one of the things that I coach on the most. I’ll talk a lot about time management over the course of this podcast. I’ll specifically get into the mindset you need to have when it comes to time management, and the specific strategies that I teach. I’ll dive into great detail about that in future episodes.

Here I just want to talk about the discomfort that comes up when it comes to sticking to your schedule. One of the specific components of time management that I teach is for people to plan their schedules ahead of time, and then go ahead and honor that plan. All right. My clients hate doing this, and I can’t blame them. Years ago when I first started practicing time management, I hated doing this too. It felt super uncomfortable.

Because it felt super uncomfortable, I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t stick to the schedule. I see the exact same resistance coming from my clients. I think this, out of anything that I teach, is the thing that they loathe the most is sticking to their schedule.

Here’s why. It forces them to feel super controlled, bothered, restricted, and oftentimes even bored. They think that it should be comfortable to stick to it. So when those negative feelings start to make an appearance, they abandon that plan, that schedule that they set for themselves because they’re entitled to feeling comfortable. Sticking to the plan isn’t comfortable. So they refuse to stick to it. That’s comfort entitlement too.

Now, another example is posting on social media. This is actually something that I struggled with when I first started my coaching business. I knew I wanted to market myself online, but I could not bring myself to post content on social media.

Here’s why. In order to do it, I had to be willing to feel exposed and embarrassed in front of former colleagues. I was really concerned about what other people would think. I thought that they would think life coaching was really silly or stupid, much different than what I assumed people thought about me practicing law, right. That it was practical and responsible and impressive and prestigious and admirable, all of those things.

So I had a ton of mind drama about putting myself out there on social media, and marketing myself as a coach. Now, in the beginning, I made those negative feelings. That feeling of feeling exposed, that feeling of feeling embarrassed. I made those feelings deal breakers. I was completely entitled to feeling comfortable when it came to posting. And because I wasn’t comfortable posting, I didn’t post. That’s comfort entitlement too.

Another great example here is weight loss. This is an area where I see a ton of comfort entitlement. I’ve actually even had this issue myself. I’m giving you guys, you know, full disclosure of all the things I’ve previously struggled with in this episode that I’ve had to work through where I’ve had comfort entitlement come up for me.

So in the past, I wanted to lose weight, but I wanted to feel super comfortable while doing it. I wanted to eat all the foods that I typically enjoyed eating. I’m a huge foodie. So I wanted to be able to eat all of the delicious meals that I love to indulge in and really enjoy. I was really kind of treating food as entertainment, right?

I didn’t want to plan my meals in advance or stick to a restricted diet that actually supported my weight loss goals. I didn’t want to give up cheeseburgers or Reuben sandwiches or certain desserts, or that extra glass of wine that also probably didn’t support my weight loss goals at the time, right? I didn’t want to do any of that. I wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted and lose weight.

In order to stick to the schedule and plan meals in advance and really constrain what foods I was eating that would support those goals, I would have been forced to feel deprived and honestly probably pretty bored with eating the same thing or eating a limited selection of food choices. So for so long, I didn’t change my eating habits because it wasn’t comfortable for me to change them. I was entitled to feeling comfortable when it came to food. It wasn’t until I dropped my comfort entitlement that I made a change to my diet and began eating in a way that supported my weight loss goals.

I also see comfort entitlement come up a lot when it comes to people applying for new jobs. My clients will come to me, and they’ll want to switch jobs. But when it comes to applying, they only want to have to apply to a few of them. When they start to apply and they don’t get callback interviews, or they get told no and they don’t get that position that they went out for, they have this natural inclination to want to quit applying.

Why? It’s because they’re feeling entitled to feeling comfortable. Continuing to keep applying, despite that rejection that they’ve already faced, would mean that they’d have to keep feeling rejected and discouraged and keep showing up in spite of and despite those feelings. But they think they shouldn’t have to feel those emotions, and as a result of thinking that they shouldn’t have to feel them, they quit. That’s comfort entitlement too.

My last example that I want to talk about is one, it’s probably my favorite one, to be honest. It’s the comfort entitlement that I see when people have a desire to start their own law firm or start their own business that might be outside the practice of law. I see so much comfort entitlement here. People think that they should be able to start their own business, and that they shouldn’t have to feel uncertain or nervous or misunderstood as they do it. They want that experience to be comfortable.

But when you’re doing something new, you’re not going to have everything figured out. You’re not going to know all of the answers in advance. You’re not going to have that crystal ball that’s going to tell you exactly how it’s going to go. So you’re gonna have to feel uncertain. You’re probably going to have to feel nervous, like, “Oh, what if it doesn’t work out? What if it takes longer than I’m expecting, right?” Those nerves are going to be there.

A ton of people want other people in their lives to support their decision to make a big shift. I know that’s something I had to work through. Really allowing myself to feel misunderstood when I made the shift to start my own business because other people are concerned, and they might be not as risk-tolerant as you. Or they might think that you’re pursuing a route that isn’t as safe or secure as maybe what they think you should do or what’s right for you. So you’re going to have to feel uncertain. You’re going to have to feel nervous. You’re going to have to feel misunderstood by those people that are in your lives.

When it’s not comfortable, when those feelings come up, people make them a deal-breaker. They refuse to move forward. They just spin. They indulge in an action. They quit before they ever get started all because they’re entitled to that process feeling comfortable.

Listen, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to feel negative emotions, right? It’d be all rainbows, daisies, and sunshine every day. We’d get to take action and feel totally comfortable while we do it. But unfortunately, and I am fine really emphasizing the unfortunately here, you guys. I would love to be able to do all the new things and take all of this action to produce the desired results in my own life and get to feel comfortable while I do it. All right. But unfortunately, that’s just not the way the world that we live in works. We’re going to have to take action and feel uncomfortable while we take it.

Now, there’s one caveat here that I do want to emphasize. Can you just adjust your thinking and reduce the discomfort that you experience? Yes, 1,000%. Absolutely. Your thoughts cause your feelings. I’m going to dive into that in a lot more detail in future episodes to really explain how that causal connection works.

But since your thoughts cause your feelings, if you want to feel differently and you want to drastically dial down the discomfort that you experience, all you need to do is change your thoughts. That discomforts coming up because you’re thinking negative thoughts about taking that action that you intend to take. All right.

But here’s the thing. What I found with my clients, and also I found this to be true with myself, is that no matter how much you practice believing new thoughts, positive thoughts that really fuel you to move forward, some of the discomfort caused by those original negative thoughts, that negative line of thinking, it’s going to continue to linger. All right. Because part of you is just still going to hold a little bit of belief in that previous negative thinking.

If you’re entitled to feeling comfortable, you’re going to make that lingering discomfort a deal breaker. Whether you do that, though, is totally optional. It’s completely up to you. You can choose to continue to be entitled to feeling comfortable, or you can choose to drop your entitlement to comfort at any time. Totally up to you.

Now, why is it so important for you to drop your entitlement to comfort? Here’s the thing. As long as you hold on to it, you’re never going to create the life you want to live. A life you’re obsessed with. After all, one of the things you hear me say time and time again. If there’s no feeling you’re unwilling to feel, there’s absolutely no results you cannot create, okay?

But in order to create a life you’re obsessed with, you’re gonna have to gag and go through that discomfort. That discomfort is just going to come with the program. It comes with the territory. You’re going to have to feel it and take action in spite of and despite it.

Now with this in mind, if you’re hearing me explain all of this and you’re realizing that you’ve come down with a case of comfort entitlement and have been avoiding taking the actions that you need to take in order to produce the results you want in your life because you’re feeling entitled to feel uncomfortable while you take those actions. I want you to ask yourself these questions, and really let these questions marinate the rest of the week, okay? Let them sink in, really mull them over, give them some deep thought.

Here they are. There’s three of them. They kind of all go together. Who would you get to be? What would you get to create? What kind of life would you be able to build for yourself if you weren’t entitled to feeling comfortable? I really want to urge you here to come up with as specific and detailed answers as you possibly can. Really give those three questions some deep thought. Who would you get to be? What would you get to create? And what kind of life would you be able to build if you weren’t entitled to feeling comfortable? Okay.

Let me say this. I don’t want to manipulate your answers or kind of do a spoiler alert here. I really want you to come up with your own original responses to those questions. But I will say this. Chances are if you dropped your entitlement to feeling comfortable while you take intentional action, everything about your life would likely be different.

More specifically, everything about your life would likely be better than it is right now. Okay, let that sink in. Again, go through those three questions. Really mull them over. Let them marinate and be detailed and specific with your responses to them. Okay.

Then lastly, I want to let you in on a little secret. I really think that this is so important to remember. The truth of the matter is there’s always discomfort both ways. That primitive part of our brain really loves to play tricks on us here. It’s only focused on avoiding the most immediate discomfort when you’re entitled to feeling comfortable.

So it’s identifying the most immediate uncomfortable feeling in that moment. It’s telling you that you need to avoid it, abort the mission, stop taking action, all right. It’s not thinking further down the road and being logical and comparing these two different kinds of discomfort. All right? But the truth of the matter is that there’s always discomfort both ways in taking the intentional action and in not taking it. All right.

I’m going to go and walk through those examples that I gave you earlier and show you how this is true. When it comes to saying no, there’s the guilt and worry that comes from saying no, or there’s the resentment and overwhelm that comes from saying yes, right. When it comes to sticking to your schedule, there’s feelings like restricted and bothered and constrained and maybe bored that come from sticking to it. But then there’s anxious, behind, and overwhelmed that come when you don’t. So there’s discomfort both ways there too.

