Episode 94: Thinking It’s Easier for Them

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Thinking It’s Easier for Them

Of all the lies I notice my clients telling themselves, one stands out to me. They look at other people and think that whatever they’re dealing with, they’re uniquely situated, and it’s easier for them. This came up recently when I was coaching on time management and my client said, “Isn’t it just easy for some people?”

Sure, a lot of people struggle with time management, discipline, and following through because we’re never taught these skillsets. While I’m sure these things come easier to some people, I’m also sure that this is true for a smaller group than we typically think, and actually most people work pretty hard to get better. So, what is thinking, “It’s easier for them…” costing you?

Tune in this week to discover the problem with thinking, “It’s easier for them…” and how to see why this isn’t actually true. I’m showing you the real difference between you and those who are more successful than you or better in a specific area, and you’ll learn how to see what you can do moving forward to level the playing field.

The Obsessed Retreat is open for registration right now! It’s an in-person event happening in Miami Beach, Florida from March 20th through 23rd 2024. It’s where you’ll learn a three-part framework for creating a life you’re obsessed with, so click here to find out more. 

Enrollment is open for Lawyers Only, my monthly subscription for lawyers. We get started April 2nd 2024 and you can click here for all the details!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why things come easily to some people, but not as many people as you think.
  • How your brain uses the thought, “It’s easier for them…” against you.
  • What separates most people who can do something from those who currently can’t.
  • How to widen your focus to see why somebody else is performing better than you.
  • A new thought you can try on to start getting better at the things you think come easily to others.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 94. Today, we’re talking all about the lie that it’s easier for them. 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? All’s well over here. I’m getting ready to head to Miami to host The Obsessed Retreat. I cannot wait to be with so many of my clients in person, it’s going to be incredible.

For those of you who haven’t been to one of my events before, it is almost like I plan a wedding every six months. It’s kind of how it feels to pull it all together. But it’s so fun to see it all come together, to execute it, to be there in person, and get to enjoy the fruits of all the hard work that I put in, really curating an awesome transformational experience for the people that choose to work with me in person. So, I’m super excited about that.

I’m getting ready to head down even further south than I already am so it’ll be a little bit warmer. And I can’t wait to soak up the sun, it’s going to be great.

Speaking of things that are great, I’m super excited to talk about today’s topic. This came up on a recent client session. And this topic is pretty near and dear to my heart, because I had this epiphany back when I was working in big law. So, I’m super excited to talk about what I want to talk to you about today.

Oftentimes, I’ll be coaching on something and my clients, if they’re struggling with whatever topic that we’re discussing… I’ll give you a couple of examples in just a second… they tell themselves that whatever they’re struggling with, they’re uniquely situated, and that for most people it just comes naturally to them.

So, I used to tell myself this when it came to time management, and that’s what this conversation arose out of earlier this week… Or this topic arose out of earlier this week. I was coaching a client of mine on time management, and she just kept saying to me, “Isn’t it just easy for some people? Isn’t it easy for most people? Most people don’t struggle with this, do they?”

I’ve coached so many people on time management, and I just no longer think that. I think a lot of people struggle with this. I think a lot of people struggle with discipline and following through, because we’re just never taught that skill set growing up. So, of course, you’ve probably heard me say this before on the podcast, but it makes sense that we’re not good at something we’ve never been taught to do.

I’m also bad at speaking Greek, because I’ve never learned to speak Greek, right? So, she’s telling yourself that it just comes naturally to other people. I’m not going to sit here and say that that’s not accurate, it probably does come easy to some people. I just think that percentage is far smaller than we typically think that it is.

So, I’ve just assigned an arbitrary number because we really don’t have a way of measuring that. And if we did have a way of measuring that, I don’t know that that’s a study I care to conduct. I don’t know that that’s a valuable expenditure of time. So, I’m just going to randomly decide that maybe 10% of the population, or 10% of the people I come across anecdotally, are naturally good with time management, okay?

And then for the rest of the people, you fall in one of two camps. Either you struggle with it, or you’re good at it, but it doesn’t come naturally to you. You have to work at it. So, the examples that I was thinking of as I was planning to record this podcast episode were time management, that’s a big one, where people just assume it comes naturally to people and that other people don’t struggle with it.

For me, I know when I was working in big law, I really struggled with entering my billable hours, entering my time every day. And I used to think that it was just easy for some people. Again, I think it’s easy for some people, it just comes naturally to them. But let’s say arbitrarily we just assign a number to that, it’s 10% of people it just comes naturally to, and then the other people have to work at it.

Another topic that’s super common that people struggle with, is business development and networking and marketing and posting on social media. Doing all the stuff that they need to do in order to get their work out into the world, to let people know about them, become known as an expert, help build that trust factor, that people need to cultivate and have in order to take the next step and work with you. Right?

