Episode 97: Helping Yourself First

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Committing to the Finish

Something I’ve noticed about humans is that, oftentimes, they aren’t willing to help themselves first. It’s great that we live in a world where you can ask for help when you’re having a problem, but have you ever stopped to consider whether you’re helping yourself first?

Whether you’re in a less-than-ideal financial situation, you’re struggling at work, or you’re dealing with any kind of problem and you’re looking to other people for the answers, it’s time to try helping yourself first, so you can come up with long-term solutions.

Tune in this week to start committing to helping yourself first. You have to be the person most willing to solve your problems, and you’ll learn today why other people don’t have the long-term solution to your problems, and I show you what you need to do to help yourself first and create meaningful change in your life.

If you want to start helping yourself first, it’s time to join Lawyers Only. This is my signature coaching program only for lawyers, and you can click here for all the details!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to see where you need to start helping yourself first.
  • My own story of helping myself first.
  • Why other people’s help doesn’t solve your problems in the long term.
  • The problem-solving process you need to start engaging in.
  • Why helping yourself first is the only way you can solve your problems in a way that lasts.
  • Some ideas you can use to start the work of helping yourself first.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer, episode 97. Today, we’re talking all about helping yourself first. 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 overwhelmed 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, hello. How are you? All as well over here. I am enjoying spring. It doesn’t feel like spring down here. It feels like summer down here. I am loving the south, y’all. I just absolutely love it here.

I know I recently talked in a podcast episode about not knowing which decision is better, and you just have to trust the reality that you’re living in. I am certainly doing that with this decision to move. I just absolutely love it, love it, love it. I hope that you’re making choices that you love, love, love too. I think I’m going to do an episode.

I just, when I was in Miami for the obsessed retreat, I taught a whole portion of the second day all about making decisions. I talked a lot about the thoughts that you don’t want to think about making decisions and the thoughts that you do want to think. So I think I should do a whole podcast episode on that. I think you would find it very useful.

But that’s not what we’re talking about today. Today we’re talking about, I’m going to tell you a story that inspired this podcast episode topic. Then I’m going to teach you two different ways that this concept applies. So today, we’re talking all about helping yourself first.

So I was recently on the streets of social media. I was scrolling through content. It was shortly after I had shared my own post for the day. I was just given a scroll through my feed, and I stumbled upon a post from someone I know socially from my past. They were talking about how they were really struggling financially. They were asking for help from their community, asking people to donate in order to get them through a tough time.

I really love to support people within my network, support their charitable initiatives to help people out when I can. Sometimes I’ll just see like a GoFundMe of a random stranger and donate. I just love being charitable in that way. One of the things that I love and value about myself is that I consider myself to be quite generous. I’m so grateful for the success that I’ve achieved.

I really love sharing it with other people. I do that in a bunch of different ways. By donating to causes that come across my feed or my eyeballs, whatever. I’m also very generous with gratuity when I’m out in the world. I was in the service industry for a really long time. That’s one of the ways that I just love to give back and to treat people. It made a huge impact when people used to do that for me when I was in the service industry. So I just love being that person in the world now that I have the opportunity to do that.

So I saw this post, and I didn’t pay much attention to it initially. Then I logged back in the following day, and the person had another post also asking for help, talking about their situation, giving a little bit more context. The government agency support that they typically relied upon, they were having troubles accessing the funding that is normally available to them. They were also encountering food bank issues and just a whole slew of different obstacles and problems. The person who was posting seemed quite panicked, and my heart really broke for them.

I have been broke one time in my life. When I quit my last law firm job before I got my business off the ground, and zero out of 10 do not recommend. Now I will tell you this, I learned that I could survive a situation like that. That was very empowering. It brought me a ton of sufficiency going through that experience.

However, it is unpleasant. Worrying about how you’re going to keep a roof over your head or how you’re going to feed yourself is not fun. So while I do find it empowering and it made me tap into my own resourcefulness, I understand that it is quite unpleasant. I also recognize that I only support myself, and at the time two cats. This person who was posting has young children. So my heart really went out to them.

I was debating on whether I should donate. I felt compelled to donate and just send some money. We can do that through all the ways that we now have means to do that. Cash App, Venmo, Zelle, right. There are different ways that we can just support people in our network.

But while I was doing this, I got called to read the social media posts really thoroughly. Then I went to their page on social media. I was reading through all of the person’s posts, and I saw all of their social media activity. There were quite a few posts talking about their current tough time, but there were also a ton of posts sharing like memes and funny things.