When it comes to posting on social media. If you are going to post like me, you might be forced to feel exposed and embarrassed. That’s what comes up when you put yourself out there publicly in front of other people for them to have opinions about whatever it is that you’re doing. So that’s the discomfort that comes from taking action.

But on the flip side, when you avoid feeling exposed and embarrassed, there’s also discomfort there too. You’ll probably have to feel disappointed or frustrated or maybe stuck that you’re not developing the business that you want to be developing. You’re not building a book. You’re not creating leverage for yourself in the future of your legal career, right. Discomfort both ways.

When it comes to weight loss, there’s feelings like deprived and bored that come from sticking to that meal plan and eating only certain foods that really support those goals that you have. Or on the flip side, you can eat whatever you want, but there’s discomfort associated with that too. You might have to feel dissatisfied or insecure with how you look when you don’t feel comfortable in your body. Right, discomfort both ways.

When it comes to applying for jobs. Yeah, you might have to feel rejected and discouraged if you don’t get that callback or you get told no. They don’t consider you for the position. They give it to someone else. But if you don’t continue to apply for jobs and you stay in your current position that you really can’t stand, you probably are going to have to feel uninspired, stuck, and maybe even hopeless, right? Discomfort both ways.

When it comes to starting your own firm, yeah. There’s going to be that uncertainty, that feeling of nervousness. Maybe some fear or worry about the future. What’s going to happen? That’s going to come up. It’s just part of the program. We like to tell ourselves that that’s the only type of discomfort, but that’s not true.

If you keep doing something that you don’t want to be doing instead, maybe you continue to stay working for other people. You might have to feel dejected, dispassionate, may be undervalued. So if you’re going to be a truth-teller, you want to make sure you’re telling yourself that there’s discomfort both ways there as well.

Now, if the truth of the matter is there’s always going to be discomfort both ways. The question I really want you to give some thought to is why not choose to experience the type of discomfort that also comes with your desired results?

If on one hand you’ve got taking action while feeling uncomfortable, and at the finish line of taking that intentional action, you get the results you want. That’s on one side. The other type of discomfort is the discomfort that comes from maintaining the status quo and not making a change where you don’t get the results you want. If there’s discomfort both ways, why wouldn’t you choose to experience the type of discomfort that produces the results you want?

I really want you to think about that as you contemplate whether you’re willing to give up your entitlement to comfort. I promise you if you do, the results will be more than worth it. Okay. All right. That’s our show. I hope you have a beautiful week. I’ll talk to you in the next episode.

Oh, and one more thing. If you enjoyed today’s show and don’t want to worry about missing an episode, be sure to follow the show wherever you listen to podcasts. If you haven’t already, I’d really appreciate it if you would leave a rating and review to let me know what you think about The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. It doesn’t have to be a five star review. Although I really hope you love the show. I really want your honest feedback so I can create an amazing podcast that provides you with a ton of value. Visit thelesstressedlawyer.com/podcastlaunch for step by step instructions on how to follow, rate, and review the podcast. I’ll talk to you guys soon.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit thelesstressedlawyer.com.

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Episode 3: Creating a Life You’re Obsessed With: Taking Action

The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast with Olivia Vizachero | Creating a Life You’re Obsessed With: Taking Action

In the last episode, I gave you the steps for figuring out exactly what you want for your life, and how to create a roadmap for reverse-engineering your results. Now, all that’s left to do is to start taking action towards these goals. However, I’m sure you realize by now, that’s easier said than done.

When you find yourself not taking action when, intellectually, you know what you need to do but you just can’t seem to get out of your own way, there’s only ever two things in your way: a negative thought, or a negative feeling you’re avoiding. This is keeping you stuck, but I’m here to get you moving in the right direction.

Tune in this week to discover how to start taking action toward creating a life you’re obsessed with. I’m sharing the next three steps in the process, so you can create more positive thought and emotion where possible, and I’m showing you how to cultivate the ability to take action regardless of the discomfort involved when these feelings persist.

If you enjoyed today’s show, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a rating and review to let me know and help others find The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to follow, rate, and review!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How the only thing stopping you from taking action is a negative thought or an uncomfortable feeling.
  • Why waiting for discomfort and fear to pass over will never allow you to move forward.
  • 3 questions to ask yourself to help identify your problem thoughts and limiting beliefs.
  • Why negative emotions aren’t anything to be afraid of, and where to find evidence that this is true.
  • How to start bridging the gap toward more positive thoughts that can guide you in creating a life you’re obsessed with.
  • Why you can’t swap your negative thoughts and emotions for positive ones overnight.
  • How to take action in spite of challenging thoughts and emotions.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

ou’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast episode three. We’re diving into the next three steps to creating a life you’re obsessed with. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer. The only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Hello, hello, hello. I am tempted to say good evening right now because I’m recording this episode in the evening. When I was in law school, I had this Torts  professor, and I haven’t mentioned it yet. I was an evening student in law school. I went to school at night. So, all of my classes were at night. And my professor, my Torts professor, used to start every single lecture with the phrase good evening. Usually, he would give us a double good evening.

So, he would say good evening, good evening, and then kick off into his lecture. I highly doubt he’s listening right now, but if he is Professor Long, hello to you. I don’t know if you guys have a professor that stands out to you more than others, but he was definitely one of them for me. He was the best at the Socratic method ahead of my first semester.

Anyway, good evening if that’s when you’re tuning into this episode. If it’s not good, insert whatever part of the day it happens to be where you are while you’re listening. Alright. And speaking of evenings and location, actually, I’m in Detroit. It’s finally the part of the year where you start to notice that the sunset is happening later and later in the evening and that winter is almost over.

And my friends, all I can say is good riddance. I am ready for it to be warm again. If you’re lucky and it’s warm wherever you’re listening from, I am envious, and I can’t wait for that warm weather to come to Detroit. Anyway, enough about evenings, law professors, and the weather. Let’s dive into today’s topic. In episode one, I gave you the foundation that you need to create a life you’re obsessed with.

I taught you to identify and own the choices you’ve previously made and are currently making that have created your current results. I talked about how to find your reasons for making those choices and decide whether or not you like them. If you don’t like those reasons if you don’t like your choices. If you don’t like the results you currently have, I gave you the first three steps to making the necessary changes to create a life you’re obsessed with.

I gave those to you in episode two. Specifically, I taught you to figure out what exactly you want. I went through figuring out why you want those things, and then I taught you how to reverse engineer those results. Alright. Once those results are reverse engineered, and you have that roadmap for how to create them, all that’s left to do is start taking action, but as you may find or maybe you’ve already found to be true, that tends to be easier said than done.

So, that’s going to be the focus of this episode. When you find yourself not taking action when intellectually you know what you need to do, but you just can’t seem to bring yourself to do it, that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. I’m going to teach you the last three things you need to do in order to overcome those obstacles. In order to get out of your own way so you can go on to create the life, you’re obsessed with.

Before I dive in and specifically discuss each of those last three steps, I need to explain something to you. As a rule of thumb, here’s what I need you to know the only two problems that are ever preventing you from creating those desired results are number one, a negative thought you’re currently thinking, or number two a negative feeling you’re unwilling to feel, and I’m going to give you a couple examples of this to further evidence this point, okay?

First one, let’s say you want to quit your job and start your own law firm? You figured out what you wanted. That’s step one. You’ve gone through it and identified your reasons. You’ve figured out your why, and you’ve decided that you know those reasons and you like them. And you’ve gone through, and you’ve reverse engineered that result by identifying all the things you need to do in order to create it.

You’ve created that roadmap to those desired results, but now you find that you’re not taking action. Okay? It’s either because of a thought you were thinking or because of a feeling that you’re unwilling to feel. You might be thinking something along the lines of I might not be able to do it on my own. When you’re thinking that way, you’re going to feel extremely uncertain, maybe worried too. When you feel uncertain and worried, your natural reaction is going to be to shut down, kind of abort the mission, to not take action, maybe to spin in decision and freeze, or you’re going to go and distract yourself with something else. Do something else in the interim.

More than anything, most likely, what you don’t do is move forward in spite of and despite that uncertainty. Despite and in spite of that worry, right? You don’t move forward. And that’s a problem, right? Because if you don’t move forward, you’ll never create that desired result. You’ll never start your own firm. You’ll never leave that job.

So, what’s the solution here? It’s one of two things or a combination of both of them. You’ve got to either change your thinking so you can reduce that negative emotion, you can eliminate that uncertainty or reduce that uncertainty, eliminate that worry or reduce that worry, and what this looks like would be perhaps instead of thinking that you might not be able to do it on your own, you choose to think the thought no matter what comes my way I’ll be able to figure it out.

And if you were thinking that way, you’re going to feel really determined. You’re going to feel really motivated. You’re going to feel really confident in your own abilities in your own resourcefulness. That’s going to put you in such a different mindset and drive you to take much different action than that uncertainty and that worry. Okay? Or what you need to do, and like I said, this is either an or, or an and, you either need to do this instead of changing your thought or in conjunction with changing your thought.

You need to allow yourself to feel uncertain and worried and move forward regardless, in spite of and despite that discomfort. I’ll give you one more example here. Perhaps, you want to take time off of work, and that would help you create the desired result of having more time for yourself, more time for travel, more time for family and friends, more time for hobbies, maybe you want to volunteer? Right? Whatever it is.