So, these are three very common topics that I watch my clients struggle with, time management, time entry, and business development. Our brains… This is such defense mechanism… Our brains like to think that it must just come easy to most people. And if that’s the case, then you’re just missing the link that you need to have, the trait that you need to have, in order to be good at this, or in order to excel, or in order to create the results that other people might be creating.

And because you’re missing this X factor, you’re just screwed, right? There’s really nothing to be done about it. Either it’s inherently within you, or it’s not. And if it’s not, you might as well pack your bags and go home. This is a way that your primitive brain conserves energy, seeks instant gratification and pleasure, and avoids temporary discomfort. All right?

It tells you that these skills just naturally come to people, and that if you don’t have them, “Oh, well, you just got the short end of the stick. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s not worth putting in any effort. It’s going to be so hard for you to make up what just comes naturally to other people.”

So, as I was starting to explore this idea, that you need to embrace discomfort in order to follow through and be consistent, and be disciplined to complete the tasks that are on your to do list… For me, back in my big law days, one of those tasks was entering my time every day. I finally started to expand my view outside of this narrow scope that maybe everything that I struggle with just comes naturally to everyone else.

I was like, “What if I’m not a unicorn? What if it’s not just me? What if I’m just a normal human, like most other humans, and other people struggle with this, too? What is the differentiating factor between them and me, if we both struggle with this? If we both find time entry uncomfortable?”

What I was ultimately left with was, the only difference between the two of us is that they’re willing to feel negative feelings that I’m not willing to feel. So, I thought to myself, “Maybe they also think that this is stupid, that this is boring, that they shouldn’t have to enter their time, that their other work is more important.”

Now, if you change those thoughts… I’m going to do a whole episode on this… but if you change your thoughts about time management, you change the way you feel about it so you won’t have as much resistance. But I really did let it sink in, that maybe I’m not the only person in my law firm who has these negative thoughts and has these negative feelings about entering my time.

So, if that’s the case, if my experience is a little bit more common but my behavior isn’t very common, or there are people who behave differently than me… we’ll just say that, because I actually do think struggling with time entry is quite common. Because a lot of people think these thoughts and a lot of people avoid these feelings, these negative emotions that they experience when it comes to entering their time.

So, if this experience was common but our actions are different, what differentiates between the two of us? What’s different between the two of us? And I realized they’re just willing to feel uncomfortable. They’re willing to feel annoyed or frustrated or pressured to finish their “substantive” work.

They’re willing to feel tired and enter their time by the end of the day anyways, rather than kicking the can down the road and just doing it tomorrow. Those are the differences.

Same thing with time management, right? People who plan their day and stick to their plan, they’re willing to feel feelings that I’m not willing to feel, or at least at that time I wasn’t willing to feel. So, if you think about it, people who don’t answer unscheduled calls, where they’re like, “Nope, I’m sorry, you’ve got to schedule with me.”

It’s very easy to assume that they just don’t feel guilty. They don’t feel badly. That it’s just easy for them to say no. But I’ve coached enough people now that I recognize that a lot of people, definitely the majority of people, struggle with saying no. They experience discomfort when they think about doing it.

So, what if, rather than people just being inherently good at saying no and setting boundaries, people have to struggle with it. And to do it anyways; they have to feel the discomfort and set the boundary and say no. Or feel constricted or restrained, and do what they plan to do in their day, stick to their schedule even though it’s uncomfortable to do so.

Maybe they have to feel bored with what they planned, because there’s definitely other exciting things to do. It’s so convenient for us to just assume that people who aren’t struggling the same way we’re struggling, that they just don’t feel that discomfort.

But in coaching people for thousands and thousands of hours, I’ve noticed these themes. I noticed that people, more often times than not, do struggle with this. And the thing that separates people who struggle versus people who don’t is their willingness to feel discomfort. Their willingness to embrace the negative emotion and take intentional action anyways.

Same thing is true with business development. I remember looking at people who had been certified as a coach, the same time that I had been certified as a coach, but they started making money faster than me. I thought to myself, “What is so different about them?” I really did dig deep. I’m like, “Do I think they’re smarter than me?” No, let’s just say we’re all as smart as one another, okay?

“Do I think they have a better personality than me?” No, let’s just assume we all have as good of a personality as one another. I know that that’s not easy for everyone to access those types of beliefs or thoughts about themselves. And if that’s the case for you, that just shows us where our work is in changing the way that you think about yourself, and building up your confidence and your own self‑concept.

But let’s just assume that you’re all on an even playing field, if it can’t be that “X factor,” if that’s not the reason that someone’s performing differently and better than you, then what else could it be? So, when you constrain that narrow focus, and you force yourself to answer that question, you can start to see, “Oh, the only difference between them and me is that they’re willing to feel feelings I’m unwilling to feel.”