When you started to piece it together, you could see the timestamps of the social media activity. It was quite apparent that this person was spending hours and hours and hours on social media every day. Like probably from the timestamps at least 12 hours on social media a day.

I went back and forth on whether or not it actually serves the person for people to help them out. Because one of the things that I coach on, and I recognize that not everyone has coaching tools, right. But it is a way that we buffer with social media. We buffer away our problems, even though buffering away the problem, quote unquote, away doesn’t actually make the problem go away. It makes the problem worse, but we indulge in an instant gratification activity, like dicking around on social media, for lack of a better term.

When we do that, we don’t actually come up with a solution to the problem that is causing our negative emotion in the first place. Of course, our thoughts cause our negative emotions. But we’re thinking negative thoughts about the situation and those thoughts are causing our negative feelings. Then we buffer away our negative emotion by indulging in that instant gratification activity.

So I’m assuming this person was using social media to buffer, right? They’re feeling very stressed. They’re feeling very panicked. They’re feeling very worried about what to do next. Maybe feeling out of control or helpless, and they’re turning towards social media as a way to temporarily escape all of that negative emotion.

Now I coach on stuff like this all day long. So A, I’m not judging this. B, I deeply understand it. I understand why we do something that is counterintuitive or counterproductive for the result that we want. So I sat there, and again, I felt really compelled to donate and help the person out of a bind.

Then I also was torn because I don’t think that helping them in the short term actually helps them in the long run. Now, I ultimately did decide to support the person, and I just sent them money. I didn’t need a thank you. I didn’t need anything. They, of course, reached out to thank me. But I didn’t contact them. I didn’t message them. I never coach without permission. So I definitely wasn’t going to offer any of my insight or the way that I was viewing this situation. That’s not my place when someone hasn’t hired me as their coach.

But I was thinking, I did have this thought process that ultimately, providing them money isn’t really in the highest service. The thing that struck me the most is this person was coming from such a place of desperation. Yet, they weren’t willing to be the person helping themselves first.

Now, I do feel a little qualified to comment on this, okay, because when I was broke, no one offered to help me out of being broke. I didn’t turn to other people and ask for financial help. I didn’t call on my network or my community for support.

I got really fucking scrappy, and I figured it out. I watched YouTube videos on how to sell things online. I sold my own stuff. I took pictures of it with my cell phone. I learned how to create an eBay listing. I marketed my things on eBay. I posted them for the public. I priced them low enough that people would be urged or inspired to buy them without much resistance. I was very fortunate I had stuff to sell. I will recognize that that is a good position to find yourself in.

I also, once I started making money, took the money that I made, and I started engaging in what they call retail arbitrage where you buy things at a lower price point, and you sell them at a higher price point. you flip things. So I started going to garage sales, Salvation Army’s, Goodwill stores, things like that.

I know more about Pyrex dishes and men’s ties than I care to admit okay because I started to become an expert in a few select items so I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time that I went to a garage sale or store. I knew what to look for, and I knew what would sell, what would get a good price.

So I learned how to do all of that. I watched YouTube video after YouTube video after YouTube video. I sold books on Amazon. I sold books on eBay. I sold old VHS tapes, which you wouldn’t think are worth something but sometimes they are. It’s bananas. But I learned so much, and I taught it to myself.

Now I was spending oftentimes eight to 12 hours a day doing this kind of stuff, going, sourcing material, watching YouTube videos, learning, learning what sells, learning what to look for, what men’s tie labels or what Pyrex dishes go for more than other Pyrex dishes. Scouting out estate sales through an app on my phone, seeing what was there, bidding on it, going to pick it up. I was doing all of that stuff in order to bring in money.

All right, going to the post office, shipping things, packaging things, all of that stuff. I remember I went to go meet a guy, I don’t know, like an hour from my house to buy a bunch of shipping envelopes at a really low cost so I could reduce my overhead in order to make the most amount of money possible.

But I was so committed to getting myself out of a bad situation. I was willing to help myself first. I think that is the most important thing whenever we’re trying to get ourselves out of a less than ideal situation. Maybe you’re in a less than ideal financial situation right now.

Or maybe it’s something else. Maybe you’re struggling at work. Maybe you’re having a hard time with time management. People keep giving you a pep talk or talking to and telling you that you need to get better at it. You’re just looking for someone else to help solve the problem, but you’re not engaged in doing the work to solve it yourself. You’re looking for someone else to have the answers. You’re looking for someone else to just wave their magic wand.

