ou’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast episode three. We’re diving into the next three steps to creating a life you’re obsessed with. You ready? Let’s go.
Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer. The only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.
Hello, hello, hello. I am tempted to say good evening right now because I’m recording this episode in the evening. When I was in law school, I had this Torts professor, and I haven’t mentioned it yet. I was an evening student in law school. I went to school at night. So, all of my classes were at night. And my professor, my Torts professor, used to start every single lecture with the phrase good evening. Usually, he would give us a double good evening.
So, he would say good evening, good evening, and then kick off into his lecture. I highly doubt he’s listening right now, but if he is Professor Long, hello to you. I don’t know if you guys have a professor that stands out to you more than others, but he was definitely one of them for me. He was the best at the Socratic method ahead of my first semester.
Anyway, good evening if that’s when you’re tuning into this episode. If it’s not good, insert whatever part of the day it happens to be where you are while you’re listening. Alright. And speaking of evenings and location, actually, I’m in Detroit. It’s finally the part of the year where you start to notice that the sunset is happening later and later in the evening and that winter is almost over.
And my friends, all I can say is good riddance. I am ready for it to be warm again. If you’re lucky and it’s warm wherever you’re listening from, I am envious, and I can’t wait for that warm weather to come to Detroit. Anyway, enough about evenings, law professors, and the weather. Let’s dive into today’s topic. In episode one, I gave you the foundation that you need to create a life you’re obsessed with.
I taught you to identify and own the choices you’ve previously made and are currently making that have created your current results. I talked about how to find your reasons for making those choices and decide whether or not you like them. If you don’t like those reasons if you don’t like your choices. If you don’t like the results you currently have, I gave you the first three steps to making the necessary changes to create a life you’re obsessed with.
I gave those to you in episode two. Specifically, I taught you to figure out what exactly you want. I went through figuring out why you want those things, and then I taught you how to reverse engineer those results. Alright. Once those results are reverse engineered, and you have that roadmap for how to create them, all that’s left to do is start taking action, but as you may find or maybe you’ve already found to be true, that tends to be easier said than done.
So, that’s going to be the focus of this episode. When you find yourself not taking action when intellectually you know what you need to do, but you just can’t seem to bring yourself to do it, that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. I’m going to teach you the last three things you need to do in order to overcome those obstacles. In order to get out of your own way so you can go on to create the life, you’re obsessed with.
Before I dive in and specifically discuss each of those last three steps, I need to explain something to you. As a rule of thumb, here’s what I need you to know the only two problems that are ever preventing you from creating those desired results are number one, a negative thought you’re currently thinking, or number two a negative feeling you’re unwilling to feel, and I’m going to give you a couple examples of this to further evidence this point, okay?
First one, let’s say you want to quit your job and start your own law firm? You figured out what you wanted. That’s step one. You’ve gone through it and identified your reasons. You’ve figured out your why, and you’ve decided that you know those reasons and you like them. And you’ve gone through, and you’ve reverse engineered that result by identifying all the things you need to do in order to create it.
You’ve created that roadmap to those desired results, but now you find that you’re not taking action. Okay? It’s either because of a thought you were thinking or because of a feeling that you’re unwilling to feel. You might be thinking something along the lines of I might not be able to do it on my own. When you’re thinking that way, you’re going to feel extremely uncertain, maybe worried too. When you feel uncertain and worried, your natural reaction is going to be to shut down, kind of abort the mission, to not take action, maybe to spin in decision and freeze, or you’re going to go and distract yourself with something else. Do something else in the interim.
More than anything, most likely, what you don’t do is move forward in spite of and despite that uncertainty. Despite and in spite of that worry, right? You don’t move forward. And that’s a problem, right? Because if you don’t move forward, you’ll never create that desired result. You’ll never start your own firm. You’ll never leave that job.
So, what’s the solution here? It’s one of two things or a combination of both of them. You’ve got to either change your thinking so you can reduce that negative emotion, you can eliminate that uncertainty or reduce that uncertainty, eliminate that worry or reduce that worry, and what this looks like would be perhaps instead of thinking that you might not be able to do it on your own, you choose to think the thought no matter what comes my way I’ll be able to figure it out.
And if you were thinking that way, you’re going to feel really determined. You’re going to feel really motivated. You’re going to feel really confident in your own abilities in your own resourcefulness. That’s going to put you in such a different mindset and drive you to take much different action than that uncertainty and that worry. Okay? Or what you need to do, and like I said, this is either an or, or an and, you either need to do this instead of changing your thought or in conjunction with changing your thought.
You need to allow yourself to feel uncertain and worried and move forward regardless, in spite of and despite that discomfort. I’ll give you one more example here. Perhaps, you want to take time off of work, and that would help you create the desired result of having more time for yourself, more time for travel, more time for family and friends, more time for hobbies, maybe you want to volunteer? Right? Whatever it is.