Even though you have the desire to take time off, your default way of thinking is, I shouldn’t take time off with everything I have on my plate. When you’re thinking that way, you feel super guilty, right? So many of my clients struggle with feeling guilty very often, and when you start to feel guilty, you run for the hills, right? You abort.

Again, you don’t take the time off. You don’t follow through with that roadmap to those desired results. You do what you’ve always done. You just work more. So, what’s the solution here? Well, you’ve either got to change the thought to reduce or eliminate the guilt. Perhaps, instead of thinking that you shouldn’t take time off, instead, you think, you know it’s okay for me to take time off. There’s always going to be more work for me to do, so now is as good of a time as any.

Instead of then feeling guilty, you’re going to start to feel maybe compassionate with yourself? Maybe loving toward yourself? Maybe understanding and that compassion, self-love, and understanding will drive you to take that time off, right? You’ve dialed down the guilt then, but maybe some of that should thinking is still lying under the surface. You can’t quite get rid of it completely.

So, what you’re also going to need to do is allow yourself to feel a little guilty and take the time off anyway, in spite of and despite the guilt. Those are two examples, and I wanted to give those to you so you can start to see this pattern. There are only ever two obstacles to creating a life you’re obsessed with, negative thoughts you’re thinking and negative feelings that you’re unwilling to feel.

That takes me to the next three steps of creating that life. When you find yourself not producing your desired results, not taking action, not following that road map, here’s what I want you to do. First things first, you’ve got to find your problem thoughts, and we’re going to go about this finding them in a few different ways. First, you want to identify your limiting beliefs. I want you to return to the eight sections of the life wheel that we discussed in episodes one and two, alright?

Those eight sections; are career, finances, health, friends and family, romance, personal growth, fun and recreation, and physical environment, right? You went through and identified what would make each of those sections a 10 on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest. Now you’ve gone through and created that reverse engineered road map that you would need to follow to create those 10s in each of those categories, right? You’ve gone and done that.

So, now I want you to identify your limiting beliefs about those results in each of those categories, and we start by asking yourself one simple question. Do you believe these results are possible? And I want you to just for a second separate yourself from the equation, alright. Do you think anyone can create these results, not you specifically, but just anyone in the world? If you think it isn’t possible to achieve these results, I hate to break it to you, but you will not take action to create them. That lack of belief is going to impact how you proceed. There’s no way around that, alright?

So, that’s going to be a problem thought that shuts you down before you ever get started if you believe that it’s not possible. And I’m going to teach you in an upcoming episode how to go from believing something is impossible to believing it’s inevitable. I’m going to walk you through how to build belief, but for now, we just want to become aware as to whether or not you think your desired results are possible. Whether they’re obtainable or they’re not, and if you think they aren’t, here’s what’s going to happen, you’re going to feel really defeated and discouraged. You’re going to give up before you ever get going.

So, if you think it’s impossible for your desired results to be created if you think they’re unattainable, I want you to write down why you think that’s true, start to make a list. Okay? Now, if you think it’s possible, I just want you to put a pin in that for a second. We want to turn the focus on to you specifically and identify any limiting beliefs you have about yourself and your ability to create these results.

So, ask yourself, do you think you’re capable of creating these results? If the answer is no, I want you to examine why not? Write down all of those reasons. Maybe you think you’re not smart enough to do something, and if that’s the case, you’re not going to pursue it. If you’re feeling inadequate, you won’t take action when you’re feeling that way.

So, just like with the last question, I want you to write down all of the limiting beliefs you might have about your own ability to create these desired results, to create 10s in each of these categories, okay? Write that down, and then set that list aside for a second, and we’re going to ask one more question. We will do one more inquiry.

Last, but not least, I want you to identify any other negative thoughts that you have about pursuing these goals and working toward these results, write them all down. They might look something like this is going to be so hard, or it’s going to take me way too much time. If you’re thinking those thoughts, you’re going to feel exhausted ahead of time and you’re going to feel really overwhelmed. When you’re feeling exhausted and overwhelmed again, you’re not going to take action. You’re going to shut yourself down before you ever get started.

So, you want to find all of these problem thoughts, right the limiting beliefs about what is possible, generally about what is possible for you and what you’re capable of, and any other negative thoughts that come up for you when you think about pursuing these goals and you want to identify them and you want to write them all down. All of those thoughts are the thoughts that are going to get in your way and keep you stuck.

They’re going to prevent you from creating that life you’re obsessed with, okay. Now, next to each of those thoughts, you’ve got a really long comprehensive list now. I want you to identify the one-word emotion you feel when you think each thought, okay? Our thoughts cause our feelings, and we’ll talk about this at nausea throughout the podcast, I promise you. I just want you for this exercise to go through and identify the one-word emotion you feel when you think each one of these negative thoughts.

And remember, if you’re thinking a negative thought, you’re going to feel a negative feeling. So, these feelings that you start to write down are going to be negative emotions. So, again just next to each thought, write down the negative emotion that comes up for you when you think about each one. Now, for this step which we’re still on, step four you’re going to go through and ask yourself for each one of these thoughts, these negative thoughts, what’s one positive thought I could choose to think instead? Alright?

Make that list, swap them out. Use those thoughts to fuel you. Use them to drive you to take action. If you think you can’t do it, you need to believe that you can. If you’re thinking that it’s going to be hard, you can think that you can figure it out instead. If you think it’s going to take too much time, you can choose to think I might as well get started now, and eventually I’ll get there, right?

If you think you’re not smart enough, you can choose to think that you will learn. If you think that you’re incapable, right? What do you need to think instead of that? You want to swap those thoughts out, and here’s why. If you’re thinking a positive thought, you’re going to feel a positive feeling. Then from there, you’ll start taking positive actions, and you’ll go on to produce positive results. So, I want you to come up with those positive thoughts and feelings and use them to motivate you into moving forward, alright?

So, give yourself some time to do that exercise, you can either pick one of the eight categories on the life wheel and walk all the way through it, or you can go through all eight, totally up to you. Now, an important caveat here, this work is twofold. Yes, changing your thinking is absolutely a game-changer when it comes to creating a life you’re obsessed with, 1000%. Okay?

But, that’s only half the equation because chances are even when you swap out some of those limiting beliefs and other negative thoughts with positive thoughts that will fuel you to take action, you’re still a human, and some of that negative thinking is going to linger, right? You’re not going to change it and swap it out overnight. Some of it’s going to remain.

So, it’s going to be hard for you to shake that, and if those thoughts linger, so will the negative emotions that you’ve experienced when you think them, the negative emotions that correspond to negative thoughts, and those negative emotions they’re a huge obstacle in your way to creating your desired results. Why? Because you avoid them like the plague, right? You don’t take action when you feel them, and the reason you don’t take action is, so you don’t have to feel them.

So, you get to avoid them, right? Now, that’s totally normal. That’s 1000% natural, but that natural reaction isn’t going to get you where you want to go, which brings me to step five. For step five of creating a life you’re obsessed with, you’ve got to identify the particular kind of discomfort you’re currently avoiding. Instead of avoiding it, you’ve got to allow it to be there. You’ve got to take action in spite of, and despite it, or as I the catchphrase that I use with my clients, you’ve got to gag and go through the discomfort. That’s what I always tell them.

As humans, we basically do backhand springs to avoid feeling uncomfortable, right? It’s actually an extinctual survival mechanism that’s hardwired into us. When you’re making changes or even thinking about making changes to create a life, you’re obsessed with your brain registers that change and perceives it as a threat. It perceives it as a danger because you’re changing or thinking about changing the status quo, and it knows the status quo to be safe.

Anything else isn’t; anything else that’s not the status quo is not safe. It’s just like the old adage the devil you know is the better than the devil you don’t, right? That’s your brain’s default way of thinking. Here’s the thing, though, the discomfort you’re avoiding it can’t actually hurt you. Sure, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s not a real threat. You’re not going to die if you experience a negative emotion, right?

You’ve survived. Think back throughout the course of your life. You’ve survived every negative emotion you’ve ever felt. You’ve survived every time you felt guilty, embarrassed, scared, worried, anxious, overwhelmed, confused, uncertain, inadequate, discouraged, disappointed, defeated, frustrated, annoyed, sad, regretful, doubtful, all of them, right? You’ve survived every single one of those every single time you’ve ever experienced them. Here’s the thing that past history goes to show those feelings can’t actually hurt you.

You’ll survive them, I promise. I like to tell my clients, yeah, it’s uncomfortable. You can do discomfort, so instead of avoiding them with inaction, here’s what you can choose to do. You can choose to feel them on purpose and take action in spite of and despite them. Will it be uncomfortable? Sure. You’ll probably want to vomit right, but that’s okay. Just gag and go through the discomfort. You’ll be just fine.

So, what does this look like if you’re feeling confused? Work through the confusion instead of giving up. If you’re feeling discouraged, press on despite feeling discouraged and take action anyway. If you’re feeling unsure of yourself, keep moving forward, right? If you’re feeling nervous about what the outcome will be, or maybe you feel scared, let the fear be there and keep going. It is okay to let it drive around in the passenger seat of the car next to you. You don’t have to let your discomfort drive that car.

You don’t have to let that discomfort determine where you end up, which is what most of us are doing when we operate on default. You can strap it into the passenger seat and go about your business, driving intentionally toward your desired results. Right, toward that life you’re obsessed with. It’s fine if that discomfort has to come along for the ride in the perfect world. It wouldn’t be there, but that’s just not the human experience you guys.

