Episode 45: Dread

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Dread

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Dread

I love my job. As a coach, I have the best job on the face of the Earth. I get excited to wake up every day, meet my clients on Zoom, and help them through whatever they’re struggling with. However, not everybody will be able to relate to that, and some days, you might wake up with an undeniable sense of dread.

Dread is one of the emotions I coach my clients on the most. I’ve learned from my own experience of dread that it’s fine to feel dread and go about your day anyway, but most people go immediately into a resistant or avoidant pattern around it. Dread gets in the way and prevents them from taking the intentional action they had planned. So, if this is a familiar story, what can you do to handle your dread differently?

Tune in this week to discover how to deal with the sense of dread that most of us just don’t even question anymore. I’m sharing how to be acutely aware of your dread, so you can understand what it’s trying to tell you and stop letting it get in the way of you going about your day-to-day.

Enrollment is open for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind! This is a six-month group coaching program where you’ll be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals from the legal industry, pushing you to become the best possible version of yourself. You can get all the information and apply by clicking here

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why dread is just an unavoidable part of the human experience.
  • What it means to allow a negative emotion like dread.
  • How to understand the vibrations that occur in your body as the result of an emotion.
  • Why being acutely aware of your dread takes away the power it has over you.
  • Some of the things I feel dread around and how I deal with it.
  • How to identify dread, so you know when it’s coming along for the ride.
  • My tips for responding to your dread in a new, empowering way.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the 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
  • If you want more information about the Less Stressed Lawyer mastermind, visit my LinkedIn, my Instagram, or email me!
  • Get on my email list!

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 45. Today, we’re talking all about dread. 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.

Well, hello there. How are you? I hope your week is going well. It’s the weekend when I’m recording this. It is a pretty busy weekend over here, my friends. I am packing and have to run a ton of errands today. So, I am excited to record this and then get things rolling as far as my errand running goes. I’ve got a ton of stuff to prep for Cabo. I’ve got to get all packed. I have a very early flight, which is typically out of character for me, but it’s the only direct flight from Detroit to Cabo, so I opted for it.

I’ve got to run some errands. And then, in addition to prepping for Cabo, I’ve got to get everything finalized for the mastermind in Charleston, which is literally the week after I get back from Cabo. I’m in Cabo for a week; I fly home on Sunday. And then, I leave Monday morning to head to Charleston. It’s wild; I feel like every six months, I end up planning a wedding, so to speak, just with the hotel arrangements and the dinner arrangements and the flowers and all of that stuff.

I’m putting the final touches on that. It’s a busy weekend. It was a busy week. It really was jam-packed. I even worked on MLK Day because I’m going to be off for my one-on-one sessions for a few weeks, so I wanted to make sure I got in a little extra client time after being off for the holidays.

Something actually happened on MLK Day that inspired this episode. If you know me, well, you know that I absolutely love my job. I think I have the best job on the face of the earth; I truly do. I tell people all the time that I became an attorney because I really wanted to help people. And I finally feel like I do that now as a coach.

I get so excited to wake up every day and meet with my clients on Zoom, talk to them about what they’re struggling with, and coach them to help them through it. It is my favorite thing, truly. And with that being said, I woke up Monday in my new condo.

You guys, I don’t know what kind of bed this is; I’m trying to track it down; I’m asking the owners. It is the best mattress I think I’ve ever slept on. It’s very dark in my condo because I’m in a loft, so there aren’t any windows in my bedroom.

There are windows across my loft, but not really anywhere I sleep, so it’s very, very dark. Even after the sun rises and it’s sunny out, you can’t really get a ton of sunlight in my bedroom, so it is ultra-cozy. And I’m using this weighted blanket; it is just like the most divine sleeping situation of my life.

Okay. It’s MLK Day, I had sessions on the books, and my alarm goes off. I opened my eyes. I was sitting there, and I scrolled on my phone for a little bit. But it finally came time when I was supposed to get out of bed, out of this luxurious, comfortable, warm, cozy bed and this dark chamber that I’m sleeping in, right? And I had this sense of dread.

I dreaded getting out of bed. I noticed the dread, and then I breathed it in; I let it be there. I talked to myself and said, “Yep, that’s okay. There is no problem to be solved here. It’s fine for you to feel full of dread, to experience dread. Go about your day anyways. We don’t have to do anything about the dread; you can just go about your business.”

And with that, while feeling a sense of dread, I flipped back the covers, and I put my two feet on the ground. I walked across my room, and I started getting ready for my day, for my client calls. I did it while feeling dreadful. And this got me thinking because one of the emotions that I coach on the most with my clients is the feeling of dread.

Most people, when they experience dread, do not do what I just described to you; that’s not how they talk to themselves. That’s not how they act. Instead, they go immediately into a resistant or an avoidant pattern. Right? They don’t go about their day, they don’t go about their business, and they don’t follow through and take the intentional action that they plan on taking. Instead, they make their dread a problem.

They try and solve for it by escaping it, by getting out of it, and by avoiding it, which leads to a really unintentional day. It leads to a really unintentional behavior. Behavior that will not produce the results that you want in your life. So, I wanted to spend some time specifically talking about dread.

I know that I’ve talked about comfort entitlement, discomfort avoidance, and following through on the podcast before, but I really wanted to highlight dread. Because so much of what we do brings a sense of dread with it. And a lot of us don’t ever question this.

We think that dread’s a problem, that we shouldn’t have to experience dread. And then, when dread makes an appearance, as it is going to do, that’s just part of the human experience. We think something’s gone wrong. And we don’t follow through; we don’t take the action that we planned to take because we’re consumed with taking issue with the dread that arises. Your dread is normal, though.

So, take a second and think about where dread comes up for you. I’m going to give you some examples in a second that are really common with my clients, so maybe you can start to spot dread yourself. But one of the things that you want to do when you’re allowing a negative emotion, which is what you want to do with dread, instead of resisting and avoiding it, you want to allow it.

The way that I describe allowing a negative emotion like dread is think about letting it ride shotgun with you in the car. Or, you strap it into the car seat in the back rather than letting dread dictate what you do, which would be letting your dread drive. And in that case, that’s when you resist it and avoid it, and you don’t follow through and take that intentional action. You just want to allow dread to come along with you.

And I want you to think about what dread feels like in your body. Whenever you’re allowing a negative emotion, you always want to understand what it feels like inside of you. Remember, all of the emotions that we experience are just vibrations that we experience in our bodies.

So, there’s going to be a specific vibration that you experience when you feel a feeling like embarrassed or a specific vibration when you feel bored. Or, when you feel anxious, or when you feel nervous or scared or angry, right? There’s a specific vibration in your body.

I’m not super woo-woo, but I do really encourage you to spend some time and find it in your body. Even if this feels silly to you, it’s so important to understand what the vibration feels like because that is literally all that’s happening.

When you’re experiencing an emotion, you’re experiencing this vibration; nothing else is happening. Nothing else is going wrong; you just feel this little vibration in your body. And you can proceed in spite of and despite it. You don’t have to do anything about the little vibration; you can just let it be there.

So, for me, dread feels like a heavy blanket. Not like the delicious, weighted blanket that I’m using to sleep with. But like an X-ray blanket that you kind of drape over your shoulders. It’s just this general heaviness; it feels like lead. Right? That’s what dread feels like for me. And I feel it in my shoulders, and kind of on my torso, and it just weighs me down a little bit. And that’s all that’s happening when I’m experiencing dread.

I want you to think about what happens when you experience dread. What do you do? How does it feel? What’s that vibration feel like? You want to be acutely aware of it because once you’re acutely aware of it, you dismantle and take away so much of the power of experiencing that emotion. If it just feels like wearing an X-ray blanket or a weighted blanket, what’s the big deal? It’s just carrying around a little extra weight with you.

You can go about everything that you planned to do today while feeling that vibration. Just like I had to feel it, feel a little weighed down by my dread, while I flipped back the covers, got out of bed, and started getting ready for my day. Okay? That’s all that’s happening here.

Now, why are you experiencing that feeling of dread? It’s just your primitive brain doing what it’s designed to do. Our primitive brains are always attempting to get us to seek instant pleasure, avoid instantaneous discomfort, and conserve energy in the most immediate moment.

Long-term, avoiding dread, escaping dread, and getting out of dread don’t serve you, and it probably makes your life more challenging, more difficult, and more uncomfortable. But not in the short term. That primitive part of your brain is really only logical in like two-minute increments; it’s just thinking about what’s right around the corner, what’s right in front of us.

And in that moment, what’s right in front of you is going to be avoiding the dread; that’s going to be the most comfortable thing. That’s going to be the way that you can serve the most energy. If I were to avoid the dread, I’d get to stay in my comfy, warm, cozy bed and not expend the energy of getting ready for the day, going to work, meeting with my clients, and coaching their brains, right?

So, the primitive part of my brain that’s always trying to keep me comfortable, because comfort is safe, at least to that primitive part of your brain it is, the primitive part of my brain that’s trying to keep me comfortable is going to conjure up and cultivate that sense of dread to get me to stay comfy-cozy.

It’s doing the same thing in your life, right? Wherever you’re experiencing dread, that dread’s bubbling up to the surface, so you seek instantaneous gratification and comfort. So you avoid that instant discomfort. So, you conserve energy in the most immediate moment.

Now, I just had a client tell me that she thinks that this is really unfair. She was like, “Olivia, I don’t understand. Why have we not evolved past this primitive tendency to seek pleasure, avoid discomfort, and conserve energy?” And if you’re listening to this, and you feel the same way, listen, I get it. It can be frustrating, right?

Obviously, frustrated is a feeling that we cause with our thinking. But it’s easy to think thoughts that cause us to feel frustrated about this. It’d be so much “easier” if we didn’t have to constantly be in battle with this primitive conditioning. With our primitive brains that are constantly creating this discomfort, so we seek pleasure and conserve energy.

Now, if I had a magic wand and could get rid of this primitive conditioning, I would do that. And I would sell you all copies; I’d be very wealthy if that were the case. Because this is really everyone’s battle, constantly fighting against this primitive conditioning and this tendency to avoid immediate discomfort.

But this is what we are dealt with as humans. These are the cards that we’re dealt, and you get to decide what to do with that. I’m actually going to record an entire podcast episode about fighting battles you can’t win. This is one of those battles that you cannot win.

You can be at war with the fact that it is uncomfortable to do the things that create the results that you want. Or, you can stop being in that argument. You can stop being at war with the way that you were conditioned as a human, with the way that you’re built as a human being, and you can just accept it.

Do you know what happens when you get out of your resistance model and into an acceptance model? You’re able to be so much more productive. You’re able to get so much more done because you’re not expending energy arguing with something that you cannot change, arguing with something that you cannot fix, right?

So, I highly encourage you to take stock and take an audit of all the areas that you’re making an argument against something that you cannot fix, like your human conditioning. When you move past arguing with the way that you’re created, with the way that you’re made, then you can just get to work with so much less struggle, with so much less discomfort. Because you’re not in an argument that you cannot win.

So take a second and give this some thought. What would your life look like, what would be different, what would be easier about your life if you accepted that dread is going to come along for the ride? And a lot of the action that you take that’s just part of the way that it works being a human and getting stuff done and accomplishing tasks and achieving your goals?

Dread is going to be a part of it. What would be different if you just accepted that? And instead of waging war against that reality, if you were just willing to feel that heavy, weighted, lead X-ray blanket and go about your business, what would be different? I promise you everything would be different.

Your experience, each day, would be different. You would accomplish so much more. How exciting is that? How exciting is it to think about your life, where you’re in less of a struggle, where you’re in less of a battle, where you’re experiencing so much less resistance because you stop resisting reality? That’s this amazing gift that you get to give yourself. Alright?

So, let’s talk about some examples of when dread makes an appearance in your life, and how you probably typically respond to it, and how you want to respond to it instead.

Okay, the first example is getting up in the morning. And I want to put an extra caveat here because when I worked in big law, and I was really in a state of burnout, I had dread. But it was like to the 400th degree of what I’m talking about now. Now, I love my job, truly. And I still feel a sense of dread in the morning.

When I hated what I did, I was paralyzed and crippled by anxiety in the morning. All of the stress and the overwhelm that I was experiencing. And really, in a state of burnout from not sleeping properly and overworking. This was a very different experience; it felt almost impossible to work through. I eventually did get up and get going; it just took a lot longer.

I have since learned the tools that I teach my clients now. So, I want you to be really honest with yourself, are you dreading something that you like doing? Are you dreading something that you hate doing? And if you’re dreading something that you hate doing, you want to check in with yourself and ask yourself, why are you choosing to do it?

Now, when you dread getting up in the morning, and you want to get up because you want to go about your day and accomplish things, and you don’t hate your job, you just want to notice the dread. Instead of avoiding it and staying in bed, and maybe scrolling on social media or hitting the snooze button, right? It’s okay for you to feel dread and get up anyways.

I think another great example of this would be working out, right? So many people dread working out, myself included. And that’s a great way to distinguish between your work dread, whether it’s a normal amount of dread or whether it’s, “I absolutely hate this; this is something that I don’t enjoy doing at all. It’s totally out of alignment for the life that I want to live.”

A lot of us want to be the people that work out, but we still dread it, or, and we still dread it. I think “and” is a really intentional word to use here; we want to work out, and we still dread it. It’s okay to feel that sense of dread and go and work out anyway, right? Working out serves us, for sure. It helps us maintain a healthy lifestyle. But you might not always feel like doing it.

Now, maybe you’re in the minority here, and you love to work out; amazing. Then you don’t have dread that comes along for the ride with you on this one. You might have dread in some other area of your life. But if you’re like me and you dread working out, you want to understand that dread’s just going to be a part of this experience.

I just had a client say she wanted to start going for walks in the morning. And the part of the world that she lives in, it’s cold in the morning, just like it is where I live right now. It’s really cold in Detroit; I don’t know that I’d be too inclined to go for a walk. But if you want to walk in the morning, regardless of what the weather is, and you know it’s going to be colder than you might like it to be, you’re going to feel a sense of dread. You’re going to wake up and feel dread.

Then you get to decide what you do with it, what you do in response to it. You can let the dread deter you, and you can stay in bed, you can sleep in, you can not go for your walk. Or, you can expect the dread to be there.

Now, my client wasn’t expecting the dread to be there. One of the things that she asked me was, “Olivia, how do I get myself motivated to go for a walk outside when it’s cold out?” I said, “You don’t get yourself motivated to do it. You just have to do it while feeling full of dread.”

You’re going to feel dread. You want to expect there to be dread there. If you don’t expect there to be dread there, you’re really going to be caught off-guard when it makes an appearance, right? So, you want to be on the lookout for it; you want to know that it’s coming.

If you don’t enjoy going for walks when it’s cold out, dread is going to come along as you get up and start to go about preparing for that walk. And you have to be okay with dread being a part of this practice, being a part of this process. So, you’re going to wake up, and you’re going to have a sense of dread with you. And then, you’re going to have to get up feeling a little weighed down by that dread.

And you’re going to have to go put on the clothes that you want to go for a walk in while feeling full of dread. And you’re going to have to lace up your tennis shoes while feeling full of dread. And then, you’re going to have to walk through your house and out your front door while feeling full of dread.

Now, right around the time that you get started walking, it’s going to start to shift. You’re going to start to feel a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment because you’re doing the thing that you planned to do. You’ll be actively in the process of following through, and that’s going to feel good. You’re going to be able to gain access to a lot of really positive thoughts about yourself as you’re following your plan. But right up until that point, you’re going to feel dread. You have to be okay with that. You have to accept it and just allow it to be there.

In the work context, think about where dread comes up for you. There are a ton of my clients that if they’re responsible for entering their billable hours, they have a ton of dread when it comes to that task. And what they tend to do when they experience dread around entering their time, they tend to avoid it by avoiding entering their time.

And they end up creating a world of hurt for themselves because they normally wait all month, and then they have to play catch-up at the end of the month, or the first day of the new month, in order to get all of their time in. It creates a total disaster.

I know this firsthand because I used to do this all the time. And every month, I swore that it would be different. But it never was different because I never learned how to process and allow myself to experience that feeling of dread. Every single day I would dread putting my time in, and then I’d avoid the dread and not put it in.

Instead, what you want to do is expect to feel dread when it comes to entering your time and put it in anyways. Right? Same thing happens when people are working on a big drafting project. Whether you’re typing up a contract or typing up a brief, if it’s something that feels big and heavy for you, you’re going to have a lot of dread associated with completing that task.

You just want to expect it to be there. If you make not feeling dread a requirement to getting started, you’re not going to get started. You’re going to keep avoiding it. You’re going to keep procrastinating. So, you want to accept the dread on the front end. That’s how you’re going to get started.

You’re going to feel a sense of dread starting on the project, and you’re going to start anyways, in spite of and despite that sense of dread, that vibration in your body, that heavy lead feeling, or whatever dread feels like to you. I want you to really practice identifying dread the next time it comes up for you.

And describe the vibration in your body, so you know what it feels like. So, the next time you feel it, you’re like, “Oh, this is dread. I remember this vibration. I know what this feels like. I remember this. I can feel this vibration and take the intentional action that produces my desired results.”

Okay, so when it comes to big projects, and obviously, “big” is a thought here, right? Whether something’s “big or small” is a subjective opinion. It probably doesn’t serve you to think of projects as “really big” projects because you’re just going to dial up your resistance to them. But if that’s a thought that feels really inescapable, it’s fine to think that the project’s “big.”

Just know that you’re going to have resistance to doing it. You’re going to experience a sense of dread. And you can get started while feeling dreadful.

Anyways, I also see people experience a ton of dread when it comes to marketing themselves. However you choose to do this, for most people, it’s marketing on social media these days or it’s attending in-person networking events.

You know, for me, I do a monthly webinar series; I record my weekly podcast. And I’m going to be honest with you, I love talking to you guys each week and coming at you through your speakers, but I have a sense of dread every time I record this podcast or right before I record this podcast. It weighs on me; I have some resistance to doing it. I just have to feel the dread and get started on it anyways.

And I noticed, just like going for that walk, as soon as I get started recording it, as soon as I record the intro, the dread starts to dissipate, and I get into it. I’m able to get through the recording and send it out to my podcast publishers, the people who edit this and produce this for me. And it is okay that I feel dread. It doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t record a podcast or that I shouldn’t do a webinar.

So many people experience dread when it comes to business development, and then they don’t develop a business. They don’t network; they don’t market it; they don’t publish content. And then, they don’t produce results of business developed, right? So, you just want to expect that dread is going to come along for the ride. And you want to allow it instead of resist or avoid it by procrastinating, by putting off the action that you want or need to take to produce the results that you want.

Another super random anecdote. I always dread weddings. I don’t know why. I shouldn’t say I don’t know; I do know why. I have negative thoughts about the weddings. And then, my brain, because of those thoughts, conjures up a sense of dread. And I always go and have the best time.

I’m really working on changing my thoughts about this. That instead of telling myself I don’t like going to weddings, I tell myself now that I do like going to weddings, so that’s helped the dread dissipate a bit, but I know I really dread going to them.

Maybe you’re like this too, especially for any introverts listening. You might tell yourself that you don’t like leaving the house, or you don’t like making plans, or you don’t like being in groups of people, right? The more you tell yourself things you don’t like, the more dread you’re going to experience. And then, you’re going to create so much more resistance to doing any of those activities.

What would it look like for you to tell yourself that you actually do like them? And to find evidence that it’s true that you like them, you’ll create such a different emotional experience for yourself. If you do that, again, the main reminder here, the main takeaway for you, is that you don’t need to solve for the dread. If dread arises, if you start to experience that vibration in your body, you start to feel that feeling; you don’t have to solve it. It isn’t a problem. You just got to let it come along for the ride.

You want to pay attention when you experience this feeling. And then, you want to pay attention to how you talk to yourself when dread makes its appearance. That’s the other big thing that I notice is different between me and some of my clients who really struggle with allowing themselves to experience dread. The pep talk they give themselves when they experience dread is totally different from the pep talk that I give myself.

So, you want to make sure that you’re talking to yourself in a way that allows you to move through the dread. Allows you and facilitates you taking action in spite of and despite dread being there. Okay? When I experience dread, I’m telling myself that “Nothing’s gone wrong. This isn’t a problem we need to solve for. This isn’t a reason to not take action. It’s not a reason to avoid and procrastinate. That I can still get up and go about my business.”

Are you saying that to yourself? And if you’re not, you get to start right now. The next time dread makes an appearance in your life, you get to give yourself that type of pep talk rather than saying that you should stay in bed.

Or, you should not do the thing that makes you feel uncomfortable, that it’s better to do it later. That you have all the time in the world. That you can do it tomorrow. That you’ll get to it in an hour, right? That you don’t feel like it right now. And that you need to be motivated or feel focused in order to get started.

None of that’s true. What is true is that you can absolutely get started right now while feeling full of dread.

And maybe you’re not full of dread; maybe you’re, like, half-full of dread. Whatever amount of dread you’re experiencing, you can get started with it in your body right this second, okay?

And remember, your primitive brain creates dread because it thinks it’s protecting you. Like my client said, “I wish this wasn’t the case. I wish we would have evolved out of this, but we haven’t.” So, you want to expect your brain to create dread, to drive you to instant gratification and pleasure, to drive you to conserve energy and not take action. This is very normal. It’s just part of the human experience, and it’s never going away.

Now, the more you take action, in spite of and despite your dread, the more practice you get at allowing your dread to be there and doing the intentional things you plan to do in spite of it, the more your dread will lessen over time. It will become a smaller monster, a smaller beast for you to deal with. But it’s never going away. It’s always going to be there. And you want to make sure that you know that and anticipate that.

So, when it makes an appearance, you’re like, “Oh, hello, Dread. Right on schedule. I expected you. I’ve been waiting for you. Where have you been all this time?” And then, you and dread can get in the car. Dread can be in the passenger seat, and you can go about doing what you want to do. All right?

You get to decide. You can consider your dread a problem, or you can make peace with it and let it come along with you as you go about accomplishing whatever it is you want to accomplish. I strongly, strongly suggest you choose the latter option. You’ll be so thankful you did.

Alright, my friends, that’s what I have for you this week. One more thing before I sign off. If you haven’t already, would you pretty, pretty, please do me a favor and, first of all, subscribe to the podcast, so you don’t miss a single episode. I make these episodes as valuable as possible. I give away all the goodies in these episodes.

So, make sure you don’t miss a beat; subscribe. And then, if you would love, love, love me, which I hope you do, please leave me a rating and a review. It helps me get this really helpful information in the hands of more people. I’m on a mission to change the way lawyers practice law, so if you could leave me a rating and review and let me know what you think of the podcast, it would mean the absolute world to me.

Also, if you’ve got friends, share the wealth; y’all shoot this episode to a friend of yours. Say, “Hey, I listened to this; it helped me. I think it’ll help you, too.” And give them a little bit of this wisdom. Share the wealth, all right? Don’t gatekeep; we don’t want that.

If you found this podcast helpful, I bet someone else in your life will find it helpful, too, so shoot it to them. Let them give it a listen. And maybe they’ll be so kind as to leave me a rating and review, too. It’s like you’re doing me a double favor and doing them a double favor. Everyone wins, and you get to feel good in the process.

All right, my friends. I hope you have a beautiful week. Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll talk to you in the next episode.

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 www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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Episode 44: The Energy You Bring with You & Zero-Dollar Conversations

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | The Energy You Bring with You & Zero-Dollar Conversations

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | The Energy You Bring with You & Zero-Dollar Conversations

When you engage again with people you haven’t seen for a few years and you’ve changed a lot since your last encounter, communicating with these people can be very challenging. I was recently around some family I had not seen for years, and the energy some people brought with them really stood out to me.

I think of myself as a positive, high-energy person. I always want to add value, no matter who I’m around in that moment. This is a result of all the coaching work I’ve done. However, not everyone is like that, and being around people with a negative outlook can be incredibly draining, so it’s time to take inventory and start looking at the energy you’re bringing with you and how you show up every day.

Tune in this week to discover the energy you bring with you and how you might be engaging in zero-dollar conversations without even realizing it. I’m sharing how to audit the energy you’re bringing to any situation, so you can decide whether you’re happy with how you’re conducting yourself, or if it’s time for a change.

Enrollment is open for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind! This is a six-month group coaching program where you’ll be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals from the legal industry, pushing you to become the best possible version of yourself. You can get all the information and apply by clicking here

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why most people out there in the world are naturally pretty negative.
  • How bringing negative energy manifests itself in your daily interactions.
  • Why other people being negative is such an energy drain for people who think more positively.
  • The difference between respectfully voicing your opinion versus complaining.
  • How to see the results you’re getting from showing up with negative energy.
  • What a zero-dollar conversation is and how to spot when you’re having them.
  • A simple exercise to take inventory and see whether the energy you’re bringing is aligned with how you want to show up.
  • How to acknowledge your emotions, without letting them affect how you choose to show up.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 44. Today, we’re talking all about the energy you bring with you and zero-dollar conversations. 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.

Hi, how are you? I hope you are doing well. I hope that your new year is still off to a good start. We’re about halfway into the first month, maybe a little bit more by the time you listen to this. Hopefully things are going well for you. A little life update from me, things have been pretty busy over here.

As the year’s gotten off to a start, I finished the enrollment for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. And now, I’m finalizing all the fun arrangements for that. I’m going to be in Charleston in a couple of weeks, with everyone, and I cannot wait. I love planning everything that goes along with this event, the menus, the venues. I didn’t mean to make that rhyme, but there you go. Just all of the little, small details that make it a special experience for people.

I’ve been up to that, and I also, am preparing for quite a bit of travel. I’m getting ready to go to Cabo, again, with my business coach. I’ll be in Cabo the week before I’m in Charleston for my mastermind. Quite a bit of travel coming up.

And, I posted about this on social media, so if you follow me there you might have seen this already. I recently lost my last living grandparent. My grandmother passed away in the beginning of January. It’s been a while, knock on wood, that I’ve lost what I would consider an immediate family member. I forgot how much goes into all of that; the funeral, the viewing, everything. So, that really consumed a lot of me, a lot of my attention, a lot of focus.

One of the things I will say, it’s really great whenever I get to see family. Since my paternal grandfather passed away, who I was actually really close with, I don’t see my family a ton. It’s normally at like weddings or funerals that we’re all in the same place, that we all get together. And, family is super important to me. Contrary to what that might sound like, because I don’t see people as often as I might like to, but it is nice to get together.

That being said, something happened while I was with everyone, and it inspired today’s episode. So, I don’t know if this is something that resonates with you, but recently, having this opportunity to be around family members that I hadn’t seen in a while, it’s pretty wild when you engage again with people you haven’t seen. And, when you’ve changed a lot in between now and the last time you’ve seen them, right?

For a lot of people in my life, I’m like a wildly different person because of coaching. Not just what has changed in my life, you know, externally. Meaning, I don’t practice law anymore. I transitioned careers. I started my own business. A lot of people that I saw at the funeral I haven’t seen since before the pandemic. So, my life looks completely different from the outside. I live in a different place. So much has changed, in that manner.

But I’m also a completely different person on the inside. I guess I shouldn’t say completely. There are some core attributes about me that are always going to be the same; things that I love about myself that I haven’t changed. But a lot of stuff is different. And, it’s because of coaching.

So, when I say different, I definitely mean better, here. I am such a positive person now, and I don’t let things get to me. I was always pretty non-judgmental, but I’ve taken it to the nth degree through coaching. And I’m always looking for the silver lining and on the bright side. I’m never in a state of blame. And, man, I used to be the biggest complainer at work, in my personal life, just because that’s what a lot of normal people do; they complain. And, I’m not like that anymore.

I don’t see the value in it. I see a lot of those conversations as what I call “zero-dollar conversations.” Meaning, they don’t add any value to your life. They don’t have any positive contribution. And what I noticed being around some of my family members that I hadn’t seen in a long time, was the energy that they bring with them to conversations.

You know, people say to me very frequently, “Olivia, you’re like the most positive person I know.” And the energy I bring with me, in any room that I walk into, is really high, it’s really positive, it’s really motivating, it’s infectious. People feel better when they’re around me when they spend time with me.

I’m really conscious about that. I mean, it’s the default setting for me now, so it doesn’t require that much work. But I always want to be a value add, wherever I am, whoever I’m with. But not everyone is like that.

And in being around some people I haven’t seen in a long time, I noticed the big difference between how I interact with people, and how I carry myself, and how I operate in the world, and how I think about things. And how they operate in the world, and how they think about things, and the energy they bring with them, and how they spend their time; the types of conversations they have.

So, it really got me thinking. And I’m sure this is true for you, too, if you just take a second to think about it. A lot of the people in your life are probably pretty negative. Most people are, our brain has a negativity bias, so we automatically go there. And, you have to learn how to interrupt it and course correct and change your thoughts.

This is exactly what I teach my clients, through the thought work that I do with them, through coaching. And you also have to be able to understand that circumstances are neutral, right? I talk about that a ton on the podcast. That any situation that you’re encountering in your life, the facts of it don’t have an emotional charge; they’re not positive, they’re not negative; they’re simply neutral.

And you get to decide what you think and how you feel about them. Now, most people in the world are never taught that. And, they don’t know that, so they treat most situations as negative. They complain a lot.

Now, I encourage you to start paying attention to this. It’s a little bit like, if you’ve ever seen the show, How I Met Your Mother, they did an episode on people pointing things out to one another. And it’s like, once you see it, you can’t unsee it. It’s like the glass shatters, and there’s no going back. This is kind of like that.

So, I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but I do think it’s really important to notice how negative people are, because it will also help you identify how negative you might be. And the more you notice it, you’re going to also start to notice how you feel when you’re around people when they’re being negative. When people are complaining about other people, or talking shit about other people.

I’m going to go into a list of examples of what this looks like in practice, and the different ways, you know, bringing negative energy with you manifests itself in your conversations and your daily interactions with people. But I want you to pay attention to how you feel after these negative conversations or these negative interactions. Do you feel energized and optimistic and motivated and uplifted? Or, do you feel depleted and drained and pessimistic and discouraged? Right?

For me, when I’m having conversations with people and they’re complaining, it’s such an energy drain for me. It’s definitely not how I like to feel. I walk away from a conversation feeling worse than when I started it. That’s not fun for me. Also, being engaged in really negative conversations isn’t in alignment with the kind of person that I want to be in this world, right?

So, take a second think about like: Who do you want to be in this world? Are the conversations that you’re having with people aligned with that? Is the energy that you’re bringing with you, to all of your situations and encounters in your life, aligned with that?

One of the things that I believe very strongly is that we’re all responsible for the energy that we bring with us. So, that’s why I wanted to talk about this today. I want you to start to take an audit, or an inventory, of the energy that you bring with you.

I think it’s really compelling and powerful to think about: What if everyone did this? What if everyone took a moral inventory, and did an audit of the energy that they bring with them, to every encounter, to every conversation?

And if you became aware that you’re not bringing the best energy with you, and you decided to make a change, what would the compound impact of that be? What would that look like? How would that ripple across our society? It’s really wild to think of that. So today, we’re going to talk about the energy that you bring with you, and we’re going to do this inventory together.

So, the first question I want you to ask yourself is, do you complain? Now, the obvious answer is probably going to be yes, right? We all complain to some extent. That being said, you want to gain some awareness as to how often you complain, and what you complain about. Take a second and think about those two questions. What do you complain about? And, how often do you do it?

Now, I want you to ask yourself, why do you complain? And, be really honest here. Does it serve you? I work with so many clients that actually do believe that complaining does serve them. Because complaining often feels good. It feels cathartic. But it really does not serve you.

Again, you’re normally complaining to someone else, so you’re using your time and theirs. And, you’re not searching for a solution when you’re complaining, right? Problem solving and complaining are very, very different. I’m fine with noting that there’s a problem and then going right into solution mode; that serves you, that works.

But complaining just for the sake of complaining, really doesn’t have any purpose. Now, again, it feels good because you normally get to feel righteous or justified. I always describe those emotions like dark chocolate-covered caramel, they just tend to be a little delicious.

We also complain as a form of buffering. To avoid something else that we don’t want to do, or to avoid some other emotion that we don’t want to feel. For instance, if you’re feeling really powerless or out of control, complaining is a great way to feel better. But again, it’s one of those actions you have to pay attention to.

Because even though you feel much more powerful, and better than the weaker emotion that you’re experiencing, the results you produce from complaining don’t serve you; they’re not going to be good ones. So, does it really make sense for you to do it?

Also, this is a little bit of like a tough love wake-up call for people: Are you complaining because it makes you feel good? And if you are, if that’s what it is, do you like that as your reason? One of the things that I talk about a lot is, what would be different about your life, if instead of complaining about it, about the things that you didn’t like or other people’s behavior, you went to work on changing it or fixing it?

Now, the reason people don’t do this is because that actually takes hard work. It’s really easy to complain. It’s much harder to change things, or focus on yourself. What I also find fascinating is when people complain about other people, when they have absolutely no control over the other person.

Like, you always get to choose whether you spend time with someone, whether you engage with them, whether you don’t. Whether they’re colleagues or family members or friends, you always get to choose. And, that may not seem true to you. But you can leave your job if you hate the people you work with. You can stop talking to really close family members, if you don’t think that they add value to your life, and you don’t enjoy your relationship with them.

Everything is on the table. You get to make all of these choices and all of these decisions, and you get to change your mind, anytime you want. But what would be different about your life if you didn’t complain? If instead of focusing on things that are outside of your control, you put all of that energy, all of that mental capacity into focusing on what is in your control, and going to work on making your life better, right?

Again, heavier lift. I’m not going to say that it’s not. But your life would be monumentally better. It’d be significantly different. You’d have so much more of the things that you would want. You would feel so much better on a daily basis.

So, I highly encourage you to take an inventory of how often you’re complaining. People complain all day long, it’s wild. When you start to become aware of this, you will notice that it tends to be people’s favorite pastime, is to complain.

