Episode 62: Your Thoughts About Money

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Your Thoughts About Money

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Your Thoughts About Money

Money is one of my favorite topics that I work on with my clients, so this week is the first episode in a series addressing your money mindset, how you think about money, how you interact with money, overspending, under-earning, and all of the most important money topics.

Mindset is the cornerstone to creating the results you want. So, what thoughts do you currently have about money, and what’s your self-concept when it comes to spending, making, and having money? Once we’ve got clear on your current money mindset, then we can work to start improving it. 

Tune in this week to bring some clarity to your current thoughts about money, and the emotions you’re feeling as a result of those thoughts. I’m sharing how feelings of insufficiency and beliefs about money being evil will repel money, and how to develop the mindset that will help you create more money in your life.

I have a bunch of events coming up. The next one is called How to Get Organized happening on June 23rd 2023. To register for any of my upcoming events, click here!

 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to get clear on your current thoughts about money.
  • Why your circumstances around money are neutral and are not causing the feelings you have about money.
  • The common emotions that you might be experiencing as a result of your thoughts about money.
  • How you might be reacting to feelings of insufficiency around money.
  • The thoughts and beliefs that will result in you repelling money.
  • How to develop the mindset required to change your thoughts and attract more money into your life.

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!
  • Gary Vaynerchuk

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast, episode 62. Today we’re talking all about your thoughts about money.

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’s it going? I hope you had a marvelous Memorial Day weekend. I absolutely did. I closed the launch for the Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind on Friday right before Memorial Day, and I don’t do this a ton, but man, did I go off the grid, check out, and just have fun. Normally when I take a break from work, I relax and I really lay low and just rest, and I’m not always the best at going out and just really having unadulterated fun. And that’s exactly what I did this weekend, just three full days of fun.

I was out with friends on a boat on the Detroit River, which is really beautiful in the summer if you’ve never been here. It’s just really, really wonderful. And then we went to this amazing dock crawl at a marina, and I basically ran into everyone I’ve ever met in my entire life, including a bunch of my family members like my cousins, and extended aunts and uncles, and all that good stuff.

So it was just this one big reunion, and I just had the time of my life, and I really just wanted to mention that before we dive in today’s topic, not to rub it in your face of course, but as your friendly little reminder to get out there and have some fun. Check in with yourself. If you’re not having as much fun as you want to be having, go out there and get intentional about it. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Today, we’re talking about your thoughts about money, and I’m really excited to get into this topic because money is one of my favorite things to talk about. It’s one of my favorite topics that I teach my clients to change their mindsets around. And I’m actually going to do a series on money. So this is the first episode of a multi-part series addressing your money mindset, how you think about money, how you interact with money, how you steward money, all of those things. So I’m going to talk in subsequent episodes about overspending, about underearning. Those are the two main issues that I see people encounter when it comes to money, and then I also see people really struggle with having shame around spending.

Not the unintentional spending, which is the overspending that I’m going to talk about next, but in spending on things that would really improve their lives, and then they don’t do it because they’re ashamed to spend money on themselves, they think they don’t deserve to spend money on themselves. I’m going to talk about that too.

So I envision this being a four-part series. It’s going to be really fun to cover. So you know ,I’m always talking about how important mindset is, it really is the cornerstone to creating the results that we want to create in our lives. So we’re going to start with addressing your thoughts about money and your self-concept when it comes to money.

So let’s just start with a thought download. Take a second, and as you’re listening to this episode, I want you to start thinking about what are your thoughts about money, about spending money, about making money, around having money? And as another great way to identify some thoughts that you may have a harder time finding, I want you to check in with yourself and ask yourself, what emotions come up for you when you think about money? What feelings do you feel? Are they positive, are they negative? Identify them very specifically and then work your way backwards. What’s the thought that you are thinking that’s making you feel that feeling?

Now, as a reminder, money, having money, making money, spending money, all of those things that I mentioned, that I listed for you, they’re all neutral circumstances. They’re not positive, they’re not negative, they’re simply neutral, and they don’t cause any of the feelings that you feel around money. You know what does cause your feelings around money? Your thoughts about money. So if you feel scared when it comes to money, if you feel scarce when it comes to money, if you feel ignorant or unknowledgeable when it comes to money, that’s all coming from your thoughts.

Same thing with feelings of frustration, or certainty, or regret, or embarrassment, or shame, all of that is coming from your thinking. Now, if I’ve said this once, I’ve said it probably 100 times on the podcast, but the reason that your thoughts are so important is because of the impact that they have on your results. So remember, our thoughts cause our feeling, our feelings drive the action that we take, and our action produces our results.

So if you’re thinking negative thoughts about money, and you are feeling negative feelings about money, you’re going to take negative action or no action at all when it comes to money, and that’s going to produce a negative result when it comes to making money, having money and spending money, it’s going to produce a negative result.

So as I’ve been talking, I hope you’ve been thinking of the thoughts that you think about money, having money, earning money, making money, spending money. They might look something like this. These are some of the common thoughts that I see my clients struggle with. One of the most common thoughts is that I’m not good with money. And if you think you’re not good with money, you’re going to produce that result. Think of that model.

When you think I’m not good with money, how do you feel? Probably inadequate, or disappointed with yourself, or ashamed. And then what do you do from that emotion? How do you treat money? How do you earn money? How do you make money? How are you with having money instead of spending money. Probably not good. And then you’ll create the result of being bad with money.

Same thing if you’re thinking about saving money. If you think you’re bad at saving money, you will be. If you think that you don’t have enough money, you will create more of that result for yourself. You’ll continue to not have enough because you’re going to feel insufficient, and most people do two things when they feel insufficient. Either they buffer and do things that spend their money by drinking too much, or eating too much, or splurging on Amazon, all of those things. Or they’ll react and take a bunch of unintentional action in an effort to get to a better result, but it actually isn’t the action that they need to take to produce the result that they want.

So they end up scrambling, maybe they try a bunch of things, but don’t stick with anything consistently. So then they don’t end up having more money to show for their efforts, they just really spin their wheels and waste a lot of their own time.

You might think that you don’t know how to make money, and if you think that you won’t make a lot of it right, you’ll feel confused, or unprepared, or inadequate, and then you’ll spin, and question yourself, and doubt yourself. You won’t take the actions that are essential for making money. If you believe that money is the root of all evil, you will repel money.

If you think it’s bad for you to want more of it, you will feel guilty, or ashamed, or embarrassed, or selfish, or arrogant, emotions along those lines, and then you won’t take the actions that create more money in your life. So you will continue to not have the money that you want to have because you think it’s shameful or bad.

If you think liking money makes you greedy, there’s another really negative thought. If you believe this is the most money you’ll ever make, it will stay that way. It really is so powerful to see how your thoughts create your results with money. If you believe that making money is out of your control, you won’t be in control of it, you will relinquish control, you’ll cede control over making money to other people. If you believe that you’ll always be in debt, you will always be in debt, that will absolutely prove itself true. If you believe that you’re always going to live paycheck to paycheck, that’s how you will continue to live.

So take a second and find your thoughts about money. What are they? Are they positive? Are they negative? Do they serve you?

If you aren’t sure whether a thought serves you or not, all you have to do to find out if it serves you is run a model on that thought. So put money, or making money, or having money, or spending money, in the C line of the model. And just as a refresher, there’s five components to the model, circumstances, thoughts, feelings, actions, results. So put that in the C line, and then put your thought in the T line, and ask yourself, “When I think this thought, how do I feel? What’s the one word emotion that I experience when I think it?” Negative thoughts will always lead to negative feelings.

So if you’re thinking a negative thought, it’s going to produce a negative emotion. Identify that emotion specifically, and then ask yourself, what’s the action that I take, or what action don’t I take when I feel that emotion? And then put that in your A line. Get very specific. List it all out. What are all of the things that you do? What are all of the things that you don’t do?

And then ask yourself, what is my current result with money? You’ll be able to see how you’re thinking is creating your current results, and you’ll be able to see whether or not that thought serves you. If it’s producing a negative emotion and driving negative action, it’s going to produce a negative result, you’ll be able to see that. So what is the current result that that thought is creating in your life? Find it, and you’ll clearly be able to see whether it serves you or not to continue to think. If it doesn’t serve you to keep thinking the thought, we have to change it in order to think a thought that better supports the results that you want to have with money.

Another thought that came up for me that I had to do a ton of work on, I deeply believed that I had to work hard to make money, and that I had to work harder to make more of it. And those thoughts are very exhausting because they drive me to feel very resigned that that is just true, feeling powerless, so to speak, that that’s just the reality that I’m forced to live within. And then when we do that, we resign ourselves to that being the way that it has to be. So our action lines reflect that, we end up working harder to make money, we end up working even harder to make more of it.

And then we prove this true to ourselves, we create more money, but we create more evidence that hard work, and working harder, and harder, and harder is what gets you more money, rather than thinking that creating value in the world is what creates money. That’s a beautiful thought to think, it’s one of the thoughts that I practice believing all the time when it comes to money.

I want to offer you some other thoughts that you can practice thinking about money as well. But before I do that, I want to offer you an opportunity to come up with your own positive thoughts about money. So I’m going to walk you through a couple different thought downloads, and you just want to come up with the first thought that’s most top of mind. I call this your most practiced thought. So when it comes to money, what’s your most practiced thought about money? Find it, and then ask yourself, what do you want your most practiced thought to be instead, about money?

Same thing when it comes to making money. What is your most practiced thought about making money? And then ask yourself, do I want to keep thinking that? If not, what do you want your most practiced thought about making money to be? I also love this circumstance, talking about money. So many people hate talking about money, and I used to be one of them because I was probably raised the same way y’all were raised, which is to think that it’s inconsiderate, and rude, and arrogant to talk about money, that it’s very impolite to talk about money with other people, that it should be avoided at all costs.

So we end up being really uncomfortable talking about money, and it’s a really disempowering habit to have, feeling uncomfortable about talking about money. One of the biggest differences between people who are successful and people who aren’t as successful is their comfort level in talking about money. People who are successful are much more comfortable talking about money than people who aren’t as successful. So we’ve got to increase your comfort level with talking about money, and the way that we do that is changing the way that you think about talking about money.

So what is your most practiced thought currently about talking about money? And then ask yourself, what do you want it to be instead? What’s your most practiced thought about having money? And then what do you want your most practiced thought to be about having money?

Same exercise again with spending money. What’s your most practiced thought about spending money? And what do you want your most practiced thought to be? And last but not least, what is your most practiced thought about debt? And what do you want your most practiced thought to be? I see a lot of people have a lot of negative thoughts about debt, and a lot of those negative thoughts drive us to make illogical, unsophisticated decisions when it comes to money.

People will focus more on paying off debt than they do leveraging money, and utilizing debt in order to create more wealth. And it’s because they have so much shame around having debt because of the story that they were taught about debt, the story they continue to tell themselves about debt. It’s a story that doesn’t serve them. So you’ll watch a lot of successful people leverage debt, and use it as a tool, whereas people who are less knowledgeable about how to leverage debt, who think it’s more shameful to have it, they don’t reap the same benefits that you can reap if you know how to use it skillfully.

Now I want to talk about some of my favorite thoughts to think about these topics instead. My first favorite thought is, “I love money.” I really, really do. I love having it, I love what it can buy you, I love that you can leverage it. I just love money. I think money is so fun. You can choose to think that you’re good with money, and if you believe that, you’ll start to search for ways in which you are good with money, and it will help reinforce your self-concept.

If you think that you are learning how to be good with money, or that you can learn how to manage your money well, those are great thoughts to think in the beginning, just to start to replace some of those more negative thoughts that you’ve probably been rehearsing for a long time.

You can also think that you manage your money well, sort of like being good with money, you’ll start to find evidence where you do manage your money well. You can think, “I’m responsible with money.” Tell yourself, how is that true? Answer that question. How is it true that I’m responsible with money? You can believe that you are a good steward of money. I love the thought, “I love having money.” You’ll end up overspending less, and saving more money, and having more money if you believe that you love having it, not just what it can buy you.

You can think that money’s an amazing tool that you can leverage to create the life that you want. You can believe that debt is neutral. You can believe that debt is a tool. Those were hard thoughts for me to practice thinking at first, but now I fully believe them, and it changes how I operate with money. I focus on making money rather than worrying about paying off debt. If you make more money, the debt becomes irrelevant.

Now, I do believe you can’t outearn a bad money mindset. So you have to address the thoughts that you have that aren’t serving you when it comes to money, having money, making money, spending money. But if you prioritize creating wealth and creating money, the debt becomes irrelevant because you’ll have the money there to pay off the debt. Rather than using money you have now to pay off the debt, spending money in a prioritized way to get rid of debt first doesn’t teach you how to create more money, so you deplete your resources, and then you don’t have the knowledge that you need to have, have to generate more income at the end of the day.

So a lot of people do this backwards. You want to focus on learning to create money. That’s a skillset that you can develop. I teach my clients how to do this all the time. And when you’re more focused on paying off debt than you are in creating new money, you end up slowing down your progress. So just check in with yourself to see if that’s something that you do.

And now, here is my most favorite thought of all time when it comes to money and making money. I believe that I create money. And I want to tell you a little story about this. This is a thought that my business coach offered me many years ago, and at the time when I learned of this thought, I didn’t believe it at all, and I was really broke because I had just left my last law firm job, I didn’t have savings, I was getting ready to start this business, I was betting on myself, and I knew that things were going to be financially rocky for a while because I didn’t have that runway built up in savings to go in and start this business in a more secure way.

So here I am, pretty broke, getting my business off the ground, financially struggling in a really hard time, and I’m being told that I create money, that that’s a thought that’s available to me, that’s a belief that’s available to me, that’s a self-concept that’s available to me. And I didn’t believe it at all. I believed that you earn money, that you receive money, things like that, which are much more outside of my control than the thought, “I create money.”

So I kept trying to believe this thought over, and over, and over, and over again, and I just couldn’t get it to stick. I couldn’t see how it was true in my business. I couldn’t see how I could create money as a coach. And then I started to get resourceful and figure out other ways that I could make money to float myself and keep the lights on at my house, and continue to feed my two panthers and myself of course.

I was trying to come up with inventive ways to create money, even though I probably wouldn’t have used that term at the time, just to make money, to get money, to receive money, that didn’t involve going back and working in a law firm. I really didn’t want to do that. And that was really the only way that I knew how to make money or go back into a different type of job where you’re earning money in a job like bartending.

I don’t know if y’all know this about me, but in another life, I worked as a bartender for many, many, many years. So that’s always a skillset that I could fall back on to earn money. So here I am trying to come up with inventive ways to make money, and I get this idea because I’m a huge Gary Vaynerchuk fan, and he talks all the time about retail arbitrage and flipping things on eBay in order to make some money on the side and support yourself, or as a full-time job.

