What wars are you waging in your life? Whether you think that things shouldn’t go wrong, you believe that life shouldn’t involve any level of discomfort, or you’re trying to get too much done in 24 hours each day, these wars you’re waging with reality are leading to unnecessary misery, disappointment, and frustration.
These battles are unwinnable and you’re causing your own emotional suffering. So, in this episode, I’m offering you the opportunity to let go, stop waging those wars, to end the fight, and begin moving from resistance to acceptance.
Tune in this week to discover the most common wars we wage against the facts of the human experience, and why being in this state of resistance stops us from accomplishing our goals. I’m showing you how to see where you’re fighting unwinnable battles in your life, and what you can do right now to move into acceptance and experience the benefits of being in that place.
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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- The biggest wars I see my clients waging when they first come to me.
- Why fighting unwinnable battles causes large amounts of emotional pain.
- How accepting that there are things you can’t change allows you to feel free.
- Some of the unwinnable battles that I find myself engaging in.
- Why, when you’re in resistance, you don’t take action and you can’t move any closer to your goals.
- How to see what you would be able to create if you were in acceptance instead of resistance.
- What you can do to start moving into acceptance right now.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
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- Get on my email list!
- Brooke Castillo
- Stacey Boehman
- Priyanka Venugopal
- Episode 45: Dread
Full Episode Transcript:
You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 46. Today, we’re talking all about the wars you wage. 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 we doing? I am coming to you live from Cabo. I am down here with my business coach. I just spent a week in paradise, learning how to grow my business to a million dollars. It’s been so much fun, and it’s like a big reunion every time I’m here, just like when I was in Phoenix, in November, for Life Coach Live with my coach Brooke Castillo.
I’m here with my coach Stacy Boehman. It’s one big reunion of really powerful and incredible entrepreneurs who are also devoted to building seven-figure, eight-figure businesses. It’s so exciting to just be in a room with so many inspiring people. It’s one of the reasons that I love a mastermind. It’s one of the reasons I created my own mastermind for lawyers.
So, I’ve been here; we’re at the beach in a beautiful resort. I’ve been learning all the things. And you might have heard me talk about this on the podcast before that life is 50/50. That’s a concept that I learned from my coach Brooke. And what she means by that, and what I mean by that when I say it, is that life is 50% good and 50% bad, 50% amazing and 50% ass, as we like to say.
What that means is it might not always be a 50/50 split equally at the time, but that there are ebbs and flows to life. That sometimes it’s going to be pretty great and sometimes pretty not so great. And I’m always finding myself kind of amused by the 50/50 split.
So, I’m here. The last night that we’re all together every time I come to this event, we do it every six months, just like we do my mastermind every six months, we all get together on the last night, and I host a really big dinner. So last night, we had like 20 people who all got together and just had the most inspirational conversations and laughed and just had the best time.
And then, I came back to my hotel room, and I opened one of the closet doors… I was packing because I wanted to be organized to fly back to Detroit this morning, bright and early. I’m ready to go back to Detroit. I’m literally there for 16 hours, and then I fly out to Charleston for my live event, for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. So, I wanted to be all packed and ready to go.
I opened, I guess I was shutting the door, I had already opened the closet door, and I was getting a pair of shoes out of the closet, and I went to shut the closet door. And it was just far enough off the ground that I ripped one of the toenails off my toe, which is like probably TMI, but it was excruciatingly painful.
It looked like a massacre in my hotel room. There was blood everywhere. And I’m just laughing; I’m bummed because it’s totally going to affect my shoe choices when I’m in Charleston with all of my amazing clients and students.
But life is 50/50; I had the most amazing evening. I went whale watching yesterday in the Pacific Ocean, which was just majestic. And then, I injured my foot pretty badly. So, walking through the airport today should be a little interesting. But life is 50/50, y’all, and if you are fighting that split, it is going to make for an unpleasant human experience. If you’re wanting it to be 100% amazing and 0% bad, you are in for a world of suffering because that is not the human experience.