Now, a variant of complaining, is talking badly about other people. So, I want you to think for a second, do you do this as well? And again, I think the answer is probably yes, for everyone to some degree. But I want you to be honest with yourself, are you doing it in excess?

A lot of people do this. It’s one of the things that I noticed, in being around some friends and family members that I hadn’t seen in a really long time. I noticed how they spoke about other people. And, I’m sure some of my family members are listening to this. Sure, they’re probably not going to love this episode, but I think it’s so important to talk about.

I’m talking about this issue from a place of love and really deep, sincere concern, because I want y’all to have better lives. And it’s really hard to have a better life when you’re constantly introducing negativity into your day-to-day life. Into your day-to-day conversations, and into every interaction that you have.

Remember, all of the action that you take is driven and determined by the feelings that you feel. And, you’re not going to feel great when you’re complaining and you’re looking for the worst in people, and you’re talking badly about them; you’re going to feel bad.

Now, I want you, just like we did with complaining, I want you to answer the question, why do you talk badly about other people? Really give that some thought for a second, alright? The answer, I’m going to give it to you, or at least one of the reasons, the main reason; is that you feel significant when you talk badly about other people.

If you’ve never listened to Tony Robbins’ TED Talk on the “Six Human Needs,” it’s phenomenal. Listening to it absolutely changed my life. And, I’ll link it in the show notes. But if you haven’t listened to that, go give it a listen. One of the six basic human needs… We all have all six, but we all prefer two out of the six.

And one of those needs is the need to feel significant, or the need to feel needed. A lot of people operate with that being their top need. And you can totally tell when people prioritize that need, because they’re the ones who are complaining all of the time. They’re the ones who are talking badly about other people.

There’s a couple of different ways to feel significant: You can do really impressive things, and you can build yourself up and make yourself a success. He explains it, to where you build the tallest house on the block, right? Or the other way to have the tallest house on the block, is to tear everyone else down.

So, people, normally, people who are feeling really insecure about themselves, tend to default to criticizing or judging or talking badly about others. Also, if you think that you’re not feeling insecure, you might do this because, again, it feels really good to feel righteous, or to feel like you’re better than other people.

I get this is not a glamorous way to think about yourself, right? Probably, none of us who do this is proud of the fact that they do this. A lot of people aren’t even aware of how much they do this. So, I want you to start slowing yourself down and paying attention. Do you talk badly about other people? What are you saying? And, why are you saying it? I love asking ourselves the simple question of, why it is that we do something? You gain so much intel when you just ask and answer the question, why?

In taking inventory of the energy that you bring with you, I also just want you to pay attention to how negative you are. Are you really negative? You know, are you a person that if someone suggests something, you’re like a knee jerk, no. That’s what I call it. You just automatically default to, no. You think, “That won’t work. We can’t do that. That’ll never happen.”

You’re just really pessimistic. Or, you’re always looking for the downside, or the reason that something won’t work. Be honest, are you a bit of a Negative Nelly or a Debbie Downer, right? I also, for the record, hate that all of those phrases always use women’s names. So, we’re going to have to come up with some gender neutral options.

Another thing to take into consideration, or to ask yourself, is do you think you’re better than people? And, be really honest here. One of the ways that I see this manifest for people, that’s really subtle, is do you think that everyone else is doing it wrong?

I’ve talked about “should” thinking before, on the podcast. Do you think they should be doing it differently than they are? Do you think that the way that they’re operating isn’t the right way to do things? And that you know the right way, if only they just listened to you? Or, followed what you believe is the best way to operate, everything would be better, right?

If that’s you, you’re probably pretty negative. And, you probably complain a lot. And, you probably talk badly about other people. Again, I love you guys. And I get that this is a sensitive conversation because none of us wants to think that we’re like this. But a lot of people are like this; you probably know plenty of people.

This is a little bit different than, you know how they say, if you can’t identify out of your friend group who a specific person is, then that person’s probably you? This is different than that. This is probably people in your friend group. I don’t want you to think that it’s not you, also, if you can identify other people in your social circles who are like this.

This is a behavior that is pretty contagious. So, if your friends are like this, you’re probably also like this. One of the things that I love so much about having so many friends who are coaches, is that they’re really not negative people. We don’t like to talk shit about other people. We don’t like to be pessimistic. We’re so optimistic. We’re so full of possibility.

We’re having, you know, million dollar conversations instead of zero-dollar conversations. We’re constantly supporting each other; no one’s tearing one another down. We just really don’t tolerate it. It kind of like gets suffocated if anyone’s negative. I can’t even think of someone who’s negative.

And it’s intoxicating to be in friend groups or in social circles like that. Candidly, it’s one of the reasons that I love joining personal development groups like masterminds. Kind of like, The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. Or, I’m in a mastermind with my business coach.

And my other coach, Brooke Castillo, she has a lot of in-person group events. And I love going to those, because I just love being surrounded by people who are so positive. It makes me more positive. I’m already pretty positive to begin with, but I love surrounding myself with that kind of energy.

Now, if you don’t have access to that, guess what? You can create access to that. You may have to pay for it, right? I pay to be in the masterminds and the groups that I’m in. And it is money well spent, because I can’t force the people in my personal life to be any different than they are.

But instead of spending more time with those people, I choose to spend less time with them. Because I don’t like how I feel when I’m around them. And, you get to make the exact same decision. I also think it’s really important for you to think about this; would you want to be around you? It’s a really powerful thing to think about.

Would you want to be friends with you? Would you want to spend time with you? Would you want to engage in conversations with you? If you’re someone who always complains and you judge other people, and you’re critical and you tear them down, and you belittle what they’re doing, and you’re just full of judgment and have nothing nice to say, would you want to be around you? The answer is probably no.

I really think one of the missions that we can all be striving for, is to be versions of ourselves that we would want to be around.

All right let’s talk about a couple of different examples of what it looks like to bring negative energy with you into your daily interactions. I used to be famous for this. So, this is definitely me calling myself out here. I don’t do it anymore, by any means. But I see a lot of people complain in their offices, right?

You sneak into a coworkers office, and maybe everyone’s doing this on like, direct messages through whatever platform your firm uses, or Jabber; that’s what we used when I was in big law. But you’re complaining to people, right? You slide into someone’s office, you close the door, and you’re with your colleagues and you’re talking shit. You’re talking shit about your boss, or a colleague, or your assistant, or clients, or whatever, right? You’re just complaining.

I love when people do this; they also complain about not having enough time. Because it’s like, if you’d just spend the time that you spent complaining, actually doing your work, you’d be in a completely different world. I used to do this. I used to complain with other people in my office, all the time. Whether it was when I was in big law, or when I was working at the boutique firm. And, I wouldn’t get work done.

So, I was definitely not setting myself up for success in that way. I would have been much better served to put that time to better use. So, is that you? And is this the kind of colleague you want to be? Is this the kind of employee you want to be? I look back on how I spent a lot of my time complaining when I was someone’s employee. And man, it just makes me cringe.

I’m like, “I wouldn’t want to employ someone like that.” I also think it’s really important to be aware of how your behavior contributes to the overall culture of a workplace. If people see you complain, they’re going to be more likely to complain, because complaining is contagious. You’re giving people permission, and a green light, and letting them know that that behavior is acceptable, or that it’s welcomed, or really, that it’s encouraged. Right?

So, are you like that? Do you complain to other people? And what are you giving other people a permission slip to do themselves? Also, do you want to work at a place that’s really negative? Probably not. So, check in with yourself, are you doing this?

You know, how do you show up in meetings? This is another great area where I see people bring a lot of negative energy with them. They show up, they sit down in the conference room. Maybe, they come in late because they’re pissed that they have to be there in the first place. Because they think the meeting’s really stupid, and they sit down kind of disrupting what’s going on.

They’re on their phone, they’re really not paying attention, they’re kind of annoyed, they’re rolling their eyes at a lot of the suggestions that are made, they think everything’s so stupid, right? Now, be honest, are you this person? And if you are… You know, I think a lot of people do this because they want to be in the cool kids club. And it feels pretty cool to, you know, not give a fuck.

But it isn’t cool. I think the cool thing, is when you give a fuck, when you actually care. Now, I don’t mean care so much that you take everything personally, to your own detriment. But like, there is nothing that’s not admirable about caring, and about being present, and about being fully bought in to whatever it is that you’re working on, whatever the team’s mission is.

And if you really do have some negative feedback to give or some constructive criticism, by all means, do that. Before you do that, go listen to the feedback episode series that I did, so you know that you’re giving feedback in the most productive way possible. But you definitely get to dissent and voice an opinion.

But how are you doing it? Are you doing it in a way that you consider respectful? Or, are you doing it in a way, that if we’re being really honest, isn’t all that respectful?

I also watch people check-out, either because they’re bored, or we do this when we’re overwhelmed, right? You’re scrolling on your phone, you’re responding to emails, you’re not giving the people that you’re in the room with your full attention. And, that has an energy to it. I want you to be really conscious of that.

I watch a lot of people multitask, and I think it’s really disruptive to meetings, to planning sessions, to work that gets done. You’re not fully focused. And I think you do everyone, including yourself, a disservice when you do this. So, be aware of this and work on being more present.

This is one of the things that I teach people when they work with me, is how to be more present. If you know this is an area that you need some work in, being meaningful… I should probably do a whole podcast episode just on how to be more present because people really do struggle with that. But note that this is an area that you want to improve on.

Another example, is think about the phone calls and text messages that you have with friends of yours or family members, right? Are they really negative? Do you call up your best friend and just complain? I used to do this with one of my friends, who I used to work with. We would talk every morning, after she switched to a different firm. And man, we spent almost every morning on the phone with one another complaining.

What a way to start your day, right? How terrible. And again, I know complaining can feel cathartic, but we would just talk shit about a whole bunch of different people. And that’s how you get your day rolling, right? Everything else that follows is pretty much going to follow suit; you already have your negativity hat on.

Are you spending time on the phone, or via text, just criticizing other people, making fun of them, judging them, saying mean things about them, picking them apart? I see a lot of people do this because I’m in a lot of entrepreneurs circles. And the entrepreneurs who aren’t coaches tend to do this with other people. Whether they’re in competition with other people or whatever, they are really critical, and they’re really judgy.

I think those are zero-dollar conversations; no one’s benefiting when you’re picking apart someone else. So, you can always take inventory and audit: When am I doing that? Where am I doing that? And, how can I do less of it?

What would I replace that with? Talk to your friends about, you know, strategy or problem solving, instead of talking about other people. A good litmus test for this, if you lack some awareness on whether or not you’re doing this; be honest with yourself: Would you want people to overhear or read your conversations?

You know, as a criminal defense attorney we used to have, in discovery, everyone’s text messages. It was always mortifying what people would write in their text messages. Think about if people could read your text messages, or overhear your phone calls, would you be proud?

Or, would you be embarrassed and mortified and really ashamed of how you carry yourself? If you would be the latter emotions in that instance, be cognizant of the energy that you’re bringing with you to the conversations that you engage in.

Another way that you can start to pay attention to whether or not you’re being negative and bringing negative energy with you, is figuring out; do you dwell? Dwelling is so unproductive. We used to have this rule, when I practiced criminal defense, we had the 24-Hour Rule. So, if you got a bad ruling from a judge or a really unfortunate verdict, you had 24 hours to be as upset as you wanted about it. But then, after 24 hours, you had to get over it and get back to work, and you couldn’t dwell.

I’ve taken that rule that 24-Hour Rule, and I’ve brought it with me into the rest of my life. So, you get 24 hours to be as upset as you want. And then, you’ve got to move on; you can’t sit in it, you can’t dwell, you can’t stew. It’s so unproductive; it doesn’t serve you. And, who wants to be around someone who’s constantly stewing and dwelling; not fun, right?

Now, this isn’t to say that you need to pretend to be fine all the time, I’m not suggesting that. But like the 24-Hour Rule, you can acknowledge your negative emotions, whether it’s disappointment, or frustration, or hurt, or anger. Now, no one else is causing those feelings, you’re causing them with your thoughts. But you get to choose negative thoughts sometimes, and you get to choose to feel negative feelings.

If that’s the case, you’re allowed to experience that emotion. But I don’t want you to do more than acknowledge them, be present with them, let them be there, and then move on. I don’t want you to sit in them. And I also don’t want you to react negatively to them. Most people feel negative emotions, and then they react negatively. You want to interrupt that process and not do that.

Now, if you bring negative energy with you, if you’re engaged in a lot of zero-dollar conversations that don’t serve anyone, that don’t add any extra value to the world, and you want to change this, you have to first become aware of the fact that you’re doing this.

So, you get to answer the questions that I asked you in today’s episode. If you really struggle to see your own negativity, I want you to do one of two things, all right? I want you to ask someone you trust, and ask them to be honest with you, whether or not they think you’re a negative person or a positive person, okay? And if they’re honest with you, and they say that you are negative, you cannot get mad at them. All right? Only ask this if you’re really comfortable accepting an honest answer.

Another thing you can do is rather than polling anyone about what they think, just ask someone that you trust to point it out to you when you are negative. I’ve started doing this with my mom, much to her chagrin, I’m sure. But she is really negative when she drives.

She gets very mad at other drivers. And, I have some thoughts and feelings about her behavior in the car. And instead of yelling at her or telling her she’s doing it wrong, I’ve just decided that I think she doesn’t have awareness as to how negative she is. So, I started to point it out to her.

You can also tally this yourself. Again, it requires a little bit more self-awareness. But I have a relationship with someone who is very challenging for me. And I ended up being more negative in those interactions with this person, than I typically am with anyone else. I don’t like to be that way.

So, one of the things that I started doing when I interact with that person, is I keep note of the comments that I make that I’m not proud of. I keep a little tally. And when you keep a little tally, you’re like, “Oh, I made two comments. I don’t want to make another one. I made three, and I want to stop there.”

You just become so much more cognizant of what you say, and the impact it has on people, and whether or not you’re acting in accordance with the type of person you want to be, or whether you’re out of alignment.

Okay, I highly encourage you to start to become aware of the energy that you bring with you, and do an audit. You can do this every day. Did I have zero-dollar conversations today? If I did, why did I do it? If I brought negative energy with me, why did I do it? Did it serve me? How else could I show up differently?

Asking yourself, and answering these questions, will be life changing, I promise. There is nothing better than bringing incredible infectious, contagious, positive energy with you, when you engage with people in the world. I want you to be proud of yourself, and how you show up with other people. You’re in charge and responsible for your own energy. Make sure you choose wisely. All right?

That’s what I have for you this week, my friends. I hope you have a beautiful week. I will talk to you in the next episode.

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 www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

Enjoy the Show?

Episode 43: How to Quit Your Job (Or Anything Else)

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | How to Quit Your Job (Or Anything Else)

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | How to Quit Your Job (Or Anything Else)

Now we’re at the start of a New Year, a lot of people plan to leave their jobs after bonus season. So, if you’re planning to make a move in the near future, this episode is going to help you quit your job (or anything else) while feeling great about your decision, no matter your reasons for wanting to quit.

When you quit, there are two ways to do it. You can quit from a clean space, or you can quit with a messy mind. Whether it’s a job you want to leave, a relationship you want to get out of, or any other area you want to make a change, I’m walking you through the process I use with my clients to help them quit from a clean space.

Tune in this week to discover my three-step formula for quitting your job or making any change in your life from a clean space instead of a messy mind, so you can make the decision that is ultimately right for you and your future. 

Enrollment is open for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind! This is a six-month group coaching program where you’ll be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals from the legal industry, pushing you to become the best possible version of yourself. You can get all the information and apply by clicking here

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:

  • What it means to quit from a clean space.
  • How to see the specific thoughts that come up when you’re quitting from a messy mind.
  • Why quitting with a messy mind inevitably leads to unintentional action and a victim mentality.
  • How to dial down the drama so you can quit from a clean space.
  • Why it’s impossible to be objective when you’re stuck in victimhood.
  • 3 steps to quitting anything from a clean space.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the 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
  • If you want more information about the Less Stressed Lawyer mastermind, visit my LinkedIn, my Instagram, or email me!
  • Get on my email list!
  • Brooke Castillo

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 43. Today, we’re talking all about how to quit your job. 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.

Well, hello, how are you doing? I hope you are doing well. I am enjoying the last few days of my couple of weeks off for the end of the year. And, it has been marvelous. I’ve been doing a little bit more behind the scenes work than I necessarily planned to do, but that’s okay. I have a ton of big, exciting stuff coming up in the beginning of 2023, and I want to make sure that I’m ready for it.

I hope you’ve been enjoying the end of year, and maybe wrapping things up and getting prepared. I actually just had something come up on my Timehop, or like the memories on Facebook, and it reminded me that exactly four years ago today, I quit my job in big law. So, that’s what I wanted to talk about today.

I want to talk about how to quit your job, or really, anything else for that matter. Maybe, it’s a relationship that you want to quit. Whatever the case may be, I want to walk you through the process that I teach my clients to follow, in order to quit from a clean space. Now, what does quitting from a clean space mean? All right, there’s two ways to quit: You can quit from a clean space, or you can quit with a messy mind.

I feel like this episode is particularly timely, because it’s the end of the year, and I know after bonus season a lot of people plan to leave their jobs. Especially with the great resignation that we’ve been witnessing. So, if you’re planning to make a move, I hope this episode’s coming at exactly the right time for you. So, let’s dive in.

When you quit with a messy mind, you’re quitting from a state of victimhood. You’re normally carrying with you a really negative story about your experience, and you’re probably in a state of blame. Now, here are some examples of what your thoughts will specifically look like, if you’ve got a messy mind and you’re quitting from that space.

You’re going to be saying things to yourself, or to other people, along the lines of, “I can’t believe they’re like this. They can’t do it this way. They should be doing it differently than how they’re doing it. They’re doing it wrong.”

You’ll be thinking things like, “This is so unfair. I deserve better than this.” And that’s not to say what you do or don’t deserve, I just want to tell you that when you’re thinking the thought, “I deserve better than this,” normally, that thought feels terrible in your body. So, if you’re in a state of victimhood and in a state of blame, and you’re thinking, “I deserve better than this,” you’re probably not leaving from a clean space.

If that’s something you think, check in with yourself, and ask yourself; what’s the feeling I feel when I think the thought, “I deserve better than this?” If it feels calm and grounded, and loving and trusting, that is a place that you want to be operating from. But if it doesn’t feel like that, and my guess is that it does not.

If it’s coming from outrage, or righteousness, or frustration, or feeling disrespected, stuff like that, you’re quitting from a messy place. You’ll also be thinking thoughts like, “This place is the worst. These people are the worst. I hate it here.” And when you’re thinking this way, you’re going to be feeling emotions along the lines of feeling resentful, righteous, outraged, disappointed, frustrated, and annoyed, very angry.

You might even feel undervalued, disrespected, and unappreciated. Okay, now when you’re feeling those feelings, remember that the typical way we respond to negative emotions like that, is we respond negatively. And if you’re contemplating quitting a job while you’ve got this messy mind and you’re in an unclean space, then you’re going to be reacting to these feelings rather than taking really intentional, thoughtful action and moving forward towards something you want.

You’re going to be running away from these feelings, running away from this negative experience. And when you do that, you tend to take very unintentional action, so you end up with more of what you don’t want in the long run. This is also a really victimy story to be operating within. And if you’re the victim of your own story, guess what? You can’t be your own hero.

So, if you’ve got his thought process going through your mind as you’re contemplating leaving, I really want to empower you to step out of it, and to reclaim the power that you have in this situation and to leave from a place of strength, not from a place of weakness.

Lastly, and I mean this part with love, I promise. The story that you’re telling yourself, if it sounds a lot like the story that I just rehearsed for you, it’s very, very dramatic, okay? And I want to encourage you, or challenge you all, to have a lot less drama in your life this year in 2023. Okay? Drama is a total energy drain.

So, if you’ve got a really dramatic story that you’re telling yourself about your experience, you’re gonna find yourself emotionally exhausted. And there are so many other things that you could be devoting that energy to; like finding a new job, or thriving in a new position, or just enjoying your time off. Rather than devoting this energy to this negative story that you’re telling yourself.

I want to encourage you, and invite you, to dial down the drama when it comes to leaving your job. You can do it from a clean space. Now, I want to give you a little backstory… You guys know I love a good backstory… On how I created this framework.

I was actually taught by my coach, Brooke, that you’re not supposed to leave anything until you get yourself to a place where you can say that you love it. So, you gotta love it before you leave it; that’s what I was taught. And of all of the things that I’ve learned from her; she’s an amazing coach, and I love like, 99% of what she teaches. But I had a really hard time wrapping my brain around this concept: You’ve got to love it before you leave it. You’ve got to love it before you leave it.

Because if you really loved it, would you actually leave it? The answer is probably, no. Right? So, I really struggled with that. I was in one of her group programs, and it was actually the only time that I think I ever raised my hand to get coached live by her. It was to get coached on this issue, as to whether or not I should leave my job.

She gave me the same coaching that she teaches people, which is you have to love it before you leave it. And I was in such a state of burnout, that that just wasn’t attainable for me, to get to a place where I could love it before I left it. I’ve thought long and hard about this. I eventually got myself to the point where I made the decision to leave.

I created this framework, while I was leaving, because I was trying to rework the ‘love it before you leave it’ concept. I didn’t want to leave from a state of victimhood, or from a state of outrage, or from a state of blame. I knew that that wouldn’t serve me. I was already introduced to thought work. I had already become a certified coach when I was leaving big law, so I already had these mind management tools to get myself to what we call in coaching “a clean space.”

So, I ended up creating this framework. As a result of that, I knew I couldn’t get myself reasonably to a place where I loved my job before I decided to leave it, but I could get myself here. So, I walked myself through a three-step process. And this is the exact same process that I now teach my clients to follow, so that they can leave situations from clean space, as well.

Step one is that you need to accept the situation for what it is. Step two is that you need to own your part in creating a situation that didn’t work. And three, you want to appreciate the good that came from the situation. I’m going to walk you through the exact analysis that I did following this leaving from a clean space process, when I left my last two jobs. The first one is leaving big law. And then the second one is leaving the last law firm that I ever worked at.

So, let’s start with big law. Now, I worked as an associate in an Am Law 200 firm, in Detroit. And I didn’t like it; it was not for me. Okay? But that does not mean that there was anything inherently wrong with the firm. Big law gets a bad rap, but there are plenty of people who work in big law and enjoy it. Or, they value what that environment offers versus other people who don’t value what it offers.

When you’re completing step one of ‘the leaving and quitting from a clean space process,’ you want to accept the situation for what it is, and you want to accept it in the most neutral way possible. So, you’re going through and you’re really auditing your experience, auditing the environment that you’re working in. And, you’re doing it free of any judgments.

A good example of this, a judgment that I had of the firm that I worked at when I was in big law, was that it wasn’t very collaborative. So, that would violate step one of this process, that’s my own judgment; that’s not accepting the situation for what it is. The way that I would describe the firm in the most neutral way possible would be how many hours each day I spent alone in my office, on average.

And most days, I would spend at least eight hours by myself, because the job really involved just a lot of solo research and writing. Now, my opinion of that fact was that it wasn’t a very collaborative environment. But I worked with an amazing non-equity partner, and he actually thought that the firm was extremely collaborative.

He had worked as a law clerk to a federal judge for several years; I think he did two clerkships. So, he clerked for a total of four years. And during his time clerking, he experienced a much less “collaborative” environment than the one that we had been working in, in big law. So, he thought the firm was very collaborative.

Where I had come from a criminal defense firm, that was like an all hands on deck environment. We spent a lot of time working together, with one another, in the conference room. So, to me, that’s how I defined collaborative. It’s just a difference of opinion here, right? You want to make sure you’re describing the situation for what it is, in the most neutral way possible. So, one way would be for me to describe how much time I spent by myself.

Now, I also was not fond of how we staffed cases. I had come from a firm where we were an all hands on deck; everyone was equal kind of approach. And when I worked in big law, we staffed matters based on a hierarchy. Now, that’s just not my preference. I work with plenty of clients who actually love staffing matters based on a hierarchy, because they have a ton of clarity about who assigns what and who answers to whom. So, they really like the structure that staffing matters in that way provides.

Okay? Again, there’s nothing inherently right or wrong with staffing a matter based on a hierarchy structure, it’s just your preference. It turns out it’s not my preference, but that’s okay. In accepting the firm, and my employment within the firm for what it was, what was also true, is that I was at an associate level. So, I answered to people. That, again, ties into that whole hierarchy concept.

And, that I worked on a certain type of case. You know, I did complex commercial litigation, that was the practice group that I was assigned to. Now, my preference was not in line with that. I wanted to be doing criminal defense work, and I really wasn’t able to do that type of work where I was, working at the firm that I was at. We just didn’t handle the types of criminal defense matters that I liked to handle.

I tend to call them like, blue-collar crime rather than white-collar crime. And I really didn’t have much access to a lot of white-collar crime, which the firm did do. So, in making a very neutral assessment of what my experience was like at the firm, I would just describe the types of cases that I was working on.

Some of the facts that I was accepting were that I was handling complex commercial litigation matters. The firm staffed based on a hierarchy. I spent X number of hours working by myself each day.

We would also be able to go through accepting the job for what it is, that I worked in Detroit. Now, that was actually something that I liked about where I worked. And that I made X amount of dollars as my salary, and that my average bonus was a certain amount. Those were also factual things that we would accept, in step one of ‘the leaving from a clean space process.’

Do you see how calm that assessment is? It’s just very matter of fact; you look at the situation for what it is. And then from there, you get to decide if it is in alignment with your preferences or not, okay? For me, it wasn’t in alignment with my preferences. But that doesn’t make anything inherently wrong with the job.

Other people might see the same exact facts and decide that they are comfortable with accepting the job for what it is. So, you just want to make sure you’re accepting it for what it is. That’s the only thing that you’re doing in step one; accepting the job in the most neutral way possible.

Now, step two; you want to take ownership over your role in creating a bad situation. You’re probably leaving because the situation is less than ideal, right? It’s not falling in line with your preferences. But rather than being in that state of victimhood and blaming everyone else around you, including the firm itself, for your bad situation, I want you to take ownership over the role you’ve played in creating your current situation.

For me, if I was getting really honest with myself, when I was completing my analysis for step two of ‘the leaving from a clean space process,’ I had to own my bad habits that contributed to a less than ideal situation when I was working in big law.

So, I had found coaching, but it came a little too late at the time. I have since mastered the concepts that I teach my clients; like how to manage my time, and how to set boundaries, and how to have difficult conversations with people, and to speak up and advocate for myself and say no. But it took me a little while to master those concepts. And, I certainly hadn’t mastered them, yet.

When I was still working in big law, I had been introduced to them, but it took me some time. So, in the years since I’ve mastered these concepts, I’ve incorporated them into my life, and I now use them to be very intentional with how I spend my time.

But at the time, when I was struggling, I was still a people pleaser. I was over-promising and under-delivering. I was really struggling to manage my time. I was a horrific procrastinator. Because I had not yet learned how to take uncomfortable action and stick to and follow through with a game plan, in spite of the discomfort that comes from sticking to it.

I’ve had to learn and teach myself all of that stuff. It’s now the stuff that I have mastered, and I teach to my clients, but I had yet to really hone these skills when I was working in big law, and when it was coming time for me to leave that job. So, rather than being in a state of blame, I wanted to own the bad habits that I had, that had led to me having a less than ideal experience, right?

When you manage your time poorly, if you’re someone who manages your time poorly, you know that other people don’t love being on the receiving end of that situation. So, it leads to unnecessary conflict. It leads to a negative impact on your work relationships with your colleagues because people can’t rely on you. They can’t trust you in the way that you want to be able to have people rely on you and trust you.

You know, I would slip into really avoidant patterns with people. I wouldn’t want to communicate the bad news that I wasn’t gonna finish something on time. Or, I just wouldn’t know that I wasn’t going to finish it on time, because I was so bad at estimating how long things would take me. And I drastically underestimated how long something would take.

So, I wouldn’t communicate properly. Or, if I finally got the idea that it was going to take me longer than I thought it was going to, and I was going to turn something in late, I would just hide. I was really not skilled at having uncomfortable conversations with my colleagues, with my supervisors. I would just put my head down, and try and finish an assignment as quickly as possible. And, I wouldn’t communicate the bad news.

Now, in hindsight, I fully understand that this is not the way to go about handling this situation. I understand that what people crave, more than anything, is certainty. So, in the best-case scenario, you’d make a promise to deliver something, and you would deliver it, when you say you’re going to deliver it.

But if that’s not going to happen, instead of putting your head down and hiding, and just trying to get it done and turning it in late. Thinking that turning something in late is better than communicating bad news; when you have no work to turn in. I now know, that if you create certainty for people, that that is what people crave. Rather than getting something late, and you’re making them experience all of that uncertainty while they’re waiting.

So, these were all the things that I was doing in my role as a big law associate, that really led to me having a less than desirable experience. Now, if you’re in this spot right now, I want to encourage you just make this list from a place of curiosity, not from a place of judgment. All right? You don’t need to use this as an exercise to beat yourself up.

I could sit here, still to this day, and have a ton of shame over how I showed up in that job. But I don’t, because I recognize that I was really lacking the skills that I needed to thrive in that environment. I’ve since learned the skills that are necessary to thrive in that environment. I just didn’t have a lot of the tools that you needed, in order to do that job really well.

Now, that doesn’t make me wrong or bad for lacking them. And I’m so glad that I was able to find those tools and harness them, and learn them and master them, so I can thrive doing what it is that I do now. In fact, they’re probably even more necessary now because I work for myself.

So, you have to be able to hold yourself accountable, and be disciplined and follow through, because you don’t have the threat of someone, you know, laying down the law, or you know, coming down hard on you with a hammer, in order to keep you accountable. You don’t have fear as a motivating force, you just have to be disciplined.

I’ve since gone on to learn all of these skills and these tools, and that’s what I teach my clients to master. Now, hopefully they come to me and it won’t be too late for them. They’re able to turn it around faster than I was able to just doing this, when left to my own devices having to teach myself.

I say all of this, though, to say that you can tell this story, and you can assess your role and take ownership over the parts that you’ve created, that have led to a less than desirable situation without all the self-blame, and the self-criticizing, and really beating yourself up, and coming down hard on yourself and making yourself feel terrible. All of that’s optional.

You could just take ownership over the role that you’ve played, that you’ve had in creating a less than ideal situation. And the reason you want to do this is to be a truth teller. Because when you’re in a state of victimhood, when you’re in that state of blame, you’re normally only giving lip service to one side of the equation, right? You’re not telling both sides of the story.

I don’t want you to do that; I want you to be a truth teller. I want you to own the parts that you’ve played in creating a less than ideal environment for yourself. That led to you not loving where you’re at, and lead to you wanting to leave, alright?

There’s nothing that’s gone wrong, necessarily, you’re just owning the role that you’ve played. It’s not all “their fault.” You’ve played a part, as well. It’s okay for you to own it, alright?

And then step three, is appreciate. Appreciate what the position offered you. Maybe, it’s the salary that you received. Right? That was a big one for me. I was so appreciative of earning a really significant amount of money.

Well, at least at the time, for me it was very significant. It was much more than I would have ever made doing criminal defense work right out of law school, especially at the firm that I had been at. So, I was very grateful for that, and very appreciative of the salary.

I was very appreciative of the learning that I was able to do in this role. It was practicing law at such an advanced level, so it really made me a much better researcher, a much better writer. I worked on matters that I had never worked on before. I learned complete areas of law that were wholly new to me.

I actually still nerd out on some of the stuff that I did when I was working in big law. I created my own little special practice in FOIA law, Freedom of Information Act requests, and the litigation that goes around it. I was really young at the time, but I was like the firm’s foremost expert in that area. And it was so amazing to be able to craft an expertise in something, even being very young in my career.

I also got to work on data breach incident responses, and that was so fun. I loved how short those matters were. They have a really quick turnaround; you’re normally only dealing with them for a month or two. Unlike what you see a lot in complex commercial litigation, which is working on a matter for years and years and years. So, I got to specialize in those two areas.

And I would have never learned anything about those, had I only ever done criminal defense at the firm that I practiced in prior to coming to big law. I also got the opportunity to experience working at a big firm. And that is relevant to me now, for a couple different reasons: Number one, I understand what it’s like to work in a boutique space. I understand what it’s like to work in big law.

So, it helps me relate to my clients now, so much better than I would be able to relate to them had I not had that experience. I’m just able to speak the language. It also introduced me to transactional law, which I had never experienced before. I really don’t think law school gives you that much of an idea of what transactional work is like.

I’m able to relate to my clients that are transactional attorneys, in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to relate to them had I not worked in big law. I also got introduced to coaching when I worked in big law. Had I not gone to big law, I would have never gone down the path of learning about life coaching.

And, learning the impact that it can have on your life. Applying the coaching concepts that I learned from my coaches to my own life, and making those changes. And seeing that other people around me were struggling in the same ways that I had struggled. I would have never been inspired to go get certified and become a coach, so I wouldn’t even have the career that I have now, had it not been for me working in big law.

I also am so grateful to the people that I met while I was there. I still get invited to go to our firm’s alumni event every year, and that’s such a treat for me. I truly don’t have really anything bad to say about the firm, I think it’s a great firm. I recommend, people that reach out to me and talk to me about working there, I recommend that they go there all the time. It just wasn’t an ideal place for me. And, that’s okay.

I’m so grateful I got to meet the people that I got to meet while I worked there. I’ve stayed in touch with many of them; I look forward to seeing them every year. And I’m really grateful for the woman who runs the attorney development department within the firm.

She’s the one who really sat me down and said, “Hey, Olivia, I think you’re really unhappy here. And you know, you don’t have to stay if you’re really unhappy.” It was the first time that I had ever really acknowledged how unhappy I was. And I’m so grateful for her, just showing me what I was having a hard time seeing myself, because I was so in the trenches trying to succeed. Trying to prove something both to myself, and other people.