So I had watched his Trash Talk videos on YouTube where he goes around garage sailing, and then he resells what he finds and buys at garage sales on eBay, and he shows you exactly how to do it, how you find items, to check to see how much they’re worth, how you create the listings. He really walks you through the process front to back. So I learned how to do this, and I started asking myself, “Well, what could I sell?”

And I started selling some really not valuable items of mine. It was the stuff that I didn’t mind getting rid of, which, lo and behold, if I didn’t want it, no one else really did either. So it didn’t make me any money, or very, very little. So then I started brainstorming, what else did I have to sell that was worth more than the items that I had already listed? And I realized that I had some nice stuff to sell. I had some really beautiful jewelry to sell, some other designer items that I could list that were actually valuable.

And initially I was like, “Ugh, I don’t want to get rid of that stuff. That’s my nice stuff.” And I quickly snapped out of that entitlement, and realized that doing this was the currency to being able to pursue my dream. And it was such a beautiful, humbling experience to say, “Oh, I don’t actually need any of this nice stuff.” I’m using air quotes here. “I don’t need any of this stuff.

And if what I want more than anything is to pursue this dream of mine, and not take another legal job, not have to go out and do anything more substantial to earn money, and to create the freedom, and the time, and the space to focus on building this coaching business, then the cost of that, the price of admission of that is selling stuff that’s valuable.”

So that’s exactly what I did. I listed my jewelry online, on eBay, and created the listing. And eBay has this fun little feature, when you create a listing and someone buys it, a cash register, noise goes off, it’s the cha-ching, and it’s really fun when your phone makes that noise and you hear it, you know you just made a sale. So it happened one day where I listed it, and very quickly… I think I did this right before Christmas, so it was a great time to list valuable items that people are looking to buy as Christmas gifts.

So I listed my jewelry, and my phone made this cash register noise, and it clicked in my brain instantaneously that I just created money. I realized that I believed that I had something valuable to sell, I took the essential actions to make it possible for someone to buy it. I had to take pictures of the item and create the eBay listing and make an offer by listing the price that I wanted, and then it’s out there for the world to see.

I believed that someone would want to buy the item. I had to have that belief in order to even put it out on eBay in the first place. So I had all of the requisite beliefs, I believed that I could do this, that it’s something that I was capable of, that people would want it, that someone would buy it. I had all the requisite beliefs that I needed to sell something, and then I took all of the requisite actions to list it online. And in doing that and having the mindset, and taking the action necessary, I created money. And it clicked for me in that moment that if I could do it with jewelry on eBay, I could do it in my business. And I started to see how that was true.

If I just started putting myself out there, meeting people, telling them what I do, adding value ahead of time, and making offers to help them with the requisite beliefs that I could help them, that coaching would help them, and that people wanted that help, and that they were willing to pay me for it, if I had the requisite beliefs and I took the requisite action over, and over, and over again until the result comes and never quit in the meantime, that the result will ultimately become inevitable, that I will create money, that I can create money. And that single thought has been one of the most pivotal thoughts in my success since I started my business.

So I offer that thought to you. If you don’t believe it, start to look for the evidence that you do create money. Just sit with that belief for a second. Ask yourself how might that be true? And start to find proof that it is in fact true, that you create money, that you’re capable of creating it, that you are in control of creating it. Those are very, very, very powerful thoughts when it comes to money and making more of it. So those are some of my favorite thoughts to think about money. If you want to come up with your own list of positive thoughts to think about money, I want you to start by thinking about what results you want to create with money.

Do you want to save it? Do you want to make more of it? Do you want to spend it more freely than maybe you have in the past? How do you want to act when it comes to money?

Get very specific here. Make a list. Flesh that all out. And then ask yourself, how would you need to feel? What emotions would you need to cultivate in order to take that action? And then finally, what would you need to think in order to feel those feelings? And you’ll start to identify the thoughts that you need to think about money, about having money, about making money, about talking about money, about spending money, about debt. And you’re going to cultivate a very powerful list of go-to thoughts about these circumstances that you’ll be able to use to create very different results than you have previously when it comes to money. It’s going to be so fun.

So that’s what I have for you this week, my friends. In the next few episodes, like I talked about earlier, we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty when it comes to overspending, underearning, the shame you have around spending. And as I was recording this episode, it actually dawned on me to come up with one more episode that I’d like to talk about, which is setting money goals, setting, and achieving money goals. So we’ll talk about all of those topics in the next several episodes. Make sure you tune in, and if you haven’t subscribed to the podcast yet, go ahead and do that now so you don’t miss any of those topics.

Oh, as another aside, if you haven’t yet, in addition to subscribing, please, please, please, if you like what you’re hearing, and you love learning from me, go leave me a rating and review. It makes a world of difference, and it helps more people find this podcast, and use it to change their lives. So it would mean the world to me. And if you do that, I will shout you out on a future episode. That’s all for this week, 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 61: Making Excuses

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Making Excuses

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Making Excuses

Do you catch yourself in moments where you haven’t shown up the way you would ideally want to, and instead of being honest about it, you come up with an excuse to justify the result you’ve created? We’ve all done it, and if you’re in the habit of taking this escape hatch to avoid responsibility for a mistake you’ve made, this episode is for you.

Making excuses is something most of us struggle with at some point in our lives. However, it’s possible to drop this habit and operate in your life without making excuses. When you stop making excuses and be truly honest with yourself and other people, you get new levels of growth and clarity, and you can start producing the results you really want in your life.

Tune in this week to discover where you’re making excuses for the results you’ve created, and how to stop. I’m sharing what this work looks like with my clients, how to see where you’re buying your own excuses, and how to move past your excuses so you can get to the real root cause of why you’re getting undesirable results in your life.

Enrollment for the next round of The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind is open until May 26th 2023, with the next live event running from August 23rd through 26th 2023. Spots are limited, so if you don’t want to miss out, I highly recommend you sign up for the waitlist here!

I have a bunch of events coming up. The next one is a Meet and Greet Info Session on May 26th, 2023. To register for any of my upcoming events, click here!

 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What it looks like when you’re in the habit of making excuses.
  • Why it’s difficult to see the excuses you’re making.
  • Some of the situations where it’s particularly common for human beings to make excuses.
  • How to see where you’re buying your own excuses.
  • Why you don’t need to offer an explanation, even when people are asking for it.
  • How to see past your excuses, and start acknowledging the truth behind why you’re getting the results you’re getting.
  • The mindset you need to adopt to stop making excuses in your life.

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 61. Today, we’re talking all about making excuses. 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? Things are good over here in my neck of the woods. I’m all moved into a new condo. I’m getting settled. I think I haven’t talked to you since I first moved in, so it’s an exciting update. I feel like I’ve been here a long time. But I’ve really only been here a week, which is super exciting.

I moved in. I’m getting situated. The mastermind launch is going swimmingly. You’ve got until Friday, May 26, to enroll. So, if you’re thinking about joining and you have questions, reach out to me. If you don’t have questions, you already know that you’re in, amazing. I can’t wait to see you in Big Sky, Montana.

To learn everything you need to know about the mastermind, go to TheLessStressedLawyer.com/mastermind and all the details are there; the dates, what’s included, the results you get, where we’re going to be, what you’re going to learn, everything. Okay? So, go there, TheLessStressedLawyer.com/mastermind, and get all the info. And then, get your application in before enrollment closes.

All right, now that that housekeeping is out of the way, let’s dive in to talking about today’s topic. It’s actually inspired by a coaching conversation that I had with one of my clients earlier this week. It just really resonated with me because I used to struggle with this myself.

And as soon as it came up, in my coaching session with my client, I was like, “Boom! I’ve got to record a podcast episode about this.” Because it’s just such a common problem that people face. I see it happen all the time. And there’s a way to operate your life without doing this.

So, what exactly am I talking about? I’m talking about making excuses. Now, what exactly do I mean by making an excuse? It’s when we’re in a moment, and we’ve done something that isn’t us showing up how we would want to show up. And instead of being honest about it, we come up with an excuse, that basically provides a justification for the result that we’ve created. Okay? It’s an escape hatch, to avoid taking responsibility for you creating the results that you ultimately have.

I’ll give you a couple of examples here. I see this all the time when people are procrastinating on something. Someone might reach out to you and check in and follow up because you promised something, and you haven’t delivered it yet. And instead of being honest about it, you come up with an excuse, and you offer that to the person instead.

“Oh, I didn’t get to this thing because this emergency fell in my lap. Oh, I didn’t get to this thing, because I’ve been really sick. I didn’t get to this thing,” because X, Y, and Z happened. Whatever it is, you come up with an excuse.

And while you may be under the weather, I’m not saying that you need to push through even when you’re not feeling well. But what I mean, in this instance, is you’re using your sickness, your illness, as the excuse. Even though, deep down, you know it’s not really the reason that you didn’t get the thing done. Okay?

I had a client do this recently, and I just responded, I coached them through it. I was like, “If it wasn’t that, what else might be the reason for this?” And as soon as I asked that question, we got to the heart of the matter and found out what was really going on at the root cause. So, you can ask yourself that question too, if you have a sneaking suspicion that you’re making an excuse, and it’s not actually your real reason. Because sometimes it’s even tricky for us to catch on to our own b.s.

So, we’ll go back to the procrastination example. You’ve procrastinated, you’ve been doing other things in the meantime, it’s not just because you’re sick. You’ve been binging Netflix and scrolling on Instagram and talking to your friends and going to Sunday brunch with people that you know and going out to eat with friends on Friday night.

And you could have been doing the thing that you promised someone else that you’d do. But instead of doing it, you haven’t been doing it. You’ve been doing everything else but that.

When they confront you about it, when they check in, when they inquire, instead of telling them the truth, “Hey, I haven’t done that yet because I’ve been procrastinating. Because I don’t feel like doing it. I think I shouldn’t have to do that. It’s just really boring and I don’t I want to do it. I’m dreading it. I’m afraid that I’m not going to do a good job, so I’m pushing it off for that reason. I don’t really know where to get started. So, I just keep putting it on the backburner. I think other stuff’s more important.”

Those are all the honest reasons that you might be procrastinating. Right? “I’m not willing to feel the negative emotion that I’d be forced to feel, if I forced myself to work on that.” That’s the honest truth. But instead of saying that, because I’m sure we would all have thoughts about how that might be received by someone, we make an excuse instead. And we offer them something that “sounds good”.

I’ll give you another example of this. It comes up for people all the time when they’re running late. You can watch people feed you drama and excuses when they’re running late; when they’re behind schedule, when they said they’d be somewhere at a certain time, and then they’re not there when they said that they were going to be there. They show up quite a bit later.

So, in that moment, they could make an excuse, “Oh, there was traffic. I got stuck at work. Someone came into my office,” there were all of these different things that could have happened that set them behind schedule. Those are the excuses. When the truth is, you left too late; you didn’t plan well, you spent more time doing an activity, when you should have stopped yourself in order to leave and get to the place that you promised to be on time, on time.

You didn’t have the uncomfortable conversation to say, “Hey, I can’t actually talk right now, I’m on my way out.” Perhaps because you were afraid that someone would be mad at you, or you felt guilty turning someone away.

The truth is that you were unwilling to feel that discomfort and have the conversation, tell them no, set a boundary, follow through on your original plan. Instead, you fell victim to that discomfort. You avoided it by people pleasing and doing what was more comfortable in the moment.

But we never tell people that that’s why we’re late. Right? We give them that excuse. “There was traffic. I got caught by a train. Someone came in and I couldn’t say no, I had to talk to them. I didn’t have a choice. A client called me. I had to respond.” Lots of I had to-had to-had to-I can’t-I can’t-I can’t-I must-I must-I must. I didn’t have any choice or say in the matter, right? That’s how we think about this. Instead of just being honest about what it actually was.

This comes up quite a bit in weight loss, too. I love weight loss examples, just because they’re so commonplace and easy to see in our mind’s eye. So, I’ve had clients do this before, where they’re supposed to be eating a certain way, they decided ahead of time that they would eat following a certain protocol.

And then, they don’t eat following that protocol. They eat off plan. They eat in a way that’s not aligned with their goals. And then, they start to make excuses for it. “Well, I couldn’t eat healthy because I attended this event. And this was the only food that was available. Well, I couldn’t eat that way because I was traveling, and it just wasn’t possible for me to eat as I planned.”

Now, the truth here, is that you didn’t plan and prepare accordingly. And then, you defaulted to what was available, because it was easier in the moment rather than going hungry. Or just abstaining from the food that was provided, and then figuring it out later. No, I’m not suggesting you starve yourself. Don’t go ahead and run away with what I’m saying here and really take it to an extreme.

But check in with yourself, are you making excuses when it comes to this? We probably do this with working out too, right? All the different excuses when the truth is you just haven’t made it a priority. You haven’t been willing to do the things that would make that activity a non-negotiable. That would ensure that you complete it, that you follow your plan.

I see this come up a lot with investments as well. We’ll blame not having the money for the reason that we don’t do something. And when you look at someone’s spending, you very quickly can see, “Oh, no. No, you have the money. You just spent it this way instead of spending it this way.”

But it’s such a more comfortable excuse for us to tell ourselves, “Oh, I don’t have the money.” Or to tell someone else, “Oh, I can’t do that. I don’t have the money,” rather than being honest about what it is, “Oh, I don’t want to do this. Oh, I don’t value this enough. Oh, it’s not a priority for me.”

I see people do this with investment decisions when they’re thinking about investing in coaching. This comes up a lot. “Oh, I don’t have the money. I can’t afford to do that.” And then, when you look at their spending, you can quickly see that’s not true. This just isn’t a priority for you. But most people don’t want to admit that they prioritize their luxury car or a vacation over their personal development and solving some of the problems that they’re encountering.

I’ve also seen this with some of my friends who will make excuses about not having the money, to avoid having to do things with friends. Instead of people pleasing them, they’ll lie. They still don’t move fully into integrity by just being honest and telling the person the truth.

So, they settle for this middle of the road option where they make an excuse, “Oh, you know, I’d love to go on vacation with you. But I just really can’t afford it right now.” When, if you looked at their finances, they could afford it.

They just don’t want to go on vacation with the person for whatever reason. Maybe they don’t think they’re close enough friends. Maybe they don’t think that vacationing with the person would be fun. So, they come up with an excuse. We do this when it comes to turning down social engagements all the time. We make excuses, instead of being honest.

Now, you can also decide that you don’t need to offer an explanation. But you can just honor your knowing, rather than offering an excuse or an explanation. You can just offer your response, you can offer your answer, and leave it at that. But that tends to be really uncomfortable for people, so they don’t do that, they make an excuse instead.