Same thing if you want an 80/20 split, or a 75/25 split, or even a 60/40. Now, one of the things that I’ve heard people say before is that if you feel like life isn’t 50/50, if you actually feel like your life is 80/20, then your goals aren’t big enough. So, if that’s you, if you’re like, “Oh no, Olivia, I think you’re wrong,” I just want to challenge you to maybe think bigger than how you’re thinking right now.
All of this got me thinking, and I mentioned this in the episode from last week when I talked all about dread, that I wanted to do a separate episode just on the wars that we wage. The battles that we’re fighting with the way life is. Okay?
This is definitely one of the battles that I see people waging. They want to argue with the 50/50 split; they want it to be different than it is. And then they cause themselves so much unnecessary misery, so much disappointment, and so much frustration with the way the world is. They’re expecting things either be easier than they are or more comfortable than they are. They’re just not expecting things to go smoothly.
I actually talk to my dad about this a lot. He always thinks that things shouldn’t go wrong. And that’s not a thought that I think. We were talking about it one day. My dad owns a collision shop, so he repairs cars. And he thinks… It’s so funny. Every time I tell the story, people always laugh because they’re like, he would literally go out of business if people’s cars didn’t get damaged.
I don’t know that he thinks this about other people’s cars, but about our family’s cars, he definitely thinks this. I had someone back into my car a couple of years ago, and they broke one of my taillights. And I didn’t even notice it. But my dad just has an eye for these things because it’s the business that he’s in. And he was so; disgusted is a pretty strong word, but it probably fits here.
He was pretty disgusted that someone hit my car and that my taillight was broken. And I noticed his thought about it was, “That shouldn’t have happened.” And I don’t think that thought. My thought is, “Stuff like that is going to happen sometimes.” That is one of the risks you take when you have a car, and you drive it, and you’re driving around other people and your parking and parking lots.
I don’t like to be one of those people who park really far in the back of a parking lot. I like the convenience of being up close to the door. So, there’s higher traffic there, which means that there’s an increased likelihood that your car’s going to get hit.
It’s just fascinating to watch how people think about these things differently. My dad thinks that it shouldn’t happen. I think that, of course, it’s going to happen. And we have a completely different emotional experience based off of how we think about it. He’s frustrated and annoyed. And I am calm, cool, and collected. Very accepting, very understanding that these things happen in the world.
So, I want you to check in with yourself. And I’m going to give you a bunch of different examples in today’s episode about the different wars that you might be waging. The different battles that you’re having and engaged in with just the way that the world is. And I want you to start to see how being in those battles, by waging those wars, you’re causing your own emotional suffering.
I want to offer you the opportunity to just stop waging those wars. To just end the fight. To slip from resistance to acceptance of this is just the way the world is this is just how things work. And that’s okay.
So perhaps, the biggest battle that I see people engaged in, the biggest war that they wage, is against time. It’s something that I see so commonly with my clients; they want time to be different than it is. And one of the things that I really notice is that people are really underwhelmed with how much they can accomplish in a day. And this shows up in a couple of different ways.
One, they overplan their days. They try and shove 10# of potatoes into a 5# bag, so to speak. They plan their day very unrealistically because they want to get so much more done in a day than they can actually get done. And the reason that this is a problem is, when you’re in resistance to the way that time is, you always feel behind. You always feel overwhelmed, and you’re actually imposing this on yourself.
It’s not time imposing this on you. It’s your unrealistic expectation of what can be accomplished in a given time period. So, you plan 20 hours’ worth of work for seven hours. And at the end of the day, of course, you didn’t get through the 20 hours’ worth of work. Because you literally cannot get 20 hours’ worth of work done in seven hours. You need at least 20 hours of work to get 20 hours of work done.
Probably actually more, because as people love to forget, it takes time to human. Yes, that’s a verb, by the way. Humaning takes time. So, when you’re in resistance to it, you overplan your day. And then, you feel very underaccomplished at the end of the day because you set yourself up to fail. You can’t have accomplished everything that you set out to do when you set out to do too much, when the math doesn’t add up.