I was so really wrapped up in being concerned about what other people thought of me, that I wasn’t able to see my own experience there. And to see that I didn’t really love it, and to see that it wasn’t what I wanted. So, I’m so grateful that I had some really amazing people in my corner supporting me, to help encourage me to make the decision that was right for me.

Now, once I did this assessment, once I went through and accepted the experience and the environment for what it was, and I took ownership over my role in creating a bad or less than ideal situation, and I appreciated all of the amazing things that the job offered me, I was ready to leave from a clean space.

And, that’s exactly what I did. I made a really great decision. It was the decision that was right for me; to go back to the law firm that I had worked at during law school. I wanted to go back and practice criminal defense. I wanted to return and be part of the team that I had spent years with when I was a law clerk prior to graduating from law school and passing the bar exam. And, I was so excited to go back there and really thrive.

That was the right decision for me at that time. I also knew that I wanted to start this business. And, at the time I was a little delusional, I thought that I would be able to easily do both. It turns out that trial work and starting your own business don’t really go hand-in-hand with one another. That was just another learning opportunity for me.

And I’m going to talk about how I completed the same process for that next firm, in just a second. But I did get myself to a place where I wasn’t able to love it before I left it, but I was able to get myself to a clean space where I didn’t leave from a state of victimhood, a ‘woe is me’ mentality. I was able to just accept, own, and appreciate, and move on. Okay?

That’s what I want you to do. So, if you’re thinking about leaving, I want you to walk through this exact same process: Accept the job for what it is. Accept the experience for what it is. Describe it in the most neutral way possible. No opinions, no judgments, just describe the facts. Then, take ownership over the part you played in creating the experience you had. All right? You don’t have to beat yourself up when you do this, but you just want to be really honest. What were the things that you did that contributed to a less than ideal situation? Just take ownership of those. And then lastly, appreciate what was good about the experience. That’s how you leave from clean space.

All right, I’m going to walk through one more example. When I left my last law firm, very candidly, up until the point that I decided to leave from a clean space, I was in quite a state of outrage. I wasn’t getting paid on time. And as you can imagine, that was really impacting my livelihood and my ability to provide for myself. I’m a single gal, so there’s no one else over here footing the bill for my life, other than me. So, things were really rocky.

I had gone back to work at the criminal defense firm, after I worked in big law, with the impression that I was going to have a bigger stake in running things. And, I ultimately did. I thought I was going to have more autonomy than I ultimately had. I thought I was going to be able to be in control of more things, and make bigger decisions that would change and impact how the firm ultimately was run.

It turns out, when I got back there, that wasn’t really the case. So, I had a lot less authority than what I had envisioned having. And, I had some pretty strong opinions on how the firm was being managed. I worked for a really phenomenal trial attorney, but he’s not the best business owner. And I still love him and care about him deeply, it’s just not his strong suit. That’s okay.

If you are in a position where you’re less reliant on really consistent, reliable income, then you get to work there and have a ton of fun and work on the best cases. And if you’re able to weather that storm a little bit differently than I was able to, it’s really not that big of a deal.

Leading up to my ultimate decision to leave, I was in a state of outrage. I wasn’t coaching myself. I had many of the thoughts that I mentioned to you at the beginning of this episode; like, you can’t run a business this way, this is totally unfair, I don’t deserve this, I deserve x, y, and z instead. And it led to me feeling really outraged and frustrated, and slighted and all of these negative emotions.

And then finally, one day, I caught my thought error. And the thought error was that I was telling myself, “You can’t run a business like that.” It turns out, you absolutely can run a business like that, because he did run a business like that. And, he had run a business like that for a long time. So, this wasn’t really news to me. I knew to expect it to be a bit rocky when I was returning there, I just had underestimated my ability to tolerate the rockiness.

So, I went through this process, and I realized what was true. And what was true in that moment, was that he gets to run his business however he wants to, and I get to choose what I tolerate. I made the decision that I didn’t want to tolerate it anymore, and I decided to walk through. Rather than leave in a state of victimhood, I got myself to clean space.

I went through and I accepted the situation for what it was, which was that I would always get paid, but not on time. And for me, that didn’t work. That didn’t work to support the lifestyle that I wanted to live. And, I wanted more financial stability than that.

Now, I also appreciated that my decision was going to be to leave and to start my own business. And that it was going to probably be a much rockier road starting my business, in the short term, than if I just stayed put and relied on another person to pay me a salary, like I had been when I was working there. So, even though the income wasn’t dependable, it did always come through.

Whereas going off and working for myself, like there are a lot of unknowns there. I don’t believe that now, I believe that it’s very certain; I’ve built a business that is very stable and very consistent. But at the time, I didn’t realize how possible that was. Now, I went through, and I accepted that I wasn’t the sole decision maker. I wasn’t the main decision maker. That it was someone else’s firm. That they get to make and set rules and institute policies that I might not necessarily agree with.

But that is what it is, because it’s not my business. And if I wanted to be the rule maker and the sole decision maker, then I could absolutely do that. But I would need to work for myself in order to create that reality.

I also accepted the pay for what it was. So, I had agreed to take a pretty significant pay cut when I left big law, to go back and work at the firm that I wanted to work at. And I thought I was going to be more okay with taking the pay cut than I ultimately was. So, I accepted that that there was just a certain salary that went along with that job, and it wasn’t in line with my preference to work for that amount of money. I wanted to make more than that.

I saw working for myself is the clear way to do that. So, again, you can see how I go through this. I accept the situation in the most neutral way possible. Right? I did get paid, but not on time. I made X amount. And, I didn’t have the authority to be the final say on decisions about how the firm was run, how the business side of things was administered. So, I couldn’t control firm overhead. I couldn’t control firm spending or budgeting. I couldn’t control any of that; that just was true. That is what it is.

Then from there, I took ownership. In addition to the facts that I just laid out for you, there was also a decent amount of tension. Because while I had been away, I had been learning these coaching tools; I had learned how to speak up for myself. I had learned how to be less of a people pleaser, and how to set boundaries, and say no, and advocate for the things that I believed in.

So, I had come back to an environment that really had expected me to be like I had once been to be a people pleaser, to be the person who had no boundaries. And, I wasn’t the same person anymore. So, it created a decent amount of tension, right? They wanted me to be one way, the way that they had known me to be when I worked there previously. And, I was just a completely different person.

There was tension, there was some friction, as a result of that. And I recognized that I had created that. I had shown up and been different in this role upon my return, than I had been when I worked there originally. And, I wasn’t going to apologize for that. And, I certainly wasn’t going to change it.

I wasn’t going to go back to the old way of doing things, where I was martyring myself, and self-sacrificing, and abandoning myself, and people pleasing, and taking care of everyone else, and making myself my last priority. I wasn’t going to go back to that. But I did recognize that it was different than what they probably expected from me, and that it led to increased tension.

So, that was the part that I had to own in the scenario. I also needed to own that I made some decisions about cases that weren’t wise, as far as financial firm decisions go, and that that also contributed to the firm not being as financially successful. I worked on, essentially two pro bono cases while I was working there, over the course of the year that I was back.

And had I been making sounder business decisions, I would have turned those two cases down. I wouldn’t have done friends of mine favors and agreed to take them on. I would have been focused, specifically on the numbers. So, just like I wanted other people to be specifically focused on the numbers, I should have been willing to walk the walk of that, myself.

And, I hadn’t been. I had done things as favors, to be nice, to be agreeable. It was really the same behavior that other people were exhibiting, and I was complaining about that, and yet I was doing it myself. So, I had to take ownership of that.

Now, step three; appreciate the experience for what it offered you. I’m so, so grateful I was able to leave big law and go back to the firm that really felt like my home. I’ve had so many people tell me that it was a mistake for me to go back there, and I fundamentally disagree with them on that. I was really struggling with Adderall addiction when I worked in big law, in order to pull all-nighters and work around the clock, and stay on top of my work. Which, spoiler alert, I’ll tell you, it didn’t work. It didn’t help me stay on top of my work. It really led to me underperforming in a lot of ways. But I was really struggling with Adderall addiction at the time that I left, and it was so amazing to be able to go back to a place that I felt comfortable with. A place that knew me. A place that supported me.

And ultimately, the first person that I ever had a very honest conversation about struggling with Adderall addiction, I had that conversation with my boss at the small criminal defense firm. I trusted him enough to be honest with him about it. I am so grateful that I went back home to a firm that allowed me to show up as myself, even the messy parts, even the flawed parts.

I’m so grateful that I had an employer, and honestly a friend, who cared about me enough to have a really uncomfortable conversation with me. And I am certain, that it is one of the things that served as a catalyst to me overcoming that addiction. I also think, if we were being really honest, I probably knew that I wanted to just be a coach. But I wasn’t ready to completely shed my identity as a lawyer.

I think had I gone straight from working in big law to life coaching, I would have always had that question in the back of my mind; should I have gone back to work at this firm? Should I have tried a little bit harder? Should I have not given up so easily?

I don’t see myself as having given up, now. But it’s really because I gave myself the opportunity to go back there and practice criminal law as an attorney, not just as a law clerk. And to work on another amazing homicide case, with one of my best friends from law school, and an amazing trial team. I had so much fun working on that case with them. And, I really feel like I got what I wanted to get out of that career.

Both, when I was doing it in law school and after law school, I feel like I experienced the highs of doing trial work. And, I prefer what I’m doing now over that. I loved it when I did it, but I don’t have any regrets about switching to become a full-time coach and a full-time entrepreneur, outside of the legal industry.

I feel like I was able to do everything that I wanted to do, and I feel so confident that I’m in the right position. And, that’s only because I went back. So, I’m so appreciative that I had the opportunity to check that box and see for myself, and then leave from a clean space, and make a decision that was ultimately right for me.

That’s how you do it, my friends. That’s how you leave from clean space:  Go through, accept the situation for what it is, in the most neutral way possible; no judgments, no opinions, just the facts. Decide whether or not it’s your preference. If it’s not your preference, take ownership over the parts that you contributed to, that led to it being a less than ideal experience. And then ultimately, appreciate what it offered you while you were there. Okay?

Following this process, completing this three-part analysis will get you to a clean space. That way you can move on without all the resentment, frustration, victimhood, and blame, that will keep holding you back in the next role. All right? And it’ll have you running away from something you don’t want, instead of running towards something you do.

I hope this helps you with whatever it is you’re quitting; whether it’s a job, or relationship, or whatever the case may be. Follow these three steps, and you’ll leave from a clean place.

All right. That’s what I have for you this week. My friends, I will talk to you in the next episode.

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 www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

Enjoy the Show?

Episode 42: Controlling Other People, Wanting Them to Change & The Key to Being Happier

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Controlling Other People, Wanting Them to Change & The Key to Being Happier

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Controlling Other People, Wanting Them to Change & The Key to Being Happier

There’s one change you can make to improve your overall enjoyment of life, and that is to stop trying to control other people. If you need other people to change in order to feel happy, that day will never come. So, this episode is all about what happens when you find yourself controlling other people and wanting them to change, and the key to being happier.

This topic comes up in my coaching practice all the time. It’s natural to want other people to change. But the truth is, they don’t want to change, and you can’t make them. Giving up on needing to control others isn’t about letting everyone have a free pass to walk all over you; it’s about taking control of your own emotions.

Tune in this week to discover how everything changes when you truly understand that other people don’t need to change in order for you to feel happier. I’m sharing some stories from my own professional life about wanting other people to operate differently, why this never works, and what you can do instead to start taking control of your own happiness.

Enrollment is open for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind! This is a six-month group coaching program where you’ll be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals from the legal industry, pushing you to become the best possible version of yourself. You can get all the information and apply by clicking here

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 needing others to change so you can feel happy is never going to work.
  • What having an instruction manual for the people in your life looks like.
  • How to see the impact that needing to control other people is having on your happiness.
  • Stories from my own history of believing I knew what was best for other people.
  • What changes when you step into acceptance that other people aren’t going to change.
  • How to start taking control of your own happiness, evaluate your options, and decide how to move forward.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 42. Today, we’re talking all about Controlling Other People, Wanting Them to Change & The Key to Being Happier. 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.

Hi, my loves. How are you? Happy holidays. I am recording this from the comfort of my new condo in downtown Detroit and it is frigid here. I know that you have probably, no matter where you are really in the country have probably experienced some of the same within the last week. But man, today it was no joke. I am actually recording this episode on Christmas Eve, and I do all of my Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. That’s been a tradition that I’ve been doing since I think I was 18.

So I went out this morning and I ran a ton of errands and got a bunch of stuff. I already knew what I was going to get so I had the game plan together. .But I ran out and did that and it is no joke out there. I think I started this morning, and it was one degree, by the time I got back home it was 11 degrees heatwave. So I broke out my good old mink coat and traipsed around in the winter air in order to get all my holiday shopping done. I hope your holiday season is off to a wonderful start. I’m so excited for the New Year.

I have a very full start to the year, so I dive back into work after my couple weeks off. I always take the last few weeks of the year off. And I’ll dive back into working with my clients, and then before I know it I’ll be headed to Cabo for my business mastermind with my business coach. And then I basically head straight from Cabo to Charleston for my mastermind live event with everyone from The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. So it’s going to be an exciting couple weeks after the first of the year.

I also am getting ready to trek down to Indiana to go see a couple of coach friends of mine for New Year’s. That was really unexpected and a last minute addition to my game plan. But I’m so excited. I love spending time with other entrepreneurs. I just love geeking out about all things business. So I’m really looking forward to that as well.

Now, speaking of the New Year I was thinking about what do I want to talk about on today’s episode. And I really wanted to give you the number one key to being happier in 2023. So today we’re talking about controlling other people, wanting them to change and the key to being happier. Now, if there’s one change that you make that would have the biggest impact on your happiness, just your overall enjoyment of life, it’s to stop trying to control other people. I’m going to say that one more time.

If there’s one change that you can make that would have the absolute biggest impact on your happiness and your overall enjoyment of life, it’s to stop trying to control other people. It’s to stop wanting them to change especially when they don’t want to. This is so important. You will never be happy if you’re always needing people to be different than they are so you can feel the way you want to feel.

This episode was actually inspired by a recent conversation I had with a former client and someone who’s become a really good friend of mine. And we were messaging back and forth, and I actually said that statement to him. He was talking to me about something involving his work and I said to him. “You’ll never be happy if you’re always needing people to be different than they are so you can feel the way you want to feel.” And as soon as I said that, he was like, “Olivia, that’s so good it needs its own podcast episode.”

So here you have it. I’m recording an episode specifically on this because I agree with him. It is so important. It requires its own episode. And if it’s the single change you make in 2023, it will radically change the quality of your life. It’s probably the thing that I coach my clients on the most actually. When I first started my coaching business and even in the pre coaching business days, when I knew that this is what I wanted to do but I hadn’t made the switch yet from practicing law. I assumed the thing that I would coach on the most would be time management.

And I still coach plenty on time management, don’t get me wrong. But the thing that I actually coach on the most is this topic. Trying to control other people and wanting them to change, and how it wreaks havoc on your ability to enjoy your life. So I’m constantly coaching clients, getting them to stop trying to control other people, to stop wanting them to change, or trying to get them to change, not because you want to let people off the hook which is normally the pushback that I get.

It’s because you attempting to control other people which does not work, and constantly wanting them to be different than they are is a recipe for your own unhappiness. So we want you to stop trying to control them so you can have better quality of life. Now, I talked about this a little bit in the episode that I did on should thoughts, should thinking. But essentially we all walk around, and we have manuals, just like instruction manuals that come with the gadgets that we buy. We have instruction manuals for the people in our lives and they consist of a whole bunch of rules that we have written for them.

And normally we don’t share our instruction manuals with people, we just keep them filed away somewhere. And when people don’t act in conformity with the manuals that we’ve written for them, we end up getting really frustrated. And it’s basically our understanding of how the world should be, is upset, it’s all wonky. So what we do in order to right what we perceive as a wrong, we try and control other people to get them to behave in accordance with the manuals that we have for them.

We think that they should do some things and they’re not doing them. And then we feel frustrated because we’re thinking that they should be doing it differently. And then in order to feel better we want them to be different. We want them to fall in line and act in accordance with the rules that we have for them. The problem with this is that people don’t like doing that. A lot of times what we want someone to do isn’t what they want to do, or even more simplistically than that, it’s simply not what they’re doing.

Regardless of anyone’s wants it’s just not what they’re doing. So they’re acting in a certain way, and we want them to be different than how they’re acting. So we end up arguing with reality which causes us so much emotional suffering, unnecessary emotional suffering at that.

Another concept that is related to this issue of trying to control other people and wanting them to be different than they are is that we actually usually think that we know best. We think we know what’s best for someone else. We think we know what’s better for them to do instead of not do. And so oftentimes we’re really well intentioned because we’re thinking we know best. They’re acting in a way that isn’t ‘best’ as we define it. So we just want them to course correct and do the ‘right thing’ and then everything would just be marvelous.

The world would be back on its axis, and everything would be great. The problem with this is that we all have differing opinions about what’s best. And although there’s not one right best, even if there were, people don’t have to always do the ‘best.’ They don’t have to do it that way. They get to exercise freewill. They get to choose to do whatever they want, even if it’s ‘wrong’ which again is always just our opinion. It’s never factually wrong unless you’re talking about math. Math has right and wrong answers. But every other situation that we encounter in our lives isn’t like math.

There is different factual things that happen and then we slap an opinion on top of that, that it’s the right way to do something, or it’s the wrong way to do something. When we do that and we think that there’s a right way and then someone else is doing it a different way than we perceive to be the right way, we get upset. We essentially upset ourselves because we’re holding this opinion and we’re thinking that they need to be doing it differently than they are.

I was majorly guilty of doing this myself in my past life. So I wanted to tell you a little bit of a story from my own experience where this really sank in for me. When I was at my last job I did not agree with how the firm management operated. I essentially thought everything should have been handled differently than the way that they handled it. I wanted us to reduce our overhead. I wanted us to market a certain way. I want us to modernize the practice. And I had been brought back once I left big law to work there under the guise of me being someone who would have a say in those matters.

I’d be able to vote. I’d be able to weigh in. I’d be able to make changes but upon returning to the firm that didn’t go as smoothly as I had envisioned. And I found myself constantly arguing with the way that things were being run. I wanted to control the firm management, I wanted them to change. I wanted them to be different than they were. And I kept walking around causing all my own frustration by thinking the thought, you can’t do it this way, you can’t do it this way. They should be doing it this way and they’re not.

Essentially I just spent every single day thinking that they were doing it wrong, and I just kept wanting them to change. I wanted them to be different. And if you think that I was wanting all of this in silence you would be incorrect. I was very outspoken about wanting them to be different, about wanting them to change because I in that moment thought I knew the ‘right way’ for the firm to operate, the right way for the firm to be managed. So I wanted them to change so they could fall in line with the right way of doing things.

Now, all this wanting them to be different, all of this trying to control their behavior to no avail caused me so much resentment, so much frustration, truly so much outrage. I was towards the end there in a constant state of outrage. And then finally one day it clicked for me. I realized, no, no, no, I am the one who’s wrong. I kept telling myself that you can’t run a business this way and it turns out you absolutely can run a business this way because they were. That’s how they were running it and I don’t think that it was operating well but it was operating.

And some people didn’t mind it as much as me. So again, that just underscores the fact that this is a subjective issue. I wanted it to be different, other people didn’t mind as much. We all have our own tolerance levels for other people’s behavior, and what they choose to do, and what they choose to not do. And I remember so clearly the calm that washed over me when I realized they can run a business this way. They literally get to choose this. They get to choose to do it this way and then I am empowered to make a choice based on their decision.

And when you stop arguing with what people are doing and you just step into that acceptance of it then your choices get really clear. They become super obvious and typically you normally have three choices. You can, number one, accept what they’re doing and make peace with it. Two, you can stay and keep dealing with it but hate it. I really don’t recommend option number two. And option number three is that you can make a change. And that’s what I ultimately chose to do.

I recognize that I could stay and try and make peace with it, but if I was being really honest that was never going to work because I don’t think there’s any amount of thought work in the world that would make me accept and be on good terms with the decisions that they made. I have opinions, strong opinions on how a business should be run and I just disagree with how they choose to run it. So I wouldn’t have been able to get myself to a place where I could accept and make peace with it.

The second option was to stay and keep complaining and keep hating it. And that was causing me a world of frustration. I don’t recommend that option like I said, at all.

And then my third option was to leave. And ultimately that’s what I chose to do. And I left feeling really empowered to go out and start my own business and run it the way that I wanted to run it. Because, and this is absolutely true, that is the only thing that was within my control at the time. I cannot control other people. So it’s a complete exercise in futility to attempt to try and control other people. It’s not going to work. And the only thing that I could control was myself. So that’s what I ultimately did. I controlled myself and I left, and I started my own business.

And now I get to run it however I choose to. I have all the power there. I get the final say. No one’s going to disagree with me because I’m a solopreneur. So it’s all up to me and I love that about owning my own business now. Now, this experience, it’s not the first time that I had had this realization but of all the instances where I was at one point trying to control someone else and then I realized, I woke up, realized what I was doing and then finally stopped trying to control them, stopped wanting or needing them to be different.

And just let them be who they are and made my decisions from there. This is the story of that experience that sticks out the most to me. But I have a ton from my own life where I catch myself whenever I’m in a really heightened negative emotion. I’m like, “Where am I wanting someone to be different than they are? Where am I expecting someone to behave differently than they’re currently behaving?” And when I catch it and I drop into that state of acceptance I feel so much better.

If you do this, if you learn how to catch this for yourself when you’re wishing someone else was different, when you’re trying to control someone else’s behavior. If you harness the skill of interrupting yourself and realizing they get to be them, you get to be you, and you get a choice to make going forward, on how you want to expend your energy, how you want to spend your time. You’re probably going to choose to stop arguing with what is because it’s simply not within your control. And instead you’re going to focus on you. It’s going to have you feeling so much better.

Now, you know I love a good example. So I wanted to walk through a couple examples of this for you so you can really identify it in your own life. So let’s start with work. Maybe you work at a law firm, and this is kind of akin to the story that I just told you. But I see this with my clients a lot. They want their firm to be more modernized than it is. So they will do all the research on legal practice management software, all the different tech that can be implemented.

And the firm management is really resistant to change, or they’re resistant to give up the billable hour and switch to a flat fee model, or a subscription model, or anything that is a little bit more new age than how it’s ‘always been done.’ And my clients will derive so much frustration from these situations where they’re wishing that the firm management was different than it is. And more modern, and more up to date, and more up to speed than they actually are. And instead of just accepting that the firm management is the way the firm management is.

And normally there should be no surprises here because the firm management’s probably acting in complete accordance with how they’ve always acted. But regardless, my clients tend to get super frustrated, and they think that the law firm owners are doing it wrong, and that they need to make a change. And that this is the bad way to do it or the wrong way to do it. And it leads to so much tension in the workplace.

Now, can you make suggestions? Of course you can and I help people with that all the time. I help coach people to get them to where they’re advocating for the change that they want and they’re able to present the strongest case possible. Not from a place of frustration, and resentment, and annoyance, but feeling really empowered, feeling really confident and compelled, and convicted. That the change that they’re suggesting is the best for everyone.

But once you do that, once you communicate your request and if it gets shot down or they don’t make the change, even if they just give you some lip service and they don’t do anything different. You get to decide. You get to make the same decision I made. Do I stay and accept this? Do I stay and keep hating it? Don’t recommend. Or do I leave, is this worth leaving over? And most people unintentionally are picking option number two because they’re staying. They’re not making any change and they just keep arguing with how it’s being done.

They keep thinking that the management’s doing it wrong. I see this a ton with bonuses too. A lot of my clients will work at places either where there’s no clear compensation model for business development, and they want to make more money but there’s not really a path for them to do that. And instead of advocating for a merit based system, they just complain about how it’s done.

Or another thing that I see all the time is where there is a merit based system, but the person hasn’t met the requirements. So if there’s a billable hour requirement, or a specific business origination number that you need to hit in order to get compensated with a specific bonus, or at a specific rate. People won’t hit it and then they’ll get angry with the firm because they’re not making more money. And the firm gets to make whatever rules it wants to.

You don’t have to like any of the rules, but if you keep going to war with how your firm is being operated you’re going to be constantly upset. And it’s not the firm’s fault. I hate to be the one to break that news to you but it’s not the firm’s fault. You’re upsetting yourself with your expectations and with your attempts to control something that’s not actually within your control. And it’s a recipe to be miserable. So if you want to be happier I highly recommend that you either pick option number one or option number three. Accept it for what it is or leave.

Both options are totally valid and they’re going to make you a lot happier than picking that second option unintentionally. I also see this a ton, speaking of compensation, I have quite a few clients that work for larger firms and in of council capacity. And there are certain terms, conditions, and an agreement that you enter into when you become of council to a firm. And typically it’s a different compensation structure. And everyone knows that going in.

And yet the number of clients who are in this position that I have to coach on their thoughts about their compensation and how unfair they think it is that they make x amount and the other people within the firm make y, whether the other people in the firm are the same age, or the same level of seniority, or less experienced. There’s so much that goes on there and people get so upset about it. And again the firm is just acting probably in accordance with the way that it’s always acted. It’s following the same agreement that you signed on for.

And here you are now wanting to modify the terms of that agreement unilaterally. And you’re wishing that they were different. You’re expecting them to change. You’re wanting them to change. You’re really in a state of needing them to change so that you can feel better and it’s so disempowering. So I want to invite you to stop doing this. Identify when you’re feeling these really strong negative emotions, where am I expecting someone to be doing something different than what they are?

Where am I needing someone to change so I can feel better? And can you drop into a state of understanding that they’re exercising the freewill that they have whether you like it or not. They’re exercising their freewill and they’re literally allowed to. I know so many people get frustrated with the over-usage of the word ‘literally,’ but this is the perfect time for it because people literally get to do whatever they want. They have freewill, they get to choose.

You don’t have to like it but you going to war with the choices that people make, with how they exercise their freewill and constantly trying to control their behavior is setting you up for a world of frustration, a world of hurt, a world of discontentment. I don’t want you to create a world of discontentment for yourself in 2023. I want you to enjoy your life. I don’t want you to be at war with everyone in it expecting them to be different than they are and then resenting everyone for it.

I’ve also had a lot of complaints recently for people and firms if they’re not in a huge firm and there’s no formal annual review process. And there never has been if that’s how your firm operates. There probably never has been a formal review process and yet every year you upset yourself by trying to control the firm and expecting them to do it differently than they always have done it. And you’re the one who’s causing your own pain. Don’t expect people to act completely different than the way that they’ve always acted.

That’s not on them. That’s on you if you’re upset. When people act completely on brand, when they act in direct conformity with how they’ve always behaved, when they are doing it the way they’ve always done it, and you’re upset. This is a you problem my love. Perhaps you do this with clients. They’ll call you and they’ll tell you either a bunch of irrelevant stuff that you don’t actually need to know, or you have to have the same conversation over, and over, and over again. Now, this may be a situation that’s ripe for a boundary.

And I’ve already recorded a whole episode on that. So I won’t rehash that here but expecting people to be different than how they are isn’t going to work. Maybe you tell them that you’re on vacation and they call you anyways, of course they do. You can’t control that. You can only control whether you answer the phone or not. Or you ask them to get you certain documents and they ignore your request, and you have to follow up with them. And you’re trying to control their behavior. It’s just not something that’s within your control.

So if you have a ton of frustration around your clients and you’re thinking that they should be doing it differently than they are, you really want to check in with yourself here. You’re trying to control them. You’re trying to get them to do something that they’re just not going to do. And if that’s the case you’re going to find a lot of frustration, a lot of resentment, a lot of outrage with your client interactions because you’re wishing or needing them to be different than they are.

So take a second and check-in there. The people that you interact with, with work, whether it’s a supervisor, or a colleague, or someone that you supervise. This comes up a ton too, not just with clients but also with subordinates. I coach a ton of my clients on this. They want people to do it differently than the way that they’re doing it. And when you are supervising someone you definitely get to have some repercussion if they’re not meeting the mark. That’s one of the qualities that you get as a supervisor. It’s one of the aspects of your role.

But you want to be sure to only be focused on what you can control, which is implementing whatever repercussion comes when someone doesn’t meet the mark, when they don’t rise to the occasion, when they don’t meet the standard that you’ve set for them. You can’t actually control their behavior. They get to do whatever they’re going to do. So they don’t have to respond to an email after a certain period of time. Now, you can make it a job requirement that they respond within a particular amount of time if that’s what you want.

But wishing them, and needing then, wanting them to be different and to be more responsive, first make sure you define responsive. But even if you have defined it and they don’t become more responsive, that’s within their freewill. It’s within their right. And trying to control them and get them to be more responsive is going to frustrate the living daylights out of you because they literally don’t have to conform.

Now, if you want to fire the person, you get to fire them or you get to give them a negative review if you work in a firm structure that’s larger than you just being the employer. It’s up to you. You can give them a talking to. I don’t know how effective those are. And I’ll do a whole separate episode on that, and why I don’t think that those work. But you get to do that if that’s what you choose to do if that’s the repercussion that you pick. But attempting to control someone else’s behavior is just going to send you straight to frustration land.

The same thing is true in our personal relationships. Take a second and think about the people in your life who you are constantly trying to control. Maybe it’s your spouse, or your partner, or your siblings, or your parents. And you think that they shouldn’t say the things that they say. And you tell them how to talk or what not to do and what they need to do. Maybe with your spouse you want the person to be more of a planner or more driven and motivated.

And you’re constantly wanting them to be different and because they’re not the way that you want them to be you are blaming them for your unhappiness. even though their behavior is not causing your unhappiness, your thoughts about their behavior is what’s making you unhappy. But you really want to check in with yourself here. Are you expecting this person to change, is that a valid desire of yours? Do they want to change? Oftentimes what I find is that other people don’t want to change the way we want them to change.

It’s so just for ourselves, it’s not for them, it wouldn’t benefit them because it’s not what they actually want to do and yet we still desire it so deeply that they change so that we can be happier. Now, newsflash, because other people’s actions don’t cause our happiness it doesn’t actually even work. If this is how your mindset is primed and operates you’re just going to find another thing to attempt to control. You’re just going to find another thing that you want to be different.

It becomes this never ending parade of needing people to change so you can feel better. There is a lot of victimhood in this too. Again, I’m bringing the truth with this episode. There is a lot of tough love for you in what I’m saying here. But I’m saying it because of the massive impact making this change will have on your life. As long as you’re attempting to control other people and needing them to be different than they are so that you can feel happy, you’re going to be really unhappy.

Mostly because you’re going to feel super powerless and out of control because you literally are powerless and out of control over what other people choose to do. You know when it comes to your friends and family, maybe you’re thinking they need to be less opinionated or more supportive. And oftentimes we don’t even really know what those terms look like. But we’re just wanting them to be different than they are.

I have told this story to a couple of my clients before, but I dated a man for a really long time. And one day, we weren’t seeing each other anymore but we still had a friendly relationship with one another. And I was joking with him, and I said, “You know, I really love you. I just wish you were a completely different person.” And I kind of chuckled and laughed it off at the time. But after he left he had stopped by my house to help me with something, and after he left it dawned on me that I wasn’t actually joking. I really did mean that.

There were parts of him that I loved. And there were a lot of parts of him that I didn’t love, and I really wanted him to be different than he was. And I spent a lot of our relationship trying to control his behavior. He also spent a large part of our relationship trying to control my behavior which is why we were not a great fit. We’re both just trying to control how the other one shows up rather than controlling what we actually control, which is ourselves and our own behavior. And it led to so much conflict, really unnecessary conflict.

We could have just appreciated each other for who we were and probably gotten along much better. And this is really common. I want you to think about what relationships you have in your life, where you’re doing this. Where are you wanting someone else to be completely different than they are and where are they wanting you to be different than you are? And can you see how it leads to so much unnecessary conflict? Maybe it’s you don’t want someone to make comments about the way that you parent.

I coach a ton of my clients on that. Their parents, the grandparents in this situation voice a lot of different opinions about the way that their kids parent their kids, the grandkids so to speak. And it leads to so much frustration because everyone in that situation is thinking that everyone should be doing something differently than they are rather than everyone going into it and saying, “This is what I control. Other people get to do whatever they want to do and I’m just going to focus on myself.”

We do this with our friends too. I talk to a lot of people who think that their friends should be more thoughtful or make more of an effort. Maybe they need to text back faster or make more of an effort to spend time with one another. And if you’re constantly thinking that your friends need to be showing up differently than they are so that you can feel supported, so you can feel connected, so you can feel like you belong, or that you’re loved and cared for. Then you’re going to constantly feel terrible.

Other people don’t make you feel those feelings. They don’t make you feel supported. They don’t make you feel appreciated. They don’t make you feel connected or loved. You create those feelings with your thoughts about them. So you can generate those emotions for yourself at absolutely any time. You don’t need them to change what they’re doing at all in order to feel those feelings. Now, this concept that I’m talking about in this episode is really the main thesis of emotional adulthood.

Emotional childhood is where you blame other people for how you feel. You make other people responsible for your negative emotions which is never actually what’s going on. You’re always creating your own negative emotions with your thinking. But when you’re in a state of emotional childhood you’re not acknowledging that truth. Instead you’re in a state of victimhood, you’re in a state of blame where you’re assigning responsibility to other people. Which means you’re outsourcing all of your power over your emotional experience. You’re giving it away to them.

And it’s not something that they’re controlling. It’s something you’re controlling but a lot of us aren’t taught this growing up. So that’s the whole point of this episode. It’s to teach you that when you require other people to be different so that you can feel better and you’re requiring something to change that’s actually outside of your control you’re not going to feel better. You’re going to feel powerless. It’s going to feel really awful.

I invite you to stop doing this, this year. Get in the habit of really paying attention every time you get upset. Am I attempting to control someone else’s behavior? Am I wanting or needing someone to do something differently than what they are doing so that I can feel better? And if your answer to those questions is yes. You want to reclaim your power over your emotional experience. You want to identify that it’s your thinking and you want to find the thoughts that you’re thinking that are contributing to you feeling the way that you feel in that moment.