Now, check in with yourself. Are you an excuse maker? If you are, I don’t want you to judge yourself. I just want you to notice it. And I want us to explore, during the course of this episode, why you might do it. Okay? We get to decide, is it even a problem? So, that’s always the first place that we start. I’m not going to assume that this is a problem. There’s no moral judgment here. Okay?

This starts with deciding, who do you want to be? If you don’t care about lying, about making an excuse when it’s not true, about operating in what someone might consider a manner that is out of integrity, then it’s not a problem. If you’re like, “That’s a white lie. No big deal. No one gets hurt. It’s fine. It makes my life easier. Who cares?” Then, amazing. Don’t worry about it, then it isn’t a problem for you. And that’s okay.

But if you decide that you want to be the kind of person who is honest and operates from a place of integrity, someone who doesn’t make excuses in order to hit the easy button, take the escape route, then being a person who makes excuses isn’t in alignment with that. But then we are presented with a problem because we essentially have dissonance, two things competing against one another.

To become someone who operates from a place of integrity, we’ve got to stop making excuses. And that begs the question, but how? But how exactly do we do that, Olivia? Well, let’s dive in and talk about it.

First things first, when it comes to making excuses, you have to check in with yourself and make sure you’re not believing your own excuses. So many people buy their own bullshit, they believe their own drama. They make an excuse, and they think that it’s true. They’re really in the narrative of their own victimhood, of their own helplessness.

So, if you do this, if your life feels very dramatic, if you feel like you’re always dealing with an emergency, there’s always something coming up at the last minute, you’re always handling something unexpected, things are outside of your control, life is happening to you. If that’s you, you’re likely believing your own excuses. You’re buying into the story that your primitive brain is serving up to you; you’re thinking that it’s true.

And if you think it’s true, you’re definitely going to say it and pass it on to other people. It’s going to be how you communicate and what you tell them. Because you’re going to see it as just being the truth. It’s going to feel very matter of fact. So, you’ve got to be onto yourself here. And this is where having a coach really comes in handy, because we can’t always see our own bullshit.

It really helps to have someone else point it out to us. For them to question, “Hey, is that actually true? What if it’s not true? How might it not be true? What if this is actually true instead.”

Some of my clients often say to me I’m such an expert at seeing how people operate, and understanding why they’re doing the things that they’re doing, and getting to the root issue at hand. Understanding why someone might make an excuse, being able to spot them, and understand why we’re making it in the first place. And then how to stop making it, what to do instead.

So, coaching really does come in handy here. We just can’t see our own blind spots. Having a coach helps us identify them, so we can create awareness. And then from awareness, we can decide whether or not we want to make a change.

An easy way to spot if you are making and believing your own excuses will be if you hear yourself, say very frequently, “Oh, I can’t do that. Oh, I had to do that. Oh, I didn’t have a choice. I didn’t have a say in the matter. My hands were tied. It just is that way. It is the way that it was.” All of these things are lies, lies, lies, lies.

If you’ve listened to the podcast before, you’ve probably heard me say there’s only four things you need to do. I recently added a fifth one, after someone turned to me on to the fact that there is a fifth one. It’s you need to eat, drink some fluids, sleep sometimes, and breathe. And you also need to use the restroom. So, if it’s not those five things, you don’t have to do it.

If you’re telling yourself that you can’t do something, or you had to do something, that’s just bullshit. And you want to be onto yourself. You want to turn your bullshit detector on, and know that it simply isn’t true. That instead what is true is that you always have a choice.

Now, you’ve probably heard me say this before, too. You may not always love your choices. The choices you have may have undesirable consequences. But you do have choices, nevertheless. So, you always want to remember that.

People love tricking themselves into feeling helpless by believing their own excuses. Now, why is this true? Why is this the case? Well, for starters, it helps them feel justified for whatever unintentional action they choose to make next. Whatever decision they make next. It helps you feel more justified, more resigned, more accepting of your decisions, rather than facing the uncomfortable truth that you do have a choice, and you’re choosing the path of least resistance.

You’re choosing to make this excuse. You’re choosing not to operate in integrity with what you promised yourself you would do. And that’s an uncomfortable truth to handle. So, it’s much easier to buy into this feigned helplessness, in order to escape that and to feel really justified in doing whatever it is that you end up doing, that unintentional action.

It’s much more uncomfortable to be honest with yourself, and to go about honoring the commitments that you make. Right? Think about the food example. You can choose to believe that you just didn’t have a choice, you had to eat that dish at that family function.

Or you can be honest with yourself and say, “Oh, I could have done it this way, this way, or this way. And all of that would have required me to plan, or me to turn something down, for me to miss out on something delicious, for me to feel deprived.” All of which is uncomfortable.

All of that requires more of you than buying your own excuse, feigning helplessness, feeling justified, and then resigning yourself to the path of least resistance, that unintentional action that doesn’t actually serve you. You’re going to feel really okay and accepting of your choices, the choices that aren’t aligned with the results that you want.

So, be onto yourself there. Being honest and honoring your commitments requires you to embrace the discomfort of honoring them. And to be intentional and operate from that place of integrity, in spite of and despite the discomfort, okay? That’s not going to feel warm and fuzzy, you’re going to feel uncomfortable. You’re going to want to vom. It’s not going to be a super pleasant experience, at first.

On the back end, you get the results that you want for your life. So, it is going to be more pleasurable, you are going to feel gratified and accomplished. But that gratification is going to be delayed, and you have to be willing to accept the delayed gratification, rather than requiring instant gratification, that temporary pleasure.

Okay, so the first step is understanding and recognizing your own b.s. From there, once we know that the excuse isn’t true, we want to understand why we’re making it. So, I talked about that a little bit a second ago, because it helps us rationalize our bad decisions and justify our bad decisions.

But we also do it to escape the discomfort of the truth. Being honest about why we do the things that we do, is typically uncomfortable. Normally, because we’re judging ourselves for it, that’s why we make it uncomfortable. We also typically perceive that other people will have a negative opinion about the truth.

So, we have a negative opinion about the truth, and then we think other people are going to have a negative opinion about the truth. So, we make the excuse to avoid all of that judgment; our judgment of ourselves and judgment from other people. Okay?

Think about it. We’ve got three options. You’ve got the option, where you don’t do what you say you’re going to do and you’re going to be honest about it. What your reasons were, why you didn’t do it, why you didn’t stick to the plan, why you didn’t follow through. You’re just going to be honest and not fib, not lie, not make an excuse. That’s uncomfortable as hell.

So is showing up as the version of yourself that you want to be. That’s the second option here. That requires the most of you. Out of all three options that I’m going to talk about, that’s going to be the heaviest lift. To embrace the discomfort of showing up and being intentional, and following through on your plans. And making the decisions that delay that gratification that I talked about a moment ago. That’s going to be the highest level of discomfort.

So, we’ve got being honest, about why you didn’t do what you said you were going to do. Then there’s the option two; instead of needing to be honest about it, you just do what you say you’re going to do in the first place. Avoid the whole scenario where you might feel like you need to make an excuse. Make the whole excuse part irrelevant by just doing what you say you’re going to do. But that’s also uncomfortable, it requires a lot of you.

Your third option is to not follow through, not be intentional, not do what you say you’re going to do, but make an excuse about it. It allows you to avoid the discomfort of showing up as the version of yourself that you want to be. And it allows you to avoid the discomfort of being honest about why you didn’t show up as that version of yourself. Okay?

So, it gets us out of all of this discomfort and lets us feel a little bit better about ourselves. Making an excuse, offering it to another person, allows us to feel a little bit more relieved, a little bit less judged, a little bit less inadequate, a little bit more secure, a little bit more accepted.

When we make excuses, we’re really providing ourselves with this comfort, which makes sense why we pick it over the other two options. Now, if you decide you don’t want to be an excuse maker, you’ve got to change the way that you think. And you’ve got to change your unwillingness to feel these negative emotions. You’ve got to be willing to feel this discomfort in order to operate differently, and to stop making excuses.

Now, one way to change your thinking, that will support you to stop making excuses, is that we make excuses because we assume people are going to have negative thoughts about us if they know the truth. And then, we think that when we give them our excuse, they change their opinion. we assuage our own worry, because we assume they don’t think what they would have originally thought, they think something else instead.

They might have thought you were irresponsible and unreliable, but you give them the excuse of, “Oh, I was really under the weather. I was so sick. This emergency came up. I’m dealing with this family thing.” Even though we both know, that really isn’t the reason that you didn’t do the thing you said you were going to do. But you offer that excuse to them.

And then, you believe that their thoughts about you change. That they feel sympathy or empathy, right? They feel understanding or accepting that they’re not having those judgments. And the truth is, you’re not a mind reader. You’re just making all of this up for yourself. It may or may not be true. It may be true, and great. But believing that it is the case every single time, feeds into this habit of you offering people excuses so you can control their opinion of you.

Now, you can choose to change the way that you think about this. If you want to stop making excuses, I highly recommend you adopt this mindset. One of the thoughts that changed for me, which got me to stop making excuses, because I used to be the queen of doing this…

My life was very dramatic. I was always dealing with an emergency. I always had an excuse. I used this religiously, to cancel dentist appointments or doctor’s appointments at the last minute. There was always something that came up at work; I was perpetually late. And it was always someone else’s fault other than my own.

I would offer some dramatic excuse, and then people would typically respond with, “Oh, I’m sorry,” whether they actually felt that way or not. Who knows? I’m not a mind reader, but it would assuage my worry temporarily. And then, I’d get to feel better about myself, less irresponsible, less inadequate.

One day, I decided I didn’t want to operate this way anymore. I didn’t want to be untruthful. I didn’t want to be a liar. I didn’t want to be someone who was full of excuses. I always had some “good reason” for not doing what I said I was going to do. So, I decided to change the way that I thought about how other people perceived my excuses.

I really think this serves you more, it’s not a super positive thought. But I do think it’s a thought that serves you. It’s definitely one that serves me because it drives me to act more in integrity. I choose to believe that people don’t care at all why I didn’t do what I said I was going to do. They just don’t give a shit. It doesn’t matter to them.

What I choose to believe, is that the only thing that they care about is me not having done the thing. All they want, all they truly care about, is me doing what I said I was going to do. They’d like to know when I’m going to do it, and they’d like to know when it’s done. Everything else, to them, is pretty much irrelevant.

The way that I think about this, and pardon me being crass, but I constantly say to myself, “No one fucking cares. No one fucking cares. They don’t give a shit what my excuses are, they just want it done.” I can communicate the fact that it’s not done, people do want to know that because it provides them with certainty. And then, they want to know when it’s going to be done, when can they expect it. And then, they want to know that I did follow through on that promise that I made. That’s all people really care about.

And when you boil it down to that, you get so much more concise in the communications that you have with people. You strip your communications of all of the excuses. Your life becomes much less dramatic. It becomes much more matter of fact.

You save yourself the time of going through the process of making all of these excuses, and you can just put your head down and get to work. It’s so much more effective, so much more productive, so much more efficient. So, that’s one of the reframes that I’ve had.

The other reframe, is a self-concept reframe. This is really just a decision. You get to decide that you’re a person who doesn’t make excuses. Now, whether you offer someone the truth, or you communicate less information, but honest information, “No, I haven’t done that yet. Haven’t done that yet, I’ll get it to you tomorrow,” rather than offering all this word vomit, apology vomit, itinerary vomiting, excuses, excuse vomiting… Rather than offering that, you can just offer the simple information that’s necessary in that moment.

Now, when you decide to become someone who does this, your path forward becomes very clear. You’re going to have to feel these negative emotions. You’re also going to have to stop being so perfectionistic and give yourself some grace; you’re not going to do everything perfectly. And that’s okay.

You’re going to have to trust yourself to rebound and to improve over time. To take action imperfectly, to audit that action, and to adapt. You’re also going to have to trust that other people are going to be accepting or that you’ll be okay, even if they’re not accepting of the truth. Okay?

You also have to decide to not judge yourself when you miss the mark. When you don’t meet an expectation that you set. When you don’t live up to your word. You’ve got to get curious. If you judge yourself, it’s always going to be very enticing to go back to making excuses, because that is the land of comfort. Rather than being honest about what’s going on, why you didn’t live up to your word.

You’ve got to be willing to come at ‘not living up to your word’ from a place of curiosity. If you judge yourself, you’re going to have a really hard time continuing to be honest. It’s just going to be too uncomfortable, too unpalatable.

When you make this decision to be someone who’s honest and operates from a place of integrity and doesn’t make excuses, once you’re decided, then you get to put that decision into practice. You get to implement it, and you get to practice meeting moments. You’re going to see the fork in the road, you’re going to see the path where you can make an excuse.

Or you can see the path where you’ve become very honest, and you tell the truth, and you don’t make the excuse. And when you live there, when your only two options then become, do what you say you’re going to do or be honest about why you didn’t do it, you get much differently incentivized to follow through and do what you say you’re going to do.

Because between those two options, when you take the most comfortable option, the excuse making, off the table and you’re left with those two types of discomfort, the most uncomfortable version, I believe, is going to be sitting in your inadequacy, and being honest about why you didn’t do what you said you were going to do.

Then, the discomfort avoidance shifts. You associate more discomfort with having to be honest about your failings, your shortcomings, so you choose to show up as the version of yourself that you want to be, when it’s ‘be honest or bust’.

You end up following through. You end up becoming more intentional. You show up as the version of yourself that you strive and aim to become, which in turn increases your competence and has all these other amazing benefits, right? This simple decision, of being someone who doesn’t make excuses, really just pays dividends over and over and over again.

The other thing that I want to highlight here, is you want to be careful. There are some other subtle reasons why we make excuses. And one of the main subtle reasons that I see people do this, is because they get to feel important. It is fun to have a more exciting, dramatic story. It makes us feel significant.

When we tell the story, when we offer our excuse, we know that it’s likely to elicit a certain response. Either concern from someone or shock or surprise or understanding. We get that, “Oh, I’m so sorry. Oh, my goodness!” Right? People commiserate with us. People feel sorry for us. We get their compassion, their empathy, their pity.

And even though that might not be where you want to be, you might prefer to have their admiration and to have them revere you. Right? To have them respect you. Doing the things to get admiration, reverence, and respect. That’s a heavier lift.

It’s easier to default to making the excuse and getting their concern, worry, pity, compassion. Okay? If this is you, if this is one of the reasons that you’re doing this, just check in with yourself.

What needs are you satisfying here? And what would it look like for you to not use making an excuse to satisfy it? To not need other people to respond a certain way for you to feel a particular emotion? What if you were able to just sit in your own discomfort yourself? Or what if you were able to provide that emotion to yourself, without needing to make an excuse and elicit that response from another person?