So, when you’re in this war, when you’re fighting this battle against time, you always feel behind, you always feel overwhelmed, you always feel inadequate; which feels terrible, right?
Now, when you accept time for being the way that time is, and you actually focus on step number two of managing your time, which is planning your schedule accurately, you make a list of the things that you have to do. You create a lot of awareness about how long it takes to human, and just do the things that are part of the human experience.
And then, you plan. You take your list of items to do, you estimate how long each one will take, and you plan only the amount that will fit in the time that you have available. And then, at the end of your day, you’re able to feel really accomplished. You’re able to feel very complete, very finished, very proud, which feels so good.
So, I want you to think about this. Are you in acceptance of time? Or are you in resistance to it? Where are you fighting a battle against the way that time is?
Now, like I talked about last week in the dread episode, another war that I see people wage is against the general human experience. That discomfort is part of the human experience. When you do things that get you closer towards the goals you want to accomplish, it’s going to be uncomfortable, right? So, you’re going to wake up in the morning and feel a sense of dread about getting started with your day; that’s part of the human experience.
You’re going to feel confused when you haven’t done something before; that’s part of the human experience. Sometimes you’re going to feel bored by sticking to a schedule; that’s part of the human experience. It’s going to be more delicious to watch Netflix or HBO all day. Or, go grab a snack or go have a cocktail; do all the things that bring us that instant gratification.
Part of the human experience is feeling uncomfortable: Needing to embrace pain or discomfort, avoiding instant gratification and pleasure, and expending energy rather than conserving it. All of that is part of accomplishing your goals. It’s part of the human experience. And when we’re in resistance to that, we stay in a state of comfort entitlement.
We don’t take intentional action; we stay where we’re at. It’s how we get ourselves stuck. Because we think that it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Even though it should be uncomfortable because it is uncomfortable. That’s just how we’re hardwired as humans.
When you’re in resistance to it, you don’t show up, and you don’t take action, you don’t get things done. And that means you don’t get any closer to accomplishing what you want to accomplish.
When you’re in an acceptance model, instead of a resistance model, you take action in spite of, and despite the discomfort. You recognize that there’s going to be a particular flavor of negative emotion that you’re going to be forced to feel, in order to accomplish the result you want to accomplish.
And you’re willing to feel that feeling, regardless of it being uncomfortable. You embrace it. You breathe it in. You allow it to be there. You throw it in the passenger seat next to you and strap it in, or put it in the backseat in a car seat, and you go about your business, right? You get shit done.
So, I want you to check in with yourself. Ask yourself, where are you waging a war against that part of the human experience? I had a client recently tell me, “Olivia, I think this is really dumb. It shouldn’t be this way. We don’t have tails as human beings anymore. We’ve evolved out of having tails. We should have evolved out of having our primitive brains create and cultivate this discomfort that slips us into avoidant behavior.”
And hey, I’m with her. If I had the magic wand to do that, I would patent it, make lots of copies and send it to all of you. I’d become extremely wealthy in the process because everyone would like that to be the experience, right? To be able to do all these amazing, incredible things and have doing them be very comfortable. But unfortunately, that wand does not exist. I don’t have one. I don’t get to use it myself. And I don’t get to give it to all of you.
But when you’re at war with the fact that that’s just part of the way we’re hardwired, that’s just the way that it is, you don’t take action. You don’t show up in a really powerful, intentional way. Instead of accepting, that’s the way that it works. Just like we still have tonsils or an appendix, we also have this primitive conditioning, where our brain cultivates discomfort in order to keep us safe.
And if you accept that and you learn to work with it, rather than fight against it, you’re going to accomplish so much more in your life. You’re going to get so much further faster.
So, pay attention; where are you at war with the uncomfortable experience of being a human, accomplishing big things, achieving huge goals, and going after doing the things that get you closer to the life that you want? What would it look like for you to stop “should-ing” in a situation? Thinking that it should be different than it is, and just be in acceptance of it?