Even though you have the desire to take time off, your default way of thinking is, I shouldn’t take time off with everything I have on my plate. When you’re thinking that way, you feel super guilty, right? So many of my clients struggle with feeling guilty very often, and when you start to feel guilty, you run for the hills, right? You abort.
Again, you don’t take the time off. You don’t follow through with that roadmap to those desired results. You do what you’ve always done. You just work more. So, what’s the solution here? Well, you’ve either got to change the thought to reduce or eliminate the guilt. Perhaps, instead of thinking that you shouldn’t take time off, instead, you think, you know it’s okay for me to take time off. There’s always going to be more work for me to do, so now is as good of a time as any.
Instead of then feeling guilty, you’re going to start to feel maybe compassionate with yourself? Maybe loving toward yourself? Maybe understanding and that compassion, self-love, and understanding will drive you to take that time off, right? You’ve dialed down the guilt then, but maybe some of that should thinking is still lying under the surface. You can’t quite get rid of it completely.
So, what you’re also going to need to do is allow yourself to feel a little guilty and take the time off anyway, in spite of and despite the guilt. Those are two examples, and I wanted to give those to you so you can start to see this pattern. There are only ever two obstacles to creating a life you’re obsessed with, negative thoughts you’re thinking and negative feelings that you’re unwilling to feel.
That takes me to the next three steps of creating that life. When you find yourself not producing your desired results, not taking action, not following that road map, here’s what I want you to do. First things first, you’ve got to find your problem thoughts, and we’re going to go about this finding them in a few different ways. First, you want to identify your limiting beliefs. I want you to return to the eight sections of the life wheel that we discussed in episodes one and two, alright?
Those eight sections; are career, finances, health, friends and family, romance, personal growth, fun and recreation, and physical environment, right? You went through and identified what would make each of those sections a 10 on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest. Now you’ve gone through and created that reverse engineered road map that you would need to follow to create those 10s in each of those categories, right? You’ve gone and done that.
So, now I want you to identify your limiting beliefs about those results in each of those categories, and we start by asking yourself one simple question. Do you believe these results are possible? And I want you to just for a second separate yourself from the equation, alright. Do you think anyone can create these results, not you specifically, but just anyone in the world? If you think it isn’t possible to achieve these results, I hate to break it to you, but you will not take action to create them. That lack of belief is going to impact how you proceed. There’s no way around that, alright?
So, that’s going to be a problem thought that shuts you down before you ever get started if you believe that it’s not possible. And I’m going to teach you in an upcoming episode how to go from believing something is impossible to believing it’s inevitable. I’m going to walk you through how to build belief, but for now, we just want to become aware as to whether or not you think your desired results are possible. Whether they’re obtainable or they’re not, and if you think they aren’t, here’s what’s going to happen, you’re going to feel really defeated and discouraged. You’re going to give up before you ever get going.
So, if you think it’s impossible for your desired results to be created if you think they’re unattainable, I want you to write down why you think that’s true, start to make a list. Okay? Now, if you think it’s possible, I just want you to put a pin in that for a second. We want to turn the focus on to you specifically and identify any limiting beliefs you have about yourself and your ability to create these results.
So, ask yourself, do you think you’re capable of creating these results? If the answer is no, I want you to examine why not? Write down all of those reasons. Maybe you think you’re not smart enough to do something, and if that’s the case, you’re not going to pursue it. If you’re feeling inadequate, you won’t take action when you’re feeling that way.
So, just like with the last question, I want you to write down all of the limiting beliefs you might have about your own ability to create these desired results, to create 10s in each of these categories, okay? Write that down, and then set that list aside for a second, and we’re going to ask one more question. We will do one more inquiry.
Last, but not least, I want you to identify any other negative thoughts that you have about pursuing these goals and working toward these results, write them all down. They might look something like this is going to be so hard, or it’s going to take me way too much time. If you’re thinking those thoughts, you’re going to feel exhausted ahead of time and you’re going to feel really overwhelmed. When you’re feeling exhausted and overwhelmed again, you’re not going to take action. You’re going to shut yourself down before you ever get started.
So, you want to find all of these problem thoughts, right the limiting beliefs about what is possible, generally about what is possible for you and what you’re capable of, and any other negative thoughts that come up for you when you think about pursuing these goals and you want to identify them and you want to write them all down. All of those thoughts are the thoughts that are going to get in your way and keep you stuck.