Okay, I’ve given you a ton of food for thought, when it comes to making excuses. I want you to take a few minutes today, and check in with yourself. Where are you making excuses? Where are you not being honest? Where are you not following through? Where are you not showing up and acting in integrity?

Check in and find those areas in your life where this is happening for you. And then decide, do you want to be someone who makes excuses and does this? Or do you want to be someone who’s honest and shows up as that highest version of themselves?

If you choose the latter, number one, you’ve got to find your excuses. And you’ve got to stop believing your own bullshit. That’s step one. You might need a coach to help you with that. If you do, you know where to find me.

Second, you’ve got to get clear on what you’re going to do instead. There are three options: Follow through and show up as the version of yourself that you want to be. Be honest about why you didn’t show up that way. Or make the excuse, take that third option off the table, and be willing to feel the discomfort of either of the other two options.

There’s not a moral hierarchy on which one’s better. You get to decide whichever one’s right for you, depending on the moment that you’re meeting. But you want to embrace the discomfort of either of those two options, and not settle for the temporary comfort and instant gratification of that making excuses third option, okay?

Go to work, find those excuses, and start eradicating them. You’re really going to love who you become in the process. You’re going to feel so much more authentic and proud of yourself when you become the person who takes excuse making off the table entirely. I can’t wait to see what you get when you decide to implement this for yourself. It’s going to be so exciting.

All right, my friends, that’s what I have for you this week. If you’re sick of making excuses and you want to master the art of not making them, and being someone who shows up in integrity, come inside The Less Stressed Lawyer mastermind. You know how to do that. Go to TheLessStressedLawyer.com/mastermind.

And other than that, I will talk to you in the next episode. I hope you 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 60: Making Life Hard & Not Asking for Help

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Making Life Hard & Not Asking for Help

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Making Life Hard & Not Asking for Help

How are you making your life harder than it needs to be and not asking for help? I see this all the time, and I’m calling it out on today’s show. Lawyers especially tend to have limiting beliefs about their job being inherently hard, however, believing that’s true is a choice you’re making.

If you believe that practicing law is inherently difficult and stressful, you’re making your life harder. Your thoughts create your results, so I’ve created this episode to address the specific ways I see people making their lives harder than they need to be, and most importantly, how to stop.

Tune in this week to discover how you’re making your life harder than it needs to be. I’m sharing how to spot where you’re creating your own suffering, where you should consider asking for help, and I’m giving you some simple strategies to stop making your life more difficult than it needs to be.

Enrollment for the next round of The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind is open until May 26th 2023, with the next live event running from August 23rd through 26th 2023. Spots are limited, so if you don’t want to miss out, I highly recommend you sign up for the waitlist here!

I have a bunch of events coming up. The next one is an open coaching call on May 19th, 2023. And on May 26th, 2023, I’m doing a meet and Greet Info Session. To register for any of my upcoming events, click here!

 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How I see lawyers making their lives harder than they need to be.
  • Why anything we’re thinking is a choice, and what we decide to think creates our results.
  • How to spot the thoughts that are making your experience of life more difficult.
  • Why we take pride in doing it all on our own, but why doing it on your own isn’t always a good idea.
  • How to know when you’re hitting your upper limit in terms of energy and capacity.
  • What it means to be a gracious recipient of help.
  • My comprehensive tips for asking for help when you need it, instead of overworking.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 60. Today, we’re talking all about making life hard, and not asking for help. 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 today? So much is going on over here. I just moved, And some of you who have been listening for a while might be like, “Again? You moved again?” But yes, I moved again. I am now doing these short-term six-month leases, where I rent different furnished condos. So, my last lease was up, and I moved into a different building.

I have two microphones. One’s a microphone that comes with me when I travel. Because you guys know, sometimes I like to record the podcast when I’m on the road, from the comfort of a beautiful hotel room. And then I always have one in my house, as well. Because that’s typically where I’m at when I record the podcast.

But I accidentally packed both of them. And I had to stay in an Airbnb for a couple of nights, because my place, my new place, wasn’t furnished yet. So, while I was there, I didn’t have access to any of my microphones. I attempted to use my coaching microphone to record this. But I tested the sound and let me tell you, it did not sound good. And I was not going to make you guys suffer through bad audio. I hate listening to bad audio. So, I assume you probably do too.

So, this episode is coming out a little bit later than I typically get them out. But that’s okay, we’re aiming for B+ work over here. I teach my clients that they don’t need to be perfect. And I practice what I preach. I am a product of my own product. So, I am showing up and getting this to you now, rather than not showing up at all and hiding from my imperfection. I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to embrace it.

I’m so excited to talk about today’s episode topic. Because it’s something that I see people do all the time. They make their lives harder than they need to be. And I want to call it out, I want to teach you how to look for this, how to spot it in your own life. And then what are a few of the things that you can do, in order to stop making your life harder than it has to be. Okay? And we’ll also dive into not asking for help, why people don’t ask for help, and then how to do it.

Now, before I get to all that, you know I love a good backstory. So, I wanted to give you the backstory on what inspired this episode topic. Last week, I taught a class on how to thrive as a lawyer. And one of the things that I discussed during the masterclass, at the very beginning, I wanted to talk about some of the limiting beliefs people have about the legal profession generally, and the impact that those limiting beliefs have on their lives.

And over and over and over again, one of the limiting beliefs I see people hold about practicing law, about being an attorney, is that it is inherently hard. And here’s what happens when they choose to believe that. Now, I’m using that word very intentionally here, because remember, we do choose our thoughts. Sometimes they come to us, but once we become aware of them, we get to choose whether or not to continue to think them.

So, if you’ve been listening for a little while you know that you get to choose your thoughts. You want to make yourself aware of what they are. And if you’re raising your hand right now, and you think this thought, that the practice of law is inherently hard, or inherently stressful, you are going to make your life harder.

It is going to be hard. Because our thoughts create our results. Remember, that’s always the case. That’s always going on in the background. Whether you’re aware of it or not, what you’re thinking is creating the results that you have in your life.

So, I wanted to record an episode specifically about this topic, and address the ways that I see people making their life harder than it needs to be. The first way you do this is if you believe this thought, that the practice of law is inherently hard, or that life is hard, or that being a lawyer is hard, or just your job in particular is hard. If you believe that those things are hard, you will make them hard. Your experience will be hard, right? And you can see how that plays out using the model.

When you’re thinking those thoughts, how do you feel? Discouraged, frustrated, defeated, hopeless, annoyed, exasperated, tired, worn down? Things like that, right? And then, think about the action that you take in your life when you feel those emotions. Or maybe you feel out of control. That’s a big one. Or resigned, like you just don’t have any say in the matter.

If that’s what’s happening in your model, then what action do you take when you’re feeling out of control or resigned or any of the other negative emotions that I just listed a moment ago? You’re not going to take positive productive action when you’re thinking those thoughts and experiencing those emotions. You’re going to shut down. You’re going to withdraw. You’re not going to set boundaries and say, no. You’re not going to prioritize yourself and do what makes your life easier.

You’re going to basically resign yourself to things being the way that they are. You’re going to do things the way you’ve always done them, or the way that you were taught to do them by someone else. You’re not going to question the status quo. You’re not going to innovate. You’re just going to settle for what is. You’re going to tolerate a lot of inefficiencies and a lot of things that you don’t particularly enjoy, that aren’t aligned with your preferences.

You’re just going to allow them to be, because you’re thinking that it’s supposed to be a negative experience. And then, in turn, you create a negative experience for yourself. You create things to be harder, right? You’ll also notice in your action line, you’re not asking for help, you’re not delegating, you’re not seeking out additional assistance, you’re over committing yourself. And I’m going to talk about each one of these things in turn.

But this is what it looks like when you believe this limiting belief, that the practice of law is inherently hard, or that life is inherently hard. You’re going to make your life as hard as possible. You’re going to make work as hard as possible. And that’s the result that you end up with, it is hard. Your life will feel hard. It will be hard because you believed it into existence.

And I want to make sure that you’re clear on this; this isn’t manifesting, okay? Your thoughts cause your feelings, and your feelings then drive your actions. So, you’re doing things, the actions that you’re taking are what is making your life difficult, harder than it needs to be. All right? So, you’re producing that result. It’s not just happening to you, you’re creating it.

So, more specifically than just believing that life is hard, or that practicing law is hard, and creating that result, here are other ways that you may be doing this in your own life, making your own life harder than it needs to be. First things first, you’re trying to do it all on your own. And I really relate to this, because I used to be someone who took so much pride in doing it all on my own.

There are sayings like, “It takes a village. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” And I used to think that they were kind of hokey and cliche, but there’s value here, okay? Doing everything on your own does eventually slow you down. It will speed you up for a while, but there’s a max capacity that you have. And you’re going to hit an upper limit here sooner or later energetically, and just capacity, as far as time is concerned.

So, if you’re trying to do it all on your own because you’re overworking as a badge of honor. Or you take pride; you think the harder you work, the more worthy you are, the more valuable you are. You’re going to get yourself in trouble here. You’re going to make your life harder than it needs to be. Because what you end up doing is not asking for or receiving help.

I’m going to talk about not asking for help in a second, but I’d love to start by talking about being a gracious recipient of help. Because a lot of times, people around us do actually offer us help without us even needing to ask. People ask if they can help with a project at work. Or maybe, someone in your personal life offers to lend a hand. Maybe they know you’re going through a really busy season in your career, and they want to help pick up the slack. Or they know you’re going through some hardship in your life, and they want to offer some help.

And instead of graciously accepting it, you lean too far into your pride, too far into the radical independence. And I’m all for being resourceful. I’ve talked about that on the podcast before. But we can slip into hyper resourcefulness and really do ourselves a disservice here by turning away help that really would be beneficial. That other people are more than happy to offer.

We actually even prevent people from getting to feel good about themselves by being helpful when we turn away a helping hand. So, check in with yourself. Are you doing this? Are you an ungracious recipient of help? Do you turn it away? Do you kind of shirk it off and refuse someone else’s gratuity, someone else’s generosity, because of your own thoughts about being a recipient of it? You make it mean something negative about you. That is optional.

You can just choose to receive it graciously and openly and willingly, and be very thankful for their help. All of that is available to you, too. Think about it. What would your life be like if you were open to receiving some of the help that’s being offered to you right now? How might your life be easier?

Now, if you’re going to be a gracious recipient, don’t nitpick the help that you get. Okay? And that may be hard for some of you listening. But check in with yourself. That’s probably your perfectionism driving the bus there, thinking that there’s one right way to do things. If you just take a deep breath and come at it from curiosity, with an open-minded perspective, you may realize that there is more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak.

And one of my cats is in the room, while I’m recording this with me, and I’m sure she did not appreciate that comment. Don’t worry, no one’s going to skin you, you’re fine.

Anyways, now let’s talk about not asking for help. I see this so commonly; people don’t ask for the help that would really make their lives so much easier. Would really move the dial on their overwhelm and stress levels. And yet, they don’t put out their hand and ask someone to lend them theirs. Okay?

There’s a whole host of reasons that people don’t do this. For starters, you might feel a lot of embarrassment and shame that you need help in the first place. And that’s only because you’re making asking for help mean something negative about you. And again, you don’t have to do that, that’s optional.

You can make asking for help mean something amazing about you. Meaning, that you’re willing to feel exposed. You’re willing to allow yourself to be vulnerable. You’re willing to know and recognize your limits. All of those things are required in order to ask for help.

Also, I do want to point out, you probably never need help, but it is okay to want help. So, play around with that for a second. How does it change when you switch from thinking that you need help to just telling yourself that you’d like help for X, Y, and Z reasons? It will probably move you out of feeling desperate, or graspy, or needy, or insecure or inadequate in some way. Okay? We want to change your relationship with asking for assistance.

You also might feel guilt around asking for assistance. This happens a ton, especially with my people pleasers. They’re so afraid that other people aren’t going to have the capacity to help them. And they don’t want someone to say yes to them when they want to say no. Because they’re so used to saying yes to people when they want to say no. So, they project that onto other people as well.

They don’t trust other people to make decisions that are right for them. They think that they’re going to lie and do it, but grudgingly, against their better judgment just to appease them. So, they won’t ask for help, because they feel guilty on the front end, thinking that they’re making an imposition. That people aren’t going to want to help them, and that they’re going to do it anyways. All of that feels really terrible.

If this is you, try on thinking about how you feel when you help someone. One of the ways I’ve heard this explain before, and I think this is kind of a nuanced way to describe it. But remember, you are likely not the most generous person on the face of the planet. I’m not saying you’re not generous, but other people are as generous as you. Other people are as helpful as you. Other people are as thoughtful as you.

So, you’re able to be thoughtful, and you enjoy being thoughtful and helpful and lending a hand, other people will too. You’re not the only one who likes to do those things. You’re not a unicorn here, okay? And that’s amazing news.

If we step into being a little bit more trusting, just for a moment, that other people will be honest with us, will communicate their capacity. If they don’t have the ability to lend a hand, they’ll tell us that they don’t. If we trust that people will be honest with us, and that people may actually want to help us, we can create more safety for ourselves in asking for the help that we would like to receive.

You also might be refusing to ask for help because you’re afraid of people judging you for seeking extra assistance. You may think that they’ll believe that you can’t hack it. That you’re not qualified or cut out for the position that you’re holding. They’ll make some negative assumptions or judgments about you, and you’re trying to prevent being judged and having them hold those negative opinions. So, you don’t ask for the help that would really be helpful to you.

One of the specific ways that people don’t ask for help is that they don’t delegate. So, if this is you check in with yourself here. Why are you not delegating? Is it because you’re telling yourself that you don’t have the time? Or you’re telling yourself that other people aren’t going to do it the right way? Or that you don’t have enough people or the right people to help you? Or you mistakenly believe that you should be able to do everything yourself?

Whatever the reason is that you’re not delegating, that’s one of the ways that you could be asking for help. Looking to the people around you, both in your professional life and in your personal life. What could you delegate? Can you pay people to do certain things? Are there favors you can ask?

Whatever the case may be, you can delegate. Identify in your life where those opportunities for delegation are, okay? That’s going to be one of the things that you can do, in order to remedy making your life harder than it needs to be.

As for asking for help and trying to do it all on your own, stop trying to do it all on your own. That’s the recommendation there. Notice that you’re wearing your overworking and your martyrdom as a badge of honor. You’re taking pride in it. You’re making it mean something very significant about you; that you’re valuable, that you’re worthy, that you’re good enough. And all of that’s optional.