Another really common area where I see people wage a war that is unwinnable, and all of the wars that I’m talking about today are unwinnable wars, okay? I see people do this with food all the time. I remember once, and I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, I think. But when I was really working on losing weight, one of the thought errors or lies that I was telling myself, was that I wanted food to be easy.
And when I finally caught that thought… Which is why we do thought downloads. To create awareness around our thinking so we can see these thought errors. The lies that we tell ourselves that keep us getting results that we don’t want to be getting.
I did a thought download, and I found the thought, “I want food to be easy.” And then, I realized that wasn’t true. I didn’t want food to be easy. I wanted food to be exciting. I wanted it to be a source of entertainment. So, I was eating food that was not aligned with my weight loss goals, and I was at war with the way that food is.
Losing weight is not that challenging. You need to eat less than what you burn, right? You need to be at a calorie deficit. Now, if you go to the extreme, your body reacts negatively. It starts storing fat and holding on to everything that you eat because it goes into survival mode. But you can’t eat more than what your body burns. If you do, you’ll gain weight.
So, I watch people eat, and I don’t want to villainize food here, but quote unquote, badly, right? They eat food that isn’t aligned with a weight loss goal; for me, I love Oreos. Being at war with food would be to want to lose weight, but then also want to eat Oreos every night, lots of them. And for me to be frustrated and think that it’s unfair that I can’t eat Oreos and not gain weight.
Now, could I have one Oreo here and there very infrequently and be fine? For sure. But if I wanted to eat probably the number of Oreos that I’d like to eat at night, as a little snack, I’m going to gain weight because it flips my calorie deficit. The math just doesn’t work out, just like with time. Food is very similar; you have to make sure that the math works.
If one of your goals this year is to lose weight or to get in better shape, I want you to pay attention to where are you at war with the way food is.
Are you eating in a way that’s aligned with your goals? And if not, why not? It’s probably because you are also in this battle; you’re wishing that food was different than it is.
When you’re in resistance to the way that food is, you’ll be eating a lot of stuff that doesn’t support your goals. And you’ll be mad that you’re not getting the results that you want. Versus, being in acceptance of food being the way that it is.
And you’ve got a couple of options here. You can either eat what you want and potentially gain weight, depending on how much of it you eat, and be fine with that. Or, you can eat in a way that’s aligned with your weight loss goals and lose the weight, but you may have to feel deprived.
Right now, you’re probably making that deprivation a problem, but that part is optional. You get to accept the deprivation and eat in a way that is aligned with your goals. You also get to change your thoughts about the food that you’re eating so you don’t feel deprived. I just had a conversation with a friend of mine. Her name is Priyanka; she’s a weight loss coach.
We were talking about this exact concept. That you can change your thinking around the food that you consume, so you don’t even feel deprived in the first place, which is so fun.
I also see people wage a war against sleep. This was a big one for me back in the day when I was a chronic over-worker, and I really wished that I didn’t need sleep. If I could avoid it altogether, I would. And man, did I try my damnedest to avoid it. I would take Adderall to overperform and to stay up. I would drink a ton of caffeine. I would do whatever was in my power to avoid sleeping. If I could stay up and just work 24 hours a day, I would have done that.
And even now, honestly, I realize how big of an impact sleep deprivation has on my ability to function. So, I am no longer at war with needing sleep. I recognize that it is a basic human need, and I build it into my schedule. I prioritize it. I treat it as though it is important because it is important.
But even now, despite having a very different relationship with sleep, if there was a magic pill I could take that actually didn’t have a negative consequence, like Adderall did for me, I would take it. I would read so many more books. I would get so much more accomplished at work. I’d probably make more money. I’d see my friends and family more often. I’d watch way more TV. I would do all the things more.