And you want to take your power back. You want to acknowledge that you’re the one making yourself feel that way. And you want to get to a state of understanding, a state of acceptance that they get to do it however they want to do it and you get to choose to hate it. You can choose to accept it, or you can choose to make a change where you don’t have to deal with it anymore. Those are your three choices, always, always, always. Like I said, don’t pick option number two, it doesn’t lead to anything good.

Alright my friends, I promise you if you spend time this year making this shift and releasing your attempts to control other people and you stop needing them to be different than they are you will be so much happier in the new year. That’s my wish for you. I want you to feel more empowered, more in control over your emotional experience. I want you to feel more at peace emotionally. And the way to accomplish that is to stop trying to control the people in your life.

Just focus on you, you’re the only person you can actually control. Spend all your time and energy there. And remember, if you struggle with this If you’re like, “Olivia, I get it, I know that this is the answer, this is the reason that I am so frustrated, and upset, and resentful, and annoyed and irritated all the time, or disappointed all the time.” If you know that this is your work, but you have no idea where to start. This is what I do. This is exactly what I help people with. This is what you will learn how to do in The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind.

I will take a microscope to your life in the best way possible. That might not sound like fun, but I assure you it is so worthwhile. But we’re going to take a microscope to your life and find all the different instances where you’re trying to control other people. We’re going to find all the different instances where you’re wanting, or needing, or expecting someone to be different than they are so that you can feel better.

And I’m going to teach you how to get to a place of understanding and acceptance and reclaim all that power over your emotional experience so that you can feel in control. So that you can feel better, and you can simply just enjoy the people in your life rather than resenting them and wishing that they were different than they are.

Alright, enrollment for the mastermind closes January 6th. If you want to be in this upcoming round and I promise you, you want to be in this upcoming round. Don’t wait for the next one. Let’s start this work right now so you can actually feel better way sooner. And plus, the live event in Charleston, February 1st through the 4th, is going to be incredible so you don’t want to miss out on that either. So enrollment closes for this upcoming round January 6th. Make sure you go to my website, thelesstressedlawyer.com. I know that’s so many s’s. thelesstressedlawyer.com/mastermind.

Go submit your application. Spots are limited so don’t wait until the 6th. Get in, do it now, you might have some time off over the holidays. I know it can be a little bit of a hectic time. That’s what I recorded the last episode for. So you could navigate this time with a little bit more intentionality and grace. But use this time to your advantage and make sure you go secure your spot. We will tackle this issue once and for all in 2023.

You’ll stop trying to control other people and you’ll feel so much better as a result. It really is the key to having a much more fulfilling, enriching, happier life and you’re going to master it in the new year. Alright, that’s what I’ve got for you this week my friends. Have a wonderful holiday season and I’ll talk to you in the next episode.

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 www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

Enjoy the Show?

Episode 41: Handling Holiday Overwhelm & Stress

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Handling Holiday Overwhelm & Stress

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Handling Holiday Overwhelm & Stress

‘Tis the holiday season, and if you’re anything like me, you probably have a lot going on and a lot of thoughts about it. So, in this week’s episode, I’m showing you how to give yourself some breathing room during the chaos, overwhelm, and stress that this time of year can bring.

I coach so many clients on the holiday stress that is born out of trying to get everything done, managing competing obligations, and all that good stuff. If you’re ready to experience a holiday season where you feel calm, intentional, and in control and want to end the year strong, listen closely and take notes this week.

Tune in this week to discover what causes stress and overwhelm during the holiday season and what you can do about it. I’m sharing some practical tools to navigate the most common pain points at this time of year, so you can manage and protect your time and energy, setting yourself up for a successful start to 2023.

Enrollment is open for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind! This is a six-month group coaching program where you’ll be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals from the legal industry, pushing you to become the best possible version of yourself. You can get all the information and apply by clicking here

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:

  • The most common problems I see my clients encountering during the holidays.
  • Where overwhelm comes from and why you have more control over it than you might think.
  • The importance of being intentional during the busy holiday season.
  • How people end up stuck in martyrdom around the holidays, saying yes to everyone, and how you can start to constrain instead.
  • A new way to think about gift-giving during the holidays.
  • How to start getting clear on where your expectations are creating your frustration.
  • The uncomfortable emotions that will inevitably come up when you prioritize yourself during the holidays and how to deal with them.
  • What you can do to start simplifying your schedule and making decisions ahead of time.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 41. Today, we’re talking all about how to handle the holidays. 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.

Well, hello, my friends. How are you? ‘Tis the holiday season, right? And if you’re anything like me, you might have quite a bit going on. Now, I take the last two weeks of the year off. And, I’ve done this for the past couple years. It is so amazing to be able to give myself some extra breathing room just to navigate the holidays.

But I actually just signed the lease on an amazing new condo, so I am moving during the holidays. So, that’s going to make things just a little bit more chaotic for me. But that’s okay, I have the space to do it.

Now, not everyone follows the Olivia Vizachero methodology of navigating the holidays, and they don’t clear their schedules, like I started doing. I end up coaching a lot of my clients on holiday stress, and just the chaos that comes with trying to get everything done, and competing obligations, or desires and responsibilities, all that good stuff.

So, I thought it would be a really great idea for me to record an episode for you about how to handle the holiday stress or the holiday overwhelm, or how to navigate the chaos if your holidays tend to feel chaotic. Now, if they don’t, amazing; that’s so great. Congrats on curating a holiday experience, or end of year experience, that feels calm and intentional, where you feel really in control. That is fantastic.

That’s my hope for everyone this time of year, that you’re able to end the year strong, really, very intentionally. And you’re able to feel really good about going into the new year and getting off on a good foot.

But if that’s not you, that’s okay, this episode is for you. To help you navigate all that’s going on this time of year. So, I identified the common problems that I see people encounter, that I see my clients encounter, this time of year. And I’m just going to walk through them with you, one by one, and give you some tips and some mindset tools to navigate these pain points.

Okay, the first problem that I see, that tends to be the most common, is that people try to do too much during this time of year. Overwhelm comes from being overcapacity. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed during this time of year, it’s because you’re trying to stuff 10 pounds of potatoes into a 5-pound bag. You’re trying to fit too many things into a finite amount of time.

And think about it, you’ve got your regular life that you’re living day-to-day, normally. And, that’s already probably really full. And then, you add in all the extra holiday stuff. If you have kids, they are probably off of school. So, you’ve got that added to the mix; family traditions, maybe travel, end of year stuff with work.

You mix all of that together. on top of what you already navigate and manage on a daily basis, and you’re just over a capacity; you take on more without having any more room. And it ultimately doesn’t work; something probably slips through the cracks. And, the experience is going to be really unpleasant, because the math just doesn’t work out.

You’re overcapacity. So, you’re going to feel pressured, you’re going to feel stressed, you’re going to feel overwhelmed, and you’re going to feel behind. Now, what’s the solution for this, for doing too much? Well, the simple answer is you need to do less. Alright, you know, that phrase that everyone says now, “Say less,” it’s like that, but do less. Okay?

You want to start by simplifying your schedule as much as possible. And what I was thinking about, as I was planning this episode, is that we’re going to weave in so many of the topics that I’ve talked about on the podcast to date. In simplifying your schedule, and simplifying what you have on your plate through the month of December and into the new year, one of the ways that you get to simplify is by practicing constraint.

I want you to think real quick; during this time of year, what can you cut out? What can you eliminate all together? What can you reduce? This process starts by you being really honest with yourself about your capacity, about what you can actually accomplish.

I always teach that you want to get really clear on the math, right? I talked about that in the Time Management Series that we just went through. You want to make sure you’re getting the math right. So, make a list of everything that you’re planning to do through the holiday season; both with work and with your personal life.

Once you’ve made that list, estimate how long all of it’s going to take you. For each item on the list, put an amount of time that you think you’re going to have to dedicate, in order to accomplishing that task, that item. And then, add it all up.

Can you actually fit it all in? And, do you want to fit it all in? Sometimes you can make it work if you really stuffed it in, jam packed it in there. But the experience of that is so unpleasant, you might not want to. So, get clear on the math. And then from there, start to make decisions. If you’re overcapacity, and it doesn’t fit into the amount of time that you have available, what can you start to cut?

You also get to decide, if you don’t have the capacity, what do you want to not agree to do, at all? Or, what do you want to not offer to do, at all? I watched so many people volunteer themselves, and I’m going to talk about martyrdom in a minute, but they volunteer themselves and take on too much.

I get that it feels good to say yes and to offer to do things. You get to feel really generous and charitable and helpful and accomplished. But if you don’t have capacity to actually do it, it’s going to feel good when you say yes to it, but it’s gonna feel terrible when it actually comes time to do it. Because you’re either going to do it poorly, you’re going to do it in a frenzied way, or you’re not going to do it at all, and then that’s going to trigger all of this guilt.

All right, so what can you cut out? Maybe, it’s saying no to a work project, and pushing it into the new year. Maybe, it’s RSVPing no to a holiday party that you would have typically gone to, that you really don’t have time to make. Maybe, it’s not volunteering to host an event or to cook something for the holidays.

Maybe, you can constrain with the number of people that you buy for, or the number of gifts that you buy the people in your life. Maybe, you can get them one extravagant gift, rather than a bunch of little things that have you scrambling.

You also get to constrain with how much you’re working. So, this dovetails nicely into another way that you can simplify during the holiday season; you want to be making some decisions ahead of time. So, decide right now when you’re going to take time off. I highly encourage you to decide to do this the same exact way every year. That way, you’re not left wondering, when am I going to work? When am I not going to work?

I decided, a couple of years ago, that I would always take the last two weeks of the year off. Now, if that is like an ambitious goal for you, that’s okay. Put it on your nightstand, so to speak, and let it sit there and let it marinate. And maybe eventually, you can work up to that. If that feels like a bridge too far, right now, that’s okay.

What can you start with? Maybe, it’s a few days. Maybe, it’s a week. Whatever feels attainable for you, start with that, and just decide that you’ll do it that way every year from now on. It will help you plan accordingly. And really start to get in the rhythm of what needs to happen when leading up to that time off, in order to really set you up for success.

When you’re thinking about constraining and making decisions ahead of time, you also get to think about what do you not want to do, right? If there’s stuff you don’t want to go to, if there are activities that you don’t want to take part, and really check in with yourself. Again, tap into that candor, tap into your honesty, tap into that knowing internally; what is it that you want to do? How do you want to spend your time? How do you not want to spend your time?

If you don’t like running around, scrambling, getting people all of these different gifts, or having to spend a ton of time researching trying to figure out the best thing to get them, maybe you don’t want to do gifts. I did that a couple years ago; I was really not in a place to engage in gift giving. It wasn’t a great year for me, I was just starting my business. I didn’t have really, the financial resources to devote a ton of money to gift giving.

So, I just asked my family to not do it that year, and they agreed. We didn’t give each other any gifts, and it took a lot of stress and guilt and worry off my plate because I didn’t have to worry about receiving things and not being able to reciprocate. So, we just didn’t do gifts that year; that might be available for you, too.

You can also decide that you don’t get each other things, and you spend and invest in like, a vacation or something like that, or something for your house; you get to decide. You can also decide that you only buy gifts when people tell you what they want, rather than you having to do all the hard work and heavy lifting. You can just ask people what they want, and then buy them that.

I was going to bring this up later, but now’s as good a time as any to talk about it. I have a really good friend that’s a marriage coach. And one of the things that I’ve learned from her, when it comes to gift giving holidays, is that you normally get to pick between one of two things; you get to be surprised or satisfied, when it comes to the gifts that you receive.

Now, most people want to be surprised and satisfied. But that’s not always an option that’s available to us. So, if you have to pick, which would you prefer? Do you want to be surprised, and let the people in your life just buy you what they think you would like? Or, do you want to be satisfied, and tell them ahead of time? Same thing goes with, do you want to be unique and original with the gifts that you buy people? Do you want to be thoughtful about it? Do you want to invest that time? Or, do you just want to make it easy on yourself? You get to let it be easy.

That’s something I’m teaching my clients all the time. We love to make life harder on ourselves, unnecessarily, so you get to make this as easy as you want. Ask yourself, what are some changes you could make? And what are some decisions you could make, to make life easier on yourself this time of year?

So, that’s step one. If you’re doing too much during the holidays, you want to simplify. Practice constraint. Cut out whatever you can. Reduce whatever you can, and make some decisions ahead of time, to make your life easier. To either have a routine, or to have a game plan going into the holidays, rather than doing it in a reactionary manner, and scrambling and being really unintentional with how you spend your time.

You want to get really clear on the math, so you’re not overcapacity. And, that’s going to drastically reduce your overwhelm. Okay? Now, speaking of constraint, I mentioned a moment ago that you want to decide ahead of time when you’re working and when you’re not working. Especially if you tend to be someone who’s an overworker, right?

If you plan to take time off during the holidays, and then you actually don’t give yourself a break, you want to ask yourself, number one, why? What’s going on that’s causing that to happen? Typically, here’s what’s going on: Number one, you’ve got some negative thoughts about your ability to take time off. So, there’s probably some limiting beliefs there.

You’re telling yourself you have to work. You’re telling yourself you can’t take time off, that it needs to get done before a particular date. Now, you’ve heard me say this before, there are only four things that ever have to happen; you have to eat some stuff, drink some water, breathe, and sleep. That’s about it.

I just had someone tell me, you also have to use the restroom, which I don’t love talking about; I think it’s a little impolite. But they’ve got a good point there. That is probably the fifth thing that you have to do. Other than that, though, you always get to choose, okay?

So, if you’ve got some negative thoughts, or some limiting beliefs on your ability to unplug and take time off and not work, you want to clear that up. You want to actually see where you get to make a different choice. Where you have more agency and control than you might think that you have.

The other reason that you work when you plan to not work is because of how not working feels for you. So, it probably conjures up a lot of guilt or worry or fear. And when that happens, you avoid those feelings by going back to work by opening up that laptop of yours, and logging on, and doing some stuff that you planned to not do, while you’re “off” for the holidays.

Now, if you want to learn how to not work when you plan to be off, this is something you have to practice. And it’s going to be uncomfortable at first, it will get better over time, but you just have to gag-and-go through that discomfort. You have to feel guilty and feel worried and feel afraid and feel a little, maybe, inadequate.

Because you think you should be working or that a “good” employee or “good” attorney or “good” business owner would be working during this time, right? That’s how those negative thoughts or those limiting beliefs tie in with these feelings that you feel.

So, you want to change the thoughts. And then, you want to make a deal with yourself that you’re going to feel uncomfortable on purpose. The more you do this, the more you’re going to create evidence that it’s safe for you to take time off. That it’s safe for you to not work. That it’s safe for you to unplug.

And when you create that body of evidence, it’s going to create safety and security for you to continue to take time off in the future. But in the beginning, it’s going to be uncomfortable. That’s okay, you can survive that discomfort.

Now, I want to encourage you, if you have a really hard time with unplugging, and not working, and honoring your decision to not work when you’ve made it, start small. Pick some windows of time during this holiday season when you absolutely will not work, and then honor that plan. Just see what comes up for you. Get really clear on the negative emotions that you start to experience, or that you anticipate that you’ll experience.

I like to write them down and make a list. So, I get really clear and understand completely what negative emotions I need to experience, in order to stick to my original game plan, in order to follow through and honor that time off.

You get to try that, and create opportunities for yourself to practice this skill set. The more you do it, the better at it you will become. Now, in order to take time off, and to constrain and to reduce your overwhelm, and to make sure that you’re not doing too much, you’re going to have to work on saying no and setting boundaries, right?

If you asked me to do this, I will not agree. If you asked me to do this, I’m going to do this, instead. If you do this, then this is the action I’m going to take. Remember that a proper boundary is, “And if you do this, I will do this,” statement. All right?

You also want to say no to things. And again, this is going to bring up that sense of guilt, worry, fear, feeling exposed, or potentially judged, maybe misunderstood. I think learning how to feel misunderstood is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Knowing how to feel misunderstood and let other people misunderstand you, and have the wrong idea about you, is so powerful.

You really unlock next level freedom, when you learn how to just sit with that feeling of being and feeling misunderstood. And, not needing to correct the record, not needing defend yourself, not needing to, you know, set the record straight. You’re just able to sit with the discomfort and let them think what they want.

There’s going to be amazing opportunities for you to practice saying no. Maybe, it’s to other people. Maybe, it’s to traditions. Maybe, you’re like, “I’m not traveling this year, nope. If you want to get together for the holidays, you’ve got to come to me.”

Or, maybe you’re like, “I’m not hosting this year. I normally do and I’m sick of it.” Or, someone wants to stay at your house but it’s really not convenient for you, because you have so much going on with work. I work with a lot of transactional attorneys, and end of year is a pretty hectic time for them. It’s probably not the best time for them to have people in their home.

I think the perfectionist in us thinks that it’s gonna go really well, and we’ll still be able to work. But oftentimes, that’s not the case with my clients. So, it might be better for you to say no to people, and say, “Nope, I’m not going to do that.” Or, you know, “I can’t actually come over early and help you with X, Y or Z. I need to work/I want to work. I just want to rest; it’s been a really busy year. I don’t want to exit the holidays feeling more depleted than when I started them.”

All right, maybe it’s stuff with your kids. You’re like, “I’m not doing an elf-on-the-shelf.” That looks like so much work. I have one client, she’s like, “It’s so worth it to see how excited my kids get.” And if that’s how you feel, amazing. But if that’s not how you feel, and it’s just one more thing that you don’t feel like doing, this is your permission slip to just say, “No, we’re not doing it this year.” And, any other traditions that go along with the holidays that you really don’t feel up to, or you’d prefer not to do.

Now saying no and setting boundaries, dovetails into a whole other topic that you really want to address, in order to handle the holiday stress and chaos, okay? And, it’s expectations; the expectations you have for yourself, the expectations you have for other people, and the expectations that other people have of you, or at least that you perceive that they have of you.

Sometimes, people don’t actually tell us their expectations for us, we just conjure up the expectation in our head, and then we use it against ourselves. So, take a second and, you know, maybe grab a piece of paper, and write a list. Or, you can pause this episode and just brainstorm for a moment.

What expectations do you have of yourself during the holidays? What are all the ‘shoulds’ that come up for you? What are all the ‘shouldn’t’ thoughts that come up for you? What are all the thoughts where you’re like, “I have to do this. I need to do this. I can’t do this,” all that good stuff. “I must do this.”

Make that list. Figure out what your manual is like, the instruction manual that you have for yourself, is during the holiday season. Now, if you have expectations for yourself that are misaligned with how you actually want to spend your time, you need to adjust your expectations.

So, what do you want to expect of yourself during this time? What is B+, A- level holiday eating look like? I don’t think that’s a word, but you get what I’m saying. What does it look like? Where can you give yourself some grace? Where can you give yourself a pass? Where can you let yourself off the hook a little bit? Where can you be kinder to yourself? Where can you practice self-love?

Remember, one of the things that I teach, is that you want to be defining “enough.” And most people don’t really get clear on their expectations for themselves or for other people, for that matter. And they don’t define what a good “enough” job is, during seasons of their life like surviving the holidays.

And then, we just feel like we’re missing the mark, right? We’re not sure what “enough” is, but it’s not this, and we need to be doing more. So, then you keep efforting and hustling. And, we want to avoid that. You want to get really clear on what you expect of yourself. Is your expectation attainable and objective? If it’s not, it’s a bad expectation.

So, you want to go back to the drawing board and figure out what you want to expect of yourself, instead; that is objective, that is attainable, that is sustainable. All right? When you address this, you’re really going to dial down your overwhelm, your guilt, your disappointment with yourself, feeling inadequate, or selfish, or any of that stuff. You’re really going to dial that all down.

Now, if you tend to feel a lot of frustration, resentment, irritation, annoyance, anger, and disappointment, during the holiday season, it’s because you have expectations of other people that they’re not meeting. You’ve heard me say this, time and time again, they are not causing you to feel these feelings. Your thoughts about their behavior, what they’re doing or what they’re not doing, that’s what’s causing you to feel these emotions.

So, if you want to feel better during the holiday season, we have to adjust your expectations. In order to adjust them, to get you to feeling better, we first have to take an inventory of what you expect of other people. Pick a couple of people in your life. And again, you can pause this episode, and take a second and work this through.

But pick a couple of people; the people that you feel the strongest negative emotions around during the holiday season. Maybe it’s your clients, maybe it’s your colleagues, maybe it’s your boss, maybe it’s family members, your spouse, your partner, your parents, your siblings, maybe it’s your kids.

Whoever it is, you just want to take note of, who do you feel a lot of negative emotion about during the holiday season? And, you want to figure out why? What are your expectations of them, that they aren’t living up to? What are all the things that you think they should do, that they’re not doing? What are all the things that you think they shouldn’t do, that they are doing?

Get really clear on the manuals that you have for the people in your life. Now, when we wish people behaved differently than they do, and we’re wanting people to be different than they are, we set ourselves up for so much frustration. So, I always want you to be focusing on, is this something within my control?

When we’re asking people or expecting them to be different than they are, that’s typically outside of our control. Can you make a request that they change their behavior? Of course, you can. But they have free will, and they get to not comply with your request. All right? So, you get to decide if you want to say something or not, that part’s totally up to you.

But regardless of whether or not you say it, you want to be really clear, is this an expectation I want to have? If I have it, am I likely to keep feeling frustrated, feeling disappointed, feeling resentful? And what would happen if I released this expectation if I just got rid of it?

Releasing expectations is never something that we do for other people, by the way. It’s always something that we do for ourselves. It’s a gift that we give ourselves, because having expectations that people invariably don’t meet is really heavy. It leads to a lot of disappointment, a lot of discontentment, a lot of hurt, right? You get to be in control of how much of that you experience.

So, when you eliminate expectations, you dial that down significantly, and you give yourself the gift of feeling a whole lot better. I’m going to use a personal example, from my own life, here. I have had expectations of my parents around holidays in the past. I know I already told you about the charcuterie board/pizza scenario.

But outside of that, I’ve had the expectation that my parents have really lavish, big holiday parties. I grew up with an Italian grandfather who was definitely like the patriarch of our family, and he brought everyone together. We had these loud, big, fun Christmas celebrations, same thing for Thanksgiving. And I loved them, as a kid.

Since he passed, we don’t do that anymore. Everyone kind of split off and does their own thing, and it really bums me out. Obviously, I feel bummed because of the thoughts that I think about this. But those are my thoughts. And when I think them, I feel bummed.

I kept having this expectation that my parents do it the way that I want it done. And after several years of disappointing myself, and really spoiling my holiday experience, because it was all I was focused on, I made peace with the fact that my parents don’t like big holiday celebrations; I do.

They’re not going to change, because they don’t enjoy it. And they host, right now, so it’s their call to make. I can either keep expecting them to be different than they want to be, or I can accept them for who they are. That choice is mine.

Lo and behold, releasing that expectation and getting rid of it, and allowing my parents to just be themselves, and enjoying the time that I spend with them during the holidays. However they do it, really leads to me having a much more enjoyable holiday experience, right?

So, get clear on what you expect from other people. And if you can whittle away at that expectation list, if you can take, you know, the dry erase board eraser and get rid of some of those expectations, do that. It’s going to be a gift you give to yourself; you’re gonna feel so much better. Also, what a gift you can give to the people in your life, because when you’re feeling better, you’re going to show up better.

Think of how you show up during the holiday season when you feel resentful, frustrated, irritated, annoyed, disappointed, angry, hurt, right? You do not show up, well, normally; we react really unintentionally when we’re feeling feelings like that. So, think about how having these expectations not only upsets you, but creates problems for everyone else in your life.

It’s like a ripple effect, one that definitely doesn’t serve you. So, the fewer expectations that you have, the better everyone’s experience is going to be both yours and theirs, because of how you’re going to show up differently when you’re not saturated with all that negative emotion.

Now, the last type of expectation, is the expectation that you perceive other people have of you. Or, maybe expectations that they actually have for you, if they’ve actually communicated the expectation to you. And, you get to decide what you do with that information, or what you do with the expectation that you’ve conjured up in that head of yours. All right?

You’ve got a couple of options: You can people please and martyr yourself. If you want to meet that expectation, even though it’s not something you actually want to do. That is a surefire way to make the holiday season as stressful as possible, as miserable as possible. People pleasing, self-sacrificing, abandoning what you actually want and care about, and martyring yourself.

If you’re guilty of this, I want you to really take an inventory and ask yourself; why? Why are you people pleasing? Why are you abandoning what you want? Why are you martyring yourself? Normally, the reason is twofold; one, it’s uncomfortable for you not to. Which, the truth of the matter is, there’s discomfort both ways in people pleasing and martyring yourself, and in not people pleasing and not martyring yourself, right?

I always suggest, pick the path of discomfort that gets you what you ultimately want. So, that’s gonna be part of it. And then the other part of it, is that sometimes it feels good, in the moment, to be a martyr; we wear it like a badge of honor, right? And then, we get to complain about it afterwards, which makes us feel pretty self-righteous and significant.

And if that’s you, you just want to be onto yourself here. Okay? If you keep saying yes to stuff you hate doing. If you keep self-sacrificing for the sake of other people. And you’re deriving some benefit from it, some pleasure. If it’s a boost to your view of yourself, whatever the case may be, you want to know that. And you want to ask yourself; does this really serve me? Do I want to operate this way? Or, do I want to make a change?

I highly encourage you to test drive not people pleasing and not martyring yourself, this holiday season. You will have such a more enjoyable experience when you actually spend your time doing things that you want to do, rather than doing things you don’t want to do just to keep other people comfortable.

So, get really clear when it comes to expectations. Which ones do you have for yourself, that you want to get rid of? Which ones do you have for other people, that it makes sense to get rid of? Just because you’re disappointing yourself by having them.

And which expectations do you want to opt out of? Expectations that other people might have for you, that you’re like, “No thanks. Return to Sender. I reject that. That’s not for me. I’m not doing that this year.”

Now, another thing that I see people do during the holidays is they expect people to be mind reader’s. This leads to a lot of unmet expectations, a lot of disappointment, and a lot of frustration. So, if there’s something that you want, whether it’s an experience that you want, a gift that you want, whatever, a favor that you want, anything like that.

If you want someone else to do something, or you want to do something, and you want someone else to know about it, communicate it, ask for what you want. Make it really clear, don’t make people guess, don’t make them read between the lines. That’s a recipe for disappointment and disaster. And, it’s easily avoidable. All right?

My friend, Maggie, who’s the marriage coach. Maggie Reyes, she once coached a woman on this, who hated gift giving holidays because her husband always bought her something she didn’t like. And if that’s you, if that’s been your experience, listen closely.

Okay, I mentioned this earlier, but you get to just ask for what you want. Rather than leaving it up to chance, and risking your disappointment and frustration, and really sullying the holiday experience. You get to just ask for what you want.

If you want someone else to host this year instead of you, ask them for it. They, for sure, get to say no. But there’s a much greater chance you’ll get what you want if you ask, than if you don’t say anything at all; people aren’t going to read your mind.

And a lot of times, they might think that it’s something that you don’t want. So, you get to clear up confusion, and you make it so much easier for other people, too, because everyone loves certainty. Help make it easy for them. Help create certainty for them, by just telling them what you want. And, trusting them to rise to the occasion. They may not always rise to the occasion, but give them the chance to do so.

Now, another thing that I see come up really commonly during the holidays, is that people end up dealing with or encountering or navigating really challenging relationships. Normally, I see this more on the personal side of things, rather than the professional side of things, but it could be in both.

When it comes to those challenging relationships, here’s how I want you to address them. Number one, I want you to make a decision, ahead of time, about how you want to show up when it comes to interacting with the person that you have that challenging relationship with, okay? Decide for yourself that regardless of how they behave, this is how you want to behave. You might need to identify some boundaries, right?

I’ve worked with a couple clients, whose moms’ make comments to them, about how they look, about how they parent their kids, just about all the things, about how they maintain their house. And you might set a boundary that, “If you say that kind of stuff, I’m going to leave. I’m not gonna stick around.”

Or, if you have, you know, everyone always jokes that there’s the crazy uncle with the politics. If you have a crazy uncle who likes to talk about the politics at the holiday dinner, you get to decide, “If you bring up politics, I will not engage with you.”

That’s one of my favorite boundaries to set with people, because I don’t like upsetting the evening. If we aren’t going to agree on topics of conversation like that, we’re probably not going to convince anyone, and it’s just going to devolve into an unproductive conversation. So, you just get to opt out of it.

You can leave. You can just choose to be non-responsive. You can walk away and go talk to someone else; you get to decide. But I want you to think about how you’re likely to show up in those situations, and how you want to show up instead, okay?

Then, from there, I want you to get yourself to a clean place. So, do a thought download. Think about the person that you have the challenging relationship with, and write down all of the negative thoughts you think about them. Next to each of those thoughts, I want you to identify the one-word emotion that you feel, when you think each of those thoughts.

And then, you’re gonna be able to start to see how you’re likely to show up, as a result of thinking these thoughts, and feeling those feelings, right? It’s probably not going to be in any way that’s good. It’s not going to serve you. It’s not going to serve them. It’s going to lead to a much more negative Christmas or holiday experience than you would prefer.

So, get clear on what your thoughts are. And then ask yourself; what can you choose to think instead? And, find some thoughts. They don’t have to be the most amazing, beautiful, flowery thoughts. But find some thoughts that you can latch on to, you can anchor yourself to, that move the dial a little bit, that make you feel a little bit better.

The other thing that I want to encourage you to do, that goes in alignment or in accordance with that exercise that I just gave you, I want you to leave your stories about people at home. Don’t bring them with you to the holiday dinner. Don’t bring them with you to the family party that you go to. Leave them at home.

You don’t need to bring 10 years of history and baggage and backstory with you, to every experience you have with the person that you have the challenging relationship with; that is a recipe for disaster. You’re gonna walk into the room with that negative lens on, and everything they do is going to filter through it, so you’re just going to be searching for evidence to be upset about. And when you’re upset, you’re not going to show up as the best version of yourself. So, leave your stories at home.

I like to say I have the memory of a goldfish. And, I really love to give everyone the benefit of the doubt; I’m very forgiving, I don’t hold grudges. And if you’re a grudge holder, I just want to encourage you give it a try, to just drop it for an evening, for a dinner, for one holiday season. Just give people the benefit of the doubt.

Assume positive intent, instead of assuming negative intent. That will make all the difference in the world, I assure you. Now, if you find yourself in a position this holiday season, that’s less than ideal, that isn’t what you wanted; maybe you’re recently divorced. Or, maybe you just got laid off. Or, your family’s far away and it doesn’t make sense for you to travel home to see them, based on what you have going on. Or, it’s the year you don’t have your kids, they’re with your ex.

Whatever the case may be there, if you have a lot of sadness around the holiday season, I want to encourage you process the sadness. There’s nothing wrong with being sad, right? Being sad is part of the human experience. And you don’t have to be angry that you feel that way, or be in judgment of the fact that you feel that way.

Sometimes, we want to think sad thoughts about the circumstances we encounter. And we want to feel sad, as a result. But if you can focus on what you can control and curate an experience from there, you can double down on the sadness. Or, you can really make an effort to make the best of the situation, okay? I encourage you to do that.

Make an effort, make an attempt to try and find some joy. Try and create a way to spend your time, this holiday season, that’s in alignment with you, what you want, and that feels good. You get to cultivate and curate a little bit of joy.

All right, last but not least, this big piece, that I see people encounter after the holiday season is over or as it’s coming to an end, and you’re getting back into the swing of things; people have so much dread about returning to work. They’re like, anxious ahead of time. Stressed out about all the emails that they have waiting for them, and all the things they need to “catch up on.” They feel like they’re behind because they took time off.

And so many people that I work with end up telling me that they wish they didn’t even take time off to begin with. Just because it’s such a hardship to come back to, after they’ve been off. If that’s you, if you’re guilty of talking like this, here’s what I want to offer you. You want to change the way that you’re thinking about coming back to work, okay?

This is only a problem, and you only experience dread, because of how you’re thinking about it. So, you want to change your thoughts. How do you need to think about it, instead? I want you to think about how you want to feel, coming back after the holidays. Do you want to feel in control, and intentional, and capable, and determined, and committed, and calm, and grounded, and all of those good emotions?

Or, do you want to feel overwhelmed, and dreadful, and stressed, and rushed, and pressured? You get to pick now how you think about returning to work after the holidays. It’s what’s going to determine how you feel. So, take a few minutes and think about; what do you want to start practicing believing right now, in order to create a more positive, enjoyable experience as you return to work?

Now, that brings me to the overall point here, that I really want to drive home. Ultimately, your experience during the holidays is determined by the story that you tell, about your experience during the holidays. So, I want to invite you to craft a really positive story. A much more grounded story. One with a lot of calm and intentionality, all right?

Rather than one that feels very dramatic and chaotic and frantic. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the stories that you tell. I highly encourage you to tell a good one about what your holiday experience is going to be like. Right?

You can say that you can’t handle it all, and that it’s the worst, and that you hate this time of year, and that you wish it was just January already, and you’re never gonna get through it, and you have too much on your plate. And, cue the negative experience when you think that way.

Or, you can think that you’re going to make time for what matters most, you’re going to cut out the rest. You’ve got a handle on things. You know what needs to get done, you’re gonna do it. You have enough time to do it. You’re in control of how you spend your time. You’re only going to make decisions that feel aligned and in integrity with what you actually want.

And that you’re really going to enjoy yourself spending a little time away from work if you choose to do that. Spending time with family and friends if you choose to do that. You’re just enjoying spending your time; however it is that you do choose to spend it. All right?

You get to decide right now, that you’re gonna have a great holiday season, and that they’re gonna go smoothly. If you believe that now, or you practice believing it now, you’re much more likely to make that your experience, as the holidays come around and you navigate your way through them.