You don’t have to think about your value being so tied to your productivity and what you accomplish, and all the things that you do. And you especially don’t have to make your hyper independence part of your value, as well. It is okay to be both resourceful and to ask for help when it makes sense for you to ask for help. Both things can coexist together.

As for refusing to ask for help, the solution there is to ask for it. And in order to do that, you’ve got to do two things. You’ve got to change the way that you’re thinking about asking for help. And then, you’ve got to gag-and-go through any of the remaining, lingering negative emotions that you still experience when you think about asking for help.

Because some of those thoughts are going to be pretty deeply rooted. And that means that some of the negative emotion that you experience because of those thoughts, is also going to be deeply rooted. So, those negative feelings are probably going to be sticky. They’re still going to be there, at least a little bit, even when you change the majority of your thoughts.

So, with that in mind, just identify them very specifically. Name them, list them out, and be clear on what negative emotions are you going to have to be willing to experience, in order to ask for the help that would really make a difference in your life.

Okay, another way that people make their lives harder than they need to be, is trying to be everything to everyone. Which, this one’s really a doozy. Because everyone you know is going to want something different from you. Which means, all those different desires are going to be in conflict with one another.

So, when you’re attempting to appease each and every one of these people, which is just an inherently impossible task, you end up turning yourself into Stretch Armstrong. You end up pulling yourself in a million different pieces, and really burning yourself out in the process. So, check in with yourself here.

Are you trying to please too many people all at the same time? And trying to be different things to each of the people in your lives? Do some people expect you to be one way? And do some other people want you to be a different way? Do you want to be a different way than the other ways that people want you to be?

Do you see where this conflict makes your life more challenging? It’s because you’re constantly bouncing between different ways to operate. You never know exactly how you should show up for a situation, whose priorities are coming first, who are you in that moment. You’re trying to wear multiple hats all at the same time. And if you’ve ever tried that, it’s not very effective, unless they stack right on top of each other.

But that wouldn’t work here, because all of the hats that people want you to wear are different. So, they wouldn’t stack. Silly analogy, but bear with me here, okay? If you are trying to be everything to everyone, it’s not going to work. So, you’ve got to stop doing that and figure out who do you want to be for yourself.

The next one goes hand in hand with this. It’s are you putting other people’s needs ahead of your own? If you’re putting other people’s needs ahead of your own, then no one’s tending to your needs, because it’s your job to attend to your needs and no one else’s.

You’ve essentially fallen asleep at the switch, and we need to put you back behind the driver’s seat, behind the switch, to man and operate your own life and to tend to your needs and desires. Okay? If you’re ignoring them, if you’re neglecting them, your life is going to feel harder because none of your own needs or desires are ever going to be addressed and satisfied. Which makes life uncomfortable.

Another way people make their lives harder than they need to be is that they make extremely unrealistic plans that they’re unable to execute successfully. And what they do is they set themself up to fail. Each and every day people do this.

So, you start your day with this plan that’s completely impossible to complete. This is one of the ways perfectionism pops up in people’s lives. And then, at the end of the day, when you didn’t complete the plan, because you’re never going to be able to complete the plan, because it was unrealistic.

You tell yourself that you didn’t get through enough of your work. You didn’t accomplish enough. You didn’t get enough done and that you’re behind. Your life is going to feel so overwhelming and so full of pressure, and you’re going to feel so discouraged day in and day out.

Furthermore, your daily plans set the pace for your days. So, if you’re planning more than what you can actually accomplish in your day, your day is going to feel really frenzied, rushed, chaotic, and stressful. Which, all of those emotions end up boiling down to just hard, right? Your day is going to feel hard. And you pile on a lot of unnecessary pressure.

So, the best thing that you can do to avoid making your life harder in this way, is to plan your schedule accurately. And I’ve recorded a whole episode on that in the ‘time management series’, back in, like the late 20s, I think, the episode numbers. So, you can go check that out. I’ll link that in the show notes so you can go listen to that if you haven’t already.

Sort of akin to planning unrealistically, people also over commit themselves by saying yes to too many different things. So, you want to be the person who does everything. Maybe it’s driven by FOMO, or maybe you have a strong desire to be helpful and you’re interested in doing a lot of different things. You are telling yourself that they’re good opportunities for you. That you technically can help, so you should help.

So, you say yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and you never leave yourself enough time to do the things that are most meaningful in your life, that really move the ball and get you the results that you want. You’re spending your time in a less than intentional way. Your days are just jam packed. You don’t have enough time to breathe and prioritize what really matters most to you. So, your life’s going to feel harder than needs to if you’re doing that.

The solution here is to practice constraint, and only commit to the things that really move the dial and are meaningful, and get you where you want to go. Now, you may have to gag-and-go through a lot of discomfort. You might have to feel guilty or worried about passing on an opportunity, or fear that someone’s going to judge you for your refusal to agree to do something.

All of that might come up, as you decide and follow through on your decision to not over commit. But you can survive those emotions, and you’re going to be so much happier on the other side of making that decision to practice constraint, okay? Your life is going to be a lot simpler, easier, and more sustainable, Which also means it’s going to be more enjoyable.

Okay, last but not least. Actually, I think this might be one of the more important items on the list. But you aren’t providing yourself with the resources that you need to thrive personally and professionally. Okay? What I see in so many of my clients is they actually have a knowledge gap. There are some essential life skills that life happened to not teach them.

Our parents don’t teach us certain skills, mostly because they don’t know them themselves. They didn’t learn this information that would really move the dial in our lives, and make our lives easier. So, they’re doing life hard as well. School also doesn’t teach us these essential skills. And our working environments don’t teach them to us either.

So, we end up lacking certain knowledge that would really help us create easier, more enjoyable, lives. It’s this knowledge gap that we’re left with, from not receiving this education previously, that makes our life hard, harder than they have to be.

Let me give you a couple of examples of this lack of knowledge that I’m talking about, the things that you haven’t learned, the skills that you weren’t taught to develop. So, you might not have learned how to manage your time, how to plan realistically, like I talked about a moment ago. You might not have learned how to understand what your capacity is for work or for other commitments outside of work.

You might not be very clear on what your limits are energetically, emotionally, any of that stuff; your limits on time, or any other resources that you expend. You might not know how to set boundaries. You might have never learned that skill of setting and honoring them. Or how to say no and not people please. How to honor what you want, rather than prioritizing what someone else wants, to your own detriment.

You may have never learned how to actually put yourself first and do that prioritizing of yourself. You might not know what that looks like. You might have only learned how to martyr yourself, and how to put yourself on the back burner. You might not have learned how to ask for help in a really authentic, candid, genuine way. You might not have learned how to delegate. There’s a proper way to do it, and you might not have ever learned what that proper way is.

You might not have learned how to stop caring about what other people think. You might not have learned how to cultivate confidence in your life, in your abilities, and the job that you do. You might not have learned how to cultivate belief in your own worth, in the value that you bring to the table, and what you have to offer the world. And you might not have ever learned how to trust your own judgment and make empowered decisions. Okay?

Another big one here is you probably haven’t learned the art of following through. So, everything that I talked about today, in order to remedy the ways that you’re making your life hard, you’ve got to make decisions, and then you’ve got to implement those decisions. You’ve got to stick to them. You’ve got to commit to your commitments.

And if you didn’t learn the art of following through, you’re going to have a really hard time doing that. And then again, your life is going to be harder than it needs to be, because you’re going to be inconsistent and you’re not going to follow through on doing the things that would actually make your life easier.

So, these are the skills that I’m talking about. Check in with yourself. Have you learned these? It is okay if the answer is no. The answer is no, for practically everyone that I work with. Life, like I said, doesn’t teach us this skill set. But you have two options here, with that in mind.

Now, the one that I really don’t recommend… Actually, there’s three options. The one that I don’t recommend is continuing to argue with reality and thinking that you should have learned them already. That’s just going to cause you a lot of frustration and strife, okay? It’s going to be very energetically and emotionally draining. And it’s not going to change your current situation any.

Now, your other two options are to throw up your hands in exasperation. And basically, just throw in the towel. To say, “I haven’t learned them yet. There’s no point in learning them now.” And you’re going to keep choosing hard if you do that. If you don’t bridge this knowledge gap and invest in an education where you actually learn how to develop these skills.

All right, the other option that you can choose from, instead of throwing up your hands and just thrown in the towel and saying, “That’s it. I quit. I give up. I don’t know this stuff so that means I’m never going to learn it.” You can decide to learn this now, to bridge this knowledge gap yourself.

Now, you can attempt to bridge this knowledge gap on your own. But I want you to think about that meaningfully for a second, okay? It’s like trying to teach yourself algebra, without ever having learned algebra. I really don’t recommend it. You’re going to spend so much time being inefficient, as you go about learning these skills if you try and do it on your own.

You’re not going to see your blind spots. You’re going to waste a ton of time making mistakes. Really failing your way forward when there’s a different route that’s available to you. You can just invest in this education by investing in coaching. And if you do that, you’re going to get so much further faster. Because the trial-and-error part is taken out of the equation for you.

You’re only going to learn what actually works, and you’re going to be able to dive right in to implementing it and practicing in your own life. So, it really shortens your learning curve. And expedites the time between you going from where you are now to going to that easier life that you’d really like to have for yourself.

So, if you’re interested in investing in this education, this is the exact education that you’ll receive inside The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind, which is my signature group coaching program. It’s a six-month group coaching program that has two different parts to it. There’s an in-person immersive retreat; it’s 3 ½ days long. It takes place this year in Big Sky Montana, August 23 – 26.

And that’s where we go through and spend three full days together workshopping. I’ll teach you all of the fundamental tools that you’ll need, in order to create an easier life for yourself, in order to stop choosing hard. Okay?

You’re going to learn the foundation for building and developing the skills that I just mentioned; managing your time, planning realistically, knowing your limits, setting boundaries, saying no, not people pleasing, prioritizing yourself, delegating, managing others, asking for help, caring less about what other people think, feeling more confident in yourself, trusting your own judgment making those empowered decisions, and following through.

You’re going to learn how to do all of that inside the mastermind. So, we start with those 3 ½ days in person. The half day is our welcome reception, which happens the night before our first day of the workshop. And then, we spend three full days together coaching, masterminding, workshopping, learning. I’m going to teach you for 18 hours. It’s really incredible what we do in these jam packed three days.

But we’re going to spend 18 hours together, six hours each day, just packed with this learning, in order to give you the tools that you’ve never received before, to make these changes in your life, to create an easier experience day to day for yourself. And then from there, we close it off with an amazing farewell dinner.

And then, we go back into our lives, and we spend the next six months meeting each week, practicing what you learned in person, and putting it in to action. And as we encounter hiccups or obstacles in the road, as you start to go through the learning, and you see what’s working and what’s not working, we’re going to work through it, and overcome the obstacles so you don’t get stuck, so you don’t hold yourself back, so you don’t get slowed down.

This is how you’re going to make really fast progress learning these skills, implementing these tools, and changing your life. Okay? So, like I said, you can choose to argue with reality; highly don’t recommend. You can choose to just give up and continue operating with the current set of skills and tools that you have; that’s making your life, like I said, harder than it has to be.

Or you can choose to close this knowledge gap. Either by yourself, again, not the best option here, just because it’s going to take so long, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually be able to do it. Because go back to the algebra or calculus example, it’s really hard to teach yourself what you don’t know.

And there are people out there, like me, coaches, experts in this stuff, that know exactly what you need to learn in order to master this in your own life. So, that’s the last option, you can choose to invest in a program like The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind, that will expedite this learning process and make it as fast as possible for you to get yourself to easy, okay?

So, choose to invest in yourself. Choose to invest in this education, choose to invest in an easier life. That easier life it’s waiting for you. I promise you. I know it, because I’ve done this work myself and I am living such an easier life because I stopped glamourizing hard. And I stopped believing that life had to be hard, that work had to be hard. And I made a decision to learn a different way to do life.

You get to make that same decision now. Do you want to do life differently? If you do, join me inside the mastermind. Enrollment is open until May 26. Go to TheLessStressedLawyer.com/mastermind to apply now. Okay?

That’s what I’ve got for you this week. I hope you all have a beautiful week. I hope you stop choosing to do life harder than it has to be. And I will talk to you in the next episode. Have a beautiful week, my friends.

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 59: Broken Record Conversations

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Broken Record Conversations

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Broken Record Conversations

Have you ever had the same conversation over and over again? Maybe you’re talking about something you don’t like out in the world, but after the conversation, you do nothing to actually change the situation. Then, before you know it, you’re talking about the same problem again without having made any progress. This is a broken record conversation.

Broken record conversations are incredibly indulgent. They don’t serve you or add any value, they’re just something that that feels good for a moment. So whatever you’re dealing with, if you’re ready to stop having broken record conversations and actually do something about your predicament, this episode is for you.

Tune in this week to identify where you’re stuck in broken record conversations. I share some of my own personal development that is the inspiration for this episode, and show you how to be on the lookout for this behavior in your own life so you can ultimately avoid it for yourself.

Early Enrollment for the next round of The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind opens May 12th, 2023, with the next live event running from August 23rd through 26th 2023. Spots are limited, so if you don’t want to miss out, I highly recommend you sign up for the waitlist here!

I have a bunch of events coming up. The next one is all about How to Thrive as a Lawyer on May 12th, 2023. I also have an open coaching call On May 19th, 2023. And on May 26th, 2023, I’m doing a meet and Greet Info Session. To register for any of my upcoming events, click here!

 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • 3 categories of broken record conversations.
  • Why broken record conversations are indulgent and offer zero value.
  • What broken record conversations look like and how to identify them.
  • Why you get stuck in a loop of broken record conversations without ever changing anything.
  • The lies we tell ourselves when we aren’t making progress.
  • How to stop taking part in stagnant broken record conversations.

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Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 59. Today, we’re talking all about broken record 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.

Hello, my friends. How are you? I hope your week is off to a splendid start. Mine is really good. I just got back from Boston. I went to Boston, actually I went to Maine via Boston, for a friend’s father’s funeral. To go and support a good friend of mine with another good friend of mine.

So, my girlfriend, Halston, and I departed for Boston on Friday, and I got back last evening. It was a really beautiful trip. Despite the unfortunate circumstances that we were making the trip, we had a really wonderful time, and it was great to see a friend of ours.

I also got to scope out another amazing hotel for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. I don’t know that I will do an event in Boston; I’m a Yankees fan, even though I live in Detroit. But the hotel I stayed at was marvelous enough that I might be persuaded. So, if you have strong opinions and would love to see a future mastermind event in Boston, reach out to me on social media and let me know.