I’m not trying to be disparaging here. But you have to be really honest with yourself if this is what you’re hoping for, if this is what you’re waiting for. Because help is not going to come to you, not in a truly long lasting life changing meaningful way, until you commit to helping yourself first. You have to be the one who’s most willing to solve the problem, or at least as willing to solve the problem is the people willing to help you.

You can’t want the solution for them. You have to want the solution for yourself. You have to want to engage in the problem solving process yourself. Both of those things are what is required of you. You have to be willing to help yourself first.

So as I was donating this money to this person, the thing that just stuck out the most to me was they’re going to find themselves in the same position for as long as they remain in the spot of not being willing to help themselves first, as long as they’re willing to invest 12 hours on Facebook versus 12 hours flipping shit on eBay or 12 hours babysitting or 12 hours doing literally anything to create money.

There are so many ways to create money nowadays. I recognize that when you have childcare obligations, the ways that you go about making money are different, right? You can drive for Uber, drive for DoorDash, grocery shop on Shipt. There are so many different options these days.

You can get creative. You can make money in ways that you can’t even possibly fathom. My cousin who is also a business owner, her and I kind of geek out. We send each other videos, we’ll see TikToks or reels on Instagram, and we’ll send them back and forth to each other just the wild audacious ways that people make money. You can create things. You can craft. You can sell that stuff on Etsy.

You can buy textbooks and sell them. People make a lot of money doing that. There are so many YouTube videos about how to sell books on Amazon. It’s wild what you can do. You can buy things in bulk and then sell them individually. Right? That, again, is retail arbitrage.

You can find Starbucks mugs and sell them for a lot of money. It is wild the opportunities that are out there. You can become a face painter and do children’s parties. Or my cousin used to do, a different cousin than the one I was just talking about. But a different cousin does spray tanning. All right, you can learn how to be a spray tan artist and then you can spray tan, right? Or a makeup artist or anything that you want to do, anything that you feel skilled to do. I promise you every single person has a skill.

I watched people online start bread baking companies or cookie making companies. They have that as a side hustle. They market it on social media, and people put in orders. I deeply believe people are going to be willing to help you, some people are going to be willing to help you even when you aren’t willing to help yourself.

But I think the process that you engage in and how you get to feel about yourself when you’re willing to help yourself and you’re engaged in the problem solving process and you’re taking the first steps forward, people are going to be so much more willing, so many more people are going to be willing to help you when you’re in a bind. If you’re helping yourself first, if you’re willing to lead first, and put in the work first.

The support that’s going to rally behind you is going to be so much more extreme. So much bigger than what you’re going to get from people just tapping into their generosity when you’re not willing to help yourself first.

Also, I promise you, helping yourself first is the only way you’re going to solve these problems in a way that lasts. It’s the only way that you’re going to create meaningful, long lasting change. If you’re willing to get your hands dirty, and do the hard work and tap into your own resourcefulness, that’s what’s going to be required of you, but that is what is going to make meaningful change.

That’s what’s going to shift everything when you’re the one who is more committed to getting out of a negative situation than anyone else, when you’re willing to do whatever it takes to solve the problems you’re facing.

All right. So I want you to check in with yourself here. Whatever problems you’re facing, are you willing to help yourself first? Are you actively engaged in the process of helping yourself first? Or are you indulging in your victimhood? Are you wallowing in self-pity? Are you feeling sorry for yourself? Are you indulging in your own helplessness? Are you throwing your hands up in the air and waiting for someone to come save you?

I know this is a sensitive topic. It might seem like I’m being harsh. But if this is you, I want to lovingly call you out and highlight this for you because nothing is going to get better until you commit to your own transformation. Until you commit to helping yourself first, before anyone else comes in to offer their support. You have to be the one most committed to saving yourself. That is required for things to meaningfully get better, for things to truly improve. You have to be the one that leads. You have to be the one more committed than anyone else.

I’ll even bring that back a step. You have to be committed as someone else because one of the things that I tell my clients when they come work with me, I’m like I will want your results for you as much as you want them, right. But we need to make sure that you want them as much as you can possibly want them. I want them as much as I can possibly want them for you.

But I cannot want your success. I cannot want your results more than you want them. You’ve got to meet me halfway. You’ve got to be just as committed to getting yourself your results as I am committed to helping you get them. All right. I’m 100% in.

I tell my clients all the time. I will not quit on you no matter what. I am in it. I’m in it for the long haul. I’m here. I will get you across the finish line but only if you’re committed to getting across the finish line too. I will help you solve the problems you’re facing but only if you are committed to solving the problems you’re facing too. You’ve got to want it for yourself as much as I want it for you. I can’t want it more than you. You won’t be successful if I want your success more than you want your success. All right.