Now, we covered a ton in this episode. Like I said at the beginning, we really tied in so many of the topics that I’ve been talking about throughout the first 40 episodes of the podcast: defining “enough”, setting boundaries, saying no, managing your time, not people pleasing, reducing your expectations of others, navigating difficult relationships, all that good stuff.

If this episode really resonated with you, and you relate to a ton of what I talked about, I highly encourage you to join The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind, my six-month group coaching program. This is what we do inside that program. I teach you all of these topics. You learn how to master navigating them.

The tools and principles and concepts that I teach you, will become second-hand when you spend six months with me, inside the Mastermind, learning this stuff, applying the tools that I teach, evaluating what works and what doesn’t, and consistently getting better and better and better at it until you get the results that you want. If you struggle with the areas that I talked about today, the Mastermind is perfect for you.

Now, a little bit about the details. We start with an in-person event; it’s February 1-4, in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s a three and a half day, immersive experience. We come together. We meet each other. We have an amazing Welcome Dinner. Get to know one another, and start to bond and connect, and form that camaraderie and support system.

Then, we spend the next three days together and we get to work. I’m going to teach you the fundamental concepts that you need to know to manage your mind, manage your life, and really create the results that you’re craving.

We’re going to problem solve and address all the issues that are really holding you back from getting where you want to go. And then, we’re gonna do a real deep dive on setting goals, and creating a clear roadmap that you’re going to implement over the course of the next six months, to create the results that you want to achieve, the goals that you set. All right?

I’m going to teach, you’re going to learn, we’re going to workshop together and I am going to coach you so hard; it’s going to be so good. We’re going to get you past those limiting beliefs. I’m going to get you past those roadblocks. We’re going to identify the obstacles that have been getting in your way, and I’m going to help you overcome them.

At the end of the three days, we celebrate all that we accomplished together, with the most amazing farewell dinner. And if you don’t know me, I like to do things over-the-top. So, the venue for the live event is incredible. The dinners and the food are just going to be so exquisite. And the company you guys, is extraordinary.

We have the best group of people. I’m so excited to have so many of my current Mastermind members returning for the next round. And I can’t wait to welcome the new ones, where this is their first time, and they’re going to come and meet everyone. It’s going to be so good. This room keeps growing and growing, and getting bigger and bigger. I just love to see the connections expand and the relationships deepen. It’s just so beautiful to watch.

If you are looking for support and accountability, this is the room you want to be in. This is the program that you want to join. And then, after we leave the live event, we’re going to spend the next six months implementing the plan that we make when we’re in-person with one another.

You’re gonna stumble, that’s expected. That’s okay. I’ve got you, every step of the way. We’re going to work on evaluating what’s working, what’s not working, and we’re going to tweak your mindset and the action that you’re taking, in order to make consistent, constant improvements. In order to get you across the finish line, to make your success inevitable.

If you struggle with the stuff that I talked about today, you want to make sure you join; don’t put it off. Don’t wait till the next round of the Mastermind; you just delay your progress when you do that. All right?

I want you to go to my website, TheLessStressedLawyer.com/mastermind and apply, right now. Enrollment closes as soon as the remaining spots fill. Okay, so when you hear this, don’t wait. Make sure you go apply as soon as possible, so you can secure your spot.

Also, if you’re thinking about joining, make the decision. One of the things that we do in the Mastermind, is learn how to make really empowered, quick decisions. The faster you make decisions, the faster you get what you want in your life. Let this be decision number one; it’s like, your first homework assignment from me. Go ahead, get in there and join.

Don’t leave it as an open to-do list item that takes up space in your mind, get it out of the way. And what you’re going to do, when you sign up right now, is you’re going to create so much relief for yourself, that you’ve got a game plan for next year to work on all of the issues that I talked about today. So, you stop struggling with them. So, life stops feeling so overwhelming. So, stops feeling so hard. All right?

It doesn’t have to feel that way, and you don’t have to do this work alone; you will get so much further, so much faster. The progress you make inside the Mastermind will truly blow your mind. If you want a better life, if you want more for your life, and you don’t want to feel as miserable as you have been feeling, there’s a better way to do it.

Join the Mastermind and I’ll teach you what that better way is. You’re ready. Now’s the perfect time to join. Don’t wait. If you need to get super resourceful in order to get in there, get super resourceful and get in there. The progress that you want to make is on the other side of making this investment in yourself; I promise you.

I can’t wait to see you in-person, and for you to join me in South Carolina. We’re gonna have an absolute riot. Personal development gets to be really fun and enjoyable. I promise, you’re going to have the most amazing time with me in person, and over the course of the next six months.

All right, my friends. That’s what I have for you this week. I hope you have the most amazing holiday season, and I will talk to you in the next episode.

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 www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

Enjoy the Show?

Episode 40: Getting to Know Yourself

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Getting to Know Yourself

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Getting to Know Yourself

Do you know yourself? Getting my clients to know and like themselves is a huge part of the work we do together, and if we find anything that is out of alignment for them, anything that is incongruent with who they want to be, then we can solve for that. So, let me ask you: who are you, and do you like who you are?

It’s hard to like yourself if you don’t truly know who you are. But many of us are so out of touch with ourselves because we’ve put everyone else’s needs before our own for our whole lives. So, in today’s episode, I’m showing you how to put the focus back on yourself, so you can stop bypassing what you want and neglecting yourself and instead tune into who you really want to be.

Join me on the podcast this week to truly get to know yourself. I’m sharing all of the ways that being out of touch with who you are shows up, how you might be distracting yourself from deeply knowing who you are, and I’m giving you all the questions you need to ask yourself to discover who you really are.

Enrollment is open for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind! This is a six-month group coaching program where you’ll be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals from the legal industry, pushing you to become the best possible version of yourself. You can get all the information and apply by clicking here

On December 16th, we’re going to work on setting the pace for 2023 by learning to stop tolerating the parts of your life you don’t love. This masterclass is happening at noon Eastern Time, so click here to join!

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 knowing who you are is so powerful.
  • Some of the reasons why you might not know yourself as well as you should.
  • How to see the ways that you’re neglecting yourself and who you really want to be.
  • Why deeply getting to know yourself will bring up some emotional discomfort, and that’s okay.
  • The kinds of events that lead us to fundamentally change as people.
  • Why being alone provides you the most valuable perspective on who you really are.
  • How to ask yourself the important questions so you can truly get to know yourself and spend your time in the way you want.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 40. Today, we’re talking all about getting to know yourself. 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.

Hi, my friends. How are we doing today? Are you gearing up for the holiday season? I definitely am. I haven’t done any of my shopping yet, but I started, a couple years ago, taking the last two weeks of December off every year. And, it has been a game changer. I push really hard. I get a lot accomplished before the end of the year. I’m really productive. I get all my ducks in a row. And then, I take a full two weeks off; it is super luxurious.

I just get to unwind and decompress, and go through the holidays without all of the chaos that you normally encounter when you’re trying to do everything all at once. And I know that you guys would benefit from an episode on how to survive or handle the holidays, juggling both work and family and friend obligations, and all that good stuff. So, I’m going to talk about that next week’s episode.

But in this week’s episode, I really wanted to talk about getting to know yourself. This came up for me in response to a client of mine. She listened to one of my podcast episodes, I think it’s called “Indulging in I Don’t Know;” it’s one of the earlier episodes. And she had said to me, during one of our sessions, she said Olivia, “I know I’m supposed to know what I want. I know I’m supposed to have the answer to that. But I really don’t know.”

I do believe, we do always know, deep down, what we want. But when you don’t know yourself, you have a really hard time accessing that inner wisdom. So, this is like a precursor to being able to answer that question: What do I want? What do I not want? Separate and apart from that though, it is just really wonderful to know yourself, to know who you are.

Because it is really hard to like who you are, if you don’t know who you are. And one of the things I’m always working with my clients on is getting them to know and like the person that they are. And if there’s anything that’s out of alignment, that they don’t like, they’re acting in a way that’s incongruent with who they are, with who they want to be, we want to solve for that.

So, we want to figure out; who you are? Who aren’t you? And, do you like who you are? Now, you may be wondering, what leads to us not knowing who we are, right? What gets us so out of touch with ourselves that we don’t really know our preferences, we don’t really know our likes and dislikes, we don’t really know ourselves.

One of the contributing factors to this is that we put everyone else’s needs before our own. And when you do that, when you’re so concerned with everyone else in your world and less concerned with yourself, you stop knowing yourself. Because you’re bypassing what it is that you prefer, what it is that you want, in order to take care of everyone else’s needs first, right?

You neglect yourself; you abandon yourself. And when you do that, you turn off that part of you that’s checked in and tuned in with what you like, and who you are, and what you want.

Another reason or contributing factor that you’re not in touch with who you are and what you want, and feel like you don’t know yourself, is if you’re doing a lot of buffering. I’m going to cover a whole episode on buffering. I actually am doing a webinar this Friday, on how to stop tolerating and change your life. And, I’m going to talk a ton about buffering.

Because one of the ways that we tolerate our lives and all the things in our lives that we don’t like, is by buffering. Buffering is any action that you take, that provides you with instant gratification and allows you to avoid that temporary instant discomfort. So, drinking too much, eating too much, scrolling on social media, smoking, spending money. I used to travel as a buffer. Sleeping, watching Netflix, all those things, right?

So, if you’re doing any activity that numbs you or distracts you from yourself and from your life, if you’re doing a lot of that, you’re really not going to be in touch with yourself because you’re numbing the things that you don’t like; you’re just out of touch with who you are.

All those distractions really prevent you and inhibit you from ever truly knowing yourself. Especially, if you buffer to avoid boredom. When you avoid boredom, you really stop yourself from knowing yourself at the deepest levels, and figuring out what you like and what you dislike. When you’re doing a ton of buffering and you’re seeking that instant gratification, you’re not in tune with what you’re thinking and feeling.

You’re literally doing the behavior in order to avoid what you’re thinking and feeling. So, when you’re avoiding what you’re thinking and feeling, of course, you’re not going to know yourself. Because knowing yourself is knowing what you’re thinking and feeling, right?

Understanding why you’re doing the things that you’re doing, which of course, are driven by the thoughts that you think and the feelings that you feel. Or, the feelings that you’re actually trying to resist, avoid, or you’re reacting to, right. So, we want to put you back in touch with what you’re thinking and feeling.

Now, if that sounds scary, if you’re like, “Olivia, I don’t like to be alone with myself. I don’t like what it’s going on up in my head.” I promise you, it’s safe for you to explore; it won’t kill you. You really want to drop that narrative, and rewrite that part of the story that you’re telling about yourself. It is okay for you to be alone with your thoughts. It’s okay for you to be alone with your feelings.

You do want to get intimate with yourself, and know those things about yourself. Because if some of them aren’t good, we want to tweak that and we want to remedy that, so you can feel better and you can take action that supports the life that you want to have. Also, it’s okay to think negative thoughts and feel negative feelings sometimes, that’s part of the human experience.

So, this isn’t getting to know yourself so it’s all rainbows, daisies, and sunshine. It’s okay if some of what you find is negative. We’re constantly a work in progress. We’re constantly improving, we’re ever evolving. You want to know the good, and the bad. I don’t even want to use the term “bad” because it’s not really bad, it’s just your nuance, right? We want you knowing your nuance.

Now, the last reason you may not know yourself, or be in tune with what you like and what you dislike, and who you are, is maybe you’ve gone through a recent transition; something really drastic has happened recently. Maybe, you’ve lost a loved one, or you’ve changed jobs, or you’ve lost a job, or you’ve gotten divorced, or anything like that, right?

Maybe you’ve moved and you feel disconnected from your past self. You’re like, “I don’t know this new version of me. I don’t know what that version of me is like. Who is this person?” Then, we want to start exploring and get you knowing this new version of you. Okay?

Now, one of the first things you want to start doing, in order to get to know yourself, is you’ve got to spend time with yourself. Because if you’re constantly distracted by other people, and you’re in another person’s company at all times, you never really get to explore yourself and go into that head of yours. Figure out what you like and what you dislike, and who you are, and what you want.

And you never have that opportunity, that chance to ask and answer any of those questions, because you’re just constantly on and engaging with the other person, right? You never get to take that internal inventory. So, if you’re going to embark on this journey of getting to know yourself, and I highly recommend that you do, I think this is the work of our lifetimes; is to intimately know ourselves better and better and better and better, with each day, with each month, with each year.

If you’re going to embark on that journey of self-discovery, of self-knowing, you’re gonna have to spend time with yourself. Now, you can of course, do this in the privacy of your own home. Carve some time out, maybe where you journal, you sit with yourself, you meditate, you ask and answer some of the questions that I’m going to pose to you in a second. That’s one way to do this.

I also highly encourage you to get out into the world on your own. I recently published a post on social media all about being independent. I talked about my own experience with being independent, and spending time with myself. Every Friday, typically, I take myself out to eat and I go all by myself. I have a couple favorite spots in the city of Detroit, which is where I’m based. And I go and just eat dinner by myself. I treat myself normally to a really wonderful meal.

I just sit there, and I spend time with me. I get to do whatever I want. I get to go wherever I want. I get to order whatever I want. And, I get to interact with other people. Sometimes, it’s the people that work at the restaurant. Other times, it’s random strangers that sit next to me. Or, they’re nearby and I just get to mix and mingle, and like really enjoy my own company. It’s like dating yourself.

I also travel alone a ton. In fact, most of the travel I do is traveling by myself. And that time that I get to spend alone with myself is so informative, too; I get to do whatever I want, whenever I want. And, it is just so decadent being able to do that. And you’ve learned so much about your preferences; about what you like, about what you don’t like, about what you enjoy doing, what you don’t enjoy doing, where you’d like to go, who you like to be when you’re there.

You really get to make up your mind and just explore the world, while exploring yourself. Now, those are two ways that I explore myself and get to know myself; I spend time with myself, out eating, out traveling. And maybe, you want to do an activity by yourself. Or, you want to go to the movies by yourself, or you want to go to the library by yourself, whatever the case may be.

Just be out in the world by yourself. It’s really going to give you that opportunity to start being in closer conversation with yourself. How many times can I say “yourself” in this episode, guys? Bear with me, okay? Now, if spending time alone with yourself, especially out in public, seems terrifying, I really want to encourage you to gag-and-go through that discomfort and feel your negative feelings, and do this anyways.

It’s really transformative to become a person who can be in the world completely by themselves, and enjoy their own company. So, you’re just going to practice doing that; spending time all by yourself. If you have really strong resistance to doing this, I want you to make a list of the negative emotions that you think you’ll have to feel if you forced yourself to do this.

Are you going to have to feel embarrassed? Are you’re gonna have to feel awkward? Maybe exposed, maybe judged by other people? A lot of people that talk to me, who are resistant to doing this, being out in the world by themselves and doing things solo, they’re so worried about what other people are going to think of them. So, if that’s you, you’re gonna just have to feel a little judged, exposed, and embarrassed.

Or, maybe misunderstood. You’re gonna have to let other people have an opinion of you. I promise you; they really don’t care that you’re out in the world on your own. In fact, a lot of people who see me out in the world on my own, whether it’s eating out or traveling alone, they really admire it. They’re really curious and intrigued by the fact that I’m able to do that. I tend to inspire other people when I’m out in the world in that way.

I end up meeting a lot of wonderful people and we talk about it. I think I inspire them and give them the boost of confidence that they might need, in order to do it themselves. You can be an example of what’s possible for someone else if you do this. You are just sprinkling a little bit of value into the world if you decide to show up all by your lonesome out in the world.

So, make that list of negative emotions. Get really clear on the feelings that you’ll be forced to feel. And then, get clear on the thoughts that you’re thinking that would cause you to feel those feelings, right? You want to find that thought and feeling combo, those T and F pairs.

When you find those thoughts and feelings, I want you to do two things: Number one, just ask yourself; what else could I think here? What else might be true? And then, I want you to ask yourself; what’s the worst that could happen?

The worst thing that can happen is that you’re going to feel a feeling. And you’ve survived every feeling you’ve ever felt, all the good ones and all the bad ones. So, if you have to experience a little discomfort in order to get to know yourself, I promise you, it’s worth the price of admission.

Alright, gag-and-go through that discomfort; you’re going to be just fine. And then, you’re going to become someone who’s so much more confident, so much more independent. Really able to do whatever you want on your terms, which is so empowering.

So, the reward here is a really amazing payoff for just a tiny little bit of discomfort. I highly recommend and encourage that you give this a try. You can start small. Go sit in a coffee shop for a little bit by yourself, rather than a whole meal. Or, grab a drink before having dinner by yourself. Like, that’s fine, you just get to take baby steps.

But spend more and more time alone with yourself. Take a small trip first. Maybe, just drive somewhere for the day. Go spend the day in a new city. And then, you can take a flight by yourself. Then, you can travel throughout the U.S. Maybe, go to someplace you’ve already been before, so it’s a little bit more familiar to you, and maybe not as intimidating.

And then, you can amp it up just a little by little every single time you do that. So, maybe one day, you’re taking, you know, a European vacation or an excursion someplace really remote, all by yourself, if you want to. But you don’t have to start there, just start with baby steps, start small.

Now, the first question to getting to know yourself that I want you to start with is; what do I like? I want you to start to figure out what you like and what you dislike. Whenever I give this homework to clients, I always talk to them about the movie Runaway Bride.

I don’t know if you’ve seen that rom-com, it’s with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. She gets engaged to a bunch of different men, and then she leaves them at the altar. Trying not to do any spoiler alerts for those of you who haven’t seen it; it’s actually pretty good rom-com.

One of the things that she does, with all of these fiancés of hers, is that she steals their egg order. So, every time she dates and gets engaged to a new person, she orders her eggs the same way that they order theirs. And Richard Gere, at some point in the movie, calls her out on this. He’s like, “You don’t even know what kind of eggs you like.”

And it’s true, she doesn’t know what kind of eggs she likes. She changes that constantly, just based off of other people. And to kind of be easy, breezy, and go with the flow. Just to not ruffle any feathers or be disagreeable in any way. Maybe, that really resonates with you.

Maybe you hide your preferences, or don’t know what you like, because you’re just always trying to be easy, breezy, and go with the flow, and keep the peace and be agreeable, right? Putting other people’s needs and wants and desires before your own, like I talked about a second ago.

And in the movie, she goes through this, like self-discovery process. One of the things she does, while she’s on that self-exploration journey that she takes, is she orders all different types of eggs. She tries each and every one of them, to find out which ones she likes and which ones she doesn’t like. And through that process, she discovers that all of the egg orders that she had been previously ordering, she didn’t prefer any of those. She actually liked something completely different.

I think this is so fun. You get to do this with things in the world, too. So, it can be food that you think that you don’t like; maybe you do, maybe you don’t, right? Maybe, you have some preconceived notions about things that you think you wouldn’t like, but you’ve never even tried them before.

I think we get a lot of that from our parents; we tend to pick up our parents preferences. And then, a lot of us never question them, we just kind of run with it. I also did this recently, not just with food, I’ve done this quite a bit with food; questioning things that I thought that I never liked. And oysters is a good example. I love oysters and my mom hates them, so I thought for the longest time, that I didn’t like them. And it turns out, I really do.

I also did this with music. A couple years ago, I stumbled upon one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, which if you’ve never watched one of those, they’re really good; I highly recommend them. They do like a little background documentary, and the band performs, or the artist performs. It’s really good. It exposes you to maybe a lot of music that you hadn’t otherwise heard.

You get to learn about the artists and how they came to get where they are today, so it’s just really informative. And if you’re as curious as George, like I am, and you really like to learn, I think you would really like these induction ceremonies.

So, the first one that I watched; Stevie Nicks was getting inducted for her solo artist career. And for the longest time, I had been telling myself that I didn’t like Fleetwood Mac. And the only reason that I was telling myself that is because my mom doesn’t like Fleetwood Mac. I had just grown up with that narrative my whole life.

So, I questioned that. I learned a little bit more about Stevie Nicks, and the time that she came up and really how talented she is. And being in a really male dominated music industry at the time that she came up, and being inspired by Janis Joplin and all this stuff. I was just so fascinated. So, I started listening to a ton of music and turns out, I don’t love all Fleetwood Mac, but I like some of it.

That started to open my mind to, maybe there are other performing artists that I think I don’t like but that I actually like; and Nirvana is one of them. I thought for the longest time, I don’t know why, it’s based on nothing, that I didn’t like Nirvana. Then, I listened to Nirvana. I just spent a whole day listening to Nirvana, and turns out I like some of their stuff.

So, I’ve been doing this with random things; food, music, books, maybe movies that you hadn’t seen, but you just kind of predisposed, decided, that, “Oh, I wouldn’t like that.” If there are things like that for you, you just have this idea like, “Oh, I’ve never tried that before, but I know I won’t like it,” I want to encourage you to try it. See for yourself; you might have changed your mind.

You also may have tried something in the past, but your preferences can change over time. So, maybe you didn’t used to like it and you like it now. This question, what do I like? And, what don’t I like? They’re really simple questions, but they’re super impactful. Mainly, because if you find yourself spending your time or doing all of these things that you don’t actually prefer, that’s such good intel to have.

Because we want to start making changes, in order to get to living a life that you do prefer, right? Rather than, one where you spend all of your time doing shit you hate; that’s not fun for anyone. It’s truly no way to go through life. I am on a mission to help people live lives that they’re obsessed with; to live lives on their terms. And if you’re spending all of your time doing shit you hate, you absolutely aren’t doing that.

So, we’ve got to get you figuring out what you like and what don’t you like. And if you’re spending your time doing a lot of things that you don’t like, we really want to start to dig deep and find out why, and figure out what you would like instead, so we know what to pivot to. You can ask this question; what do I like? Or, do I like this? It’s another way to start to find out what you like and what you don’t like.

You get to ask yourself that question as often as you want. You can do it all throughout your day. You can bring that question with you to every situation you encounter. I’ve taught you guys, in a previous episode, all about making decisions ahead of time. And one of the ways that you get to start making decisions ahead of time is by figuring out what you like. And then, you just decide, I’m doing that going forward. Right?

Like, I like sitting in the right-hand aisle seat on an airplane. It’s because I’ve gone through life, and I figured it out. I don’t like any of the other seats. I don’t like sitting by the window. I absolutely hate sitting in the middle. I don’t like sitting on the left side of the plane. I know that makes me weird. It’s fine. But I have a preference, right?

I’ve also, this is a recent change, I’ve really loved flying first class. It’s much nicer than flying any other way. So, that’s a new preference. And it’s worth it to me to splurge on a first-class ticket because I really do enjoy the traveling adventure experience so much more.

I could probably end this episode with just giving you that question: To constantly ask yourself; What do I like? Do I like this? Do I not like this? What don’t I like? Just that body of questions, right there. But I’m not going to. I want to give you some more questions.

You can really take getting to know yourself to the deepest level, so you can get really clear on who you are. Another question that I ask clients of mine a lot is what do you like about yourself? And it always breaks my heart when they have a really hard time answering this question. They’ll either immediately default to saying, “Nothing,” which is just devastating to me.

That’s not me judging that answer, we’re just going to work on it during our work together. If you feel like you don’t like anything about yourself, I promise you, you do, you’re just not used to having this conversation with yourself. So, we have to build that muscle. I actually make my clients make lists of the things that they like about themselves.

I normally tell them that they need to write down 10 different characteristics or qualities that they like about themselves, each, and every day. And they’re like, “Ten? You’ve got to be kidding me. That’s so many.” I’m like, “Yeah, 10. You’re gonna write 10 different things, every single day. I don’t care how big they are. I don’t care how small they are.”

I want you to do the same thing, pick 10 things, every single day, that you like about yourself. As you answer this question, you’re gonna start to figure out who you are, and who you aren’t. Right? You get to ask yourself the questions; what are my strengths? And then of course, the corollary, right? What are my weaknesses? I want you to know both of those things; not just one or the other. Right?

I know, it isn’t always fun to explore your weaknesses, but you want to be intimately aware of what they are. And I want to encourage you, judging yourself for having them is optional. So, don’t do it. Leave the judgment alone. All right?

Just answer that question from a really curious place: What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? We all have weaknesses, that’s part of the human experience. It’s not a problem, you just want to intimately know what they are, because it’s part of knowing who you are. You’re a dynamic creature, right? Your nuances are what makes you interesting. And some of those are going to be your flaws or your foibles. Right?

Another amazing question for you to start to answer is what do you value? What do you believe in? What don’t you believe in? What don’t you value? What do you want more of? And, what do you want less of? Those are two really great questions too, in addition to just knowing what you want. Which is part of this self-exploration journey, thinking about what do you want more of in the future?

I always ask that question when I’m talking about setting 2023 goals, or any new year goals; what do you want more of next year? And then, what do you want less of? A fun inquiry, what are you proud of? Of all the things that you’ve done, what do you consider your greatest achievements, your greatest accomplishments?

What are you afraid of? What do you worry about? I think those two questions are so powerful for me. One of the things that I really worry about is not spending enough time with my family. I tend to put my head down and I focus a ton on my business, and I travel quite a bit.

And I love those parts of my life, but I’m an only child. And I’m cognizant that like, my parents will not be here forever. And, that makes me sad. That makes me worry. I’m scared that I won’t get to spend all the time that I want to spend with them. And knowing the answer to that question informs a lot of what I do.

So, I make a really intentional effort to spend time with them. I go out to their house, I visit them, we go to dinner pretty frequently. And I think these questions, and my answers to it, offer an example to you that the answer to what seemingly might appear to be a negative question doesn’t have to be a negative answer, right?

It’s actually a really amazing answer. It’s a really powerful answer, to have to know and understand what it is you’re afraid of, what you’re worried about, so you can solve for it, if possible.

Here’s another set of questions that I love: When have you been the happiest? And, when have you been the most unhappy? Think about those memories, let them be instructive for you. What do you learn from going through and auditing the experiences that you’ve had, that you’ve been really happy about? Or, the ones that you’ve been not so happy about? Right?

Another really fun exercise is just to answer the question; what’s your favorite…? And then, insert the blank, whatever the noun is, right? Just to really explore yourself and understand what your favorite things are. Or, you can do this with the least favorite things. So, sort of akin to what you like and what you don’t like. But I really want you to get specific about your favorites of stuff.

Here’s another awesome question: What do people not know about you? What do you know about yourself that you haven’t shared with others, that other people don’t know? And, what do you want people to know about you? One of the really important benefits about getting to know yourself very intimately is that you get to choose to let other people know who you are, as well.

But that only is possible once you know who you are, and who you’re not. Right? I think this is so important. So many of the people that I work with, and a former version of myself, really felt unknown, and unseen, and really alone, right? When you don’t know who you are, no one else gets to know who you are either. And, that is a really isolating, lonely experience.

So, if you want to feel better, if you want to feel more connected to people, if you want to feel known and seen and understood, something that I believe all of us crave, you have to know who you are in order for other people to know who you are. This process starts with you.

Another fun question to answer is what do you wish was different about you? What would you like to change if you had a magic wand, and could? What would you alter? What habits would you get rid of? What behavior would you stop engaging in? And, who would you be? What would you do differently if no one had an opinion about your behavior?

Oftentimes, we hide who we truly are because we’re afraid of other people’s opinions, afraid of other people’s judgments of us. So, if no one had an opinion, what changes would you make? What would you do differently? How would you be different than who you are right now?

And now, for the most obvious question; what is it that you want? What goals do you have? What do you want to accomplish in this life of yours? What do you want to be remembered for?

That’s a lot of questions, I know it is. I would highly encourage you either to go back through this episode and pause with each question, write them down. Or, the much easier version of doing that, would be to just go to my website, TheLessStressedLawyer.com and there’s a transcript of this episode; you could just go and print it out, or copy and paste, the transcript so you have all the questions that I asked.

And I just encourage you to start asking and answering each one, go one by one. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself and answer all of them in one sitting, that would take you a really long time. I also highly encourage you to go to Amazon and Google, I guess not Google on Amazon, you get the drift. To go to Amazon and search for “Question Books,” and you can use them to facilitate this process of getting to know yourself a little bit better.

Sometimes, those prompts can be really helpful, just like the prompts that I gave you in this episode. And plus, if you’re like me, you like a workbook; all the better, two birds, one stone. I really want to encourage you to embark on the self-discovery journey, though. This journey of getting to know exactly who you are; the good, the bad, the in-between, all of it.

Knowing who you are is crucial to living a life with more fulfillment. To creating that life you’re obsessed with. To really living life on your terms. If you don’t want to embark on this journey alone, you don’t have to. I want to invite you to join The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind; that’s my signature group-coaching program.

And when you’re in it, you’re going to embark on this journey with me. All right? I’m going to facilitate you getting to know yourself at the deepest, most intimate level. I’m going to help you create a life that’s in alignment with your preferences. I’m going to help you discover who you are, what you want, and what you don’t want. And, I’m going to help you become the version of you that you want to become.

The new year is upon us, it’s gonna be here before we know it. And, I want to make sure that you have your personal development journey for 2023 dialed in, locked in, all figured out. All right? I have a few spots remaining, the Mastermind enrollment will close as soon as they fill. So, don’t wait. Go to my website, TheLessStressedLawyer.com/mastermind, and apply to join, right now.

The Mastermind kicks off with an in-person retreat. We’re going to spend February 1-4 in Charleston, masterminding together, workshopping. I’m going to teach you so much stuff that’s going to facilitate the self-discovery journey for you. I’m going to teach you how to figure out who you are, why you do the things you do, why you feel the way you feel, why you think the way you think, and why you have the results that you have.

And then, we’re going to go to work. Once we figure out exactly who you are, and what you want, and what you like, and what you want more of. We’re gonna go to work creating it. It starts at that in-person retreat, in Charleston. And then, we continue that work over the next six months together.

We meet once a week for our weekly group calls. And then, in between our sessions, you’ve got access to the Facebook group, so you get all the support you need. On this journey of becoming more of who you want to be, of becoming more of who you are inside, of growing in and becoming that version of yourself, it would be my absolute honor to have you in the Mastermind.

I would love to be alongside you as you discover who you are, who you want to be and become that version of you. All right? So, head to my website, TheLessStressedLawyer.com/mastermind, and go get in there; join the upcoming round. I do not want you to spend another year not knowing who you are, not being the person you want to be.

So, this work starts now. Also, don’t forget, as I mentioned earlier, make sure you sign up for the webinar that I’m doing: “How to Stop Tolerating and Change Your Life,” which is on December 16, at 12pm. Eastern. That’s going to be a great way to kick off figuring out what you’re doing in the new year; what you want more of, what you want less of, and why you’re getting in your own way and preventing yourself from having the life that you truly want.

Go sign up for that. Apply to join the Mastermind, and we’ll be off to the races in the new year. I’m so excited. I can’t wait.

Alright my friends. That’s what I have for you this week. I will talk to you in the next episode. Have a beautiful week.

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 www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com

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Episode 39: Knowing Your Limits

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Knowing Your Limits

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Knowing Your Limits

If you’re a regular listener here, you’ll notice that I didn’t release an episode last week. So, this week, that’s exactly what we’re talking about: knowing your limits. Following through, being consistent, and doing what you say you’re going to are important, but so is knowing where your limits are and when you need to take a break.

When we’re struggling to follow through, it’s generally because we’re trying to avoid some kind of negative emotion. It’s your job to gag and go through this discomfort and take action anyway. However, there will be times when you just don’t have it in you, you’re under the weather, or you’re genuinely exhausted.

So, how do you know whether it’s time to push through or whether you should acknowledge your limits and take a rest? Well, tune in this week to discover how to take care of yourself when you’re at your limit, and learn how to work sustainably rather than hustling, grinding, and burning yourself out.

If you’re interested in taking the coaching topics I discuss on the show a step further, get on the waitlist for the Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. This is a six-month group coaching program where you’ll be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals from the legal industry, pushing you to become the best possible version of yourself. You can get all the information and apply by clicking here

On December 16th, we’re going to work on setting the pace for 2023 by learning to stop tolerating the parts of your life you don’t love. This masterclass is happening at noon Eastern Time, so click here to join!

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:

  • The way I used to think about rest, and how I’ve learned to prioritize rest.
  • What hustle culture teaches so many lawyers about rest, and why we wear overworking like a badge of honor.
  • Why knowing your limits and prioritizing rest actually makes you more productive.
  • How to know when your desire to rest is coming from a procrastination space versus a need for self-care.
  • What actually resting and taking a break looks like.
  • The importance of being kind to yourself when you decide you need a rest.
  • How to make a protocol and give yourself permission ahead of time for when rest feels like your only option.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

 

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 39. Today, we’re talking all about knowing your limits. 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.

Hi, my friends, how are you? So, last time I talked to you, I was traveling. And here I am again, traveling. I’m at the beach. Coming down to Florida to see a client and a really amazing friend of mine. She lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, which is just outside of St. Augustine. So, while I’m recording this in my hotel room, I am listening to the waves crash in the background, and it’s just a beautiful day. The sun is out, I can smell the salt air. It’s just a really wonderful weekend.

I hope your weekend, if you’re listening to this on a weekend, is going as well as mine. If it’s a weekday, I hope your weekday is going well, too. You know, I didn’t do an episode last week. And, that’s what I want to talk about this week. I want to talk about knowing your limits.

Because one of the things that I talk about really consistently to you, through the podcast, is about following through; about being consistent, about doing what you say you’re going to do, right? And I made a commitment to do certain things in my business every single week, or every single month, or every single day. Whether it’s social media, or this podcast, or doing a monthly webinar, I’ve made commitments.

And it’s my job, as I see it, to follow through on what I’ve committed to. That’s how you create a consistent business. I teach the exact same thing to my clients who are working on time management and have trouble sticking to a schedule; they make a plan and then they abandon it for the day, right?

Normally, the reason we don’t follow through is because we’re avoiding discomfort. There’s some negative emotion that we associate with doing the action that we planned to do. And then, when it comes time to do it, we don’t want to feel that feeling. So, we don’t take that action that we decided ahead of time to take.