Speaking of the mastermind, early enrollment opens this Friday. Okay? Early enrollment goes from May 12 through May 14, at 11:59pm. And then, the doors open for general enrollment. So, you need to be on the waitlist, which you can sign up for at Mastermind.thelessstressedlawyer.com. You can sign up for the waitlist there. You can also go to my website, TheLessStressedLawyer.com/Mastermind and sign up for the wait-list.

You have to be on the waitlist in order to apply, to join, the mastermind during early enrollment. Spots in the mastermind are limited, so you want to make sure you apply during that early enrollment period before enrollment opens to the general public on May 15. All right, spots get filled on a first-come-first-served basis, so you want to make sure that you apply as early as you can.

Also, fun little bonus here, if you apply on May 12, the first day of early enrollment, you will get a one-hour one-on-one coaching session with me included with your mastermind enrollment, that you can use any time throughout the six months of the mastermind.

Now remember, what’s included in the mastermind: First things first, an incredible live event. The live event is going to be in Big Sky, Montana, from August 23 through the 26. Included in that live event we have an incredible Welcome Reception. You get to come meet all of your peers in the mastermind. It’s going to be a beautiful event, amazing food, tons of great networking, so much fun getting to know everyone.

And then, we’re going to spend the next three days together in an immersive learning environment where we workshop and coach in person: morning, noon, and night essentially. We do six-hour days each day. So, there’s breakfast, and then after breakfast we kick off with three-hour sessions in the morning. Then you get to break for lunch, spend some time with your fellow masterminders.

Then we kick things off again in the afternoon; go from three to six. And then you have your evenings to yourself. Except for the last evening. So, the last day of the mastermind, we conclude with an absolutely mind-blowing farewell dinner. Okay?

It’s extremely decadent. What better way to celebrate three days of breakthrough transformation, growth, bonding, all of the amazing things that we do in person? We want to celebrate all of that achievement, all of that accomplishment, all of our hard work that we’ve done together.

And it’s just really amazing to have a sendoff to commemorate the experience, go out on a high note, and really lock in and solidify the amazing friendships that you’re going to be building over the course of our three and a half days together.

We do that, and then when we get home, we kick off six months of weekly group coaching calls. All right, so we’re going to take what we learned in person and build upon it. You’re going to have all of the support and accountability that you need to achieve the results that you want, the goals that you’re going to set in person with me, in Big Sky, Montana.

We’re going to spend the next six months achieving them. Overcoming obstacles that come up along the way. Working through them, to the point where we’re going to make achieving those results inevitable. And we’re also going to work through the little everyday annoyances and stumbling blocks that come up for you day in and day out. And any unforeseen problems that occur, we work through those too.

So, just dealing with all of life’s challenges; everything personal, everything professional. The mastermind is really a place where we cover everything. It’s a comprehensive coaching program that addresses each and every part of your life, so you can really thrive in every part of your life.

Additionally, you get access to The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind Facebook group, where you can go, in between our weekly sessions, and get coaching, celebrate something, ask your peers a question. It’s all of the support that you could possibly imagine.

And you get access to the Member Portal. The Member Portal is an online portal that you get to log into and in it, it has all of our call recordings, in case you miss one and you want to go back and watch the replay. It also has a vault of every webinar I’ve ever done.

There’s over 30 hours of trainings that I’ve done on basically every subject that you could possibly imagine; time management, how to set boundaries, how to make decisions, how to simplify your life, how to get organized, how to improve your relationships, how to become more emotionally intelligent, how to set and achieve goals, how to relax, how to focus, how to have fun, how to make more money, how to develop a book of business. Everything that you could possibly want to work on is available for you to watch and learn on demand, inside the Member Portal.

I’ve seriously given you absolutely everything you need to be successful. Now, the logistics: First things first, the cost of the mastermind is $5,000. That includes attendance to the live event; the 3 ½ day in person event in Big Sky, Montana. And then, the six months of weekly group coaching.

You are responsible for your transportation to Big Sky, Montana. And for your hotel accommodations while you’re in Big Sky. We have an incredible group discount for the hotel that we’ll be staying at for the Mastermind live event. It’s Montage Big Sky. It’s five stars, it’s absolutely exquisite. If you are ready to learn in luxury, you want to make sure that you don’t skip this round of the Mastermind because it is truly next level.

The rooms were originally $1,200 a night, and for our group, they are only $599 a night. Truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience five-star luxury at this price, and to come and transform your life in the process. It’s like two birds, one stone. Luxury vacation and life-changing transformational event all in one.

Last but not least, you need to know when you need to make a decision by, okay? So, if you’re going to apply during early enrollment, if you want that one-on-one session with me, you want to make sure you apply on May 12. Early enrollment lasts from May 12 through May 14. And like I said, you have to be on the waitlist to get invited to apply during early enrollment.

General enrollment opens up on May 15. And enrollment closes on May 26, at 11:59pm. If you have questions about the Mastermind that I haven’t answered: You want to know if you’re a good fit? You want to know will it work for you? You want to know is it the right program for you? You want to know, truly, anything that I haven’t yet discussed.

Reach out to me, don’t stay confused. Reach out to me on social media. You can DM me on LinkedIn or on Instagram. Or you can email me at Olivia@thelessstressedlawyer.com. I will answer any questions that you have so you can make sure that you’re making the decision that’s right for you.

Okay, enough about the Mastermind. Let’s dive in to today’s topic. I actually think these two things go pretty handsomely together. Today, we’re talking about broken record conversations. I wanted to share some of my own personal development, that I’ve worked on and worked through, that is actually inspiration for this episode. And teach you how to be on the lookout for this behavior in your own life.

It’s very easy to indulge in the behavior that I’m going to be talking about in this episode. So, today’s topic is broken record conversations. What are broken record conversations? They’re conversations that you keep having over and over and over again. Just like listening to a broken record, it just keeps repeating, okay?

And when you’re having a broken record conversation over and over and over again, there’s no change to the situation in between the times that you’re having the conversation, that you’re discussing whatever the topic at hand is.

I just want to turn you on to the fact, if you don’t already know this, broken record conversations are incredibly indulgent. They don’t serve you. They don’t add value. They’re not beneficial. It’s just something that we do in an indulgent manner, that feels good for a host of different reasons, which I will explain in a second. But I want you to be onto yourself. They’re an indulgence, for sure. They don’t benefit you.

So, you talk about a topic, you talk about something, and then you do nothing to change the situation. But then you revisit the topic again, having done nothing to change the situation, and then you talk about it some more. That’s a broken record conversation.

Broken record conversations typically fall into one of three categories: Broken record planning conversations, broken record confused conversations, and broken record complaining conversations. Now, you can definitely have a broken record conversation that checks more than just one of those boxes. There’s definitely some overlap here, but they don’t always overlap. So, I did want to give you that framework.

There are these three different categories I’ve identified with my clients, and I want you to be aware of them, so you have a good framework to help you identify when you’re indulging in broken record conversations yourself, okay? I want you to be able to identify, is this a broken record planning conversation, a confused conversation, or a complaining conversation? You want to be able to spot it.

Now, we’ll look at each of these in turn, starting with broken record planning conversations. You say you’re going to do something, let’s say you say you’re going to start your own business. Or you’re going to switch jobs, or you’re going to lose weight, or you’re going to get in shape, or you’re going to move, or you’re going to start a renovation project at your house, or you’re going to write a book, or you’re going to take a trip and go see the world, travel somewhere. Those are examples.

You keep talking about this, you say you’re going to do it, but then you never actually do it. You never get to the doing part. You never take action; you just talk about doing it, but you don’t actually do anything in furtherance of that end goal. You don’t actually change a thing. So, every time you have the conversation over again, you’re in exactly the same spot you were in before. Nothing’s changed.

You’ve talked about it, you’ve made plans to do it, but you never actually get around to doing it. This is a broken record planning conversation. Check in with yourself for a second. Are you guilty of this? It’s really easy to plan to do things and then not actually engage in the doing part, because it’s more comfortable.

So, check in with yourself. Is this coming up anywhere in your life right now? Are there any broken record planning conversations that you’re having? You want to start to spot them, you want to be on to yourself.

Now, for broken record confused conversations, this is when you’re thinking about making a decision or doing something, but you’re confused either about which option to choose or what your options even are, or how to proceed. Okay? So, there’s going to be a lot of hemming and hawing, a lot of spinning in indecision, a lot of indulging in ‘I don’t know.’ And you just stay there, stuck. You don’t figure anything out.

So, when you revisit the conversation again, at a later point in time, you have the exact, identical conversation that you had the first time. You’re asking yourself: What should I do? What choice should I choose? What action should I take? How should I proceed? And you still don’t know because you never made a decision in the first place. You examined the situation, but then you abandoned the situation, you abandoned the conversation.

This will look like you spending time thinking about something, weighing your options, trying to identify your options, trying to figure out what should you do next. And then, you just get overwhelmed and confused and you throw your hands up in the air, and you direct your attention to something else as a distraction. And eventually you end up circling back to the topic that you left undecided, that you were originally confused about.

And you rehash this whole thing all over again; the same decision, weighing the same options, spinning in the confusion about what your options even are. And then, you get overwhelmed and a little exasperated again. And again, you shift your attention to something else, until you eventually cycle back to having this exact same conversation.

So, you never make a decision, you never move forward, you never decide, you don’t choose, you just continue to stay confused. And then, you keep talking about it over and over and over again. Okay?

Now, broken record complaining conversations look like constantly complaining about the same things, but not doing anything to change the situation. Remember, we cannot control other people; what they think, what they say, what they do, how they feel. We can’t control other people. We can only control ourselves. So, when I’m talking here about making a change, I’m talking about controlling yourself, not another person.

There are multiple ways to change the situation. You can change your thinking, your mindset, as it relates to the situation. You can change how you’re thinking about it. And that’s going to require work.

Or you can change the situation by doing something different. Like removing yourself from the situation or setting a boundary. But you’re actually taking a different action, not just changing your thinking about it. Your behavior will be altered. You’ll be doing something different than what you’ve done previously. And that requires work too, right?

All of this requires work. And it ends up being easier to just complain and keep complaining and change nothing. Not change your mindset, not change your behavior, to just keep re-having the same conversation over and over and over again. I don’t know if re-having is a term, but let’s go with it.

Okay, so those are the three types of broken record conversations. Like I said earlier, you want to start to take inventory and be onto yourself. Are you engaging in broken record planning conversations? Are you engaging in broken record confusion conversations? Are you engaging in broken record complaining conversations? You want to identify these in your own life because we want to break this pattern.

Having broken record conversations, indulging in them, does not serve you. So, we want to be able to spot them so we can interrupt this habit, and actually get to work on taking action and changing our lives.

Now, I want to tell you the inspiration behind this episode. Some of the most impactful coaching I’ve ever received was in a peer coaching session with a friend of mine. She’s an incredible coach, her name is Kelly Campana. She was coaching me on a situation with a romantic relationship I was involved in at the time.

I was talking about it and talking about it and talking about it in the coaching session, and finally, she just took a deep breath. She was very calm; it wasn’t judgmental at all. It was totally from a clean, grounded, neutral place. She simply said to me, “You know, we’ve been here before.” And it hit me like a ton of bricks.

It really felt like a gut punch, and not in an offensive way but in a really honest way when you know when the truth has hit you. I always think we know when those moments occur. When we touch the truth and we’re like, “Eww, this is so spot on. She’s right.”

When she said this to me, I knew that she was right. We had been there before. I realized I was indulging in rehashing something I’d already addressed in coaching. I just wasn’t applying the previous coaching because it was easier to indulge in talking about the same exact issue, than it was to apply the coaching and do the hard work of implementing it in my life.

Implementing it required me to be uncomfortable. And I was avoiding that discomfort by continuing to have the same conversation over and over and over again. I had been there before. We had been there before. I had brought this up. I had been coached on it. I had received coaching that was really relevant and on point. And I knew the direction that I needed to move in.

Yet, I wasn’t moving in that direction. I was staying stagnant where I had been before. And I really can’t even articulate why this coaching was so impactful. But I really made the decision in that moment, to be the kind of person that gets coached on something once and then applies the coaching. That I only come back for more coaching on that topic when I’ve made it to a different place. After I’ve implemented the coaching that I’ve already received.

I don’t want to be, what one of my coaches calls an “ask-hole”. Where you ask a question, and you get coaching on it. You get guidance on it, you gain clarity and insight about how to proceed, and then you don’t apply or implement any of it, and you come back, and you ask the same question over again.

I do think it is helpful to get coached on issues more than once. But you want to have applied the previous coaching, rather than getting coached on something, not applying it, and coming back to get coached on the same exact thing. It’s really indulgent, it’s really entitled, and you’re really wasting your own time and slowing down your progress.

You want to implement the coaching and then come back for more, if you’re stuck, if it didn’t go the way you expected, if you need to evaluate and figure out what worked, what didn’t work, what you need to do differently. That’s all part of growth, right? We want to take action, audit, and adapt.

But what we don’t want to do is get coached, and then not do anything that we decided to do, and then come back and rehash the whole thing all over again. Reexamine it from exactly the same vantage point that we did originally. Okay?

So, I made this decision to become someone who is very coachable, and who implements instead of indulges. I want to be someone who is implementing, not indulging; that’s my goal. And I invite you to set the same goal. Be someone who implements instead of indulges. Someone who comes, gets the help and support that they need to move them along, and then move yourself along. That’s your part of the equation. That’s your piece of the puzzle.

That’s your obligation to yourself; be the person who works through something, takes action, and then keeps making progress. Don’t be someone who stalls, who gets stuck, who indulges in staying in that stagnant place.

Now, there are a lot of reasons that people indulge in engaging and having broken record conversations. When it comes to broken record planning, typically people stay there out of fear; the fear of moving forward, fear of getting it wrong, the fear of doing it wrong. Fear of whatever you’re working on, whatever you planned to do, not working out. Just fear of making a change, fear of disrupting the status quo, fear of the unknown.

And so long as we’re in the planning phase, we don’t have to put ourselves at risk. At risk of failing, of being exposed, of being judged, or being embarrassed, of being disappointed. We don’t have to feel the discomfort of different. Maintaining the status quo is really a safe place to reside, except for the part where you never actually accomplish anything, right? I mean, that’s the part of this that is really disruptive and destructive, is that you actually never get where you want to go.

We also stay in the planning phase because our brain can’t tell the difference between planning to do something and actually doing it. So, we actually get a reward, we get a dopamine hit, when we engage in the planning phase. And it normally satisfies us enough so that we move on to something else feeling pretty good about ourselves, without ever having actually taken action on the plan that we created. Okay?

So, you get the benefit, you get the dopamine hit, you get the reward, and you get to avoid the discomfort part of the equation. It’s like the best of both worlds, except for the part that you don’t get the life you want. You don’t do the things that you planned to do.