So, the discomfort is going to come along. We’re going to strap it in the passenger seat. Tell it to buckle up, and we’re going to go intentionally about creating our desired results. We’re going to drive to that desired destination. Okay?

Now, once you’ve done steps four and five, you’ve identified the problem thoughts. You’ve swapped them out with positive thoughts that are going to fuel you to take action. Then, for step five, you’ve identified those negative emotions that are getting in your way, and you decided to take intentional action that you identified in your reverse-engineered results road map.

You’re going to take intentional action in spite of and despite that discomfort. You might think you’re off to the races, okay? But there’s one more step left, so after you’ve gone through. You’ve taken the actions that you identified in step three, which I talked about in the last episode. You want to make sure you do this final crucial step. It’s what will ensure your success. It’s what will make that success inevitable, and that final step it’s to evaluate.

You’ve got to evaluate what you’ve been doing, and this is a really simple process. It’s not cumbersome. It’s not overwhelming. It’s really straightforward and simple. All you have to do is ask yourself three questions and answer them. What worked, what didn’t work, and what would you do differently? Now, we start with what works because our brain tends to default to the negative automatically.

So, we always want to start with what worked. We want to be truth-tellers and not just focus on what didn’t. So, we want to get equal airtime for both. We start with what works because that sets us up with a positive mindset before we move to what didn’t work, alright.

Now, when we move on to what didn’t work, we’re going to do a couple of things here. First and foremost, we’re going to operate from curiosity, not from judgment. If you’re judging yourself, you’re going to shut yourself down. You’re going to miss so much of this really beneficial intel you get when you operate from pure curiosity.

So, we’re not going to judge ourselves. We’re not going to beat ourselves up. We’re just going to get really curious about what didn’t work. Okay? Now, you’re going to look at your actions first. Identify all of the actions you took, which ones didn’t work, what tweaks might you want to make. Test your hypothesis here. Right?

I also want you to look at your thoughts. What thoughts were you thinking while you were taking the actions that didn’t work? How were you feeling when you were taking the action? If you’re thinking negative thoughts and feeling negative feelings and taking action, it’s going to impact the action you take. It’s going to taint it. Think of it like bad perfume or cologne. That negativity will infect what you’re doing, and it will impact how you’re showing up.

So, we want to find that too. We want to identify those problem thoughts and feelings and note them. We also want to note maybe there were some extra emotions that you didn’t identify in step five that you avoided instead of allowed. So, you want to make a note of that too. You’re going to put all of that under the what didn’t work section, alright?

So, identify all the actions that didn’t work, all the problem thoughts that didn’t work that weren’t serving you, and any feelings that you are unwilling to feel that you resisted and avoided instead of allowed. Then, from there, you’re going to move to the third part of the evaluation process. You’re going to figure out what you’ll do differently moving forward in order to fix what didn’t work, alright? And you want to be really specific here. The more specific, the better because again, just like in step three, you’re going to create a road map to move forward, right.

Follow the yellow brick road, so to speak. Then, what do you do from there after you’ve gone through what worked, what didn’t work, and what will you do differently? You just repeat that process by taking more action. Alright, act, audit, adapt, act, audit, adapt, you take action, you audit the action that you took by evaluating that three-step process I just taught you. Then you adapt, and once you’ve adapted through figuring out what you’d do differently, you go back to taking more action. Act, audit, adapt, alright?

So, those are the six steps. So, you have them all comprehensively here; the six steps you need to create a life you’re obsessed with are number one figure out what it is you want. Number two, figure out why you want it, know and like those reasons. Number three, reverse engineer your desired results and start taking action. And if you don’t start taking action, you want to turn to steps four, five, and six, okay?

Now, before jumping to steps four, five, and six, you want to remember there are only ever two problems, a thought you’re thinking or feelings you’re unwilling to feel. So, step four, you start by identifying your problem thoughts and replace those thoughts with thoughts that serve you. Then, if some of those negative feelings caused by those problem thoughts are still lingering, identify the specific flavors of discomfort, those specific feelings, and step five take intentional action in spite of and despite them, AKA gag and go.

And finally, evaluate what worked, what didn’t work, and what you’ll do differently moving forward, okay? Those are the six steps now you’ve got everything you need to go out into the world and create a life you’re obsessed with. Alright, have a marvelous week, my friends. I’ll talk to you in the next episode.

Oh, one more thing, if you enjoyed today’s show and don’t want to worry about missing an episode, be sure to follow the show wherever you listen to podcasts. If you haven’t already, I’d really appreciate it if you’d leave a rating and review to let me know what you think about The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast.

It doesn’t have to be a five-star review. Although, I really hope you love the show. I really want your honest feedback, so I can create an amazing podcast that provides you with a ton of value. Visit thelessstressedlawyer.com/podcastlaunch for step-by-step instructions on how to follow, rate, and review the podcast. I’ll talk to you guys soon.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes or resources from today’s episode, visit thelessstressedlawyer.com.

 

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Episode 2: Creating a Life You’re Obsessed With: Making the Plan

The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast with Olivia Vizachero | Creating a Life You’re Obsessed With: Making the Plan

In the last episode, we talked all about why life is choices and how to bring awareness to the choices you’ve made, how they’ve created your life, and what you are ready to change. Well, in this episode, we’re taking it a step further and discussing how to take that foundation and use it to create a life you’re actually obsessed with.

Once you know what you don’t want, you have to decide what exactly it is you want for your future. Knowing what you want is truly the only way to start creating a life you love, so I’m taking the Life Wheel exercise we did in the last episode, and helping you figure out what would make each area of your life a 10/10, so you have something to work towards.

Tune in to this episode to discover the first three steps to creating a life you’re obsessed with. I’m sharing how to push past the uncertainty, confusion, and fear of deciding what would make you fall in love with your life, so you can start operating and reverse-engineering from a place of desire.

If you enjoyed today’s show, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a rating and review to let me know and help others find The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to follow, rate, and review!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why not knowing exactly what you want only leads to unhappiness and discontent.
  • How to start figuring out what you truly want for your life in the future.
  • Where our brains try to protect us by trying to maintain the status quo.
  • 4 simple questions you can ask yourself to start moving out of the headspace of, “I don’t know…”
  • Why so many people who do know what they want don’t allow themselves to speak it.
  • The difference between operating from external pressure versus internal desire.
  • How to decide what you want and begin the work of reverse-engineering your desired results.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, episode two. In this episode, I’m going to teach you the first three steps to creating a life you’re obsessed with. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer. The only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Hello, hello, hello. How are you? I am simply marvelous, and I hope you’re marvelous too. I’ve actually been saying that all week. I just got back home after attending ABA Tech Show in Chicago, which is a legal convention put on by the American Barr Association all for legal tech companies and lawyers who are into legal tech, looking for ways to simplify their practices. You guys, I had so much fun there meeting other people in that industry and different legal adjacent industries.

Just really so much fun, and I got to meet so many people who I’ve met over the past couple of years – who I’ve met virtually – I got to meet them in person, which was so amazing to get to see them face to face for the first time. I even got to meet two of my clients in person for the first time. I see them on Zoom because that’s the medium that I use to coach, but it was so amazing to see them in person, just absolutely marvelous.

So, I’ve been taking that marvelous theme with me into my week. So, I hope you all are marvelous, too. You know what else is marvelous? Today’s topic, last episode I talked all about how life is choices, and the reason it’s so important to start there and I explained this, why I started with that topic for episode one is that it brings so much awareness, and that awareness is really the precursor the foundation upon which we build a really intentional life. It’s the prep work for creating a life you’re obsessed with.

Now that you’ve done that prep work. You’ve created that foundation because you’ve gone through and identified the choices you’re making or have made in the past that have created your current results. You’ve decided you like those choices. You’ve understood your reasons why you made them, why you’re still making them, and you asked yourself do I like my reasons why. If you have decided that you don’t, and you know that you’re ready to make a change in your life to create that life you’re obsessed with, that’s what I’m going to teach you today.

We’re going to cover the first three steps to creating that life, okay? Alright, let’s dive in. The first step to creating a life you’re obsessed with is figuring out what you want. If you don’t identify the results you want to create, you won’t know how to create them. I want to teach you toward the end of this episode how to go about reverse engineering your desired results.

We’ve got to start with figuring out what you want because if you don’t figure that out first, if you don’t identify it very specifically, you’re going to find yourself pretty underwhelmed and dissatisfied or discontent throughout the course of your life. And this is why, when we don’t define where we want to go very explicitly, very specifically, our brain loves to do this adorable thing where it looks around and says, you know, I’m not sure what enough is, but it’s sure not this.

Then, you keep chasing the horizon, not quite sure what it is that you’re chasing, okay? And even if you’re pursuing what you want, when you fail to define it, you make it impossible to recognize it if and when you get there. So, you might have what you actually want. Still, if you haven’t decided ahead of time in a really explicit and specific way, you won’t be able to be satisfied with having what you want because you haven’t specified that it is, in fact, what you want.

So, that’s a long-winded way of saying we have to start figuring out what it is that you want to start creating a life that you’re obsessed with. Now, I want to give you a quick refresher. In the last episode, I introduced you to a tool that I use with my clients. It’s called the life wheel, and if you go back to episode one in the show notes there, you can get a link to the life wheel worksheet. You can use that, download it, fill it out and go through the exercise in episode one to again lay that foundation.