So, I started to examine people that were more successful than me when it came to business development, what feelings were they willing to feel that I was unwilling to feel at that time? Well, big ones for me were feeling exposed and embarrassed in front of people that I knew. I just didn’t feel comfortable putting myself out there.

And it dawned on me, “Hey, maybe all of the people that I look up to, that have better results than me and business development, they also aren’t unicorns immune from the human experience. Maybe they also felt uncomfortable in front of their former colleagues and friends and family members that they knew.”

“What if they just had to gag-and-go through that discomfort, and they were willing to gag-and-go through it so they could get to the other side and create the results that they wanted in their businesses? What if that’s the only thing separating us?”

I coached so many people on business development, and I think my clients just assume that my business development initiatives just come easily to me. That it’s just inherently part of who I am. That I’m very disciplined… I am disciplined now. But it’s because I have worked on developing that skill for a very long time.

I started out on this journey in 2017, and I wanted to learn these skills and teach things to myself, so I could learn to follow through and be consistent. And over the course of time I’ve been able to do that. Now, I teach other people to do that. But this didn’t come naturally to me, I had to learn.

And the way that you learn is by doing it badly, and struggling and evaluating and getting a little bit better. Same thing with what people think they see me market myself on social media. They just assume, “Oh, must be easy for Olivia, she’s just naturally good at that.” And no, that’s not it. The answer is that I’m willing to feel feelings… if you’re not marketing… there are feelings that you’re unwilling to feel right now.

So, I wake up in the morning and I feel tired. I write a social media post anyways, and I publish it on LinkedIn. I stay up late during the week nights, and I publish content on Instagram and I engage with other people’s content, both there and on LinkedIn. I’m willing to feel dread when I don’t feel like doing it, or deprived because I’d rather do something else. I’m willing to feel that discomfort. I’m willing to feel exposed and embarrassed in front of people I know.

I really don’t feel those emotions anymore, but I had to be willing to feel them in the beginning in order to get started. Sometimes I feel confused about what to write next. And I’m willing to work through that confusion rather than let it stop me and paralyze me.

So, if you see me doing things that you want to do, whether it’s following through with things, or taking particular action, or creating particular results in my business or in my life, the only difference between me and you is that I’m willing to feel negative emotions that right now you’re not willing to feel.

I want you to just take an audit, take an inventory. Are you telling yourself that other people are just inherently good at something? That they have this innate skill set that you don’t have? If you really think about it, what does that prevent you from accomplishing? And what would you be freed up to do if you got rid of that story?

If instead of telling yourself that you’re worlds apart from the people who are behaving differently than you, from the people who are behaving the way you’d actually like to behave… They’re doing the things that you want to do… If you didn’t think that you were so different from them, and you thought that they struggle the same way that you struggle, but that they’ve just learned a different way to work through it, to get to the other side, to create the results that they want, what would that enable you to do?

Would that free you up for? What would become available to you or possible for you, if you thought about it that way instead of the way that you’ve been thinking about it? Where it’s just like, “Well, guess that’s life. They’re good at it, I’m not. I’m never going to be. It’s going to take me so, so, so much work to get where they are.”

Versus thinking, “It’s not going to take that much work at all. If they did it, I can do it. I bet this wasn’t easy for them. I bet they’re not immune to the human experience, just like I’m not immune to the human experience. So if we’re similarly situated, can I use them as inspiration and think to myself, ‘What are they willing to feel that I’m not willing to feel right now?’”

“And what if I was willing to feel that feeling? How would I show up differently? How would that change things? What are they doing that I’m not currently doing? What if I just did those things? What if I did that stuff, regardless of whether or not it’s uncomfortable? Where would I end up if I did that?”

I promise you, the gap between you and the people who are showing up the way that you want to be showing up is so much smaller than you think it is. Most people are not inherently good at things that require us to embrace discomfort, forego temporary pleasure, and expend energy. Most people struggle with that stuff. And they learn how to work through that struggle, in order to show up the way that they want to show up and create the results that they want to have.

That is so, so encouraging, because you get to learn how to do the exact same thing. You’re not a unicorn, you’re not uniquely situated, you’re not the only person struggling with the issues that you struggle with, you’re not alone. Okay? Train your brain to look for the commonalities between you and the people who are doing the things that you want to do.

Versus allowing your brain to indulge in finding all of the differences, or just supposing that there are differences, those innate inherent differences. I promise you; I coach a lot of humans, I coach a lot of lawyers just like you, and you’re not uniquely situated.

So many people struggle with the exact same things that you struggle with. Let yourself see that, find evidence to support that, and use it to encourage you. That if other people can solve these problems, so can you.

Now, if you want to join a community of like-minded people, other attorneys, who like you struggle with the things that I just mentioned; time management, time entry, business development, following through, setting boundaries, saying no. Whatever it is in your personal or professional life that you’re struggling with, I promise you, you are not alone.