So you’ve got to meet me halfway. You’ve got to start by deciding and committing to helping yourself first. Then you can team up with me, and we can go, and I mean really go. Go for the results you want. Go for the solutions that you’re looking for. We can do that work together, but you have to commit to helping yourself first. That is the way that it’s going to really stick and have a shift, make a difference. Okay.

So if there’s an area of your life where you haven’t been willing to help yourself first, just decide in this moment, this can happen in a split second, okay. An absolute lightning split second that you can just decide hey, I realize I haven’t been committed. I haven’t been willing to help myself first, but I’m willing right now because I know what Olivia says is true. I’m not going to make the changes I want to make and solve the problems that I’m facing if I don’t go all in and fully commit to being the one who helps myself first.

The other way that I want you to decide to help yourself first is if you find yourself being someone who loves to help everyone else around you before you help yourself, we’ve got to knock that shit off. Okay, with love, that does not serve you. You cannot keep putting yourself last because I promise you, it isn’t anyone else’s job to put you first. You might think that it is.

If you do, you’re outsourcing so much of your power to other people, your results to other people because it’s not their job to make you their top priority. It’s your job to make yourself your top priority. So if you have a habit of thinking that it’s selfish to put yourself first, and you put everyone else before yourself, you put everyone’s needs ahead of your own, we’re going to have problems. If you’re doing this, you already know that you’re going to have problems because you probably have those problems right now.

You’re reaping the negative consequences rather than reaping the benefits of putting yourself last. It will be abundantly obvious, readily apparent, that you don’t have the life that you want when you’re constantly getting the last billing, when you’re last on the list all the time.

So if that’s you, this is another instance in where you have to commit to putting yourself first, to helping yourself first. It is super cliche. You all know the oxygen mask analogy from airplanes. You’ve got to put your own oxygen mask on first before you help someone else with theirs. It’s literally because you’ll die if you don’t, okay? That’s how serious this is. Maybe you don’t die, but you certainly don’t live the life that you’re meant to live if you constantly put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own.

So I want you to commit to helping yourself first in two different ways. Number one, in being willing to do the work rather than outsourcing it to other people, relying on other people to give you a helping hand, to support you when you’re not willing to do that yourself. You’ve got to be willing to get your hands dirty.

Then second, you’ve got to be willing to help yourself before you help everyone else in your life. If that is a more comfortable identity for you just being the helper and supporting everyone else. We’ve got to start getting uncomfortable. Maybe you have to feel selfish, maybe you have to feel impolite, unhelpful, rude, arrogant, self-absorbed, whatever negative emotion you want to put in there.

You have to be willing to gag and go through those feelings and put yourself first and help yourself first in order to create the life you want to live. Okay. I want you to decide to do both of those things right now.

Once you’ve made that decision, I want you to come work with me inside Lawyers Only. That’s where I’m going to meet you halfway and help get you across the finish line. You’re going to decide to help yourself first and help yourself rather than helping everyone else instead of yourself, and then I’m going to help you solve the problems you’re facing, develop the skills you need to have to live the life you want, to move forward, to get where you want to go. Then I’m going to help you set goals and make plans to achieve them. Okay.

I’m going to help you thrive professionally and personally. I’m going to teach you everything law school, your employers, and your parents didn’t teach you. Everything you need to know to live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment like time management, how to set boundaries, how to say no, how to stop people pleasing, overcome perfectionism, right? All that good stuff.

How to develop business, how to delegate, how to manage a team, how to follow through, how to develop discipline, how to make decisions, how to practice constraint, how to simplify your life, I can just keep going. The list is endless. You’re going to learn so much in Lawyers Only.

Lawyers Only is my signature weekly coaching program for, you guessed it, lawyers only. It is where you can come and join other people inside the legal community. People who want to thrive personally and professionally but don’t have the skill set or the knowledge that they need in order to do that. Lawyers Only is where you’re going to get that skill set and that knowledge, all of the solutions to the problems that you’ve been facing. You’re going to come learn it from me.

I’m going to meet you in the middle. You’re going to commit to helping yourself first, and I’m committed to getting you where you want to go okay. Head to my website, thelessstressedlawyer.com/lawyers-only. Or you can head to the show notes to this podcast episode and click the link there. You can go sign up to join Lawyers Only right now.

The sooner you get in there, the sooner you commit to yourself, to helping yourself first, the sooner we can get started helping you live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. All right, my friends. That’s what I’ve got for you this week. I hope you 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.

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