To give you a refresher, the life wheel is made up of eight separate categories, kind of like a pie. The eight categories are your career, finances, health, friends, and family, that’s one category, romance, personal growth, fun, and recreation, again, that’s one category, and then the eighth category is your physical environment, which just means the area in which you spend your time. Your office, your home, your car, where you live, that type of environment. Okay?

In episode one, you went through, and you rated your satisfaction in each of those areas of your life, and you rated them on a scale of 1-10. Ten being the highest. We’re going to use that again today as a reference, that life wheel, in order to help us create a life you’re obsessed with. So, I want you to start by thinking about those eight areas, go through each one, and figure out what would make each area a 10, and I want you to be very specific here.

Go through each category. What would make your career a 10? What would make your finances a 10 best case scenario? What would make your health a 10? What would make friends and family a 10? Or romance a 10, personal growth, how about that? Fun and recreation, what makes that a 10 for you? Physical environment, what does a 10 look like there, okay?

I want you to go through each one, and it’s okay if you pause this and you take some time to think through this and do it, or you can come back to this later, but make a list of what makes each of those areas a 10. Now, your brain’s kneejerk reaction here might be to say I don’t know. That’s super common, and when you’re thinking, I don’t know. When you’re thinking, I don’t know what I want, you’re going to feel really confused, and then you’re going to do 1 of 2 things.

You’re either going to indulge in, I don’t know, thinking and stay stuck. You’re just going to spin in that not knowing, or you’re going to stop thinking about this entirely and move onto something else because feeling confused is super uncomfortable for most people. So our natural inclination is to escape that discomfort by doing something else that allows us to avoid it. It might be grabbing a snack, grabbing your phone, or scrolling through social media. Whatever it is, you’re just going to jump out of that discomfort and distract yourself with doing something else.

So, those are the two ways that we respond when we’re stuck in thinking I don’t know. Here’s what I want to offer you about that, even though you’re telling yourself you don’t, you do know, alright. And you might want to start arguing with me, but I want to explain something to you. The reason your brain is serving you up the thought I don’t know is because it’s trying to protect you.

Your brain thinks that the safe thing to do here is to maintain the status quo, to keep maintaining the parts of your life that you don’t love. The parts of your life that you’re merely tolerating. It protects the status quo by offering you the thought I don’t know. It’s throwing it at the wall like spaghetti to see if it sticks so it can keep you safe and comfortable because when you do know. When you identify what it is that you do want, right then the next step is actually to pursue what it is you want, and that requires making a change.

Your brain perceives change as a danger. Alright, so it gives you a kneejerk reaction, I don’t know, and it hopes that you just run with that answer and do either of the two things I just mentioned. Right? So, what I want you to do is just recognize that the I don’t know is a kneejerk reaction and just hold belief for yourself that deep down, you really do know, okay?

So, from there, I want you to push past that initial answer. I want you to work through the confusion and come up with an answer for each of these eight categories. What is it in each category that you want? What would make each category a 10? Now, if you still feel sort of stuck with this, I’m going to give you a few questions I use with my clients to help them flush out what it is that they want and to move past that initial I don’t know thinking, okay?

The first question is, most of my clients candidly hate this question, but it always works. So, the question is, what would you say if you did know? Right. And their brain’s again going to, but I don’t know, and then I just repeat it back. What would you say if you did? And to show evidence that your brain is just serving you up this kneejerk reaction, it is incredible. People always come up with an answer.

When you push yourself to come up with something, your brain will give you a different answer than I don’t know. Alright? Another way to get at this is to ask yourself what would you say you wanted if you had to guess, right? When you ask that question, you give yourself permission to not have the “right answer” but to just take a guess. So, it removes a lot of the pressure, and you’re able to come up with an answer other than I don’t know.

Another one of my favorite questions here is, what would you say that you wanted if you didn’t care about what other people would think? So often, we are so preoccupied with other people’s opinions. That preoccupation really blocks us from being able to access what it is that we truly want. So, again, what would you say if you didn’t care about what other people would think?

Then, the last question I love to ask here is what would you say that you wanted if you believed that the world was your oyster and that anything was possible? I’m going to talk more about limiting beliefs in the next episode. Still, I love addressing this point here and asking this question because if you just deleted or put the limiting beliefs on the shelf for just a second, what would you want? What would come to your mind if you truly believed that anything was possible? Okay.

So, I want you to go through those four questions and see what comes up for you when you answer them, alright? And if you’re still struggling to answer what you want in each of these eight categories, I just want to offer you this. Deep down, you know, but you don’t want to say it out loud, either, because the truth scares you. Like, you don’t like the answer, you’re kind of afraid to admit it to yourself, or you don’t think it’s possible. Again, we’re going to talk about the possibility and limiting beliefs in the next episode.

I just want to go through really quickly and say it’s okay to be scared. Through the course of this podcast, I’m going to teach you to overcome fears like that and move through them to create a life you’re obsessed with. It’s also okay if you think getting what you want is impossible right now. If you don’t want to admit what you want to yourself because you don’t want to be disappointed by the impossibility of it.

Again, I just want you to watch your brain. It’s your brain trying to protect you from feeling the discomfort of the disappointment that would come from not being able to get what you want because of the impossibility of it all. But whatever you want, it is totally possible. I’m going to teach you again through the course of this podcast how to build the belief that it is, and I’m going to teach you how to reverse engineer what it is you want so you can get it.

Lastly, I also want you to remember you don’t have to share what you want with anyone else. Right? No one else needs to know. You don’t have to tell a single person. You just have to tell yourself. So, I want you to remind yourself that it’s totally safe for you to be radically candid with yourself here, alright? It’s safe for you to tell yourself what it is that you want, no matter what those wants are.

So, go through the life wheel, go through those eight categories and identify, just answer that question, what is it that I want? What would make each category a 10? Okay, now for step two, step two is figuring out your why. So, for each of the eight categories, I want you to go through and answer this question. Ask yourself why do I want this? And we’re asking this question for two distinct reasons.

First, we want to figure out whether or not you’re pursuing these end goals because of external pressure or internal desire. Wanting something because of external pressure looks like wanting it because it’s what society approves of; it’s what’s socially acceptable. It’s what other people think that you should do. What they find impressive or what they want for you. Maybe it looks good on paper.

Basically, it’s what other people might consider prestigious or successful, right? They have an idea of what’s right and wrong, and they think it’s what’s right for you. That’s external pressure. Pursuing something and wanting something because of internal desire looks like wanting something for yourself because you’re passionate about having it in it itself, for yourself. Where you pursue it outside of any external validation that you receive for pursuing it or having it.

It’s genuine, authentic desire, and that’s what you want to make sure you’re operating from. You want to make sure you’re operating from that internal desire because, at the end of the day, only the latter will fulfill you. So, you want to check in with yourself. You want to ask yourself do I want this because of external pressure, or do I genuinely want it because I have an internal desire for it? Okay.

A great way to identify whether you’re operating from external pressure or internal desire is to ask yourself this question. Would I want this if I didn’t care about other people’s opinions? And if the answer is no, you’re likely operating from external pressure, not internal desire. So, you want to check in, and you might want to make a change there, okay?

The second reason I want you to ask yourself this question is because it’s so important to always know and like your reasons for wanting something. One, because, like I just said, you might want to make a change, but more importantly, knowing and liking your reasons makes you far more likely to take the necessary steps toward creating those results. It’s not always going to be comfortable taking those steps, and I’m going to talk more about how to work through that discomfort in the next episode.

When you get really clear on your why and love your reason why you want whatever you want, you’re going to be so much more likely to wade into that discomfort, work through it, and overcome it. So, you want to make sure you ask yourself why do I want this. Now, I want to add one caveat here if you’re pursuing something because of external pressure. You identify that’s your reason that it’s an external pressure, and that’s why you’re pursuing it. You still have agency to decide.

You get to decide if you like that reason if you think that’s a good enough reason for pursuing it. And you can decide that you do like that reason. That choice is always available to you. I’ve found with myself and with my clients that in order to create a life that you’re truly obsessed with, you probably don’t want to be operating from external pressure. You want to be pursuing your desired results based on internal desire, not that pressure.

But, you can still choose to like that reason if you want to. That being said, if your end goal is not to appease other people or not to impress other people or not to gain their approval, right? If your desire, if your end goal is to create a life, you are obsessed with. You find out that you’re currently operating and pursuing results based on external pressure; those things are going to be incongruent.

So, if that’s your end goal to create a life, you’re truly obsessed with it, maybe time to reassess and make a change. So, again, you want to go through what would you want if you were operating from an internal desire, get really clear on that, and then once you do, we can move on to step three. Now, step three to creating a life you’re obsessed with is that you start to reverse engineer your desired results.

So, we’ve gotten really clear on what it is that you want. We’re also at this point very clear on the reasons why you want those results, and now we’re going to reverse engineer them, and we do that by working backward. Working backward, what that does is it gives us clarity as to exactly what we need to do to get to where we want to go.

So, I want you to be really specific here and go through each of the eight categories. For each one, you’re going to identify those results you want in your life, and you’re going to list out all of the actions you need to take to create them. Again, I want you to be extraordinarily specific here. You can also list out what you need to not do. Let me give you an example of that.