Now, when that’s the case, when you have the energy to do it and your health is good and you feel well, and you’re just avoiding the negative emotion that comes from doing the intentional action that you plan to do, your job is to gag-and-go through that discomfort, right? I’ve told you that before on the podcast. I talk about that all the time.

You want to gag-and-go. It’s going to make you feel nauseous. It’s going to be uncomfortable. It’s going to be unpleasant. That’s all okay, your job is to just gag-and-go and feel that negative feeling anyways. And, take action in spite of and despite that feeling.

But sometimes, the problem isn’t a thought problem or a feeling problem, right? The negative thought that causes the negative feeling would be like, “I don’t want to do this. I don’t feel like it right now. I can do it tomorrow. Later’s better, right? I should wait, I can do this in the morning.”

All those thought errors that lead to you procrastinating, that lead to you not following through. “It won’t make that big of a difference if I do it now or tomorrow,” right? Even though we do know that it does make a difference, because tomorrow really never comes when you’re just putting it on the backburner, always.

So, when it’s not that issue, when it’s not just, “I don’t feel like it. I would have to feel bored if I did this right now. I would have to feel bothered or annoyed or confused or challenged if I did this right now.” When it’s not that problem and it’s actually you don’t have it in you.

What I mean by that, is like you don’t feel well, right? You fall under the weather. It’s the time of year where it seems like everyone I know has been sick, myself included. And there are certain times where you’re really not going to feel up to it. How do you know in those moments, whether you should push through, or whether you should know your limits and take a rest? That’s what we’re talking about today, knowing your limits.

Now, I want to give you a recent example. So, last time I talked to you guys, I was traveling for work. I went to a life coaching conference called Life Coach Live put on by the Life Coach School, and I was in Phoenix. While I was flying to Phoenix, there was a sick kid on my flight to Phoenix, from Detroit to Phoenix. He had a pretty bad cough, and he was like two rows kitty-corner from me.

His cough started out not too bad, but by the end of the flight, I was like, “Oh no.” I saw the writing on the wall. I have a pretty weak immune system; I always have. And I really have to be careful with my immune system and with protecting it, and with taking care of myself. I get IV therapy a lot to keep my vitamins in my body really high. I’ve really had to learn how to prioritize rest.

Now, this was not always the case. It’s definitely not how I always operated. I used to, back when I was a law clerk, going through law school before that, and undergrad, and then really, the entire time I was practicing law, I was really bought in to hustle culture.

That whole concept of like, you know, money never sleeps, very Gordon Gekko, who has time to rest, that’s not how it works, you need to push through, you need to work harder, rise and grind, all of that. And when I would get sick, I would push through. I would just double down and overwork.

Of course, it didn’t lead to anything good. I would normally end up sicker for longer because I wasn’t taking good care of myself. But I really wore my overworking as a badge of honor. Now, over the years, the older I’ve gotten, I’ve learned that that doesn’t work. Right? It really puts me out of commission.

I’ve had to learn to listen to my body, in a way that I haven’t always listened to it before. So now, I’m really in tune with, “What does my body need from me? When do I need to rest? How can I take care of it?” In order to make sure I’m working in a way that’s sustainable. In a way that I can continue to do for the long term?

Now, what I’ve learned by making this switch, is that it actually makes you more productive. Because you don’t get run down. You don’t get sick more often. And, you don’t lose that productivity time. Right? Taking care of myself and resting and knowing my limits actually allows me to accomplish more.

I’m not out of commission. I don’t have to take extended periods of time off or breaks to take care of myself when I’m sick, because I get sick a lot less frequently. I also have much less tolerance for being sick. I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but the older I get, being sick really sucks. So, if I can do anything in my power to avoid it, I want to avoid it. I don’t like feeling sick; I’m not the greatest patient. So, if there’s something I can do to avoid getting sick, I will do it.

Anyways, back to my story. I ended up being on this plane, and because of my weaker immune system, of course, I end up getting sick. I come home from my travels, and I was pretty out of commission. My parents were nice enough to let me come stay with them for a couple of days over Thanksgiving.

I’m an only child, so it would have just been me at home, by myself, not having any of the good Thanksgiving dishes, just recuperating all alone. And they were nice enough to let me come out. They weren’t worried about whether I would get them sick or not. Luckily, neither of them got sick. It was just me, with my weak immune system. I stayed out there for a couple days.

Now, I knew that I had travel coming up this weekend. I knew that I was going to come down to Florida and see my client, my friend. And I wanted to make sure that I had recuperated before that, because again, it was more airplane travel, which tends to take a lot out of me.

So, I was assessing; what are my limits here? What do I want to do this week? How do I want to spend my time? I had two things scheduled, that I ended up canceling, in order to prioritize my own self-care and rest. Over the course of the weekend, I was supposed to prep a webinar that I was supposed to deliver on Tuesday, November 29.

I was also supposed to record a podcast episode that would have come out last week. I made the executive decision, as I was resting and recuperating, to not push it, and not do either of those things. Now, this was not coming from, “I don’t feel like it. I don’t want to. I can do it later.” It wasn’t coming from a procrastination space, at all.

It was truly, coming from self-care. I’m going to give you my standard, in just a second, for how I make these decisions. But to foreshadow a little bit, what this looks like for me, is if I’m going to rest, I’m actually going to rest.

This isn’t like, “I’m gonna go out and do something else, instead. I’m going to watch a bunch of TV and be awake.” I’m actually going to go to bed. If it’s between doing the thing that I say I’m going to do and taking care of myself, I’m going to be really clear about what it looks like to take care of myself.

So, in this instance, instead of prepping a webinar and instead of recording the podcast episode, I slept. I actually went to bed, in order to repair my immune system and recover. Okay. In choosing to do this, I did not beat myself up.

I wasn’t shaming myself for, “How could you not follow through? You need to be consistent.” I was really kind to myself. I said, “This is what we’re going to do to best position you. In order to prep for your upcoming travel, to make sure that you have the energy to get through the weekend that is coming up ahead.”

I was so kind to myself. It felt like a loving gift that I was able to give my future self, rather than beating myself into submission and really pushing my limits, or pushing myself past my limits, right? So, I want you to think about this when you’re sick; what do you do? Do you push yourself past your limits? Or, do you take care of yourself?

I just had a client get sick. She took a whole day off of work. And, she had a lot of mind drama about whether or not that was the right call. And only you’re going to know that answer for you, right? There is no universal standard of ‘how sick is sick enough’ for you to take time off, for you to give yourself permission to rest.

You’re the only person that can write that permission slip for yourself. I can tell you that you’re sick enough, but you may not believe me. So, you really have to cultivate your own sense of knowing when you’re sick enough to warrant time to rest and recuperate, rather than pushing through being consistent and following your original plan.

I want you to come up with your own standard. And, there’s a couple different ways that you can do this. All right, number one, you can just use a 1-10 scale. If you are, on a 1-10 scale, eight or higher… If you gave yourself a rating; you’re like, “Oh, I’m sick enough. I’m at an eight. I’m at a nine. I’m at a ten. I’m at an eleven.”

If you decide that you’re that sick, you could have a protocol. It can be a decision that you make ahead of time, for what you do when you’re that sick. Now, when you’re at a five, you’re like, “Yeah, I don’t really feel great today,” you might decide that a five isn’t sick enough, and that you want to push through and that you’ll rest later in the evening.

But you’re going to stick to your plan, that you came up with in the beginning of the day or the day before. And you’re going to follow through on it, even though you don’t feel 100%. Because, rarely, are we going to feel 100%. So, you want to make sure that you’re not at that bottom part of the scale; at like, “Oh, I’m kind of at a two,” right? Feeling at a two is pretty good.

If you make that your standard, “Oh, I don’t feel 100%,” you’re probably not going to accomplish a lot of things that you planned to accomplish. Because that’s so commonly is the case, that you don’t 100% feel like it. So, you want to come up with your scale. What does an eight look like for you? How sick is that?

For me, my rule, if I’m using a 1-10 scale, I want to think about what am I going to do in lieu of my plan. I’m at an eight or higher? I’m going to bed. I’m going to be in bed resting. I’m not going to be going out, you know, running errands. I’m not going to be chatting on the phone with friends. I’m really going to take care of myself and prioritize my rest.

I want you to think about that. What will you do when you’re at an eight or higher? Come up with that plan ahead of time, so you’re not making decisions in the moment. You already have the “under-the-weather” protocol that you’ll follow when you’re at an eight or higher.

In those moments, when you’re trying to assess, do I feel like it today? Should I prioritize my rest? Or, should I push myself to follow through. You just ask yourself: Where am I at on the sick scale? Am I at an eight or higher? And if I am, what do I do when I’m at that rating?

Another scale that I use, is what I call the “Tony Robbins Tired” scale. Because a lot of people don’t follow through on things, because they’re tired, right? And, there’s two different types of tired. There’s true exhaustion where like, you can’t keep your eyes open. I used to stay up and really push myself past my limits, and I would be falling asleep while I was typing on my keyboard; like, typing gibberish, right?

Or, if that ever happened to you in law school, it used to happen to me, I’d be so tired during some of my classes, because I would be in the middle of trial, I was working full time and going to school. Some of my classes weren’t super exciting, so I would kind of nod off during them.

And if I was handwriting notes, I would write gibberish. Right? It wouldn’t make any sense. I’d kind of wake back up and I’d feel like, “What in the world was I writing?” It wouldn’t make any sense.

So, maybe that’s you sometimes; maybe you’re truly, really exhausted. But then, there are other times where you’re telling yourself you’re tired, but you’re not all that tired. Right? You just really don’t feel like doing what you planned to do. The system that I use for assessing whether or not I’m truly tired and should rest, versus whether I’m not truly tired and I should just power through; I use what I call the “Tony Robbins Tired” scale.

There’s going to be someone in your life that you find impressive, and for me, that’s like Tony Robbins or Oprah. Maybe, you know, a political figure or a movie star. Or, you know someone else, maybe it’s a professional athlete, whatever the case is for you. There’s going to be someone who you’re really enamored with, that you would give just about anything to spend time with them.

For me, one of my coaching idols is Tony Robbins. So, I use the scale of, if Tony Robbins were to call me up, and it’s one of those days where I’m like, on the sofa. I really don’t feel like it. I can just barely bring myself to do one more thing that I planned for the day. I’m like, I’m out of commission. I’m really tired. I don’t feel like following through.

But if Tony Robbins were to call me, would I have some secret reserve of energy? Were he to be like, “Hey, Olivia, I’m going to pick you up in 30 minutes, you’ve got to be packed and ready. And we’re going to spend 24 hours together. You get to ask me any questions you want to ask me; you can pick my brain. I’ll give you all my secrets. But you’ve got to be ready.”

You can’t postpone, you can’t put it off to tomorrow; it’s today or never, right? There’s a reserve of energy that, almost always, I would be able to tap into and get my act together; get packed and be out front waiting for him to pick me up when he said he was going to be there. And on the days where you’re not truly sick, where you, instead just really don’t feel like it, you’re going to be able to tap into that Tony Robbins Tired reserve, dig deep and come up with that extra energy to do something.

But there are going to be days where you truly don’t feel like it; like, me on Thanksgiving. I barely made it through dinner. And as soon as I got done eating, I went straight to bed, at like, seven o’clock, right? That’s a day where I don’t have that extra reserve. And, all I want to do is go to bed and take care of myself.

So, figure out for you, who is your person, that most days you have that extra energy reserve to dig deep and push through, and get that stuff done. If it’s there, if you’re like, “Wup, if Tony Robbins called me today, or if Oprah called me today, I’d be able to tap into that energy reserve and get this thing done,” then you know you’re not truly exhausted. You’re just a little emotionally tired, and you can push through your emotional tired to get the task done.

But other days, you really will be sick enough, just like I was on Thanksgiving. All right? And what do you do when you’re that tired? When you’re that under the weather? You want to rest. You want to give yourself permission to take it easy. To know your limits and to respect them.

If this is hard for you, if knowing your limits and respecting your own limitations when you’re under the weather, when you’re sick, when you really don’t feel good, is a challenge for you, I want you to spend a few minutes and think about why.

Where did you learn that it wasn’t okay to rest? Where did you learn that it’s unacceptable to respect and honor your limits, and protect your immune system, and to take care of yourself and to recharge your batteries, when you’re truly depleted? Where did you learn that? What were you taught along the way?

And, is that standard serving you? If it’s not, what do you want to replace it with? How do you want to think about honoring your body and honoring your immune system, and taking care of yourself when you don’t feel well?

You’re going to want to change your thoughts. So, like that client that I mentioned a second ago, who was really under the weather this week as well, and took a whole day off. She had so much self-judgment around doing that.

Was she making the right call? Should she just push through? Being mad at herself for not feeling well, and not being able to get the work that she had planned to do, done? Her work there is to start to reframe taking time off and taking care of herself. What does she need to think about it in order to do it, and to feel good about doing it?

I’ve had to change my mindset from hustle culture, and beating myself up, and punishing myself, and telling myself that I need to push through. To, thinking about it, that it’s the best thing I can do for everyone, is to take care of myself. And that I’m human, and that sometimes being human means you’re going to be sick. And that, that’s okay. Right? That it’s normal. It’s all part of the process. That it’s our right, and okay and warranted, for me to take care of myself.

If you don’t believe those things, you want to work on building up your belief. One way you can start by doing this, is practicing thoughts about other people being sick. Do you have judgments of them? Do you get discouraged or frustrated when other people take time off, when they’re under the weather? Maybe, you do. Maybe, you don’t.

But normally, if we give ourselves a hard time, we probably subtly give other people a hard time, too, maybe not to their face, just in our head. It’s like an eye roll. Like, “Oh, do they really have to be sick? This is so inconvenient for me. So inconvenient for the work that we’re doing.” If you see it as an inconvenience, you’re going to be really critical and harsh on yourself when you’re inconvenienced by your own health limitations.

So, I want to challenge you to think about; what do you need to think about being sick, both yourself and other people, in order to have a much kinder relationship with it? In order to be so much nicer to yourself when it happens to you? Because it will happen to you, right?

We are all fallible; our immune systems are not perfect. And man, if yours is amazing, more power to you. But that has not been my life experience. It’s not the experience my clients have, especially after living through a pandemic the past couple years. We’ve all had our own limitations when it comes to our immune systems.

A lot of that is always outside of our control. There are things you can do to take better care of yourself, like I do, to take better care of myself. But sometimes you’re on a flight with a sick kid, and you just can’t avoid getting sick yourself.

So, your work is to figure out; what are your limitations? And what does it look like for you to honor them when you’re under the weather? How do you want to treat yourself? What do you want to do? What do you want the protocol to be?

And, how do you want to think about you honoring those limitations? Do you want to beat yourself up? I do not recommend that. Or, do you want to be your own best friend, here? Do you want to be kind to yourself? Do you want to say kind, nurturing things? Do you want to think kind, nurturing thoughts?

Do you want to have your own back? I highly recommend that you do have your own back, alright? You get to be your own best friend here, instead of a bully who’s forcing yourself to push through. Even when it doesn’t make sense. When it doesn’t set you up for success. When it just pushes you to be out of commission a little bit longer.

So, figure out where your limits are, know them and honor them. It is truly a gift that you get to give yourself when you’re not feeling 100%.

All right, my friend, that is this week’s episode. I will talk to you next week. I look forward to it. I hope you do, too. Have a beautiful week, in the meantime. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

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 www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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Episode 38: You Don’t Need Their Support

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | You Don’t Need Their Support

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | You Don’t Need Their Support

When you make a big decision in your life, other people might not be too happy about it. For instance, when I left my career in Big Law to become a coach for lawyers, my parents weren’t the most supportive. We can joke about it now, but at the time, they didn’t feel comfortable supporting me in making this shift, and I didn’t feel great about it.

It became clear that I’d have to start this journey without their emotional support. However, I’ve learned that I never actually needed their support. So, if you’re thinking of making a big change in your life and you find yourself wanting other people to cosign, validate, and be on board with your decision, you need to tune in this week.

Today’s episode is short and sweet, so tune in to discover why the only person who needs to believe in you is yourself. Whether it’s your parents, spouse, friends, or anyone else whose opinion you’re struggling with, I’m showing you how they’re doing this from a place of love, but that doesn’t mean you need to listen to them.

If you’re interested in taking the coaching topics I discuss on the show a step further, get on the waitlist for the Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. This is a six-month group coaching program where you’ll be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals from the legal industry, pushing you to become the best possible version of yourself. You can get all the information and apply by clicking here

I have a few masterclasses planned for the remainder of 2022! November 29th is all about how to be confident. And December 16th, we’re going to work on setting the pace for 2023 by learning to stop tolerating the parts of your life you don’t love. All of the masterclasses are at noon Eastern Time, so mark your calendars.

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 you don’t need anyone else’s support in order to follow through on your vision for your life.
  • A story from my life of not letting my parents’ beliefs influence my behavior.
  • Why trying to convince others to be supportive of you is never effective.
  • The problem with taking advice from people who haven’t actually done what you’re trying to do.
  • How to see that, whoever ‘they’ are for you, you don’t need their support.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

 

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast, episode 38. Today, we’re talking all about how you don’t need other people’s support. 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.

Hi, my friends. How we doing today? I hope all is well for you. Things are going super well for me too.

I’m prepping for the upcoming holiday for Thanksgiving, and right now I’m kind of bopping around the U.S. I just left Phoenix. I went to Phoenix for this life coaching event called Life Coach Live, with my coaching school, the Life Coach School. And man, let me tell you, it was incredible.

I always think that you’re either a conference person or you’re not a conference person. I am definitely a conference person. This is why I host my own live events twice a year with the Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. I just love being there in person. You get to meet everyone, make new friends, get to reconnect with the old friends that you’ve made if you’ve gone to previous events with them, which that’s what this was for me, it was a big reunion.

And my cousin Emily came with me this time, so I got to introduce her to a ton of my friends in the coaching industry, which was just really great. We had so much fun, and we learned a ton. I got to see my coach, Brooke Castillo, coach at a really expert level. So it was super inspirational. And after Phoenix, I hopped on over to California, where I’m here to connect with a good friend of mine who’s also a coach. We’re going to go to dinner. And then, I’m going to fly back home and celebrate Thanksgiving.

Now, I’ve done a couple long episodes recently, so I’m going to keep today’s really short and sweet. But while I was in Phoenix, a lot of people there who weren’t coaches yet, they made the decision to become certified life coaches. And it really made me think of when I made that decision several years ago, back in 2018. And I actually made a little bit of a speech at a luncheon while I was in Phoenix, to talk to the people who had just made that decision about what their experience might be like when they come back home. Because when you’re at a conference, you’re really hyped up. You’re just riding the adrenaline. You’re in this immersive environment, and it’s so inspiring, you’re really motivated.

And then, you go home, back to your regular life. And you’re going to tell people that you’re making probably a significant change. Now, you could, of course, get certified to be a coach and not do anything with it, but most of these people want to do what I did, which is to change careers and run a business. And when I made that decision, my parents were not the most supportive people. And we joke about it now, my parents are really lovely and we’re really close. So they tell everyone, they shout it from a rooftop, they’re like, “We were not on board with her decision to quit Big Law and make this change.”

But one of the things that I had to come to terms with when I did make that decision to get certified and ultimately leave the practice of law to start this business, was that I was going to have to do it without their support. And I’m not talking financial support, and I didn’t get that either, but I didn’t need that. I’m talking about the emotional support that comes from making a really big change in your life and wanting other people to co-sign it, wanting them to be on board, wanting them to support you, wanting them to cheer you on. They were not doing that when I decided to make the jump.

And for a little while, I’ll be really honest with you, I was very frustrated and really hurt that they didn’t believe in me, that they weren’t being supportive, that they didn’t have my back. And of course, think about the model, think about how you show up in your relationships when you’re frustrated and hurt and discouraged, not good. So this really impacted my relationship with my parents for a couple years, while I was getting this business off of the ground.

Like I said, now that I’m successful at it, they have no problem with it. They’re really supportive. They’re definitely on board. But in the beginning, before I had successful results from making this shift, they were really nervous for me, so it showed. They acted nervous, they acted worried, they acted scared. Now, for a while, I tried to convince them to be supportive. And I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to convince someone else to be supportive, but it was not effective. I promise you, it did not work.

So I kind of stewed in my frustration and disappointment for a little while. But then I coached myself and I finally got to the point where I recognized I didn’t need their support. The only person who had to support my dream and my vision was me. And when other people make big changes in their lives, I always want them to know that. I always want them to know that you don’t need their support, whoever they is in your life.

Maybe it’s your parents, maybe it’s your spouse, maybe it’s your siblings, maybe it’s your friends, whatever the case is, you don’t need their support to make a change. So if there’s some change that you want to make in your life right now, and you’re hesitating because people aren’t behind you, they’re not supporting you, they don’t have your back, and you’re really frustrated and disappointed and hurt, just like I was, I want you to know you don’t need them to support you.

Now, would it be nice to have their support? Sure, of course. Yes, it would probably be lovely, but you don’t need it, all right? It’s not their job to believe in you. They probably have a hard enough time believing in themselves. The only person who needs to believe in you is you.

One of the guiding core principles of my life these days is that I never take advice or seek advice from anyone who has not done what I am looking to do. So in this example, neither of my parents had ever quit their jobs and gotten certified as a coach and started a coaching business. And my dad, he is a business owner, but he didn’t start his business from scratch. He works in a family business.

Now, he runs it exceptionally, but the startup thing is a little bit different. So even that, he’s successfully run a business, but he didn’t start it. So to listen to them and have their beliefs inform what I’m capable of, that’s a recipe for disaster, simply because they don’t know. They don’t know how to start a business. They don’t know how to make that big type of change. They’ve never done it.

And if you are contemplating making a change and you are listening to people who also haven’t done it, you’re probably going to experience something that is really similar to this process that I went through, where people don’t support you, they don’t have your back, they’re giving you all of their limiting beliefs, all of their fears, all of their worries. They’re probably telling you that you’re crazy and that you can’t do it and that it won’t work and that it’s a bad idea.

And they’re doing this from a place of love, for sure. My parents love me. I had a very prestigious job that they didn’t have to go to every day. So easy for them to say that I shouldn’t leave it. It looked really good on paper. They thought it provided a lot of financial security. And I stopped believing that it did, because I knew that running this business would provide me with more financial security. But again, they weren’t in the circles that I was in. They weren’t consuming the content that I was consuming. They weren’t listening to the coaches and the entrepreneurs that I was listening to. So of course, they lacked belief. Of course, your people will lack belief too, whatever change that you are contemplating making.

If you are craving someone else’s support, you do not need it. Like I said, the only person who needs to believe in you is you. Make that your business. I want you to take that on as your full-time job. You don’t need their support. You can and will be just fine without it. I want you to believe in yourself and what you are doing enough for both of you, enough for you, and enough for them. Build your beliefs so strong that it’s unwavering, impenetrable, impervious, resolute.

A few years ago, when my business was starting to get a little bit of traction, but I wasn’t really making any money yet, my dad called me and he floated this idea by me, to start a side hustle. And in his mind, it was such a safer bet than the business that I was running because he understood it. The side hustle was to create a tangible product that I would sell on the internet. And he was so excited about it because in his mind, it was the safer, more secure choice. And he offered to support me doing that. He offered to back me financially. He offered to do all of this stuff.

And I remember I really felt the momentum in my business at that time. I knew that I was just a few weeks away from starting to make money as a life coach and to get things going in my business, be off to the races, so to speak. And he called me twice. He was so enthusiastic, and I finally realized, I was like, “Oh, he believes in this side gig so much more than in what I’m doing.” And I just asked him that. I was like, “You don’t think what I’m doing is going to work, do you?” And he was really lovely. He was honest. He’s like, “No, I don’t think it’s going to work, and I don’t understand it at all.”

And I just took a deep breath. I felt so calm at the time. I didn’t get frustrated. I wasn’t disappointed or discouraged or hurt. And I just dropped into my own belief. And I studied myself, and I said, “I’m going to believe in this enough for the both of us. I’m going to believe in me enough for the both of us. I’m going to believe in what I’m creating enough for the both of us.” And I did. I let him be worried. I let him misunderstand and not understand what I was doing.

So there’s going to be people who don’t believe in what you are doing. They’re going to think that you’re doing it wrong. They’re going to think that you’re making a mistake, that you’re being foolish or irresponsible, and all of that is okay. You don’t need their support. You don’t need them to understand you. You don’t need them to cosign anything that you do. You get to believe in what you’re doing, the decisions you’re making, the path that you’re forging enough for the both of you.

You get to believe for you, and you get to believe for them. And what I want to offer you is that when you pursue something relentlessly like I have with this business, and you make it a success, which you will if you do not quit, and you gag and go, and you keep showing up, doing all the things, evaluating, taking action, auditing, and adapting, all the things that I teach you, if you keep doing that, you will be successful.

And when people see your success, they co-sign it then. They get on board then. And it makes sense, because then they don’t have to worry about you. So they get to drop their worry and their fear and their limiting beliefs, and then they get to support you. So the support is really just delayed. People will come around, I promise you. Success speaks volumes. But in the beginning, you’re going to have to do it without their support. And that’s 100% okay.

With that in mind, I want you to go out and do big things. You can do it scared, you can do it unsupported. The only person who needs to have your back is you. All right, my friends, have a beautiful week. I will talk to you in the next episode.

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 www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com

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Episode 37: Navigating Your Year-End Review

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Navigating Your Year-End Review

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Navigating Your Year-End Review

We aren’t at the end of the year just yet, but it’s time to start thinking about it seriously. Year-end reviews are a love-hate relationship topic. Whether it’s writing your end-of-year memo, highlighting your achievements, meeting with your supervisors, or processing year-end feedback, you’re probably not thrilled about what’s coming your way.

If this sounds familiar, you’re in the right place because I’m talking all about navigating the year-end review process if you’re the person being reviewed, as well as working through this process if you’re the one reviewing others within an organization, so you can show up with intentionality, whatever role you’re playing.

Tune in this week to discover how to navigate your year-end reviews with confidence and how to create a process for giving year-end reviews if that’s part of your role. I’m sharing the prep you can do as we near the end of the year, the mindset you need to be able to advocate for yourself, and how to create a process for selling yourself.

If you’re interested in taking the coaching topics I discuss on the show a step further, get on the waitlist for the Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. This is a six-month group coaching program where you’ll be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals from the legal industry, pushing you to become the best possible version of yourself. You can get all the information and apply by clicking here

I have a few masterclasses planned for the remainder of 2022! November 29th is all about how to be confident. And December 16th, we’re going to work on setting the pace for 2023 by learning to stop tolerating the parts of your life you don’t love. All of the masterclasses are at noon Eastern Time, so mark your calendars.

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:

  • The importance of having a personal process in place for your end-of-year review.
  • What the year-end review process looked like when I worked in Big Law.
  • Some of the common objections and problems that come up around advocating for yourself during year-end reviews.
  • How to create a year-end memo of your own, so you can navigate your year-end review with a lot more intentionality.
  • The preparation you can do throughout the year to get yourself ready for your year-end review.
  • How to cultivate the right thoughts and mindset to take into your year-end review process, so you can leave a remarkable impression on your superiors.
  • Some important things to keep in mind if you’re the one performing the year-end reviews for others and how to give effective feedback.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

 

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 37. We’re talking all about navigating your year-end reviews. 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.

Hi, my babes. How are we doing today? I hope all is well with you. It’s been a busy few weeks over here. I’ve been launching the Mastermind, and that’s been so exciting to see the new cohort coming together. I cannot wait to be in Charleston with everyone who joined. I think it’s really fun to think about what we’re going to create in the new year together; what we’re going to make out of 2023.

I like to say, you know, “Let’s make 2023 one for the books.” I really intend to do that with this group, and with all of my one-on-one clients, too. But I just really cannot wait to dive in and make the most out of the new year. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to wait until the first of the year to make plans for the next year. I really think the January 1st is sort of too late, you’re already behind the eight ball a little bit. So, I love to line up my year right now.

I actually just applied and was accepted to my business coach’s mastermind, which kicks off in January. And it’s just such a relief to have that squared away. To know exactly what I’m going to be doing for my personal development, my business development, in the new year. So, it’s not something I need to think about anymore. I just really love that.

If you’re looking to invest in yourself, which is what the last episode was about, and you really want to join a program where it’s kind of all figured out for you. So, you don’t have to do the heavy lifting, figuring out what you need to grow, what you need to learn in order to develop. I do all that work for you. So, if you’re looking to have your 2023 dialed in, go to my website, TheLessStressedLawyer.com, head on over to the Mastermind page, and join; join me in Charleston, in 2023.

Speaking of New Year’s and years that are coming to an end, one of the topics that I talk to my clients about a ton, especially this time of year, is year-end reviews. This is a hotly contested kind of like love-hate relationship topic. A lot of people dread this time of year. Whether it’s writing their end of year memo, highlighting their achievements, meeting with their supervisors.

Or, maybe you have to do reviews for someone else, because you’re a supervisor. Maybe you have to advocate for yourself, or you want to advocate for yourself, but it feels really uncomfortable. Or, you get feedback, and that process is really hard.

You probably might not be thrilled about what’s coming down the pike. So, if that’s you, if that really resonates with you, that’s what I want to talk about in this episode. All right, I’m gonna break this episode up into two different stages. I want to talk first about navigating the year and review process if you’re someone who is being reviewed. And then, I’ll get into how to navigate it if you’re someone who is reviewing others.

Okay, so if you’re being reviewed, the first place that we want to check in, is do you have some sort of formal process that’s in place for your annual review? And if you don’t, I really want to encourage you to come up with one. I think that this is actually a really meaningful part of your year. And, not a lot of employers think through and create a formal process.

So, if your employer doesn’t have that, I want you to think about it and come up with one yourself. Now, you don’t have to create companywide change. You can just make sure that you do this for yourself. So, you’re really taking advantage of any opportunity that you have to advocate for yourself, creating that opportunity, perhaps.

But you want to make sure that you leverage these annual potentials to make more money, to get promoted, to have better opportunity, all of that. So, create a formal process if you don’t have one.

If you do have one, now these might differ, the different ranges of a formal process. When I worked in big law, we had a really formal process. So, you had to, as an associate, draft a year-end memo highlighting all of your achievements and your contributions to the firm. And then, you met with your practice group leader, and you discussed your year-end memo. Then, they went to the compensation committee and advocated on your behalf for whatever your bonus was going to be.

As much as, if I’m being really honest, I dreaded that process while I was there, I really have come to appreciate it; how formal it is. And when supervisors are managing a lot of people it’s really hard for them to A; remember all of your accomplishments throughout the year, and to know, in detail, the level of contribution that you gave to the organization.

So, I talk to a lot of people who are like, “I shouldn’t have to do this. My supervisor should know.” I really want to caution you, if that is your mindset with this, they’re not going to know the same way that you know; it’s your life. It’s your career. You’re the person who’s best situated to remember these things, best situated to advocate for yourself. It is not a problem that you need to advocate for yourself, or that you should advocate for yourself.

Now, if your firm doesn’t require year-end memos, or your organization doesn’t require year-end memos, I recommend you create one. Either to submit to a supervisor, or at least, to have yourself, so you can navigate your year-end review with a lot more intentionality.

Okay, so go through and highlight: What are the big successes you’ve had? What are the areas of growth that you have experienced, or that you’ve encountered? What do you know how to do better than you knew how to do the year before?

If you’re in private practice, you might talk about originations that you had receivables, notable matters, any public facing media worthy cases or files that you worked on; you’d highlight all of that. And it creates this concise document where all of your accomplishments live.

I actually have a really good friend, she has a folder in her email inbox that she adds things to throughout the year, to make this process so much easier come year-end. So, you could send yourself emails when you do something that’s notable. Or, when you get praise from a client, or from one of the people that you work with. You drop it in that kudos folder, and then when it comes time to create this year-end memo, you’ve got everything right there; it’s so convenient.

Also, if you tend to beat yourself up, which a lot of my clients do, it’s really nice to have that kudos folder to review when your day is not going so hot, and you’re kind of down on yourself, and you’re feeling a little inadequate. It’s really nice to have that receptacle of all your noteworthy moments and all your praiseworthy achievements.

Now, let’s talk about mindset. Because if you go in to advocate for yourself, just orally, or you’re creating a year-end memo, like the one I just described to you, and you’re thinking thoughts, like; I hate talking about myself, this is stupid, I shouldn’t have to do this, it won’t make a difference, I don’t have time for this, and this is a waste of my time.

If you’re thinking any of those thoughts, then this is what’s going to happen: You’re going to feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, awkward, annoyed, probably pretty resentful, and definitely disengaged. You might even feel discouraged, or overwhelmed, or frustrated, or bothered.

If you’re feeling those emotions, when it comes to completing this year-end review process, even if it comes to not writing a memo like this, but just meeting with your supervisors and going through the year-end review process that way. If you’re thinking those thoughts and you’re feeling those feelings, then here’s what you end up doing: You squander an opportunity to sell yourself, all right?

You’ve heard me say it, time and time again, your thoughts create your results. Because your thoughts cause your feelings, your feelings drive your actions, and your actions produce your results. So, if you’re thinking these negative thoughts, and you’re conjuring up these negative emotions, because of the thoughts that you’re thinking, you’re going to take really negative action.

You’re not going to advocate well, so you’re really going to squander this opportunity that you have, to highlight your achievements. You aren’t going to make a compelling argument about you deserving a raise, about you deserving a promotion, about you deserving a bigger bonus.

You’re really going to undersell yourself. You’re not going to be inspiring confidence. You’re not going to compel people to advocate on your behalf. If people that you work with need to go speak to their higher-ups and make a compelling case for you, you’re not going to do that. So, you’re really going to undersell. You’re going to present yourself in an underwhelming manner.

And, that’s not going to leave a really remarkable impression on the people that are decision makers about your future; whether it’s income or opportunity. You really want to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward. And if you’re thinking all of these negative thoughts and feeling these negative feelings, you’re not going to make that compelling argument that moves people to support you, to advocate for you, to reward you, any of that.