They’re going to prevent you from creating that life you’re obsessed with, okay. Now, next to each of those thoughts, you’ve got a really long comprehensive list now. I want you to identify the one-word emotion you feel when you think each thought, okay? Our thoughts cause our feelings, and we’ll talk about this at nausea throughout the podcast, I promise you. I just want you for this exercise to go through and identify the one-word emotion you feel when you think each one of these negative thoughts.
And remember, if you’re thinking a negative thought, you’re going to feel a negative feeling. So, these feelings that you start to write down are going to be negative emotions. So, again just next to each thought, write down the negative emotion that comes up for you when you think about each one. Now, for this step which we’re still on, step four you’re going to go through and ask yourself for each one of these thoughts, these negative thoughts, what’s one positive thought I could choose to think instead? Alright?
Make that list, swap them out. Use those thoughts to fuel you. Use them to drive you to take action. If you think you can’t do it, you need to believe that you can. If you’re thinking that it’s going to be hard, you can think that you can figure it out instead. If you think it’s going to take too much time, you can choose to think I might as well get started now, and eventually I’ll get there, right?
If you think you’re not smart enough, you can choose to think that you will learn. If you think that you’re incapable, right? What do you need to think instead of that? You want to swap those thoughts out, and here’s why. If you’re thinking a positive thought, you’re going to feel a positive feeling. Then from there, you’ll start taking positive actions, and you’ll go on to produce positive results. So, I want you to come up with those positive thoughts and feelings and use them to motivate you into moving forward, alright?
So, give yourself some time to do that exercise, you can either pick one of the eight categories on the life wheel and walk all the way through it, or you can go through all eight, totally up to you. Now, an important caveat here, this work is twofold. Yes, changing your thinking is absolutely a game-changer when it comes to creating a life you’re obsessed with, 1000%. Okay?
But, that’s only half the equation because chances are even when you swap out some of those limiting beliefs and other negative thoughts with positive thoughts that will fuel you to take action, you’re still a human, and some of that negative thinking is going to linger, right? You’re not going to change it and swap it out overnight. Some of it’s going to remain.
So, it’s going to be hard for you to shake that, and if those thoughts linger, so will the negative emotions that you’ve experienced when you think them, the negative emotions that correspond to negative thoughts, and those negative emotions they’re a huge obstacle in your way to creating your desired results. Why? Because you avoid them like the plague, right? You don’t take action when you feel them, and the reason you don’t take action is, so you don’t have to feel them.
So, you get to avoid them, right? Now, that’s totally normal. That’s 1000% natural, but that natural reaction isn’t going to get you where you want to go, which brings me to step five. For step five of creating a life you’re obsessed with, you’ve got to identify the particular kind of discomfort you’re currently avoiding. Instead of avoiding it, you’ve got to allow it to be there. You’ve got to take action in spite of, and despite it, or as I the catchphrase that I use with my clients, you’ve got to gag and go through the discomfort. That’s what I always tell them.
As humans, we basically do backhand springs to avoid feeling uncomfortable, right? It’s actually an extinctual survival mechanism that’s hardwired into us. When you’re making changes or even thinking about making changes to create a life, you’re obsessed with your brain registers that change and perceives it as a threat. It perceives it as a danger because you’re changing or thinking about changing the status quo, and it knows the status quo to be safe.
Anything else isn’t; anything else that’s not the status quo is not safe. It’s just like the old adage the devil you know is the better than the devil you don’t, right? That’s your brain’s default way of thinking. Here’s the thing, though, the discomfort you’re avoiding it can’t actually hurt you. Sure, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s not a real threat. You’re not going to die if you experience a negative emotion, right?
You’ve survived. Think back throughout the course of your life. You’ve survived every negative emotion you’ve ever felt. You’ve survived every time you felt guilty, embarrassed, scared, worried, anxious, overwhelmed, confused, uncertain, inadequate, discouraged, disappointed, defeated, frustrated, annoyed, sad, regretful, doubtful, all of them, right? You’ve survived every single one of those every single time you’ve ever experienced them. Here’s the thing that past history goes to show those feelings can’t actually hurt you.
You’ll survive them, I promise. I like to tell my clients, yeah, it’s uncomfortable. You can do discomfort, so instead of avoiding them with inaction, here’s what you can choose to do. You can choose to feel them on purpose and take action in spite of and despite them. Will it be uncomfortable? Sure. You’ll probably want to vomit right, but that’s okay. Just gag and go through the discomfort. You’ll be just fine.
So, what does this look like if you’re feeling confused? Work through the confusion instead of giving up. If you’re feeling discouraged, press on despite feeling discouraged and take action anyway. If you’re feeling unsure of yourself, keep moving forward, right? If you’re feeling nervous about what the outcome will be, or maybe you feel scared, let the fear be there and keep going. It is okay to let it drive around in the passenger seat of the car next to you. You don’t have to let your discomfort drive that car.