You are not the only one who struggles with self-doubt, or perpetually people pleases, or indulges in perfectionism. You’re not the only one who constantly tries to prove their self-worth to others or procrastinate or poorly manages their time. You’re not the only one who can’t seem to stick to the schedule that they set, or who has a hard time saying no.

You’re not the only one who cares too much about what other people think, or feels like they aren’t enough, or waits till the end of the month to enter their time, or underbills and discounts their time, or maybe never raises their rates; you’re not the only one who’s struggling with that.

You’re not the only one who avoids networking or posting on social media, or other business development initiatives, because they feel awkward doing it. You’re not the only one who can’t stop checking their phones and struggles to be present with the people that they love. You’re not the only one who says they’ll catch up over the weekend but never opens their laptop.

You’re also not the only one who can’t stop thinking about work, or always feels guilty for not doing enough. You’re not the only one who doesn’t make time for the things that matter most to them, okay? You’re not the only one that struggles with these issues.

If you want to join a community of similarly situated people, who are working through the same exact troubles and problems that you’re working through, that you’re encountering day in and day out, I want to invite you to join Lawyers Only.

Lawyers Only is my signature weekly coaching membership for, you guessed it, Lawyers Only. It opens up April 1st. And right now I’m enrolling founding members. So, Lawyers Only is going to be an online subscription, where we meet weekly, we do a weekly coaching call, and then there are all of these other benefits that you get.

Benefits like a written coaching platform where you can submit any issue that you want to get coached on in between our weekly calls. There’s an online member portal with a community platform where you can connect with other lawyers inside Lawyers Only, which is going to be like the best networking opportunity ever. Okay?

There’s going to be a vault of more than 50 past masterclasses and workshops that you can watch on demand in order to learn at your own pace. I’m going to be adding course content like, time management for lawyers, and business development for lawyers. Those courses are going to be rolling out summer and fall of 2024, respectively.

Like I said, that written coaching platform, called Ask Olivia, where you’re able to submit anything that you want coaching on or you want feedback on or advice or guidance. You can do that in an unlimited fashion, so you get all the support that you want.

Also, I’ve never done this before, but I’m going to give people within this program the ability to book one-on-one calls with me for extra support. So, those will be an additional charge, of course, but you’ll be able to add them on. Typically, in the past, in order to work with me one on one, you’ve had to work with me for several months at a time. But this is a way for people to just come in and get the extra support they need.

You’re going to get so much value and so much support within Lawyers Only, in and of itself. But if you need just a little something extra, you’re going to have the ability to have special access to my calendar where you can go in and book those one-on-one calls and get that extra boost of support. Okay?

So, Lawyers Only is going to be $150/month going forward. It’s a subscription service, just like Netflix. Or just like your Zoom membership, if you pay for one of those. However, I am so excited about this program. I came up with this idea originally in 2017. It’s the reason that I became a life coach for lawyers.

I wanted to create this, because I want to transform the legal industry and create this incredible community where people can come and learn the things that law school, our parents, the firms or organizations we work at, all the things that they don’t teach us. All of the stuff that we really need to know in order to thrive personally and professional, I wanted to create a very accessible program for people to come learn all of those things.

So, that’s what I’ve created here. And I can’t wait to get it into the hands of people who have been waiting for a really long time to work with me in a more accessible fashion. As part of that I’m doing a special, it’s the Founding Members special. Instead of $150 a month, you can join Lawyers Only, it’s an annual fee for $1,000. All right? I’m only offering that- There’s a limited number of spots, and they will fill up before the program starts April 1st.

So, you’ve got to go to my website, TheLessStressedLawyer.com/lawyers-only. If you go there, you can get all the information about the program and you can click the link to sign up as a Founding Member; take advantage of that special. And not only do you get that discounted rate for your first year, you lock in that annual rate for the end of time.

As long as you remain an active Lawyers Only member you’ll be able to pay as little as $1,000/year instead of that $150 a month. Steal of a lifetime! I promise you, I will never, ever, ever offer this deal again. So, make sure you get in there and take advantage of it. Sign up, join this program, it is going to be revolutionary.

It’s going to teach you, like I said, all of the things that you wish you would have learned that you didn’t learn, that you need to know in order to really be successful in this career, to live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment as an attorney. I’m so excited to kick things off. Join me inside Lawyers Only, and you’ll see you’re not the only one who struggles with the stuff that we talked about today. Okay?

You’re not alone, a lot of people struggle with this. And I’m going to teach you the tools that you need to learn in order to overcome those struggles, develop that discipline, and become someone who’s able to gag-and-go through the discomfort, feel your negative emotions, and complete the things that you need to complete in order to create the results that you want to have.

Alright, my friends, that’s what I’ve got for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful week. I’ll talk to you when I get back from Miami. In the meantime, have a beautiful week. 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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