If you were trying to become debt-free, that was one of the results you were trying to create, you might need to one of the actions that you would take to create that result you might need to save a certain amount of money each month out of your paycheck or out of the money that you make and contribute that toward your debt, toward paying it off, right? And what you might need to not do is you might not need to overspend, right.

You might need to tone it down on the Amazon Prime add to carts or buy it now’s okay. If you’re wanting to improve your relationship with friends, family, partner, or spouse, you might want to set aside specific times where you see them and spend quality time with them. Something you may need to not do is not cancel at the last minute because of work.

So, you’re going to thoroughly identify for each of these eight categories the detailed actions that you would need to take, the things you would need to do and the things you would need to not do to produce your desired results. In doing this, what we’re doing is we’re creating a very specific road map to arriving at those results, alright? Now, as you do this, as you flush out the specific actions that you need to take and the things you need to not do, I also want you to ask yourself what obstacles might get in my way from obtaining these results?

For each obstacle that you identify, that’s presenting as a roadblock on the roadmap. I love a good iteration, you guys, bear with me. But, for each obstacle that you identify, what you’re going to do is you’re going to come up with a strategy for that obstacle. You’re going to work it into the roadmap. So, you’re going to add that to the action plan for creating those results. I’m going to talk in the next episode about really cultivating the mindset for this as well. Still, the first step in reverse engineering your desired result is just coming up with the action plan.

Identify all of the action items that you need to have, that you need to put in place, that you need to follow in order to create your desired results. So, what does this look like in practice? Let’s use the romance category as an example here, alright? Maybe one of the things that you want is to establish a deeper relationship with your partner, and you want to spend more quality time with them. Alright?

What do you need to do in order to create that result? Maybe you need to put your phones away at the end of the night. Maybe you need to schedule a date night once a week? Maybe you need to go on vacation once a quarter, just the two of you. Right? Those might be some of the specific action items that you would build in the roadmap to those results.

Now, if you were to ask yourself what obstacles might prevent us from doing those things? One obstacle might be work, so you need to come up with a strategy of how you, maybe you make some decisions ahead of time on when you’ll check your phone at night. So you still have that carved-out time to spend with one another distraction-free. Maybe you need to find a sitter and a backup sitter in order for you to carve out and really protect and honor that date night every week.

For vacations, if you need someone to watch your kids, maybe you need to trade with a family member who also has young children. You each go on different weekends on kind of a getaway. So, we each agree to watch each other’s kids. Maybe that’s a conversation you need to have. Maybe you can ask your parents or someone, right?

Again, you just want to identify the obstacles that would prevent you from creating those desired results or from taking some of the actions that you’ve already identified. You want to build strategies to overcome those obstacles into the results roadmap. Another example of this would be if you were trying to vacation, and one of the obstacles is that work keeps getting in the way, right?

So, you’re going to come up with a strategy on how to overcome that. Maybe you team up with another one of your colleagues, and you agree to cover each other’s workflow and be responsive. Maybe you need to train someone on your team to be able to fill in for you in a really comprehensive way so that you don’t have to be on call, constantly checking your email, responding to email, and putting out “fires,” okay?

You’re just going to identify those obstacles and come up with a strategy for each one and include that in the action plan to reverse engineer those results. Once you’ve done this for each of the eight categories for career, finances, health, friends and family, romance, personal growth, fun and recreation, and your physical environment. Once you’ve gone through and created your roadmap and figured out exactly what steps you need to take to get you where you want to go in each one of those areas of your life, it’s time to take action. Right?

You’ve got the roadmap. You know what you need to do, so it’s time to get moving. It’s time to put the plans into place and to start following that roadmap. Now, as you hear me say that, you might find yourself starting to hesitate. You might find yourself thinking, yeah, Olivia, but that’s the hard part. And if that’s you, if you find yourself starting to slip into inaction, starting to indulge in the, I don’t knows again. Like, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where to get started, I don’t know how to move forward.

If you find yourself starting to spin in a little bit of that paralysis. If after walking through that exercise and figuring out what you want and road mapping those results, you feel like, well, you know, I know what I need to do, but I’m just not doing it. If that’s you, I’m going to talk all about that in the next episode. I’m going to explain exactly why that happens, why we encounter situations where we know what we “need to do,” but we’re just not taking action.

I’m going to explain exactly why that is. What’s holding you back, what’s causing you to freeze up. There are only ever two problems. I’m going to explain them both. You’re going to gain a complete understanding of this habit of yours, about knowing what you need to do but not doing it. Then, I’m going to teach you how to work through it to create these results that you’ve identified that you wanted, okay. To create a life, you’re obsessed with. I’m going to teach you all of that. Alright, so head on over to the next episode, and we’re going to dive so much deeper into those two problems, into those two issues. I’m going to teach you how to overcome them.

Oh, and one more thing if you enjoyed today’s show and don’t want to worry about missing an episode, be sure to follow the show wherever you listen to podcasts. If you haven’t already, I’d really appreciate it if you would leave a rating and review to let me know what you think about The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast.

It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I really hope you love the show. I really want your honest feedback, so I can create an amazing podcast that provides you with a ton of value. Visit thelessstressedlawyer.com/podcastlaunch for step-by-step instructions on how to follow, rate, and review the podcast. I’ll talk to you guys soon.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit thelessstressedlawyer.com.

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Episode 1: Life Is Choices

The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast with Olivia Vizachero | Life Is Choices

Life is ChoicesIf you’re struggling with overwhelm, indulging in avoidant behavior, and burned out, even if it seems from the outside like you have it all together, and you’re ready to make a change, you’re in the right place. This podcast is here to help you gain awareness of what’s driving your current behavior, why it feels so uncomfortable, and how to take the actions that will transform your personal and professional life forever.

Your life is a product of the choices you’ve made and continue to make every day. If you want to transform your life into one you love, the first step is taking responsibility for these decisions. And that’s exactly what we’re doing in this first episode of The Less Stressed Lawyer. This concept totally changed my own life, and if you listen closely, the same is possible for you too.

Tune in this week to discover a new perspective on your whole life. I’m sharing a concept I like to call Life Is Choices, and I’m showing you how to break down each aspect of your current reality, and decide for yourself what’s working, what’s not, and how you’re going to start changing it.

If you enjoyed today’s show, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a rating and review to let me know and help others find The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to follow, rate, and review!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why awareness is absolutely everything.
  • My exercise for gaining awareness about what you actually think about the different aspects of your life.
  • Where so many people choose to blame the world, other people, and outside circumstances for the life they have.
  • Why all of the things you have or experience in your life are the result of choices you’ve made.
  • How I was stuck in a life of victimhood and blame during my time in Big Law, until I realized that Life is Choices.
  • What you can do to uncover the reasons behind the choices you’ve made, and take control of your choices in the future.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast episode one. In this episode, I’m going to teach you how to set the foundation for creating a life you’re obsessed with. It starts with identifying and owning the choices you’ve made and continue to make that are leading to your current results. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer. The only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Hello, hello, hello. You guys, I am so excited to kick off episode one. This podcast has been a long time in the making, and I’m so excited to finally bring it to life. I always tell people that a podcast episode changed my life, and I know that might sound super cheesy, but it’s 1000% true. I hope that the content and concepts that I will share with you over the eventual hundreds of episodes that I record change your life as well.

I’m so excited to take what you’ve learned, apply it, and transform your life. And I’m excited to hear about those transformations if you choose to share them with me via email or social media. It’s one of my favorite parts about my job, hearing about the breakthroughs and amazing transformations people have once they start applying these coaching concepts and tools to their everyday lives.

So, long story short, I’m just excited across the board. Okay? Now, short side note, you know who isn’t excited right now? My cats, Snickers and Bear. I am recording this episode in the evening from my home office, and you guys they have reached their limit on me being in here today, and they are letting it be known.

So, I had to close the door, so they couldn’t jump on the desk and mess with my microphone. Hopefully, they won’t give me too hard of a time. Still, Snickers likes to loudly meow to express her displeasure, so I’m sure one of these days, you’ll hear her in the background. Hopefully not today, though, but we’ll see.

Anyways, welcome; I’m so excited for this episode, not just because it’s the first episode but because of what I’ve decided to teach you today. I’ve been known to be sentimental at times. In accordance with that tendency, as I was thinking about what I wanted to teach you in episode one, I decided to teach you the first coaching concept I ever learned. The concept that totally changed my life, but before we dive into that, I want to go over a few things.

First, I want to give you a little background on me. I’ll spare you the war and peace version of how when I was eight, I decided I wanted to be a criminal defense attorney for the Italian Mafia. That’s a story for another day. But, long story short, I followed my dream, and I eventually became an attorney. I worked in criminal defense for a while. I also worked in big law doing complex commercial litigation.

While I was in big law, I found coaching through a podcast like I mentioned earlier, and once I learned about coaching, I really fell in love with this work. I knew that I could help other people transform their own lives like I had done myself by applying those coaching concepts and tools. So, I knew I wanted to become a coach. I knew I wanted to help attorneys who are over the overwhelm, and that’s how we got here. Alright, that’s a little bit about me.

Now, the second thing I want to talk about. Who is this podcast for? This podcast is designed to serve three specific groups of people. Okay. You might identify with one specific group in particular. The first group of people that this podcast will serve are the people who are really struggling and almost at a point of paralysis with the overwhelm.