But it is an unwinnable battle. As human beings, we require sleep. Okay? We function so much more productively when we’re well-rested. When we’re getting enough sleep. I actually listened to a very famous TED Talk; I think it’s called “Sleep Is Your Superpower.” And it talks about how sleep deprivation, prolonged sleep deprivation, is actually carcinogenic, which was mind-blowing to me.
If you’re like I used to be, and you’re at war with needing sleep. You’re constantly pushing the limits on this. You’re constantly operating without having enough sleep. You’re pulling all-nighters. You’re staying up late, and waking up early. And your relationship with sleep and rest feels very punitive; I want you to check in with this.
Are you in a resistance model to needing sleep? How do you think about sleep? Is the way you’re thinking about sleep serving you? Or, do you want to change your thoughts around it?
You’re going to need to change your thoughts to be in an acceptance model around sleep. You’re also going to allow negative emotions; you’re going to have to do that in order to make sleep a priority. You’re going to have to feel unproductive, or irresponsible, or even lazy. Y’all know I don’t love the word lazy. I don’t think any of my clients are lazy. I think we get conditioned to believe that we are, and that is total B.S.
So, if that’s something you’re telling yourself, you get to put a pin in that; it’s optional to talk to yourself that way. I don’t believe that it’s ever true. But just pay attention, are you in a resistance model when it comes to sleep? Or, are you in an acceptance model?
Here’s another really common battle that people are engaged in on a daily basis. People fight and resist the truth that other people have free will. And that they literally get to exercise it, however they want. So, if you’re thinking a lot of “should” thoughts about other people, this is a war that you are waging.
And it is one that you will lose every single time because human beings have the free will to behave, how they want to behave, to do what they want to do, and to not do what they don’t want to do. They literally get to choose. And so many people are waging a war against this reality. They’re thinking that people should be different. They should do certain things that they’re not doing. They shouldn’t do certain things that they are doing.
And we cause ourselves so much unnecessary suffering and frustration when we’re waging this war. Ask yourself, where do you think people should be behaving differently than they are? What would it look like for you to accept that people get to show up however they want in the world?
Now, you get to make a lot of decisions based on how people show up. If you don’t like someone’s behavior, you get to not spend time with them, and you get to opt-out. You get to make yourself less available to those relationships, to those experiences, and that’s totally fine. You just literally cannot control another person’s behavior.
And when you try to, because you’re engaged in this unwinnable fight, you’re going to be so frustrated. You’re going to feel so resentful, so angry, and so disappointed all of the time because you’re wanting things to be different than they are.
When you accept people having free will, you become so much more grounded, so much more calm, and so much more at peace. Feeling accepting. Feeling very understanding. It is a completely different human experience to not engage in fighting this unwinnable fight.
The common thread, if you’re trying to figure out, do you do this? Essentially, the main thought that you think all the time about other people, is that they’re doing it wrong. You believe that there’s a right way to do things. That you know what it is, and that other people who are not doing things in that manner. You think they’re doing it wrong. So “should” thinking, they shouldn’t do this, they should do it this way, is just a variant of saying you think they’re doing it wrong.
Take a little bit of an inventory here. Who do you think is “doing it wrong” in your life? Where are you arguing with the fact, with the reality, that they have free will? And what would be better about your life, how much happier would you be, if you weren’t waging that war? If you were in acceptance of the fact that they have free will?
People often ask me, “Olivia, how are you so positive? You seem so much happier than the average bear. You seem so much more at peace and calm than the average person.” And this is one of the reasons that that is true; that I am so calm, that I am so understanding, that I am so at peace.
It’s because I am extremely good at discerning between what I can control and what I can’t. And I focus only on the former. I focus only on what is within my control. Other people’s behavior is not within my control, so I don’t spend any time trying to control it.
I let other people show up authentically as themselves. And then, I make really powerful decisions about how I want to spend my time and who I want to surround myself with, based on their decisions. I’m always just taking control and focusing on myself rather than focusing on other people and trying to control something that’s outside of my control.