You don’t have to let that discomfort determine where you end up, which is what most of us are doing when we operate on default. You can strap it into the passenger seat and go about your business, driving intentionally toward your desired results. Right, toward that life you’re obsessed with. It’s fine if that discomfort has to come along for the ride in the perfect world. It wouldn’t be there, but that’s just not the human experience you guys.
So, the discomfort is going to come along. We’re going to strap it in the passenger seat. Tell it to buckle up, and we’re going to go intentionally about creating our desired results. We’re going to drive to that desired destination. Okay?
Now, once you’ve done steps four and five, you’ve identified the problem thoughts. You’ve swapped them out with positive thoughts that are going to fuel you to take action. Then, for step five, you’ve identified those negative emotions that are getting in your way, and you decided to take intentional action that you identified in your reverse-engineered results road map.
You’re going to take intentional action in spite of and despite that discomfort. You might think you’re off to the races, okay? But there’s one more step left, so after you’ve gone through. You’ve taken the actions that you identified in step three, which I talked about in the last episode. You want to make sure you do this final crucial step. It’s what will ensure your success. It’s what will make that success inevitable, and that final step it’s to evaluate.
You’ve got to evaluate what you’ve been doing, and this is a really simple process. It’s not cumbersome. It’s not overwhelming. It’s really straightforward and simple. All you have to do is ask yourself three questions and answer them. What worked, what didn’t work, and what would you do differently? Now, we start with what works because our brain tends to default to the negative automatically.
So, we always want to start with what worked. We want to be truth-tellers and not just focus on what didn’t. So, we want to get equal airtime for both. We start with what works because that sets us up with a positive mindset before we move to what didn’t work, alright.
Now, when we move on to what didn’t work, we’re going to do a couple of things here. First and foremost, we’re going to operate from curiosity, not from judgment. If you’re judging yourself, you’re going to shut yourself down. You’re going to miss so much of this really beneficial intel you get when you operate from pure curiosity.
So, we’re not going to judge ourselves. We’re not going to beat ourselves up. We’re just going to get really curious about what didn’t work. Okay? Now, you’re going to look at your actions first. Identify all of the actions you took, which ones didn’t work, what tweaks might you want to make. Test your hypothesis here. Right?
I also want you to look at your thoughts. What thoughts were you thinking while you were taking the actions that didn’t work? How were you feeling when you were taking the action? If you’re thinking negative thoughts and feeling negative feelings and taking action, it’s going to impact the action you take. It’s going to taint it. Think of it like bad perfume or cologne. That negativity will infect what you’re doing, and it will impact how you’re showing up.
So, we want to find that too. We want to identify those problem thoughts and feelings and note them. We also want to note maybe there were some extra emotions that you didn’t identify in step five that you avoided instead of allowed. So, you want to make a note of that too. You’re going to put all of that under the what didn’t work section, alright?
So, identify all the actions that didn’t work, all the problem thoughts that didn’t work that weren’t serving you, and any feelings that you are unwilling to feel that you resisted and avoided instead of allowed. Then, from there, you’re going to move to the third part of the evaluation process. You’re going to figure out what you’ll do differently moving forward in order to fix what didn’t work, alright? And you want to be really specific here. The more specific, the better because again, just like in step three, you’re going to create a road map to move forward, right.
Follow the yellow brick road, so to speak. Then, what do you do from there after you’ve gone through what worked, what didn’t work, and what will you do differently? You just repeat that process by taking more action. Alright, act, audit, adapt, act, audit, adapt, you take action, you audit the action that you took by evaluating that three-step process I just taught you. Then you adapt, and once you’ve adapted through figuring out what you’d do differently, you go back to taking more action. Act, audit, adapt, alright?
So, those are the six steps. So, you have them all comprehensively here; the six steps you need to create a life you’re obsessed with are number one figure out what it is you want. Number two, figure out why you want it, know and like those reasons. Number three, reverse engineer your desired results and start taking action. And if you don’t start taking action, you want to turn to steps four, five, and six, okay?
Now, before jumping to steps four, five, and six, you want to remember there are only ever two problems, a thought you’re thinking or feelings you’re unwilling to feel. So, step four, you start by identifying your problem thoughts and replace those thoughts with thoughts that serve you. Then, if some of those negative feelings caused by those problem thoughts are still lingering, identify the specific flavors of discomfort, those specific feelings, and step five take intentional action in spite of and despite them, AKA gag and go.
And finally, evaluate what worked, what didn’t work, and what you’ll do differently moving forward, okay? Those are the six steps now you’ve got everything you need to go out into the world and create a life you’re obsessed with. Alright, have a marvelous week, my friends. I’ll talk to you in the next episode.
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Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes or resources from today’s episode, visit thelessstressedlawyer.com.