So, they are almost nonfunctioning, really indulging in a lot of avoidant behavior. They feel so anxious and so stressed that they’re not able to get through anything on their to-do list. They’re people-pleasing, perfectionism, and procrastination tendencies are really causing them to have terrible days on a pretty regular basis. If that’s you, I’ve got you. We are going to get you on the right track, and I’m going to teach you how to start taking action in spite of and despite of a lot of discomforts that you’re experiencing.

I’m going to teach you how to dial down that discomfort, so you feel so much better on a daily basis. So, if that’s you and you’re really struggling with feeling burned out and not hitting those metrics that you want to be hitting in your professional and personal life, I’ve got you. Okay? The second group of people that this podcast is for, the over workers who, from the outside, seemingly have it all together, but behind the scenes, they’re running around like a chicken with their heads cut off. Right?

So, they are running around spinning all the plates, trying to keep anything from falling, but it’s exhausting. They’re very reactive. They’re not proactive. What they’re doing on a daily basis feels really unintentional, and you feel like the world is about to come crashing down on you. I’ve got you too, okay? And then the third group of people that this podcast is going to serve are the folks that are doing pretty well, but they still want to take their success their life to the next level.

So, whether you’re in the paralysis group, whether you’re in the running around like a chicken with your head cut off barely keeping it together group, or things look pretty good, and you feel like you’ve got a good handle on where you are in life. Still, you want to go even further to really create a life that you’re obsessed with. We’re going to talk about all of it. I’ve got you covered.

Now, third, I just gave you a brief overview of what we’ll be covering throughout this podcast, okay? The one thing I want you to know is that what you’re going to get from tuning in every week, you’re going to get a crazy amount of awareness. And every single strategy, you need to change the parts of your life that you don’t love. You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the true cause of all of your negative feelings and any negative actions that you take, that you don’t like, that don’t serve you, and inaction too.

You know that spinning and not getting things done, the worry, kind of being in your own head, second-guessing yourself. You’ll get awareness as to what’s driving all of that. You’re going to learn how to work through that discomfort and take action in spite of and despite it. And here’s the other thing, we’re going to talk about all things, personal and professional, because you’ll hear me say this a ton over the course of this podcast, but how we do one thing is how we do everything.

You already know this, but I’ll say it anyway, your personal life affects your professional life, and your professional life affects your personal life. They bleed into one another. So, we’re going to cover it all. Okay. Now that we’ve covered all of that let’s dive into today’s topic. I’m calling it, Life is Choices. Okay?

I want to start by walking you through one of my favorite exercises. It’s called the life wheel, and the reason I love this exercise is because of the awareness it provides, okay? You’ll hear me say this a million times throughout the podcast, but awareness is absolutely everything. So, here’s how we start with this exercise. I want you to go get a piece of paper and draw a big circle on it, or you can go to the show notes. You’ll find a link to the page on my website for this podcast episode, and I’ll give you guys a copy of the life wheel worksheet that you can download and use for this exercise.

If you don’t want to stop what you’re doing right now, just grab a piece of paper, any piece will work, and draw a big circle on it, okay? Then, divide that circle into eight different sections just like a pie, okay? One section for each of the following categories:

  1. Career
  2. Finances
  3. Health
  4. Family and Friends
  5. Romance
  6. Personal Growth
  7. Fun and Recreation
  8. Physical Environment

I’m going to repeat those just in case I was talking too fast. I have a tendency to do that. Okay, career, finances, health, family and friends, romance, personal growth, fun and recreation, and physical environment?

So, those are the eight different categories. For each category, I want you to give it a rating on a scale of 1-10. Now, we’re not ranking these okay. We’re rating them. So, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, I want you to rate your level of satisfaction in each of these areas of your life, okay?

For my overthinkers out there, I do not want you to spend a lot of time overthinking and second-guessing your ratings. Whatever the first number that pops into your mind is for each category, pick that. Go with that gut reaction. That’s what we want to use here, okay? Now, after you’ve rated each category, I want you to think about what would make each category a ten. What would the ideal be in each of those categories? This is just a side note because sometimes people get confused about the last one.

For physical environment, I mean where you spend your time. So, that might be your home. It might be your car. It might be your office if you’re not working from home and still go into the office? So, just wherever you spend your time physically, okay? Now, one thing I notice when people complete this exercise is that they’re a little surprised by their numbers.

Oftentimes their ratings aren’t as high as they would hope that they would be, and if that’s you, that’s totally okay. Through the course of this podcast, we’re going to address all of the issues causing your current ratings to be what they are so we can get you closer to being tens across the board. Before we do that, I’ve got to let you in on a harsh truth about your current ratings. You’re choosing all of your current ratings.

I don’t mean you’re choosing what numbers you give those categories, each of those eight categories, of course, you’re making that choice, right? What I actually mean here is that you are choosing your current results. Whatever makes each category the number that you rated it, you’re choosing those results. Here’s the thing: every single thing that you have and everything you don’t have in your life is the result of a choice you’ve made.

So, I want you to think about these eight categories and the number you’ve rated each one. I want to explain to you how you’ve got to have those results. How you got where you are right now, okay? You made a choice, intentional or unintentional, that created your current results. Choices that created the status quo, and here’s the bigger kicker you keep choosing status quo. Every single day that you don’t choose to make a change, you’re choosing your current life and current results.

So often, people fall victim to the belief that their life is happening to them. Maybe that’s you. Maybe you think your life is happening to you. You’re just at the effect of your circumstances that everything is outside your control. It’s just all happening to you, but it isn’t you guys. You’re choosing all of it. You’re choosing to maintain the status quo. You’re choosing not to change it.

What’s the problem with thinking your life is happening to you? Well, there are a couple. First, you feel completely helpless and out of control, which candidly feels awful, okay? You disempower yourself and keep tolerating a life you don’t love because you’re under this faulty assumption that your life is happening to you and don’t have a say. You think it just is what it is, and I know people hate that phrase, but if you think that everything is just happening to you, that’s really the mental framework and the state that you’re in, okay?

And chances are, if that is where your head is at right now, you’re also in a state of blame, thinking that your life is happening to you. You are blaming other people. You’re blaming the world. You’re blaming other circumstances for your life rather than taking ownership and really accepting your agency and autonomy here for having what you have and not having what you don’t have.

When you’re in that state of blame, you stay stuck unnecessarily. You create a barrier to change. I remember when I first learned this concept that life is choices, that we’re choosing all of our current results, and man was this concept news to me. My brain practically exploded when I learned about it. Let me give you some backstory and if there’s one thing you’re going to learn about me through the course of this podcast is that I love a good backstory.

So, the first time that I learned everything we have in our lives is the result of a choice we’ve made and continued to make was a few months into my stint in big law. There I was hating my job, really confused honestly about how I wound up there. So, I had always wanted to be a criminal defense attorney ever since I was a kid. I find myself in big law doing complex commercial litigation, definitely not what I was interested in, what I was passionate about, and what I thought I was going to do. I was in such a state of victimhood and blame.

Aside from the money and the prestige of the job, there was really nothing that I liked about that role, but I ended up there. And I found myself really confused as to how that happened. The story I was telling myself was that I had been forced to take that job. I very much felt like that happened to me. That I wasn’t choosing it. That I didn’t choose it. That I was forced and pushed to take that job. That I sort of fell into it. That was the narrative that I had at the time, and I hear that from some of my clients all of the time now.

They’re like, I don’t know how I ended up here. It feels like their life is just happening to them, like I mentioned earlier, and that was definitely me in this moment of my life. I felt like life was happening to me that I just stumbled into this position, and I felt like I had been pushed by people in my life who had really strong opinions about me taking this job. It was a ton of money and many quote-on-quote financial security and stability. It looked good on paper, and people had strong opinions about my decision to say yes or no to that role.

I very much felt like I didn’t have a say in the matter that my friends and family, specifically my parents, really didn’t understand what I was passionate about and what my dreams and desires were for my legal career. I felt like they had forced me to take that job. So, as I was in this state of despair, I got this brilliant idea to start my own business because I didn’t want to give up the money that I was making in big law. Still, I wanted to go back and practice criminal defense, and at the time, I just didn’t think I could make that amount of money doing criminal defense work.

I now have totally changed my thesis on that. I definitely think it’s possible to make just as much, but at the time, I didn’t. So, I embarked on this entrepreneurial venture to come up with a business, build the business, and really like bankroll my big law salary so I could leave and go do whatever it is that I wanted to do. Little did I know that was going to lead me to coaching, which is amazing. It’s ultimately how I wound up here. Still, at the time, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, and I just started binging entrepreneurial content.

As I did through going down a rabbit hole, I stumbled upon a podcast, Brooke Castillo’s The Life Coach School podcast. I always tell the people the message that you need to hear has a way of finding you if you choose to listen to it and keep your ears open for it. And the first episode of hers that I ever listened to was about this concept life is choices. She basically smacked you on the forehead and alerted you to the fact that everything you have or don’t have in your life is the result of the choice that you’re making.

And she very specifically called me out through the podcast episode to say, hey, that job that you have that you hate, news flash, you chose it. I was like, what? Excuse me, no, I didn’t. I was forced into this. I got pushed into it by people in my life, right who didn’t understand me, my hopes, my dreams, desires. I got pushed into being here, and she is like, with love, I want to offer you that’s not true. I want to offer you that you chose to be exactly where you are. Again, the big kicker here is that you keep choosing it every single day. I said this a few minutes ago, you guys, my brain exploded, and it’s like being in the Matrix.