Another common war that people wage is arguing with what has happened in the past. If this is you, I want you to be onto yourself. Being in resistance to what happened in the past, waging that war, fighting that battle, which is absolutely unwinnable because we literally don’t have time machines, so we cannot go back in time and change anything that happened.
You’re going to be very past-focused; you’re constantly going to be looking backward. You’re going to feel very frustrated, very disappointed, and maybe cheated or slighted. There’s a lot of negative emotion that comes up when people are past-focused. When you’re arguing with what happened, your life is going to feel very unfair.
And you’re also going to feel very out of control over it because you literally are out of control over changing what has happened in the past; it’s done, it’s over. It is fixed; the fix is in, as they like to say. You cannot change it.
Now, you can use the past to make better and more informed decisions going forward, to create a potentially different result moving forward, and that’s fine. Use your past and learn from it, and leverage that learning, to get better results in the future. But don’t weaponize the past against yourself. Okay?
When we’re in a battle with what has already happened, we spend so much time arguing with what is. As my coach Brooke likes to say, “When you argue with what happened in the past, you lose 100% of the time.” So, ask yourself, where are you arguing with what has already happened, with what took place in the past? And what would it look like instead for you to focus solely on what is within your control, what you do in this very moment, and what happens in the future?
Now, the reason people are so past-focused is because it is actually more comfortable to be past-focused. You don’t have to take any action. You don’t have to do anything that’s uncomfortable or scary in the moment when you’re focusing on the past; you just stay frozen, you just stay stuck.
So, it is a defense mechanism. It’s a safety creator for people, even though it still creates an unpleasant emotional experience. It is the safer option from recognizing the control that you do have in the moment and taking intentional action now.
But check in with yourself here. Where are you in resistance to ‘what happened in the past is what happened,’ just being accepting of it? And ask yourself why? What is being focused on in the past, in waging this war, on what has already taken place? What is it pretending to protect you from? I think that will really illuminate your underlying reasons why you’re so past-focused. And then, figure out, what do I have control over right now if I was accepting what happened in the past? What would be different moving forward? What would I be doing differently in this moment, right now, if I was at peace and accepting of what has already taken place?
Another, this is a much more a micro example, or a specific example, of a war that people wage. People are at war with how delegating operates. So, one of the common complaints I hear from my clients about delegating is that they’re frustrated that it doesn’t make their lives easier in the beginning.
And I always say to them, “Of course, it doesn’t; it’s not supposed to.” Delegating is something we do for long-term, sustained growth. To uplevel over a period of time. But if you’re delegating to create instant pressure relief, it’s not going to work. Because it is literally going to take more of your time, more of your attention, more of your focus, to give someone an assignment, to review it, to help correct the mistakes that they made, to coach them, and nurture them through this process, to support them in their learning.
All of that takes time, attention, focus, and intentionality, that is “more difficult” than if you just did it yourself. So, if you’re someone who’s delegating, and you tell yourself that you hate delegating because it’s hard work, or it’s harder than doing it yourself, you’re right; it is harder. It requires more of you than just doing something yourself.
The point isn’t for it to make your life easier right this second. The point is to free you up over a longer period of time. To do more meaningful work for you. To operate from your zone of genius, as they say. To focus on the 20% of the things that you can do, what only you can do very well, and to leave the other 80% to other people. That’s why we delegate.
If you’re at war with the way delegating is, you’re never going to do it. So, check in with yourself here. Are you in a resistance model when it comes to delegation, thinking that it should be different than it is? Or, are you operating in an acceptance model?
Another specific example is business development. People don’t like that it takes time. And I think this is such a great example of holding two things at once. Because business development does take time, but you can also get results really quickly. So, I want you to be able to have that intentional use of the word “and.” Business development takes time and amazing things can happen quite quickly.
But what I see, when people are waging a war against business development taking time, they start to take a little bit of action. And then, they don’t get the instant gratification, the immediate results that they want. And then they quit. They get frustrated, very discouraged, they feel very defeated, of course. Just because of the thoughts that they’re thinking, not because of the amount of time that it takes them to get results; it’s literally just their thinking.