Here’s what we want to do instead. We want to make sure that you are never squandering advancement opportunities. So, we want to make sure that you’re making the most out of any chance that you have to self-advocate.

The first thing we have to do, in order to do that, is change your thoughts about the self-advocacy opportunity itself. Because you won’t take it seriously if you keep telling yourself that it’s a joke, right? That’s what a lot of people think about this process; that it’s a joke, that it’s not meaningful, that it doesn’t matter, that it’s stupid.

I tend to think that that’s a defense mechanism if I’m being really honest. It’s like, if we make light of this situation, then if it doesn’t go our way, it doesn’t have as much of an emotional impact. But I like to tell people to take every opportunity that they have for self-advancement and self-advocacy very seriously.

If you don’t take yourself seriously, no one else is going to. So, you want to make sure that you do take these moments really seriously. I don’t mean so seriously that you obsess over them; and that becomes problematic. But seriously enough to where you show up meaningfully to these conversations; whether it’s in writing, or through oral advocacy.

But you’re taking it seriously enough to really put your best foot forward and make an effort here. All right. So, we want to overhaul the way that you think about talking about yourself. Because if you keep telling yourself that you hate it, or that it’s hard, or that you don’t want to do it, you won’t do it. Or, you won’t do it well. At the very least, you’ll do it but not do it well.

But a lot of people, when they think this way about it and they have that sense of dread, because of their thoughts about self-advocacy, they never self-advocate; they just avoid it altogether. And, that’s what we want to make sure that you don’t do this year.

So, you have to start believing that it’s okay to speak about what you’ve accomplished. I talk to so many clients who are super uncomfortable talking about themselves. It’s one of the things that I always ask people really new in our work together; how do you feel talking about yourself? And drama normally comes up, through like; I’m not good at it. I don’t like to do it. I got taught that it’s really rude and arrogant. I was raised to be humble and not conceited.

So, they think that it’s a really bad thing to talk about themselves, when of course it’s not, especially in your professional career. And there’s a huge difference between being arrogant and just advocating for yourself. So, don’t conflate the two.

But if you were taught this growing up, that it’s rude, or improper to talk about yourself, you really want to a question that. Where did it come from? Who taught you that? Where did they learn it? Does it serve you? If your answer is no, it doesn’t serve you. And you realize that the people that taught it to you also learned some messed-up stuff about self-advocacy, then you can politely return these negative beliefs about self-advocacy.

What I see a lot of times, is that people, especially women, learned that it was impolite or not gracious to talk about yourself. That just keeps existing structures of power in power. So, if you’re a woman and you’re listening to this, and this doesn’t just relate to women, this relates to a lot of people, but I see it most prevalently with women.

So, if you’re a woman and you’re listening to this, I highly encourage you to do an overhaul on what you think about talking about yourself. You need to see it as your job, as your responsibility, as something that is completely acceptable. But for you, then whom? Right? I really want to encourage you to think that it’s no one else’s job, but yours to sing your praises.

I watch a lot of people expect their supervisors to do this for them. And with love, I think that’s kind of phoning it in; you’re really not taking responsibility, or ownership over whose role this is. And, it’s your role. It’s your job to sing your own praises, to advocate for yourself, to make the case. Okay? No one else’s.

It’s amazing if someone else supports you, if they mentor you, if they sponsor you. That’s kind of the buzzword over the past couple of years; sponsorship. Where someone’s really willing to go to bat for you and advocate on your behalf. But we don’t want to rely on that. It’s amazing if it happens. We just don’t want that to be the only ticket in town.

You want to be advocating for yourself, and if anyone else joins in, amazing. But we’re not going to rely on that alone. Also, I can’t state this enough, but I really want you to be assured that you’re the best person to talk about yourself. You are uniquely situated to intelligently talk about your accomplishments; you are going to know them more intimately than absolutely anyone else. So, you are the best person for this job.

Now, once you’ve overhauled your thinking in these two ways; so, you’ve changed your thoughts about this being a wasteful, stupid, worthless opportunity. And you who are now thinking of it as a unique opportunity for you to really highlight your notable moments from the year, your remarkable moments throughout the year. Your contributions that added a lot of value to your organization.

Once you started thinking about it in that way, and then you’ve accepted that it’s your responsibility to be the person who advocates on your behalf. And you’ve made peace with the fact that it’s not rude or arrogant to sing your own praises, to advocate for yourself. Then, what we have to do is we have to address your self-concept, we’ve got to give it a tune up.

Because if you don’t think highly of yourself, very candidly, yourself advocacy is going to suck. So, you really need to be your own hype person. In order to be effective as your own hype person, you want to start by finding out what you currently think about yourself, and your abilities, and what you’ve accomplished. As you do that, as you flesh out what your current self-concept is; what do you think about you, and the job you’re doing?

If it’s negative, we’ve got to make improvements. Otherwise, like I said, your self-advocacy is really going to come up short. So, you want to start talking to yourself in a manner where you’re highlighting; how capable you are, how accomplished you are, how proud of yourself you are, all that you’ve done, how remarkable that it is.

This isn’t to blow smoke up your “you know where”. But it’s to be a truth teller. To paint a picture of the ways that you’ve contributed, and the accomplishments that you’ve amassed throughout the year. You want to highlight all of that, and really sell yourself on how incredible you are.

Now, if you struggle to do this, what we want to start doing is defining what a good enough job is; we have to start there. I’ve done a whole podcast episode on “Defining Enough”. Because it’s really hard to feel accomplished if you don’t know what accomplishment looks like, or what you’re aiming for to begin with.

You want to define what a good enough job is, and then you want to evaluate yourself: Did I do it? Did I not? And you want to give heavy emphasis on all of the things that you did really well throughout the year. Okay?

Once you’ve done this, and you’ve identified what you’ve done well, how you’ve succeeded, your confidence is going to skyrocket. You’re going to become someone who’s so much less reliant on receiving external feedback and external validation. And really become someone who is able to provide that to themselves.

You’re gonna feel a hell of a lot more confident, more capable, more accomplished, more successful, more proud. How you advocate for yourself when you’re feeling that way, when you have a really high self-concept… Not an arrogant self-concept, just a confident, compelling self-concept, where you’re really sold on you. Where you’re sold on yourself, the value that you bring to the table, that is when you will be able to advocate for yourself in a really compelling way.

Now, once your self-concept is upgraded and your confidence is boosted, because you’ve changed the way that you talk to yourself, you changed the way that you think about yourself, and the story that you tell about all that you’ve done, then you’re in a really great place to start self-advocating.

From there, you want to make a self-advocacy game plan. All that is, is that you need to think about the information that you need to convey, and how you need to convey it, in order to advocate for yourself effectively. So, what do you want the people, who are in charge of your review, to know about you? What do you want to make sure they’re aware of? What is it that you’re asking for? What would you like to see happen?

You want to be really clear on the result that you’re aiming for. If you’re clear on the result that you’re aiming for, you’re going to make a more compelling argument that you deserve it. So, you really want to spend some time going through, asking, and answering yourself, some really commanding, powerful questions like:

Why am I a value-add? Why do I deserve X? Whatever it is; a promotion to make partner, more money, a bigger bonus. Make a compelling argument from that place of really grounded confidence.

Sell yourself on why you’re deserving of it. And then, when you’re in that place when you’re sold on you deserving it, sell yourself. Advocate. Go to town, all right. Now, speaking up for yourself is not going to feel super comfortable, at first. And, that is not a problem.

You can take action and speak up for yourself, in spite of and despite the discomfort of doing so. I always like my clients to identify the negative emotions that they anticipate that they’ll feel when they advocate for themselves. And, just build it into your plan. Decide; I’m going to feel those feelings on purpose. Whether it’s embarrassed, or arrogant, or rude, or impolite.

Whatever the case may be, whatever negative emotions come up. Maybe exposed or judged, because you think someone else is going to disagree with the way that you’re advocating about yourself; the things that you’re saying, the things that you’re highlighting.

So, there’s going to be some discomfort, and that’s totally fine. This isn’t going to feel intuitive or comfortable, at first. But that’s not a sufficient reason not to self-advocate. The truth is, and you hear me say this all the time, but there’s discomfort both ways; in speaking up for yourself, and not speaking up for yourself.

Only one of those two ways gets you closer to your goals. So, I highly recommend that you pick the path that gets you closer to the results that you want, over the one that doesn’t. If there’s discomfort both ways, don’t pick the path that maintains the status quo, pick the one that doesn’t; that gets you to the end result that you’re aiming for.

Now, once you’ve built your self-concept, and you have advocated for yourself; whether it’s in writing, or via a meeting with your supervisors, then you’re going to have the chance to probably receive some feedback. I’ve recorded a whole episode on receiving feedback. But what you want to do is really manage your emotional state as you receive feedback, and come to it in a really curious way.

Not with offense, and not with frustration, and not with anger, and not feeling attacked; we don’t want to do that. That doesn’t create intentional, positive results. So, instead, try and maintain a sense of curiosity as you receive feedback. And, be willing to ground yourself in that moment. Have a conversation with your supervisor to flesh out what’s gone wrong, to problem solve, how will you guys course-correct in the new year, moving forward, next quarter, over the next six months, over the next 12 months.

People tend to make review conversations a ‘me vs. them’ ordeal, and it doesn’t have to be that way. So, I want to encourage you to approach these conversations as if you’re on the same team, because you are. Be prepared to not love everything that you hear. It doesn’t make you a bad attorney. It doesn’t make you a bad employee. It doesn’t make you inadequate in any way, for you to receive some feedback that isn’t positive.

This is so cheesy, but they call it the practice of law for a reason; there’s no perfect way to do this. And, you’re always going to be improving. So, of course, people with more experience than you are going to give you some ways that you can improve. That isn’t a problem. You don’t need to take offense to it; you get to just receive it and use it as a learning opportunity. Leverage the feedback that you get, okay.

Again, like I said, whole episode on “Accepting feedback”. Go listen to that so you can really manage your mind as you do it. Now, I feel like I didn’t mention this, so let me just rewind for two seconds. If there’s not a formal meeting, we talked about that formal process in the beginning, like to write a memo and submit it. But also, if there’s not a formal meeting, I highly encourage you to request one. Create the structure.

That may feel really awkward and uncomfortable for you, but I find that a lot of leaders, a lot of business owners, law firm owners, law firm managers, they don’t think this stuff through. So, if you have the expectation that they’re going to be really intentional, it’s not that they don’t care, they just might not have put thought into this yet.

You can be the person that thinks up things for them. Request a meeting so you can have this conversation. So, you can come in with that strong self-concept; be your own hype person. Communicate your accomplishments, make your requests for what you think you deserve, what you think you’ve earned, value that you think you’ve added, and how you should be compensated for it.

And then, be willing to have that conversation and engage with that person. What do they think? Ask questions. Answer their questions, and receive the feedback that they give you. This can be a collaborative discussion.

Now, if there’s room for you to make improvements, rather than getting the feedback and being like, “Yeah, okay, that sounds great. Thanks so much,” or storming off and being pissed, or crying in your office, which, no judgment on the crying, but I know that happens to a lot of people during this time of year. They get negative feedback, and then they don’t really do anything with it other than dwell and self-loathe. So, let’s skip that part. Let’s not do that.

Instead, leverage the feedback that you receive. Take it, accept it, really pick it apart, and formulate a game plan for how you will improve upon the items that were mentioned in the feedback that you got. Okay, how are you going to work towards making those improvements? You want to come up with a really clear plan of what you’re going to do differently moving forward, in order to get there.

If you don’t, and you just end up winging it, you’re not going to make the changes that you want to make, and you’re not going to see improvements. So, this is all just going to come up again at your next review. That’s not what you want. So, come up with a game plan.

You can even meet with your supervisor to check back in, you don’t have to wait another 12 months for this. You can do it more frequently, in order to measure progress. And last but not least, if you don’t get feedback as often as you like, I highly encourage you to not just depend on your annual review, ask people and take the time to meet with them.

Don’t worry about being a burden, they get to say no if they want to. Trust people to manage their own time, and you get to manage yours. But ask people for more consistent feedback, create those channels, so you’re able to receive it.

Now, if I made this sound a little bit more simple than you think that it is, I just want to offer you that I get it; self-advocacy isn’t as straightforward and as comfortable as a lot of people make it seem. There are a lot of skills that go into self-advocating effectively.

So, skills like: You need to know how to change your thoughts and manage your mind. You need to know how to embrace advocacy opportunities. You need to know how to rewrite your self-concept, and increase your confidence, and advocate effectively. Which means, taking action in spite of and despite your discomfort.

Those skills, a lot of us never learned. There’s no formal education, through law school or through our early careers, where we learn how to do those things. Now, that’s what I teach my clients to do; how to change their thoughts, how to manage their minds, how to embrace advocacy opportunities, increase their confidence, rewrite their self-concept, and advocate really effectively, in spite of and despite the discomfort.

So, if you haven’t considered working with a coach or working with someone else, some other professional, consultant, strategist, that’s able to help you with these things, I highly recommend, if you struggle with this, consider working with someone. Because these are essential skills that you’re not going to just stumble upon if you keep going it alone.

Now, if you are a supervisor and it is annual review season, here’s what I want you to do; you’re in a little bit of a different position, right? So, kind of touching on where we left off with receiving reviews, if you give reviews, don’t wait until the end of the year to give negative feedback.

That is one of the things that I hear from my clients most frequently. This causes immense frustration. So, avoid this altogether, and just gag-and-go your way through the uncomfortable conversation much sooner after it happens. Even if someone’s still working on a matter with you, be willing to have that conversation now instead of waiting till later.

It reduces resentment, and frustration, and hurt feelings, and surprise. And you’re really able to make much more meaningful change when the timeline between the incident and the review receipt is so much shorter. So, I encourage you, don’t wait until once every 12 months to give negative feedback, do it consistently throughout the year.

And also, don’t just give negative feedback. That’s another thing that I hear from people all the time. That lawyers are just famous for only talking about what’s not working, what’s not good enough, and not highlighting people’s accomplishments. So, I like a three-to-one rule for this: three positive pieces of feedback for every one negative piece of feedback.

If you are someone who gives feedback and that ratio seems really skewed to you, I want to encourage you to try it try; the three-to-one feedback technique. Now, just like people who are on the receiving end of reviews, people that give reviews, supervisors, also tend to have really negative thoughts about the annual review process.

So, if that’s you, if you think it’s a joke, if you think it won’t make an impact, if you think people won’t make improvements because they don’t take it seriously, you’re going to show up and really half-ass the feedback that you give. How you navigate this process, you’re not going to take it seriously. And you’re not going to utilize it as the meaningful opportunity that it is. So, if you think it’s a joke and it won’t make an impact, you’re right; it won’t.

Just like the people receiving reviews, you need to change your thoughts about this process, too. Why does it matter? What kind of impact can it have? Why is it important? Why is it essential? What good can come out of it? How is it valuable?

Answer all those questions. Really sell yourself on the import of this process. All right, I also want to encourage you to think of it as part of your job. I watch a lot of people differentiate between “real” work and administrative work, the non-billable stuff. Reviews are one of the things, just like billing your time, to get categorized into this not real work box. And if you think of it that way, you’re not going to take this seriously. You’re not going to give it the gravity that it deserves.

So, I want to encourage you to think about this as being part of your job; you’re a supervisor, this is one of your responsibilities. Now, from there, if you stop thinking of it as a joke, or that it won’t make an impact and that it’s not part of your job, if you change those thoughts, you’re probably going to slow yourself down to take it more seriously.

But I do want to remind you, if you still feel rushed to speed through this process, because you’re like, “Who has time for this? It’s end of the year; I’ve got to get on to my deals. I’ve got to close cases,” whatever. I just want you to take a deep breath and not rush this process.

If you rush through it, it won’t be meaningful. And it won’t be as impactful as it could be, otherwise. So, if you really want to see course-correction out of your teammates, and improvements out of the people that you supervise, out of the people you manage, you want to take this seriously, and you don’t want to speed through it.

Now, when you go to give feedback, and I’ve recorded a whole episode on this, too; one on accepting feedback, one on giving feedback. But you want to make sure that you’re out of a state of frustration. And you want to be in a state of curiosity, understanding, and showing up in service to the people that you supervise. That’s going to completely change the way you communicate your review; you communicate the feedback.

I also want to encourage you to be honest. A lot of people have a very hard time with being honest when it comes to annual reviews, because they don’t want to be “mean” or they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I just want to offer that that’s really not helpful.

The point of an annual review process is for people to learn what they’re not doing well and to make adjustments. And also, to celebrate them for what they are doing well and the value that they’re adding. But the purpose of an annual review is both, it’s twofold. So, be honest, and highlight what people need to work on.

Now, when I teach business development, I teach people a concept; I say, “Don’t post and ghost.” I tell them to post on social media, but then stick around and engage with other people on social media. So, I’m tweaking that concept today, for you. I want to say here, don’t give feedback, and then ghost. Stick around. Help people problem-solve.

The people that work for you may not know how to solve the problems that you’re bringing to their attention. And they’re definitely going to be inclined to people please you; to say, “Oh, yeah, I know. I need to work on that, totally. I’m going to do better.” If you are phoning in this process, you’re going to take their ‘yeah, I’ll do better’ and run with it, it’s not really a meaningful action plan, in order to get different results; in order to make consistent improvements.

So, instead of doing that, I really want you to take a deep breath and problem-solve with the people that you review. Help them identify a clear path forward, for exactly how they’re going to improve, to remedy the things that they’re not doing well; the issues that you brought to their attention.

And you want to make sure that you come up with measurable metrics, where you’ll both be able to see their improvements, and monitor the progress that they’re making. Is this time consuming? Yes, it’s going to take some time. It’s not going to take all the time. But it’s going to take more time than if you don’t do it.

But it’s worth doing it. It’s how you make your review process every year actually meaningful. It’s how you’re going to get improvements out of your team, rather than that lip service, which is what you don’t want. Okay? So, ultimately, whether you’re giving reviews or you’re accepting them, you’ve got to change your thoughts about your annual review process.

You’ve got to be willing to take action, in spite of and despite your discomfort, right? Whether you’re advocating for yourself or you’re giving feedback to someone else, it’s going to be a little uncomfortable, especially at first; that’s not a reason not to do it.

Alright, my friends, I hope this helps you navigate your annual review process; everyone’s. We’re gonna change our thoughts about everyone’s favorite time of year, I’m sure. It’s bonus season. It’s the part that comes right before bonus season. So, how could it not be your favorite time of year?

All right. I hope these tips helped. Have fun self-advocating or giving reviews to your team. I will talk to you in the next episode.

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 www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com

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Episode 36: Investing in Yourself

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Investing in Yourself

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Investing in Yourself

Last week, I discussed the impact coaching has had on my life and how I navigate everyday challenges using coaching tools. This week, I’m keeping the conversation going and talking about investing in yourself because, in order to make the shifts I talked about last week, you must be willing to invest in yourself and your growth.

I see a lot of people hesitate when it comes to investing in themselves. So, if that sounds familiar and you’ve always been interested in coaching, but it feels like there’s something stopping you from taking the leap, I’m going to explain where the apprehension comes from, and how you can put this feeling into perspective.

Tune in this week to discover why consuming content and information is great, but the real change comes when you invest in yourself. I’m sharing how my clients’ outlooks change when they start investing in themselves, the difference it made in my life, and what investing in coaching actually looks like in practice.

If you’re interested in taking the coaching topics I discuss on the show a step further, get on the waitlist for the Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. This is a six-month group coaching program where you’ll be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals from the legal industry, pushing you to become the best possible version of yourself. You can get all the information and apply by clicking here

I have a few masterclasses planned for the remainder of 2022! November 29th is all about how to be confident. And December 16th, we’re going to work on setting the pace for 2023 by learning to stop tolerating the parts of your life you don’t love. All of the masterclasses are at noon Eastern Time, so mark your calendars.

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:

  • The difference between self-care and personal development.
  • What it means to create a life that you’re obsessed with.
  • The critical skills you need to learn if you want to live your life on your own terms.
  • Why investing in yourself is the most effective way of increasing your emotional intelligence and transforming how you show up and make decisions.
  • How to know whether it’s the right time for you to start investing in yourself.
  • The power of having the help of someone who believes in you and sees endless possibility for you.
  • 7 of the most common defense-mechanism thoughts that prevent people from investing in themselves, and how to see that they’re not based in fact.
  • What it’s really like inside The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 36. Today, we’re talking all about investing in yourself. 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.

Hi, my friends, how you doing? It has been a wild ride over here the past week. One of the things that I’ve learned from my coach is that life is 50/50; 50% good and 50% not so good. And that you can really reduce the amount of emotional suffering that you experience when you just embrace that 50/50 split. Instead of, you know, going to war with it, and not accepting it, and wishing that things were different or better than they are. I’ve just been living the 50/50 lifestyle over here.

Things have been so amazing with the Mastermind launch, so far. Enrollment is open, and the next cohort has already started to come together. Applications have come in. Acceptance decisions have already gone out. So, there are still some spots left, but it’s just been so amazing to see the people that are going to be in the next round. I can’t wait to meet them in person in Charleston, that’s going to be so exciting.

So, while all of that’s been going on, though, I’ve been dealing with the 50% of life that hasn’t been that great. I’ve got a sick cat; my babe, Bear, has not been doing too hot. So, I’ve been navigating that. And it’s just always a really good reminder that, you know, things come in ebbs and flows in life. And you’ve got to be willing to accept that and to expect it. And if you do expect it, you’re going to be so much more capable of navigating the emotional ups and downs that come with those 50/50 shifts.

I just wanted to share that with you, in case you’re dealing with your own 50/50 splits, right now. And you’re battling between, and bouncing between, the good and the not so good. If you are, I see you. I’m with you; I’m in it too. I just want you to know that A; you’re not alone. B; nothing has gone wrong. That’s just part of the human experience. And you are capable, and resourceful, and competent to weather that storm. So, I wish you all the best as you weather it.

All right, today we’re continuing on talking about kind of like this two-part series that I’ve come up with. Last week, we talked about the impact of coaching, and all of the different ways that I apply the coaching tools that I teach my clients in my own life. And, the impact that knowing these tools and having the skill set has. How I navigate just everyday challenges, the little annoyances, the little unfortunate things that pop up in our day-to-day lives.

How I manage those so much differently, now. Now that I found coaching, and I know how to implement these tools myself, it’s the same exact stuff that I teach my clients to do. It’s how they navigate the world, now. It’s what they implement on a day-to-day basis to also experience the same shifts and changes in their own life. So, I wanted to give you some examples of that.

In today’s episode, I want to talk about investing in yourself. Because in order to get those changes, to make those shifts that I talked about in the last episode, you have to be willing to invest in yourself. In order to learn how to navigate the world in the different way that I teach my clients how to navigate it; the tools that I teach them, the skills that we develop together.

In order to get the benefits of coaching, you have to invest in coaching. And, I see a lot of people hesitate when it comes to investing in themselves. So, I wanted to record a podcast episode specifically about that hesitation. Explain it to you and teach you how to overcome it, if you are really eager and wanting to make a shift in your life, but you find yourself a little apprehensive, a little hesitant to move forward and invest in yourself.

Now, I think there’s an important distinction that I just want to highlight, the difference between self-care versus personal development. I definitely think personal development and investing in it is part of self-care. But a lot of people spend a lot of money investing on self-care that provides temporary relief and instant gratification, but doesn’t have the same long-term impact. So, going to get that massage, or that facial, or going on vacation.

I know I was guilty of this, back in the day, when I was really overwhelmed and dealing with all of the stress from working in big law. I traveled a lot, and I did it as a way to escape my stress. But if you do this, you know what I had to learn the hard way. You don’t escape it permanently, you come back to it. It’s there waiting for you at the airport when you get back from wherever you traveled to.

So, travel’s one way that people invest in self-care, but not necessarily in personal development. I also see this with things like taking a bubble bath, or maybe going for a walk, maybe going to yoga, those things are all incredible for you. But when you stop doing the activity that brings you some peace, the peace tends to go away. So, you have to keep doing it.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t keep doing it. If you’ve loved doing yoga, or working out, or taking bubble baths, or resting and sipping some tea, and just taking some downtime, all of that is so incredible and amazing. It’s just not the same type of investment that you’re making when you invest in your personal development.

Today’s episode is really about investing and working with a life coach. Now, why would you want to work with one? The shortest answer that I can come up with, is really just to do life better. I teach my clients how to live lives with less stress, and far more fulfillment. And I know you hear me say that all the time, but I want to talk today about what that actually means.

There are critical skills that you need to learn in order to do that. In order to live a life on your terms. In order to create a life you’re obsessed with. Which is, really, the commitment that I make to my clients, to the people that choose to work with me; we’re going to create lives that they’re obsessed with.

That’s what I’ve gone and done for myself. It’s what I help the people that work with me do, as well. But there are specific skill sets that you need to develop, in order to do that, in order to create that life, to live a life on your terms.

And it’s skills like learning how to manage your time; how to control your calendar, how to plan your schedule accurately, how to honor your plan, how to learn how to follow through and do what you say you’re going to do. It is utterly impossible to build a life you’re obsessed with if you don’t follow through. So, you’ve got to learn how to master that skill.

As I go through this list of skills that I teach my clients how to develop, how to build, how to master, I want you to pay attention to the fact that a lot of these skills were never taught growing up, okay. So, there’s nothing wrong with the fact that you haven’t learned them yet, that you haven’t mastered them yet. But you do want to be mindful that you haven’t learned them.

And that if you want to get the results that come from developing these skill sets, and executing and implementing these skill sets on a daily basis, you’re going to have to invest in an education in getting them, okay. The skill of following through, learning how to set boundaries, how to say no to other people and to things that you don’t want to do.

So, you can say yes to yourself. You’ve got to learn how to stop people pleasing, all right. How to stop doing things you don’t feel like doing out of guilt, worry, or fear. How to be able to honor what feels intentional and in integrity for you, and not sacrifice yourself for the sake of making other people comfortable.

I’m going to teach you how to care a lot less about what other people think, and to get very comfortable with their discomfort. Those are normally the two things that get in people’s way from living a life on their terms, and not people-pleasing.

You’ve also got to know how to increase your confidence. To identify where there are roadblocks in your confidence, where there are there gaps or holes. And, we’ve got to fill them in.

I do that by teaching my clients how to identify their limiting beliefs that they have about themselves, about what they’re capable of, about what’s possible for their lives. And we work together to dismantle those limiting beliefs, so they stop holding you back.

You also want to learn how to build self-trust. I teach people to go from a system of external validation, where they’re constantly relying on feedback from other people, to learning how to become someone who internally validates, who evaluates yourself and the job that you do. And you know what you’re doing well, what you can improve upon, and then you create a plan exactly on how to make those improvements.

I also work with people to define a couple of different things. We want to define what your role is, so you’re able to feel a lot more accomplished and satisfied with what you’re doing in your life; both at work and in the roles that you take on in your personal life. In order to live a life that you’re obsessed with, we also have to work on your relationships, and really give them an overhaul, improve them.

One of the ways that we do that is by learning how to let go of the past, and again, stop caring about what other people think. Being much more honest with the people in your life. Allowing yourself to be known. Allowing yourself to be seen. Being able to have difficult conversations respectfully. Being able to advocate for yourself. Being able to resolve conflict very intentionally. And, being able to problem solve more effectively with the people that you interact with.

You also want to know how to lead and manage others really well, and understand why people do what they do, and why you do what you do. So, we’re going to increase your emotional intelligence. So, you’re able to show up in relation to other people much more intentionally, much more powerfully, much more in control.

You also need to learn how to make empowered decisions. A lot of the people that come to work with me really struggle with decision making; they spin in indecision, they second guess themselves, they’re constantly seeking input or feedback from other people, they don’t trust themselves, they avoid making a decision.

The quality of your life is really directly impacted by the quality of your decision-making abilities. So, we want to make sure that you’re able to make really intentional, empowered decisions quickly. And then, being able to implement them, take action towards them, to create the results of the decisions that you make.

You also want to become the type of person who’s capable of making changes. Whether it’s switching jobs, or moving, or starting to travel, starting a business, getting promoted. Whatever it is, we want to make you the kind of person that navigates change really well, really seamlessly. Because if you’re resistant to change… I used to tell myself that I hated change. I don’t do that anymore. I love change, now. I embrace it fully in my life.

But if you’re someone who hates change, you’re going to maintain the status quo, and you’re not going to thrive in the way that you’re going to want to thrive in your life. If you have other goals you want to accomplish, like getting more organized, either at work or in your personal life, developing business, transitioning businesses, changing your practice area, any of those things.

You want to be able to identify the result very clearly that you want to create, and plan for the future. I teach my clients how to reverse-engineer their results, so we get clear on exactly what we want to create. And then, we work backwards to create a roadmap, in order to make creating your results inevitable.

I also teach people how to simplify their lives. We constrain and cut out anything that doesn’t serve you, anything that’s not necessary. And we make decisions, that you make all the time over and over again, we decide on them one time, and then we just honor those decisions moving forward. So, your life becomes much more simplified, much more streamlined, much more routine, much more uniform. Not in a boring way; in a really sexy way.

In a way that makes everything feel a lot more effortless and easy, so you’re able to give your time, focus, and attention, to the things that really move the dial to create that life that you want. That get you closer to the unresolved that you’re aiming for.

Last but not least, I teach people how to set and achieve goals. Most people come to me, and they really don’t know how to do that well. They kind of think that they know how to do it, but they struggle with it. They set really ambiguous goals, and they don’t know how to work towards them. So, we’re going to do that together.

And through all of the things that I just covered, what you ultimately get is you’re able to feel so much better. You go from feeling overwhelmed, and stressed, and inadequate, and insecure, and uncertain, and guilty, and worried, and frustrated, and disappointed, and discouraged, and defeated, and confused, and stuck. To feeling in control, capable, competent, determined, committed, intentional, okay? That’s what you want for your life.

Because how you feel determines how you show up. So, we need you feeling better, so you can show up better, so you can create what you want in your life. All right, this is exactly what I teach people to do. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s your whole, complete life. Right? It is a lot; it should be a lot.

Those skills are everything you need to know, in order to really thrive. And like I said, most of the stuff you’ve never been formally taught how to do any of it, so you struggle with it. My goal, in working with all of my clients, is to stop the struggle. To get you out of spin cycle and get you really clear on how to create what you want, and to arm you with the skills that you need in order to create it.

Now that’s what you do when you work with a coach; you learn to master those skills. So, if you’re asking yourself, why would I invest in working with a coach? In a program like The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind?

Here’s some reasons that might come up for you, to start: You might invest because you’re sick of squandering your own time, fumbling around, and trying to figure it out for yourself. One of the things that I hear in the coaching industry a lot is that people need to work with a life coach. And that’s absolutely not true, right?

You will make it through life, you won’t die if you don’t work with a coach. But here is what I find to be true. Number one, the progress that you’ll make on your own is going to take you a lot longer, than the progress you make when you work with an expert.

Number two, there are just some revelations and transformations that you get out of coaching that you’ll never get on your own. Because you can’t see your own roadblocks. So, the fastest way to create the life you want is to work with a coach. The fastest way to learn is to learn from someone else, instead of trying to figure it out all on your own.

If you want to be inspired, and get unstuck, and have support while you start curating a life that you love, one that you live on your terms, you want to invest in yourself. You want to invest in working with a coach and joining a mastermind, like The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind, because it’s a container where you get to do all of this stuff at warp speed.

Another huge reason to work with a coach and to join a group program, like The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind, is to become a part of a community and to surround yourself with really incredible people who are all committed to living intentional lives, just like you are.

Another reason to invest in yourself is to simply become someone who invests in yourself. To be someone who pushes themselves to do more than settle for the status quo. There is such an uplevel in your self-concept when you invest in yourself.

When you actually pay money to invest in your own personal development, it’s like you’re saying, “I believe in my future and what I’m capable of so much, I’m willing to put money behind it. I’m willing to bet on myself. I’m willing to invest in myself. I’m willing to bankroll my future success; the success that I’m going to make inevitable through making this investment.”

You start to see yourself as someone who is worthy of investment. Someone who has a future that is so valuable, that’s so remarkable, that you’re willing to put your money into it, in order to make it the best that it can be. And that is really a transformative way to think about yourself.

To be that intentional with your life, that intentional with your future. To say, “I’m not going to settle for mediocre. My life is worthy of this type of expenditure,” that is so powerful. Being someone that takes yourself and your future, and your life and your goals, and everything that you want to accomplish so seriously, that you’re willing to put money behind it.

I’m gonna go on a quick tangent here. I went on a date; I think last fall. And while I was on the date, the man that I was out with was talking about some of the goals that were kind of like pipe dreams, that’s how he talked about them. He was really wishy-washy when he was talking to me about them. He didn’t seem really confident; he didn’t really seem sure of himself. And he kind of joked about what he wanted to accomplish.

He didn’t have the same gravitas that I have when I talk about my goals. I take my goals, and my future, and the vision that I have for my life so seriously. So, it really stood out to me that he didn’t talk that way, that he didn’t speak about his future and himself in the same way that I do. I left that date thinking this; simply, that you have to be the person that takes your life, your goals, your dreams, more seriously than anyone else.

It’s got to be you. That’s your job. No one else is going to care about your dreams, your goals, the life you want to create, as much as you. Nor should they, everyone should be worried about themselves and creating their own lives that they’re obsessed with. That’s everyone’s individual job.

So, you want to check in with yourself. Do you take your life, your dreams, your goals, the things that you want to have in your life, the accomplishments that you want to achieve, do you take them seriously? Seriously enough to invest in?

If you don’t, I really want to ask you to question why. Why is that? And then, I want to invite you to start thinking about this differently. To start telling yourself, to start mentally rehearsing, that you and your future are worthy of investment. Now, why is it so important to invest in yourself?