And you’re probably making the plan because it’s something you’d actually like to have in your life. It’s something you’d like to do. It’s something you’d like to accomplish. What we don’t want to do is just indulge in planning without taking any action in furtherance of that plan. We want to bring those plans to fruition.

Now, as for confused conversations, we stay confused for many of the same reasons; fear of making the wrong decision, fear of missing out on the thing that we don’t choose, that FOMO coming up, fear of feeling regretful if you make a “wrong” choice. And I’m using air quotes here, because wrong choice is always your opinion; it’s going to be subjective. There’s no factual thing as a wrong choice.

But you might fear that you’re going to experience regret from making one choice, and then later wishing you had made a different one. You might fear proceeding despite feeling uncertain. Or worried that it won’t work out the way that you want it to. So much fear there.

You just stay undecided, so you don’t have to experience that fear. You don’t have to experience that uncertainty. You don’t have to experience that FOMO or that regret. Or feeling disappointed in yourself or feeling stupid or foolish for whatever it is that you chose.

One of my friends, Melissa Parsons, she’s a brilliant coach. She likes to say that the worst thing that could ever happen when you set a goal or when you make a decision, is how you treat yourself afterwards. And I think that’s so beautiful. It’s so true here.

So, if you’re someone who really indulges in broken record confused conversations, and you like to stay confused, so you don’t have to make a decision, it’s probably because of how you’re used to treating yourself after you’ve made the decision. Especially if it didn’t work out the way that you wanted it to.

And you can just decide on the front end, to have your own back and to not beat yourself up and to not be mean to yourself and to not bully yourself, for making whichever decision you made. You can just honor yourself and to move forward and leverage that learning, that comes from making a decision that maybe turns out in a less than ideal way. Instead of indulging in these broken record confused conversations and staying undecided. Right?

When you’re doing that, you’re not working through the confusion. You’re not taking a guess in spite of the discomfort. You’re not making a decision and then moving forward and implementing it. You’re just staying stuck. So, we don’t want to do that. We want to embrace the discomfort and move forward and decide. Make that choice. Learn from it. Figure out what happens next. Gain that data that comes from making a decision, implementing it, and seeing what happens.

And then, you get to re-decide, did that work? Did it not? Do we want to make a change? Do we want to do something differently? There’s so much value that comes from moving out and through confusion, making a decision and moving forward.

As for complaining conversations, as I mentioned before, it takes work to make a change. Whether it’s your mindset or your behavior, it takes work. And you’re going to have to feel the discomfort of doing things differently. Whether you have to expend energy, by coaching yourself in order to get to a different thought, to change your mindset, to reframe your thinking, to approach it with a different belief system, with a different slew of thoughts than the ones that you’re currently thinking. That’s going to take work.

Or you’re going to have to feel uncomfortable because you’re doing something differently. Maybe you feel worried or guilty or uncertain when it comes to making a change and showing up differently. Instead, you avoid the discomfort and complain rather than making the change, moving forward, in spite of and despite the discomfort.

And we tend to also complain and indulge in these broken record complaining conversations, not only because it feels safe, it maintains that status quo, and it helps us avoid the discomfort of making a change and doing that work. But it also gives us some satisfaction. If you’ve listened to the podcast for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about how people love to indulge in feeling righteous.

It’s like dark chocolate covered caramel; that’s how I describe it to people. It’s just really, really delicious. It makes us feel so important. And especially when you’re complaining. Complaining comes off and appears to be very cathartic.

So, check in with yourself. Are you a chronic complainer? Do you complain about the same things over and over again? Are you indulging in broken record complaining conversations? If you are, examine why. Do you believe it’s cathartic?

I actually changed my thinking about this. I used to be a chronic complainer, especially about work and the people that I worked for. And what I realized, is that it’s just a big time waster, and it makes me more negative, really all throughout my life. I don’t like to spend my time doing that anymore.

I also recognize that although it pretends to be cathartic, it really just keeps you stagnant. It feels safer, at least in the short term. So, you complain instead of making the change. But I really want you to reframe this. Deep down, this is just a cop out. Okay?

So, if you do this, I want you to be onto yourself. One of the things that I teach my clients how to do is to create lives they’re obsessed with. Not just that they like a little bit, but lives that they are obsessed with. And I promise you, you will never create a life that you’re obsessed with if you spend your time indulging in having broken record conversations. That is a guarantee.

Here are a couple of examples of broken record conversations that you might be having. Maybe you’re complaining about your boss or your salary, and you just complain about it over and over and over and over again. Instead of changing your thoughts about it, or leaving and getting a new job. It’s so much easier just to complain day in and day out.

Easier in the short term, that’s what I want you to remember. It really isn’t easier long term. Living a life you don’t like is never easier. It is easier to build and create a life that you’re obsessed with. That’s what I want for you.

Maybe you’re deciding whether or not to get divorced. Man, do I watch people spend so much of their time deciding whether or not to do this. And they invest years of their lives making this decision, just staying stuck in it. Indulging in that confused conversation, that broken record confused conversation. And you just stay stuck between your choices, and you never end up making one.

I actually did this for a while when it came to moving. I finally caught myself and I recognized what I was doing, and why I was vacillating between whether or not to move and where to move to. I was really spinning instead of moving forward. And it was because I was being driven by confusion, overwhelm, and fear. And when I saw my reasons, I was able to examine them one by one.

I was confused about where to live and how much to spend. I wanted to move into a furnished condo. I wasn’t certain about exactly what I needed in the living space, how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms? What exactly was I looking for? What city did I want to live in? Did I want to stay here? Did I want to move out of state? What was my budget?

I needed to make decisions about all of those issues. When I identified that this was part of what was holding me back, I decided to make those decisions. And it made it so much easier for me to proceed. I made decisions about how many bedrooms I needed, how many bathrooms I needed, about what city I was going to live in, about what my budget was; the maximum amount that I was willing to spend.

And then from there, once I had made those decisions, I was a lot less confused. And I was also less overwhelmed. Because my options had been pretty greatly reduced after making those decisions. I was practicing constraint by deciding those things. So, I had a much smaller universe of options to choose from, which made the decision-making process a lot less overwhelming.

Candidly, I was also a little afraid to increase my overhead expenses. Because the house that I’ve been living in since I was 20, when I bought my house, it was right after the market crashed in ‘09 and my mortgage payment is really, really inexpensive. So, I was a little nervous and apprehensive about increasing my overhead pretty significantly.

In order to work through that I needed to change my mindset and trust myself that I know how to produce money, and that I’d be just fine. Then I had to gag-and-go through the discomfort and move forward. Because there was still going to be some uncertainty that I just didn’t have a way to avoid. When you’re doing something new, there’s typically going to be uncertainty there.

This is how you can see where these two types of conversations overlap. I spent a lot of time talking about moving, which is a broken record planning conversation. And then I spent a lot of time in indecision, having a broken record confused conversation; they went hand in hand.

I also, if I’m being really honest, kept having a broken record complaining conversation, because I kept complaining about how much I didn’t like living in my house anymore. So, the trifecta; this example covers all three.

I want you to identify this in your own life. What goals do you keep planning to achieve, but you don’t actually take any action towards? Is there something in your life that you keep planning to do, but you’re not taking any action? You’re not implementing that plan? Where are you telling yourself that you’re “working on” something, but you really aren’t working on anything? Where are you telling yourself that you’re “trying” to do something, but you really aren’t trying to do it? Because trying really just means not doing.

Be really careful here. Be onto yourself. Do you use those phrases? Do you tell yourself you’re working on it? Do you tell yourself you’re trying? Typically, when I ask my clients who told me they’re working on it or they’re trying, I ask them, “How specifically are you working on it? How are you trying to? Describe it to me,” they come up short. They don’t have a good answer.

Because “working on it” and “trying”, are just really great lies that we love to tell ourselves, that get us believing that we’re making progress or that we’re doing something, even though we really aren’t making progress and we aren’t doing something. So, check in, take inventory. Are you using those phrases?

Is there something in your life that you’re confused about, where you’re staying confused? Are there decisions that you aren’t making? Where in your life are you indulging in ‘I don’t know.’ Take inventory. See what comes up for you. Where are you staying stuck? Not moving forward, not making up your mind, not deciding.

And then, what do you keep complaining about but refuse to do anything about it other than cathartically complain? Again, take inventory. What would you need to do instead? What changes are you not making, whether it’s the mindset changes or the behavior changes? You want to identify these.

What broken record conversations do you keep having, over and over and over and over again? Why are you having them? Ask yourself that. Take some time and really give thought to it. Why are you indulging in these broken record conversations? What are your reasons? Identify those reasons, just like I did with the moving example that I gave you.

And do you like what this indulgent behavior gets you? Remember, what you’re doing is never a problem unless you don’t like the result that it produces. In that case, if you don’t like the result it produces, you need to do something differently. So, we’ve got to stop having broken record conversations if you don’t like the result it gets you. Okay?

Do you want to keep doing this? Do you like what this indulgent behavior gets you? Do you want to keep engaging in it? You get to decide right now, not to stay here. If you’ve been in this place before, make up your mind. You can make up your mind right now. Are you ready to leave it? Are you ready to move forward? Are you ready to do something differently? Are you ready to stop indulging? Are you ready to change your life?

It starts with a decision. The decision to be a doer, not a talker. To be someone who implements, instead of someone who indulges if that’s who you want to be. If you want to be someone, like how I talked about earlier, you want to be someone who isn’t in the same place twice. Who hasn’t been here before when it comes to the conversations that they’ve had, that they’re having. They’re not staying in the same place. If that’s who you want to be.

If you want to be someone who implements instead of indulges, you get to decide that you’re all done with broken record conversations. And you can decide that right now. You can catch yourself when you start to indulge in them, when you start to engage in them, and then you can stop yourself. You can be like, “Nope, we’ve been here before. I remember, this feels familiar. This is well trodden ground. I’ve seen these sites before.”

You can catch yourself and then you can stop. And then you can put your head down and get back to work making actual progress. Instead of pretending to make progress by having the same conversation repeatedly, with nothing to show for it.

If you struggle with getting stuck in broken record conversations, and you want to put a stop to this perpetual cycle, I want to invite you to join the next round of The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind; I cannot recommend this highly enough. If you are someone who struggles with this, joining the Mastermind will completely change your life.

You’re going to become someone who cannot stand having the same conversation more than once, without having made progress in between. You’re going to become someone who will not tolerate being stagnant, staying the same, rehashing the same things over and over and over again, without doing anything differently, without moving forward.

You’re going to become someone who craves progress, who craves growth, who craves transformation. You’re going to become someone who creates all of those things for themself, who pursues it relentlessly. This is how you create that life that you’re obsessed with. Okay?

It will not come, like I said earlier, it will not come from having the same conversation over and over and over again, without making any progress, without taking any action. It comes from having a conversation once, putting your head down, going out and implementing, learning, making progress, moving the dial, getting further than you were before.

And then, coming back and reexamining, moving forward, making decisions, putting a plan into action, doing more stuff. Then coming back again, evaluating, assessing, if you want to become someone who takes action and follows through and doesn’t just talk about taking action. If you want to be a doer, not a talker, you’ve got to get in the Mastermind, okay?

We will address all of the reasons that you hold yourself back. All of the reasons that you stay stuck. All of the reasons that you freeze. And I’m going to give you the skill set. You’re going to learn this deeply. You’re going to master it inside the Mastermind. You’re going to learn how to overcome the discomfort that comes with moving forward.

You’re not going to let it shut you down anymore. You’re not going to let it freeze you, keep you stuck maintaining the status quo that you really don’t love. You’re going to learn how to work through it, overcome it, and take action, in spite of and despite it, in order to get to the results you want, to make the progress you want to make.

And to have the transformation in your life that you’ve really been longing for. You’re going to be a completely different person on the other side of joining. And something people always say to me, they’re like, “I kind of like who I am.” We’re going to keep the good parts, okay? Don’t worry about that. We’re going to keep the good parts.

But we’re going to get rid of the parts that you don’t love. That’s what we’re going to transform. That’s what we’re going to change. We’re going to take a microscope and look at all the habits that you have that don’t serve you. And we’re going to get rid of them. We’re going to break them apart, we’re going to dismantle them, we’re going to extinguish them, so to speak. So, you really are getting out of your own way and making all of the progress that you were meant to make in your life.

It’s completely transformative, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. We have a good time. I hope you will join me in Big Sky. It’s going to be one hell of an experience. I know how to throw an immersive in-person retreat, and then we’re going to spend the following six months really taking everything that you learned to the next level.

Enrollment for the next round of the Mastermind, like I said earlier, opens this Friday, May 12. Early enrollment goes until midnight, May 14. And then, general enrollment opens up on May 15. You have until May 26, when enrollment closes at midnight. Okay?

So, if you want to snag those first spots; spots are limited. If you want to make sure that you’re in the next round, and you’re with me in Big Sky, Montana, in August, apply early. Apply on May 12, that way you take advantage of that one-on-one call that you get with me, along with your enrollment in the Mastermind.

It’s going to change your life. It’s going to be so good.

All right, my friends, I will see you inside the Mastermind, hopefully. I can’t wait to coach you in there. And I also can’t wait to talk to you next week, in the next episode of the podcast. Until then, have a beautiful week 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 58: False Third Options

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | False Third Options

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | False Third Options

Is there a particular situation in your life that’s causing you a lot of emotional turmoil and discomfort? Are you frequently experiencing frustration, resentment, or disappointment? If this sounds familiar, you might be holding out for what I’m calling False Third Options.

This week, I’m introducing you to a framework that was born out of our weekly coaching sessions inside The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind called False Third Options. It’s something that I see causes people so much strife, and the truth is a False Third Option is often a pipe dream that isn’t actually available to you.

Listen in to hear what False Third Options mean and examples that you’ve likely encountered in your life and business. I’m showing you how you’re pining after an option that doesn’t actually exist, and how recognizing your False Third Options will lead to decisions that feel more intentional and far less paralyzing. 

Early Enrollment for the next round of The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind opens May 12th, 2023, with the next live event running from August 23rd through 26th 2023. Spots are limited, so if you don’t want to miss out, I highly recommend you sign up for the waitlist here!

I have a bunch of events coming up. The next one is all about How to Thrive as a Lawyer on May 12th, 2023. I also have an open coaching call On May 19th, 2023. And on May 26th, 2023, I’m doing a meet and Greet Info Session. To register for any of my upcoming events, click here!

 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What the framework of False Third Options looks like.
  • Examples of False Third Options you might have encountered in your life.
  • How holding out for a False Third Option causes you to feel stuck.
  • What happens when you realize a False Third Option doesn’t actually exist.
  • How recognizing your False Third Options helps you make more realistic decisions.