Their thoughts become more negative and more negative as time goes on. And then, they feel more negative emotion, more negative emotion because of their thinking. And that negative emotion becomes too heavy to hold, so they ultimately start avoiding it by stopping showing up.
If this is you, if you’re in resistance to business development taking time, you’re going to take really inconsistent action. You’re going to start showing up and then stop. And then, you’re going to shame and guilt yourself to show up again. And then, you’re going to stop again; that’s what happens it becomes this cycle that just repeats itself. Rather than accepting that business development takes time.
And sticking with it no matter what, that was one of my favorite thoughts to think when I was developing my business. I said I was going to do it, no matter how long it took me. No matter what happened, I just wasn’t going to quit. You can accomplish a lot by not quitting.
One of my friends, Shari, and I talk about that all the time. When you own a business and start a business, and you run it for several years, one of the things that you see is… Because you tend to run in entrepreneurial circles, you see a lot of other people start businesses, too; they embark on business ventures.
And you’ll watch them be really enthusiastic in the beginning. And when the excitement wears off, you are just left with needing to take uncomfortable action intentionally and operate in spite of and despite the discomfort. In spite of and despite the confusion, the frustration, or the disappointment, or the discouragement, of not getting results as fast as you would like to get them.
You can so clearly see when people avoid those feelings, they quit. They stop showing up. And they probably do it right before they would have started seeing success, which is so sad to me. You can watch people get excited, begin to take action, and then peter out over time. And they probably would have been successful if they would have just stayed with it. If they would have been in that acceptance model, that business development just takes time.
So, if you’re someone who wants to develop business this year, if that’s one of your big 2023 goals, and you tend to start and stop, begin, and quit very frequently, and you take that inconsistent action. Or, you’re not even in the cycle; you’ve just done it once, and you’re in the quitting part right now; you’ve quit, you’re not showing up, you’ve stopped showing up to do this work to develop the business.
Ask yourself, what would it look like, what results might you be able to create if you were in acceptance that business development takes time, and you were willing to stay the course and stick it out?
Two more battles that I see people engaged in. This one is super important. It’s the battle that people fight wishing that they could do everything all at once. This is like the FOMO battle, waging a war against not being able to do more things than you can do. And it’s sort of like the first one that I mentioned about time management.
I want you to think about the reality that you can’t pursue a million different goals all at the same time. You can attempt to; you’re just not going to get very far. It’s going to be really difficult to sustain the energy and the momentum pursuing that many different things all at once. You’re going to make very slow progress because your attention is going to be split between so many different things.
What I see people do is that when you’re in resistance to not being able to do everything all at once, two things happen; one of two things happens. Either you attempt to do everything all at once, and you make very little progress. And you probably start and then quit because it just requires too much intentionality, too much discipline, and becomes too heavy, and it gets much more easy to just quit, to stop showing up.
The other thing that I see, is if that doesn’t feel like you, if you’re like, “No, no. I don’t start pursuing a million different goals all at the same time. Instead, I freeze, because I’m worried about choosing the wrong goal. I’m worried about missing out on one thing, for the sake of pursuing something else. So, I don’t pursue anything.” Which, of course, is super counterintuitive to accomplishing what you want to accomplish.
But this is very common; I see it all the time. People wanting to accomplish more than they can, wanting to pursue more than they can in any given moment. So, they don’t pursue anything at all because they’re afraid of experiencing FOMO.
If this is you, find where you’re in resistance to this; where are you trying to do all the things at once? Or, where are you just frozen, not taking any action? And what would it look like for you to accept that you can’t do everything all at once?
What would happen is that you would start picking and constraining to one thing, and making a lot of incredible progress on that one goal; you’d get so much further faster. I teach my clients to practice constraint, for this very reason. You want to pick one. One of my coaches teaches you can pick three things. I honestly don’t love that.
I like picking one thing and pouring all of my attention into it and just starting there. And then, when I accomplish that one thing, then I can focus on the next thing. I refer to this often, as goal stacking; we can do all the things, just not all at the same time.