I think where you see everything that’s actually going on, I started to look back and rewind the tape at all of the choices I had made to end up in that position in that moment, right? None of it was unintentional. None of it was happening against my will or without me exercising my agency. Right? I had chosen all of it. I chose to go out for on-campus interviews. I chose to attend my call-back interview. I chose to accept the offer for a summer associate position. I chose to complete my summer there.

When they gave me an offer for a full-time position, I chose to accept it. I chose to take the Barr exam and then to start thereafter. I took the Barr, right? All of those decisions I made, alright? Then, the kicker, I continued to choose it every single day. No one was putting a gun to my head in the morning when I chose to go and show up at the office every day. I was making like 25 decisions on a daily basis, choosing that job, choosing the status quo every single day, even though I didn’t like it, even though it wasn’t what I quote on quote wanted to be doing, or at least that was the story I was telling myself.

Here’s the thing that’s so important about recognizing that you’re choosing your current results and choosing your status quo that you’re not pleased with. When you accept and acknowledge that you have made the choices that have created your current results, you get access to the question of why. When you’re in a state of blame, very much believing that your life is happening to you against your will, you don’t get access to the question of why.

Everything feels outside of your control. You think that it just is what is that you’re living at the effect of your circumstances that you don’t have any control right? This isn’t actually the case. You are making a choice, but when you’re in that state of blame, you can’t ever get access to your reasoning if you think it’s happening against your will, that you’re not choosing it. When you own that you’ve made a choice and continue to make choices to create your current results, you get access to your reasoning for making those choices, from making those decisions.

When I woke up to the truth that I had chosen this job and that I was continuing to choose it every single day, I got access to my reasoning. And I want to separate this into two separate buckets. Why did I originally choose that job, and why did I continue to choose to show up there every single day. They have similar reasons, but they’re not identical, so we’re going to take each one in turn.

Here’s the ugly answer that I had to come to terms with. As you think about your own choices and the decisions you’ve made and continue to make to create your current status quo, your current results, I want you to be radically candid with yourself. No one else has to know your reasons other than you. Still, when you recognize that you have made choices to create your current results, you just want to be as brutally honest as possible. We’re going to operate from curiosity here, not from judgment.

For me, my radically candid answer was that I cared way more about what other people thought of my decisions and life choices than I cared about pursuing what I was passionate about with following my dream. I cared more about other people’s approval of doing the quote-on-quote responsible thing than I did trusting my gut and listening to my own instincts, okay? That’s why I ended up taking the job that looked good on paper. That was prestigious and quote-on-quote financially secure, right? I cared way more about having my parents’ approval and having the approval of close friends and other family members. That’s what I cared about more. And I didn’t want them to feel disappointed in my decision.

So, I cared more about their emotional experience regarding my decisions than I did my own emotional experience. So, that’s the first bucket. Then, there’s the reasoning of why I continued to choose that job every single day when I didn’t care for it, right? Again, my preoccupation or concern with what people would think of me walking away from the money and prestige, so that was part of it. I also had a hang-up about thinking that other people, colleges of mine, would think that I couldn’t hack it.

So, I didn’t want to feel embarrassed or judged by them. So, these were the reasons that I made the choice in the first place and continued to make it. When you really sit back and examine that, you get access to what your reasons are, and you get to decide whether or not you will like your reasons, right? For me, I didn’t like those reasons, and also you start to recognize this is going to be really problematic throughout the course of your life if you keep making decisions based on what other people are going to think about your choices rather than you following your true desires and what you want to do.

So, when you own that you are making these decisions and you get access to the question of why and you identify your reasons no matter how uncomfortable they are, no matter how ugly your reasons might be, you get to then decide, do I like my reasons? And when I went through this process, my answer was a resounding no. Of course, I don’t like these being my reasons for choosing this job, right?

Great reasons to choose a job and continue to choose a job are I’m so passionate about the work that I do. I love the environment that I get to work in. I love the people that I work with. I feel like I make a meaningful impact on the world. Those are great reasons to choose a job. My reasons weren’t anything like that, right? My reasons were I  care more about other people’s opinions than I do following my dream. I was doing it because it was the responsible thing to do or the thing that looked good to other people.

I didn’t like those reasons, so once I identified what my reasons were, I got to decide if I liked them and if I wanted to keep making the same choices based on that reasoning. So, in that moment, I essentially had two options, I could continue to make the same choice for the same reasons, the reasons I didn’t like, or I could make a different choice. In that moment, I decided what was right for me. I decided to make a different choice, an empowered choice.

That’s what I want you to do today. I want you to identify your reasons for choosing all of your current results, and I want you to decide whether you like them or not. If you don’t like them, make a really empowered decision about what you’re going to do moving forward if you don’t. Life is choices. Everything you have in your life and everything you don’t have in your life, you’re choosing it. Everything you don’t have and wish you did, you’re choosing that too. Everything that you have that you don’t like, you’re choosing that too. Is this an uncomfortable truth? Yeah, probably, at least at first, but when you own that you’ve created your current results through the choices that you’ve made, here’s what happens.

First and foremost, you stop feeling helpless because you take ownership of your life, of your results, over the part that you’ve played in creating them, and feeling in control feels better. When you own that you’ve made a choice and you keep making a choice, you get access to the question of why. Why did you make the choice you did. Why do you keep making the same choice? Why is this what you’re choosing? And when you ask yourself the question of why you get access to your reasons.

Once you know your reasons, you get to decide if you like them and if you don’t, you can choose differently moving forward. So, I want you to go through all eight of these categories on the life wheel, okay? You rated them the number that you did. If you struggled to figure out what would make each category a ten, part of the exercise that I walked you through initially. I’m going to talk about this in the next episode.

I actually find that a lot of my clients struggle with identifying and figuring out what it is that they want, what that best-case scenario looks like, if that’s you, don’t fret. I’m going to walk you through specifically how to do that. Still, for now, I just want you to go through, you rated them the number that you did, and I want you in each category to identify the choices that you’ve made that have created your current results.

If doing this for all eight of the categories on the life wheel feels overwhelming to you, just pick one to start with. Just pick one category, go through it, identify your choices, own them, and ask yourself why. Why did I choose what I did? Why do I keep choosing the way that I’m choosing, right? Identify those choices, identify your reasons, and then decide do you like them. If you don’t, I want to invite you to make a different choice moving forward.

Decide to choose differently. Life is choices, you guys. Own your choices, love your reasons for making them, and if you don’t decide to choose differently, starting right now. Alright, that is what I’ve got for you for episode one. I will see you guys in the next episode.

Oh, one more thing, if you enjoyed today’s show and don’t want to worry about missing an episode, be sure to follow the show wherever you listen to podcasts. If you haven’t already, I’d really appreciate it if you’d leave a rating and review to let me know what you think about The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast.

It doesn’t have to be a five-star review. Although, I really hope you love the show. I really want your honest feedback, so I can create an amazing podcast that provides you with a ton of value. Visit thelessstressedlawyer.com/podcastlaunch for step-by-step instructions on how to follow, rate, and review the podcast. I’ll talk to you guys soon.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes or resources from today’s episode, visit thelessstressedlawyer.com.

Enjoy the Show?

Introducing The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast

The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast with Olivia Vizachero

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast!

Are you tired of constantly feeling like you’re getting crushed by deadlines and no matter how many all nighters you pull you just can’t get ahead of yourself? The truth is you can’t hustle your way to happiness. If you want to feel better, you have to learn how to manage your thoughts and your mind. And in this podcast, we’ll show you how. 

The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast is the go to resource for lawyers who want to stop feeling overworked and overwhelmed and want to live a more fulfilling life.

Join me each week as I share the exact steps you need to manage the stress that comes with being a lawyer and finally feel like you are in control of your life.

If you enjoyed today’s show, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a rating and review to let me know and help others find The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast. 

 

Not sure how? Keep reading step-by-step instructions.

Listen to the first episodes:

  • Ep #1: Life is Choices – Your life is a product of the choices you’ve made and continue to make every day. If you want to transform your life into one you love, the first step is taking responsibility for these decisions. And that’s exactly what we’re doing in this first episode of The Less Stressed Lawyer.
  • Ep #2: Creating a Life You’re Obsessed With: Making the Plan – Once you know what you don’t want, you have to decide what exactly it is you want for your future. Knowing what you want is truly the only way to start creating a life you love, so in this episode, I’m helping you figure out what would make each area of your life a 10/10, so you have something to work towards.
  • Ep #3: Creating a Life You’re Obsessed With: Taking Action -Tune in this week to discover how to start taking action toward creating a life you’re obsessed with. I’m sharing the next three steps in the process, so you can create more positive thought and emotion where possible, and I’m showing you how to cultivate the ability to take action regardless of the discomfort involved when these feelings persist.

Here’s what you should do right now to sign up for your weekly dose of The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast:

1. Follow on Apple Podcasts

To follow on Apple Podcasts, visit The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast page and click on the “Listen on Apple Podcasts” button. (Note: If you’re on a PC or Android, you can download the iTunes app and leave a review there!)

This will launch Apple Podcasts and bring up the podcast. Click on the “Follow” button and you’re all set!

You can also listen to the podcast via Spotify, Google Podcasts , or wherever you get your podcasts.

2. Rate and Review the podcast

Once you’ve listened to an episode or two, tap the stars and click on the “Write a Review” link on the The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast page in Apple Podcasts to leave a review. I want you to be honest, tell me what you think, and how I can make the podcast even more helpful… Make sure you hit “Send!”