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 58. Today, we’re talking all about false third options. 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? I hope all is well. I am going to do my best to not drive you guys crazy with my voice, but I came down with a case of laryngitis. I am just now getting my voice back. It’s loud enough and audible enough to be able to record a podcast, but I may eventually have to, when this is an archived episode, have to rerecord it just so it sounds a little bit better. But I wanted to make sure I got an episode out to you this week. So, hopefully you will bear with me and deal with the little frog in my throat.

But I’m excited to talk about today’s topic, so let’s dive in. The idea for this episode, which is all about false third options, actually came out of one of our weekly coaching sessions. The group calls that we do inside The Less Stressed Lawyer mastermind. And the context was, that one of the mastermind members was getting coached; she’s in charge of overseeing and implementing a change within her team.

Her team met her with some resistance when she announced the change, they weren’t super receptive to it. She was trying to figure out how to navigate that situation. And someone asked me, in conjunction with the coaching that I gave to this one member of the mastermind, another one of my students asked about whether or not you need your direct reports to approve of the change that you’re implementing?

In order to ensure your success as a leader, as a supervisor. In order to effectively implement the change. And whether or not their lack of support and their displeasure with the change implementation was a problem.

And if you’ve experienced this in your own life, you’re probably familiar with the fact that not everyone loves change, right? A lot of people have negative thoughts about change. I could probably do a whole episode just on that. But not everyone loves change, and that’s just the primitive part of our brain trying to protect us and maintain the status quo.

So, of course, they were not super receptive at first. They went into what I call that knee-jerk ‘no’ reaction, where they were just opposing it because it’s different from what they’re familiar with. It’s to be expected. So, the question is, is it a problem?

What I explained is that in these situations, where you announce a change and you’re met with resistance. You’re met with your team’s displeasure. And their dissatisfaction with the fact that change is coming, and change is about to be implemented, really, you only have two options.

One option is to continue to proceed with the change that you announced. And to just work through and navigate their displeasure, right? They don’t like it, they’re resistant to it. You can’t control how they think, what they feel, and what they do. I mean, you can control what they do to a certain extent. Because if they refuse to follow directions as a direct report, you can give them some type of negative consequence; terminate them, write them up. There are things that are within your power as a supervisor.

But ultimately, it’s just a consequence that you can implement, you actually can’t control their behavior. So, you can’t control what they think, how they feel, what they do. And the only thing you can control is whether or not you proceed. And just let them warm up and come around to the idea after some time has passed. That’s option one.

Option two, is you can appease them and cancel your plans to implement this change. That’s another option that’s available to you, to people please your team members, to give them what they want, and for you to not make the forward moving progress that you would like to make, by implementing the change that you decided upon.

Also, we can explore whether this calls into question your role as a leader. Or going back on what you said you were going to do, and not making the progress that you might have promised higher-ups that you would make in your position. So, there are other negative consequences to that, but those are really the two options.

I explained on our coaching call that the false third option is that you announce the change, and you get to control everyone’s response to the news of the change, make sure that they all are happy about it and like it and are excited to move forward with it, right? That’s typically what we want. And I get it, it is ideal. It sounds super sexy; much unlike my voice today.

But it is understandable why we would desire that outcome. It’s just not actually an option that’s available to you in this moment. Once your team’s already expressed displeasure, you’re only left with the first two options. And I always tell people, they always have a choice, I just can’t guarantee you’re always going to like either of the options that you have, or any of the options that you have. So, this is an example of this.

And where people get themselves in trouble is they’re hoping for and thinking and expecting that they should be living within that false third option, the option that’s not really available to them. So, then it makes picking either of the other two options really unpalatable.

When you recognize that the false third option isn’t available to you, that it’s a pipe dream, and that your only two viable options are either option one or option two, it makes it much more palatable for you to move forward and select one of those two available options, and then proceed accordingly.

So, following this coaching call, one of my other students posted in our Facebook group for the mastermind, and she started a thread; which I thought was so genius; to have other people give examples of false third option situations that they’ve encountered in their own lives. This is something that I talk to my students about all the time, but I hadn’t come up with a name for this framework.

But now that it came up on our coaching call and the group, we’ve kind of coined a term, within the mastermind, that this is called a “false third option”. I wanted to record a podcast episode about it, because it is something that I see causes a ton of people a ton of strife, because they’re pining after the false third option that doesn’t really exist.

So, I wanted to give you some examples of other false third options, situations that maybe you’ve seen in your own life. And hopefully, through giving you examples, you’ll be better equipped to identify when you’re longing for or thinking that you should be able to have that false third option, that’s not really available to you.

That will help you stomach picking either option one or option two. And moving forward, not getting stuck and thinking that it should be different than it is. That it shouldn’t be going the way that it has been going. Any of all that ‘should’ thinking that really doesn’t serve you.

One example would be if you were getting bombarded with work, right? Your supervisors just keep giving you more and more assignments. They keep taking on more and more cases, more and more matters, and they just keep pushing the work off to you. And there really doesn’t seem to be any limit in sight. All right?

So, option number one, when you are faced with that situation, and you’re working way more than you want to be working; you’re working late nights, you’re working weekends, and it feels like you’re just drinking from a firehose. Option number one is to set boundaries, and say ‘no’ to more work. And as you do that, you’re going to expose yourself to your supervisor’s disapproval, and potential consequences from you setting boundaries and saying ‘no’. That’s option number one.

Now, most people hate option number one, because they think that they shouldn’t suffer any negative consequences from setting boundaries and saying no. They also think that their supervisors should be the ones to withhold work, stop the flow of work to them, and take care and manage their boundaries for them so that they don’t even need boundaries in the first place.

Now, I tell my clients this all the time, would that be ideal and amazing if supervisors closely monitored your workload, paid attention to and recognized when you were overworked so that you didn’t have to set boundaries and say, no? Yes, that would be outstanding.

However, it’s just not what happens in practice. Especially under a for-profit, capitalistic model. As far as firms are concerned, they profit from you doing the most amount of work possible, and then paying the fewest number of salaries possible.

Do I think this is short-term thinking on the firm’s part? Yes, absolutely. Because I think it leads to burnout. But that’s neither here nor there. Most law firms that I encounter are focused on the short-term gains and the short-term ROI, rather than the long-term impact of having their attorneys be overworked.

So, option number one is to set boundaries and say no to more work, and to expose yourself to your supervisors disapproval and any potential consequences that result from it.

Option number two, is to people please and to keep taking work to appease your supervisors, and thereby work more than you want to, work more than what’s healthy for you to work, right? To disrupt the work/life balance that you’re striving for. That’s option number two.

The false third option is to set boundaries and say no, and to control your supervisor’s opinion; to ensure that they like it, that they approve of it, that they’re fine with it. That is not something that’s within your control. So, that’s going to be the false third option here.

I also think another false third option is what I talked about a moment ago, of requesting or expecting your supervisors to be the ones who monitor and ensure that you’re not overworked, for you, in your place. That’s also not going to happen, more than likely. So, that’s another false third option.

Now, another example that I have, that I’ve lived in my own life. As my student posted this thread in our Facebook group, I jumped in and I gave a bunch of examples that I could think of, and then a bunch of other people in the mastermind also added their examples.

I did notice a really interesting trend, which I thought was fun; I’m going to talk about that in a second. I’m going to give you two of the examples that I used from my own life, where I was able to recognize the false third option. The first one is in dating. All right, now, as you date, and as I have dated, I have encountered people who have different ideologies, different belief systems than me.

I used to date someone who had different political views than I did. I spent so much time being frustrated about his political leanings, his political opinions, his political beliefs, that I’d get angry about it. We’d argue about it. I’d want him to change his opinions and see things my way. He would also want me to do the same thing, but in his direction.

What I’ve since come to realize is that I can date this person, this particular individual, with his certain political beliefs that I don’t agree with; it’s part of a package deal. I’m not changing him, he’s not going to change his opinions, more than likely. So, I can date him and also date his political beliefs because they come together. Or option number two, is I can date someone other than that person, whose political beliefs I agree with. Someone, where we’re aligned on how we see politics.

And then the false third option, which is the one that when I was experiencing the situation I kept pushing for, because I didn’t have this framework at the time. But the false third option is to date this specific individual, and to get them to change their political beliefs; that’s not going to happen.

When you recognize that the false third option isn’t going to come to fruition, you can turn back and focus your attention on options one and two. Decide between the two of them. Which do you prefer?

I also see people encounter false third options a ton when it comes to delegating. So, option number one when you’re thinking about delegating, would be to delegate with patience and expect it to require trial and error and learning to happen over time, in order for you to arrive at a good endpoint, a result that you’re happy with, right?

It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s not going to be entirely seamless. There’s going to be a learning curve, as you teach someone how you think how you work, what you like, what you don’t like. All of your preferences, as they’re learning a new skill set; all of the above, right?

Option number two, if you don’t like the amount of effort that that takes and you’re of the mindset, “It should be going faster than this. I shouldn’t have to put this much work into it. They should just know what I like. They should know how to do this already.” If you expect that you shouldn’t have to train someone, option number two would be for you to not delegate and for you to always do everything yourself. Right?

Now, the false third option is this false expectation that you delegate and right off the get-go everything goes perfectly from the start. In my experience, and seeing how many people I coach and what their experience is like with delegating, option number three is the false third option, because it just doesn’t happen.

There’s a learning curve when it comes to delegating. And if you want to reap the benefits of delegating, by freeing you up to do more important work, to do work that is more within your zone of genius, is more aligned with your expertise, you’re going to have to train someone else wants to do the other things that you don’t want to do. And they’re probably not going to get it right, at first. So, you get to pick between option one and option two.

All right, now this next example I’ve talked about on the podcast before. But this is definitely another example that’s come up from my life, and it’s around the holidays. My parents are not holiday people. I am a holiday person, I love them. I grew up with big Italian holiday gatherings, and I miss them very much.

We stopped doing them after my paternal grandfather passed away. And I long for them. I love a big, loud family get-together. Now, my parents are not like that. And for years, since my grandfather passed, I was really resentful about how my family celebrates holidays. They’re very small, I really don’t like them.

And I used to really ruin my own holiday by being so frustrated with how we celebrated holidays. I’d constantly want my parents to do it differently than they were doing it. And I’d really take issue with them not listening to me, not prioritizing my needs or my desires, and all that stuff. So, very much in a state of emotional childhood and victimhood, at the time that I was indulging in this behavior and this belief system.

Since then, I’ve realized, here are my two options: Option one is for my parents to host the holidays. And for them to only invite a few people, which is their preference, right? It’s their house, that’s how they want to do it. They get to do it that way.

Option number two is that I can host and invite whoever I want at my own house, and I can do the whole shebang all by myself and take on all that work. Then, I get to decide the guest list and I get to invite ‘the more the merrier’. All right?

Now, the false third option would be getting my parents to host and inviting our whole extended family, all the people that I want to be there. Which is never going to happen because that is not their preference. What I realized is that I’m not willing to host yet for a variety of reasons. I don’t think I have the right space to host. And I am just not ready to step into that role quite yet.

So, what that means is that I need to tolerate and make peace with the fact that my parents are going to do holidays the way that they want to do holidays. I get to choose between option one or option two, instead of longing for that false third option, which is never going to happen, it doesn’t exist.

And here’s what I wanted to say about the trend that I noticed inside The Less Stressed Lawyer mastermind Facebook group. I noticed a big trend with people talking about how their family members expected them to show up, and how they want to show up instead. They’re not being a “want match”; that the two wants on each side of this issue don’t line up.

Okay, so my clients want to act one way and their family members expect them or want them to act another way. And neither party is happy with what the other party expects. The consistency that I saw in this Facebook thread, was that the first option is for you to show up the way you want to show up, in your relationship with your family member or your friend.

And for you to show up that way and have them not like it. Like, they’ve expressed their preferences to you, you’re crystal clear on what they are, and you’re unwilling to do those things. All right? So. they’re not going to like it because you already know what they want you to do, and you’re not doing it.

That’s option number one. You show up the way you want to show up in your relationship with them, whatever that looks like for you, and they don’t like it.

Option number two is for you to appease them and show up the way that they want you to show up and abandon yourself and do it, even though it’s not what you want. To show up this way, even though it’s not aligned with your preference. Okay?

And the false third option, is to show up the way that you want to show up in this relationship and have the person on the receiving end of your behavior like it, right? So, let’s get a specific example here. If your mom wants you to call her every day, and that’s way too much communication for you.

Option number one is for you to call her at the frequency that you’re comfortable calling her, and she cannot like it; she can have negative thoughts and opinions about the frequency with which you call her. Option number two would be for you to call her every single day even though you don’t want to, and to people please her and to put her desires before your own. And the false third option would be for you to call her as much as you actually want to call her, and to make sure she likes it, to make her like it.

Okay, I’m so curious to know if this last example resonates with you? Because so many people in this Facebook group thread had examples of relationships where people want them to show up differently than they want to show up. And they expressed that there’s tension between these two options: option one and option two. And that in the past, they’ve been searching for the false third option or holding out and longing for that false third option.

There’s a lot of freedom that comes to you when you recognize that false third option doesn’t actually exist, and you just get to pick between options one and two. That that’s the only choice that you’re making here. And I want you to just take a second and identify in your life where is there a relationship where you’re showing up in a way where maybe you’re appeasing someone, and you don’t want to be?

And there’s definitely a different way that you’d prefer to show up, but you’re afraid of their opinion about your behavior. You’re afraid for them to judge you. You’re afraid to be subject to their disapproval. I just want you to question if this situation is causing you a lot of strife?

If you’re experiencing a lot of emotional turmoil and discomfort, it’s because you’re likely longing for that false third option. And if you recognize that that door doesn’t exist, you can’t knock on it, you can’t walk through it, you’re just left with picking between doing what’s right for you and having them not like it, or appeasing them and sacrificing what’s right for you, what’s important to you.

Then you get to make a much more realistic decision, and it’s going to move you closer towards a result that feels more intentional. That feels less frustrating. Where you’re going to feel a lot less stuck. Okay?

So, that’s what I have for you this week. I want you to take a look at this in your own life. Where are you experiencing a lot of frustration, a lot of resentment, a lot of disappointment? Let that be a cue for you to identify:

Are you longing for and holding out for a false third option that doesn’t actually exist? And then, do your part to identify the two options that actually do exist. And then, make a decision on which one you prefer. And be sure that you know and like your reasons for choosing whichever option you choose. Okay? That’s the recipe to moving forward.

All right, my friends, I hope you have a beautiful week. Stop choosing those false third options, they don’t exist. 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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