Number one, and I kind of already talked about this, but you get further faster. And one of the things that I teach my clients is that success compounds. So, the further you get faster, the more time you give yourself for your success to compound. It’s just like interest in financial investments; there’s compound interests. So, when you start saving earlier, you reap the benefits of having made those investments earlier.

The same thing is true with what you accomplish in your life. So, the faster you start taking action, to get where you want to go, the further you’re going to ultimately get, because your success will compound.

By investing in yourself, you’ll also achieve things that you would never otherwise achieve. I’ll use myself as an example of this. I run a business now that blows my wildest dreams; I’m quickly scaling it to seven figures.

And, I know that that is truly just the beginning. And had I not invested in coaching and worked with coaches that held that vision for me before I was able to hold it myself, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have the future in front of me that I now have, but for me, investing.

Coaches also help point out your blind spots. And I really do mean this; they’re your blind spots, so you will not see them if you don’t work with someone else. You just won’t know what to look for. So, coaches will help you identify limiting beliefs that you have. And they will help you dismantle them. They know what questions to ask, in order to tear down some of the things that you’ve been believing about yourself and what’s possible for your life, that are really holding you back.

Another thing that my clients love about working with me is that they’re able to borrow my belief. I believe in you so fully and completely. I believe in how resourceful you are. I believe in how capable you are. I believe there’s nothing you cannot accomplish. And most people don’t have someone like that in their lives.

If you start to pay attention, you’re probably surrounded by a lot of negative people. And that’s not to, like, insult your inner circle. It’s just how most people operate in this world. So, investing in being surrounded by someone who isn’t like that, who is full of belief, who thinks the world is your oyster, and that the possibility is endless, the opportunity is endless, and that you are capable of creating whatever it is that you want in your life.

Spending time around someone like that, investing and being around someone like that, is so incredibly powerful. I truly believe that we are a direct reflection of the five people you spend the most time with. And when you work with a coach, one of the five people that you end up spending the most time with is your coach.

Even if we only see each other an hour a week. Think about it, most of my friends I don’t see an hour a week. If I see them like once a month, that’s a lot, or a couple times a year. So, I see my coaches more frequently than I see my parents, other friends, and family members. And as a result, they become one of those five people that has the biggest impact on my life.

Which is so great, because they have a mind that’s so different from anyone else in my life. So, I really learned to think so much differently, by exposing myself to the way that they operate, to the way that they view the world.

Another thing that my clients love about working with a coach and investing in themselves, is that they expose themselves to someone who’s completely non-judgmental. Working with someone who’s completely non-judgmental, and is able to help you navigate situations without putting their opinion and their own limiting beliefs into the situation, is so powerful.

We call this “holding space” in coaching. And it’s one of the most impactful things that you get out of investing in yourself; having someone hold space for you, not judge you. And help you explore all the options that you have.

Help you make decisions and figure out which direction you want to go in. Figure out what questions you need to be asked, in order to create awareness and really figure out what’s next. Figure out the direction you want to move in, to help you become the best version of yourself. Having someone who’s able to hold that type of space. without judgment. is so incredible.

I also just had a client reach out to me, and she said that one of the most incredible things that she’s experienced about working with me, is that I’m so honest. So, it’s so fascinating how these two concepts tie in together; being non-judgmental, but also being very candid.

And she explained that it’s not just with some of the “bad stuff” that happens; some of the things that she struggles with. But also, the things that she does well, that she celebrates, or would want to celebrate. But sometimes that inner critic in her own head would discount the accomplishments.

When you work with a coach, we cheer you on from a really honest, loving, supportive place. So, you have someone in your corner who’s here solely to support you. I tell my clients all the time, “I’m not your husband’s life coach. I’m not your mom’s life coach. I’m not your boss’s life coach, or your client’s life coach. I’m your life coach.”

So, I’m in your corner. I’ve got your back. I’m holding space for you. I’m going to be honest with you, and sometimes that requires me saying the tough thing. The thing that you might not want to hear, but that will set you free. That will really help you access your transformation, access the breakthrough, that’s going to get you to the life that you’re obsessed with.

We usually don’t get this from the people that are in our inner circle. They’re either people-pleasing us, or being too polite, or giving us their negative limiting beliefs, and their opinions based on their worldview and their experiences. A lot of that does not serve you, all right? So, I’m not going to be your parent, and I’m not going to be your best friend, and that’s the best news ever.

I want you to take a second and think about what are all of the thoughts that you have about investing in yourself? Does it feel unavailable to you? Do you feel hesitant or apprehensive to do it? Do you feel like it’s not for you? Investing in yourself isn’t something that you do. Isn’t something that you were raised to do.

It certainly wasn’t something that I was raised to do. I had to become someone who viewed myself and my life as being worthy of investment. And now that I have changed my beliefs and the way that I look at making that type of investment in myself, it has become a non-negotiable for me. Because I’m so committed to achieving the seemingly impossible, to living a life where I truly blow my own mind with what I’m able to create.

I’m so committed to exceeding my wildest expectations. And I know that I will never achieve that if I operate on autopilot. Operating on autopilot doesn’t create the results that I want in my life. I want next level results, so I have to invest in a next level way, in order to create them. That has just become a fundamental part of my life. I’m always going to work with a coach.

Whether it’s one-on-one, or to put myself in group programs that give me access to peer groups that I would never otherwise be around. Where I’m able to access their up-leveled thinking, and their brilliance, and their wisdom. To put myself in rooms with coaches who have the results that I want to have in my life. Who have achieved what I want to achieve, and I can learn from them. Because they lead by example, and they share their wisdom, they share their knowledge with me.

That has become a foundational part of my life, and it always will be. If you are someone who has never invested in yourself in this way, I want you to consider that now is the perfect time to do it. Especially, we’re coming up on the end of the year.

This is my favorite time to make investments in my personal life and my professional life, to decide what is my 2023? What’s the next year going to look like for me? And how am I going to support myself, as I work towards the goals that I want to accomplish over the course of the next 12 months?

So, be thinking about this. Don’t wait until January to figure out what you’re going to do, in order to get to the results that you want to get to in 2023. You want to be making those decisions now. You want to be lining all of that up right now, so that it’s done, so that it’s taken care of.

Now, as you explore your thoughts about investing in yourself, the other thing that I wanted to talk about is a couple questions that you can ask yourself to figure out whether it’s time for you to invest. So, number one, I went through that long list of the things that we work on together; with the skills that I teach you to master, that we develop, so you’re able to create that life you’re obsessed with.

If there are items on that list that you really feel like you struggle with, that you don’t know how to do right now, you feel like there’s skills that you’ve never developed, you were never taught, it’s time to invest. You want to put yourself in a room where you will learn those things.

The other thing that I see a ton of is that people are in consumption mode. So, if this is you, this used to be me, so I’m calling myself out here, too. But I’m giving you a loving call out, too; if you are in consumption mode, and you keep repeating the same behavior over and over and over again. You keep feeling the same way, but you keep consuming. You keep listening to the podcast episodes, and reading the social media posts, and watching the YouTube videos, and reading the self-help books.

But you’re not actually making changes, you’re consuming; you’re not applying. It’s time to invest in working with a coach.

Consuming isn’t learning; application is learning. If you are the type of person who identifies with saying, “You know, I know what I need to do, I’m just not doing it.” With all the love in the world, you don’t know what to do. I had this conversation with a client recently, we were talking about time management. And he was saying to me…

Actually, this came up a couple different times with clients recently; one on the topic of time management, one on the topic of weight loss. And both clients were like, “I know what I need to do, I’m just not doing it.” And I just took a calm, deep breath, and I said, “Respectfully, you don’t know what to do. Because knowing without doing, isn’t knowing.”

And we’ll repeat that again, because it’s really good: Knowing without doing, isn’t knowing. So, you may intellectually understand the steps you need to take, in order to get where you want to go. But you don’t know how to actually take the steps. And one of the things that I teach my clients how to do is to take the steps; the uncomfortable steps that make their success inevitable.

You need to learn how to take action, in spite of and despite the discomfort that comes from taking it. We don’t learn how to do this growing up. It may seem like it’s intuitive, but it’s not. It’s a skill that you have to learn how to develop. And it’s the thing that I’m an expert at teaching people, more so than any other coach that I’ve seen in the coaching industry.

This is really my sweet sauce; teaching people how to gag-and-go through the discomfort, in order to create the life that they want. So, be honest with yourself. Have you been in consumption mode? Do you keep taking in information, but not making any actual change?

If that’s you, you gotta invest in yourself to get out of that cycle. You want to put yourself in a room with people, where you’re learning and actually applying, where a coach is gonna hold you accountable, where they’re gonna push your toes to the edge. And get you taking action, auditing the actions you take and adapting, so you’re constantly improving. You’re not stuck in the same cycle of no development, of no progress, of no change.

If you feel stuck and confused about how to get where you want to go, that’s another great sign that it’s time for you to invest in yourself, and to work with a coach. Also, if you feel like you’ve plateaued. Maybe you’re not struggling as much as some people and things are pretty good, but you really feel like you don’t have access to that next up level.

If that’s you, time to invest and have someone push you outside of your comfort zone, and help you identify your roadblocks. So, you’re able to get to that next level of success.

Now, I want to talk about the common reasons that I see people not invest in themselves. And there are mainly seven reasons that I see come up for people. Number one, they’re afraid it’s not going to work. They don’t want to spend the money. They think that they should be able to figure it out on their own.

They think that they’re selfish for making an investment in themselves like this. They’re afraid they won’t commit to the program. They don’t want to feel exposed in front of other people. And lastly, they’re telling themselves that now isn’t a good time.

I want to explore each of these reasons in greater detail. Because if there’s one thing that you should have learned by now, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, it’s this; your brain likes to lie to you. The primitive part of your brain is always attempting to sell you snake oil, to get you to maintain the status quo.

It wants you to seek pleasure, avoid discomfort, and conserve energy. I want to explore each of these reasons in greater detail, so you can see how your brain is telling you lies.

Investing in yourself is counterintuitive to those three agenda items: to seeking pleasure, avoiding discomfort, and conserving energy. Your brain serves you up excuses like the ones I just listed, in order to keep you stagnant. Because your brain mistakenly thinks stagnant is safe. Stagnant isn’t safe; stagnant is just stagnant, right?

I always think of like a gross, like murky pond; ick. And that’s not what you want for your life. That’s not where you want to be hanging out. You want like oceanfront real estate, not the stagnant pond, right? So, you want to be onto your brain. You want to see what it’s trying to do. You want to see how it’s trying to hold you back with some of these excuses.

Some of these reasons that might sound good or “look good on paper,” and seem really reasonable, but they’re really not good reasons to not invest in yourself. Once you realize what’s happening, you then get to interrupt this process and take intentional action, and move forward to create the results that you want.

So, let’s explore each of these reasons to not invest in yourself, and start to like, poke some holes in them and pick them apart. First things first, you might be afraid that investing in yourself won’t work, that working with a coach won’t work. All right? This is such a common defense mechanism that your brain loves to serve up to you.

It loves to jump straight into the doubt that it’s not going to work. But what I like to do is I like to break down the doubt, because ambiguity breeds anxiety. And this is a really ambiguous excuse. It’s like, okay, but Why won’t it work? Why are you afraid it won’t work? So, you want to flesh this out further.

If you’ve got this fear that investing in yourself and working with a coach won’t work, I want you to challenge yourself to figure out why you think that. Just know that your brain’s trying to protect you from the unknown. Because there is some unknown if you haven’t worked with a coach before, you haven’t worked with a particular coach before, there’s going to be a little uncertainty there. That’s normal. That’s okay.

But your brain is just trying to protect you from it, and you want to be onto that. That’s what’s going on here. So, if you’re worried that investing in yourself, making an investment like working with a coach, or joining The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind, there are only three reasons it wouldn’t work.

You’re worried that I can’t help you, which I can. You’re worried that coaching doesn’t work, which it does. Or, you’re worried that you won’t follow through, which you will. All right, I am 100% in belief that this program will work for you.

Of course, you aren’t at 100% belief like me, you haven’t done it yet. That’s super normal. It’s just a decision that you have to make, feeling a little uncertain. And you can borrow my belief, in the meantime. That’s one of the amazing things that you get to do when you work with a coach. You get to borrow their belief when your belief isn’t as strong yet.

I know I can help you. I know that coaching works. And I know that you will help yourself get the results that you want. I remember the first time that I invested in working with a coach, I was so convinced that it wouldn’t work.

But I was really kind of desperate and exasperated, and I really wanted the results that they offered. So, I took a leap of faith. I didn’t think the modality would work. I didn’t think the coach’s methodology would work. I didn’t know if she could help me. I didn’t even know what I needed to do in order to help myself.

So, there was so much confusion and so much uncertainty, but I decided, for lack of a better term, to throw money at the problem, and to see if it could work. Because if it did, the slight chance, that I thought in my mind that this might work, it was worth me making the investment.

I’m so, so glad I did. That decision to invest in myself changed my life. I live a completely different life. A life that I love now because I made the initial investment. And I had to do it while feeling uncertain. I had to gag-and-go through the discomfort, through the fear of the unknown, and do it anyways. That may be what you have to do in order to invest in yourself.

I just want to offer you that you can move forward, despite some of that uncertainty. I always describe to people it’s like you feel 80% hopeful, and excited, and confident that this will work, and just 20% scared, or maybe 10% worried, or 15% nervous, right? It’s those small percentages where that discomfort lies. You just want to note it and move forward, and take intentional action, in spite of and despite it.

Another thing, if you’re worried about this investment, working with a coach joining a mastermind like mine, if you’re worried that it won’t work. The other thing that I want to offer you is that the mastermind specifically is designed to let you reenroll if you want to keep the momentum going.

So, if you’re like, “Olivia, I feel like I have so much to do, so much change to make during a six-month time period,” that’s okay. I modeled my mastermind off of the one that I’m in with my business coach. And she also allows us to reenroll, and it’s the best gift that she gives us. Because it takes the pressure off for me to have to like change my entire life, and do everything that I need to do or want to do in my business, all within six months.

I get more time to accomplish everything that I want to accomplish. So, I want to offer you that you get to do the same exact thing. And it can take the pressure off of you feeling like you need to fit everything in, all in the first six months.

We’ll make fast progress together, but you don’t have to feel pressured to squeeze it all in. I’m here to support you for as long as you have goals that you want to accomplish. All right? And when you achieve the ones that we said at the start, we’ll move on to different ones. And we’ll just keep that process going.

Also, for this concern that working with a coach won’t work. I think the better question is, do you like fear being the reason you don’t get the results you want? Because that’s really what’s happening. You can guarantee yourself more of the status quo, more of stagnation, if you don’t do anything differently; if you don’t make a change, if you don’t make an investment.

Or, you can buy yourself the probability that you will get the results. Again, I know that it’s not just probable, that it’s inevitable. But you’re not going to know that on the front end, because you haven’t done it before. And if you’re anything like I used to be, you love evidence to support your decision making ahead of time.

Again, this is just one of those things in life, you’re not going to have that evidence until you move forward and do this. But I really want you to think about it. Do you like your fear, your worry, your uncertainty, for being the reason that you don’t get the results you want? Because the only way to have a different life is to do something differently, like make this type of investment.

The second reason that I see people not invest in themselves is that they’re apprehensive about spending the money. I’d probably have to say, this is the most common reason people don’t invest. And here’s how I like to work through this reason. First, you want to get really clear on the actual data. Our brains love to tell us that we can’t afford to do something when we actually can’t afford to do it. The math actually works out.

But I like to say it’s just a knee-jerk no. We tell ourselves; it’s too expensive. I can’t do that. I don’t have the money; I can’t afford it. And then, we just shut down and don’t move forward. So, I really want to invite you to discern between what’s true and what isn’t.

Do you absolutely not have the money? Or, do you have it right now, or you have access to it, via savings or credit cards or, you know, something else, but you’re reluctant to spend it? Those are the two camps; you absolutely don’t have it, or you have it right now or have access to it.

I find that almost everyone that I meet with, that I talk to, that I work with, they fall in the latter category. They have it or they have access to the money, but they’re hesitant to spend it.

Now, if you truly don’t have it, I want to invite you to get resourceful. If you really want to work with a coach and you really want to join a program like my mastermind, I want you to tap into your own resourcefulness. How can you create the money? I once sold jewelry on eBay® to pay my bills when I was just starting my business. I was so resourceful. It’s one of the things that I talk about on the podcast a lot, how resourceful I am.

And it’s one of the things that I love and appreciate about myself the most. I also once used Upstart®, which is an online lending platform that allowed me to finance my coaching certification program, when I didn’t have the means to do it on my own.

I didn’t have the cash liquid, so I got resourceful. I was able to take advantage of a platform like that. You can do that, too. If you want to get resourceful and be inventive, and come up with different ways where you can finance an investment like this, there are a lot of different ways to do it.

But you’ve got to be able to discern what’s true and what isn’t. And tap into that resourcefulness, to search for options and different strategies that you may not have thought of originally.

Now, if you’re in the more common camp of currently having the money or having access to it in some way, but you’re reluctant to spend it, you just want to ask yourself “why,” and see if you like your reasons. Normally, people are hesitant because they’re afraid it won’t work. Which brings us back to the first reason that I talked about.

Or, you think that it’s selfish or irresponsible to invest in yourself like this. That especially comes up with a lot of parents that I work with, especially women. They really have a lot of guilt and shame around making these types of investments; I’m always fascinated by that, too.

That never happens with men that I work with. They’re just like, matter of fact about investing in themselves. They see the ROI (Return On Investment) and they have the self-concept of being people that invest in themselves, and do that in order to achieve their next level of success. So, they don’t hesitate in the same way.

It’s just something that I’ve been really fascinated by seeing. This is a generalization. I understand that not all of the women that I work with have these hesitations, but it’s just something that I commonly don’t see with the men that I work with.

And I think it’s really important to note, like, if that’s you, if you’re a woman, and you’re listening to this episode, and you feel selfish or irresponsible investing in yourself in this way, I just want to challenge you that that is a lot of societal conditioning. And you get to return those limiting beliefs about investing in yourself, anytime you want. You get to unsubscribe. You get to opt out of that line of thinking.

You get to decide that your future is worthy of investment, and that you see the ROI on making this type of expenditure. Because the results that you want to create for yourself are so worth it.

Now, if those are your reasons, whether you think it won’t work, or you think it’s selfish or irresponsible to make this kind of investment, you just want to decide if you like those reasons or not. And if you are likely to create the results that you want to create in your life, without making this kind of change, without making this kind of investment.

If you like your reasons, amazing. If you don’t, also amazing. You get to do something different, starting right now. I also think it’s helpful to think about the cost of not making an investment in yourself. I think about that all the time. I spend a lot of money working with my business coach; her group program is $25,000 every six months. Which I think is expensive, and also very worth it.

And every six months, when it comes time for me to reinvest, for me to re-enroll, I think about what will I miss out on if I don’t make that investment. If I don’t put myself in that room. If I don’t expose myself to that type of transformation, that type of growth, that type of constant education.

I know the cost, the negative impact on my business, on my bottom line, is huge. And I’m not willing to suffer that negative consequence, just in order to save extra money. So, I know that even though it is a significant investment, I will gain more in the long run. The ROI will be positive; it will be worth it for me.

I’m not willing to miss out on the benefit that comes from being in that type of environment. So, think about that. Think about what is the cost in your life, of continuing to stay the same. I’ve learned that you can keep your money and keep your problems, or you can spend your money and learn how to solve your problems yourself.

And when you invest in yourself this way, you’re gaining an education that’s going to last you a lifetime, not just for the length of whatever program that you’re investing in. So, once I started to learn this, that you can either keep your money and your problems or spend the money and solve your problems, I started choosing the latter.

I started to choose to invest. I even invested when it was a stretch for me, because it was always the best investment I could make, even when it was a stretch. And it was always the best investment because it helped me up level significantly.

An investment may sometimes be a stretch for you, that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad reason to do it. It’s just something to take into consideration. And you want to think about what might you be missing out on if you stay the same, if you maintain the status quo.

Another reason that people don’t invest in themselves is that they think they should be able to do it on their own. If you think this, if you think you should be able to build all the skills that I listed out earlier, I want you to ask yourself; why it is that you think that? What do you make it mean that you’re seeking out help to improve yourself? Really give some thought to that. What do you make it mean about your capabilities? Or, about what you’re able to do and what you’re not able to do on your own?

Can you do this on your own? Yeah, maybe you can, but it may just take you a lot longer. I also want you to consider that. Maybe you can do it on your own, but you don’t want to. That’s a big reason that I invest in coaching, especially masterminds, especially group programs. I don’t want to do it alone.

I think entrepreneurship, especially, is very lonely. I also… That’s a thought that I think about the practice of law. And you don’t have to take on that thought, that’s just my opinion. But that was really true for me when I practiced. And it’s also been true for me as I’ve started and now run my own business.

I work from home, it’s pretty isolating. I love putting myself in rooms, in containers, where I’m surrounded by other incredible people that really support me, cheer me on, push me to be my best, help me in any way that they can. It’s so incredible to be a part of a community like that.

I also want to get my results faster. And by investing, I’m able to do that and make that available to me. Honestly, though, a lot of what I’ve learned from coaching, I would have never learned otherwise. So, yeah, is there the possibility that you can do this on your own? Yes.

But there’s also the possibility that you can’t. That you’ll never learn a ton of what you’ll get out of coaching if you don’t invest in it. Like, how to manage your time, or how to stop people pleasing, or how to take action in spite of and despite your discomfort, how to develop business, or how to believe in yourself.

All of those things, you will get out of coaching. Those are things that I got out of coaching. That I needed to invest in coaching, in order to learn. I would have never learned them otherwise. There’s no shame in working with a professional to learn how to do something that no one has ever taught you to do. It’s like judging yourself for not knowing how to do calculus, or write a legal brief, when no one’s ever taught you how to do calculus, or write a legal brief.

Or it’s like judging yourself for not knowing how to ride a unicycle when you’ve never tried to do it before. So, if you’re judging yourself for wanting or needing to learn from someone else, I just want to offer you that that is optional. You can put down that judgment and unsubscribe from it right now.

I also want you to check in with yourself; how do you feel when you think that you should be able to do this on your own? That negative feeling, that’s what’s driving you to not make an investment in yourself; to not work with a coach; to not join a program that helps you create the life you want to be living.

I want you to name that feeling explicitly if this reason really resonates with you, and then ask yourself; if you like that feeling, that negative emotion, as your reason for not doing this?

Next reason is that you think making this type of investment in yourself is selfish or irresponsible. If you think that it is, I want you to ask yourself, why? Investing in yourself isn’t selfish. Not only is it self-care, it’s also a gift that you give everyone else in your life.

When you invest in yourself, the people you love get the best version of you. So, it’s a win-win. I recently had a conversation with someone who was talking about investing in herself, and whether she should spend the money on a family vacation, or in working with a coach. And we just explored this from curiosity, to say; what would the difference be? What would the value be?

And for some people, they may not have to choose between taking the vacation and investing in a coach. But other people might have to make that choice. Identify the tradeoffs and the benefits that come from the vacation, and the benefits that come from working with a coach.

The things that this woman wanted to work on with me, they were everyday things like being less frustrated, and being less resentful. Saying no more often than she says yes. Showing up more intentionally and more positively. Having boundaries and following through all of the things that would make a huge impact on her day-to-day life.

We were going to work on reducing her guilt, and her disappointment, and her frustration, and her resentment, and her overwhelm. So, she could show up feeling a lot less pressured, a lot less stressed, a lot less anxious, and feel more in control.

We discussed what would it be like in her household if she were that person? If she were living that kind of life, instead of the one that she’s been living? And then, we talked about the value of going on vacation for a week, and what would her family benefit from more.

We reached the conclusion together; that it was way more meaningful to her to be a different person day in and day out, to have a better mindset, to have a better approach to her daily life, than to go to Disney® for a week. Disney’s important, don’t get me wrong. If you are a Disney person, and you want to take your family to Disney, that’s amazing.

But it’s one week versus 365 days out of the year of having a completely different experience. And the compound effect of being that different person, of having that different mindset, of feeling so much better, and being so much more intentional on a day-to-day basis. So, she decided to move forward.

That she wanted to prioritize that this year, and then next year would be an amazing year for her to take that vacation. And how much more enjoyable it’s going to be to take that vacation, when she’s in a better frame of mind, when she’s not feeling awful.

So, if this is a reason that you have for not investing in yourself, that you think it’s selfish or irresponsible, I want you to ask yourself; how is it not selfish? How is it, actually, responsible for you to make this investment? I see making investments in myself as the most responsible, mature move that I can make.

Normally, these fears and judgments come from old conditioning that got passed down to us. And like I said earlier, you get to opt out of that anytime you want to. I’ve changed my views on this entirely. I did not come from a family of people that would work with coaches, that would make these types of investments in themselves.

But I became someone who does. So, I no longer view asking for help, or paying for help, or seeking out coaching or guidance, with any type of negative judgment or shame. Now, I look at investing in myself as like the biggest flex imaginable. So, I want to invite you that you can look at it that way, too.

Now, if one of the reasons you don’t want to invest is that you’re afraid you won’t commit. And you’re afraid that you won’t commit to the process because you’ve made commitments in the past and you haven’t stuck to them, I get it. That used to be me, too. I would make commitments and not follow through. And one of the things that you’ll learn, in working with a coach, and joining the mastermind, and being a part of this group, is how to follow through.

That’s one of the skills that we spend the most time developing. That being said, I want to offer you this, we’re going to work on building the skill set together, but you get to make a decision right now. You get to decide to be committed. That’s a choice you can make. It’s a decision that’s available to you. You can decide to show up for yourself.

I don’t bombard you with busy work, when you work with me, when you join the mastermind. You just have to show up for the calls, and apply what you learn in our sessions in your day-to-day life. I teach you how to do this in small increments, so you don’t get bombarded and overburden yourself with too much and then quit.

I used to constantly bail on my commitments, especially the ones that I made with myself, because I take on too much. That’s not how I teach. That’s not what I do with my clients. We make it really implementable. If you’re someone who constantly bails on your commitments, and you’re afraid you’re gonna bail on this one, I want to offer you that you get to decide to become a different person, today.

One day I decided to stop bailing. I recognized that I was trying to do too much all at once, and I wasn’t being present. And I made the decision to be present, to focus wholly and entirely on whatever it was that I was doing at this time. I made this decision when I went through coach training; I was torn between working on work, and working on the coach training.

And I decided, in that moment, that I was going to be all in. I decided to be committed. I decided to be decided. And I continue to practice that, with the programs that I now invest in as a client with my coaches. I choose to give my commitments my full focus. I choose to be present. I choose to show up. I choose to not bail. And that is available to you, too. So, you just have to choose to do that intentionally.

Reason number six, you’re apprehensive about being exposed in front of a group of people. Especially if you’re choosing to invest in a group coaching program, in a mastermind, like The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind, where you’re with a cohort of other people. And you’re afraid about being vulnerable, about showing your imperfections, about being seen and having people know that you’re not perfect.

If you’re a perfectionist, this may be uncomfortable for you; I get it. This used to be a big fear of mine, too. I hated not having everything figured out. I hated appearing like I didn’t have it all together. And if this is you, here’s what I want you to know. Truth is the antidote to shame. I believe that fully, and I practice it in my life.

That’s one of my guiding beliefs, one of my guiding principles. So, showing up and letting yourself be seen, and being honest about what you struggle with, will transform you. The members of the mastermind are so supportive, you’re not going to be judged for being you. You’re going to be accepted, you’re going to be held, you’re going to be supported.

Also, pretending that you have everything figured out is exhausting. So, being a part of a community where you don’t have to fake it all the time is so restorative. I’ve really learned that allowing myself to be seen has been the thing that has allowed me to create the most meaningful connections.

I finally feel like people really know me. I finally feel that I am connected with other people who like me for me, and not the version of me that I like to present to the world; the polished version that has it all figured out. I also learned that I’m not alone. So, this concept that truth is the antidote to shame, by me being honest about what I struggle with, I also give permission to other people for them to do the same.

I create safety for them for them to share their struggles, and they create safety for me; for me to share mine. And that’s where that connection, where those bonds are formed, where that comes from. Also, the amazing thing about being in a group is that you can learn from other people.

So, I get that it might be a little uncomfortable for you to feel exposed and to be honest about what you struggle with. But when you’re honest about what you struggle with, and other people are honest about what they struggle with, you will learn from one another. It’s so much easier to learn lessons when you see other people get coached on things that you struggle with. I know that’s been true for me.

I have benefited so significantly from watching other people work through the same issues that I face, the same struggles that I have, because I approach their issues from a completely different perspective. So, it’s easier for me to see the lesson, and to figure things out so much more quickly than when it’s the situation I’m dealing with.

It just feels so true and unshakeable for me. So, I want to offer that to you. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing about something, you don’t have to share. You can listen and just learn from others going through similar situations. But the more you share, the more you open yourself up. The more you’ll learn, the more other people will learn. And we will support you as you do that, as you go through that process.

Now, last but not least, reason number seven, is that you think now is not the right time. This is another reason that our brains serve up to us all the time. And it seems so, so reasonable. It’s sort of like the money reason, that you’ve got to explore the truth behind this belief of yours. Normally, the ‘now isn’t the right time’ objection is just a cute excuse that our brains love to serve up to us to prevent us from changing the status quo.

So, I want you to ask yourself, if you’re telling yourself now’s not the right time for me to invest in myself; what specifically is the reason that now is not a good time? Like I said earlier, ambiguity breeds anxiety. So, you want to get clear on what the specific reason that now is not a good time, what that reason is. What will be different in the future, that makes later better? And what’s the cost of waiting?

If you can’t articulate a clear reason, with a lot of certainty, as to why later is better, then you want to be onto yourself; that’s just your brain serving you up some snake oil to get you to maintain the status quo. It’s just your brain serving you up that natural defense mechanism to seek pleasure, avoid discomfort, and conserve energy.

With the time objection, after the in-person event with the mastermind, we meet for three and a half days in Charleston, which is gonna be so amazing. Once we do that, the time investment’s just an hour a week, and you have an hour a week. Even if you feel like you don’t have one hour a week, I assure you, you do.

When I have clients do time audits, we find, all the time, that they squander all the time that goes to things where they spend time in a really unintentional way. I assure you; you have an hour to devote to your growth each week, you just have to find that time.

And finding that time starts with you believing that you do, in fact, have it. If you believe you do, you’ll be able to find it. Now, my rule of thumb here, is that if you cannot clearly articulate why later is better, and you’re relying on hope that things will calm down in the future, or that more money will randomly become available to you, I want to offer you that hope is not a good strategy.

I always tell people, “Don’t let fear, guilt, or hope be the reason that you make a decision, or that you don’t make a decision.” They’re just not solid reasons. You want to have a much stronger conviction, a much stronger incentive or reason for the decision that you make.

I also want you to ask yourself; how will things be calmer in the future? You should have a clear plan of how you’re going to create calm, if you’re telling yourself that now’s not the right time, and that things will be calmer in the future. You want to make sure that you specifically understand how you’re going to create calm, how you’re going to get there.

If you don’t have a clear plan, this again, is your brain lying to you. Trying to protect you from making a change. Just be onto yourself. Also, if you don’t have a plan to create calm, that’s one of the things that you’ll learn how to do when you work with a coach. Like I said earlier, I teach people how to simplify their lives, how to constrain, how to make decisions ahead of time, how to make their lives more effortless and more seamless.

So, if that’s one of the things you want to accomplish, it may be time to make an investment in yourself so you can learn that skill set. Now, lastly, I just want you to ask yourself the opposite question. Your brain’s so sold on telling you that now is not the right time, right?

So, I just want you to ask yourself the opposite question; how is right now the best time? Ask yourself that question and see what comes up. What reasons does your brain offer up to you when you give it a better question to answer? You’ve probably heard me say before, “If you want better answers, you’ve got to ask better questions.” So, instead of asking yourself; why is right now not the right time? Ask yourself; why is right now the best time? And, see what your brain serves up to you.

Ultimately, you get to choose to wait if you want to. You just want to know exactly what your reasons are for waiting, and be sure that you like them.

Alright, my friends. Those are the seven reasons that people refrain and hesitate from moving forward, and investing in themselves, and working with a coach. If you are interested in creating a life on your terms, a life that you love, a life that you’re obsessed with.

If you want to master the skills that I outlined in the beginning of this episode, but you’re on the fence about whether or not to work with someone. Whether or not to invest in yourself. Whether or not to join a program, like The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind, you want to think through what are the reasons to do it?

What are the reasons to not do it, and are your reasons just excuses your brain’s serving up to you to try and maintain the status quo? To keep you stagnant, not safe? And to get you seeking pleasure, avoiding discomfort, and conserving energy?

If those are your reasons, and you don’t like them, you get to interrupt this process, and make an intentional decision to make yourself your top priority. To invest in yourself in order to create the life you want to be living.

I also want to offer you this, you do not need to work with me. I would love to be your coach, and I would love to do this work with you, together, to get you from where you are to where you want to go. But if there is someone else that you think is more aligned to help you with the specific things that you’re struggling with, invest in working with them. All right?

Investing in the person that you feel can best support you to create the result that you’re craving, the results that you want in your life. I hope that you become someone who sees themselves as being worthy of investment. As someone who has a future that is worthy of investing in, because you are worthy of investment. Your future is worth investing in. And you get to start investing, right now.

I can’t wait to see what becomes possible for you when you do. If you want to invest in working with me, if you want to make sure you’re with me in February, inside The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind in Charleston for the three-and-a-half-day retreat, and then six months of coaching, growth, mentorship, and community.

Inside the Mastermind, after the live event; go to TheLessStressLawyer.com/mastermind and join now. I would love to have you inside; spots are limited, so don’t wait to enroll. The next cohort is already coming together. So, make sure you’re in it.

Join me in February. Join us in the Mastermind. You will be so grateful you did; your future self will thank you.

All right, my friends. That’s what I have for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful week. I will talk to you in the next episode.

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 www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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