So, if you’re in resistance to that truth, that you can’t do everything all at once, figure out where that’s showing up for you. What specifically it looks like in your life, and then decide, do you want to stay operating in that resistance model? Or, do you want to accept that you can’t do everything all at once? Focus on one thing to constrain your efforts, to get a lot further faster.
Last but not least, this came up for me recently, after my grandmother passed away. I realized that this is actually a war that I am engaged in sometimes. It’s a battle that I’m fighting, and of course, it’s an unwinnable battle; that life is finite. You know, I’m going to be really honest with you, I kind of think that sucks. I have a really good friend, and he and I joke… And not everyone is like this, by the way. It is so fascinating to ask people this question and to see where they fall, to see what their answer is because it’s normally very different than mine.
You know how people always say, or ask the question, “If you could have one superpower, what would it be?” Some people want to be invisible. Some people wish they could read minds. Some people wish they could time travel or teleport, right? The list goes on and on.
And for me, honestly, I think I wish I could live forever. And so many people do not wish that. They are like, that doesn’t sound like fun to me at all. Now, I would like to maintain my youthful good looks. I don’t want to age and be very, very old. I want to be the age that I am now and stay this way forever. And just keep enjoying life. I don’t want to miss out on any life experience.
And one of the facts of life is that life is finite. And that you are going to go through life, you’re going to do as much as you possibly can, but at the end of your life, whenever that time comes, there’s going to be unfinished business. There are going to be things that you wanted to accomplish that you didn’t accomplish.
Now, my goal in life is to make that list as short as possible, but I’m a big dreamer. And there are going to be parts of the world that I haven’t seen because we literally just don’t get to see all of it. We get to make our best effort to see as much of it as we want, as much of it as we can, depending on the resources we have available to us. But we’re not going to be able to see every single morsel of Earth, every inch of space on the planet.
There are going to be experiences that we don’t get; we just miss out on them. If you want to learn every language under the sun, you’re probably not going to be able to do that in your lifetime. And be able to do all of the other things that you want to do, as well.
I am working on accepting this. I’m working on getting out of my resistance model because, just like when you’re fighting the battle, you’re waging the war, and you can’t do everything all at once. When you’re waging the war against life being finite, you’re normally in a state of paralysis. Not taking action, freezing, being stuck, staying confused about what you want to focus on, about what you want to accomplish. Because you’re wishing you could be doing more at once. Okay?
You also tend to not be present in the moment. So, if you want to be someone who is more present, you have to accept that life is finite; you only get this moment, one time. What does it look like for you to accept that reality?
Okay, those are the common wars that I see people waging. I’m sure there are more of them. I could probably go on and on; I will spare you a war and peace podcast episode. But if you come up with other wars that you wage, reach out to me on social media; I would love to hear about them.
Maybe I’ll do a Part 2 at some point down the road, to talk about other wars that I see. I’ll keep a running list in my head. Not really in my head; it’s in the Notes app on my iPhone. But I’m going to keep a list because I think it’s really important to become aware of the fact that you are waging these wars. That you’re engaged in these unwinnable battles.
Once you’re onto yourself, you get to make a decision, do I want to put down the fight? Do I want to stop waging this war? Do I want to no longer be engaged in an unwinnable battle? Hopefully, for you, the answer is yes. You will save yourself so much heartache, so much emotional suffering, so much unnecessary pain, and disappointment when you stop fighting unwinnable wars.
Figure out what unwinnable wars you’re fighting, and make the decision today to stop. That decision is completely available to you. When you step out of your resistance model and into your acceptance model, what becomes available to you? What changes? What improves? How will your life be different? I promise you; it’ll blow your mind.
All right, my friends. That’s what I have for you this week. I can’t wait to be in Charleston with all of the amazing masterminds next week. I can’t wait to record that podcast, live from Charleston. I’ll fill you all in on how incredible the experience is. And in the meantime, 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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