Examine the evidence

Lawyers – this one is for you!

I have been there, I worked in the City for over a decade in some really big firms so I understand the pressures of the job.

The deadlines, the last minute requests, the challenging clients, quirky team dynamics, the competing demands and inevitably a certain level of stress.

But saying all that, I also know that so much of the stress we feel is self inflicted. Lawyers tend to be high achievers, driven, ambitious, perfectionists. Whilst these are all amazing attributes for doing the job well, the pressure we put on ourselves as a result can have a really negative impact in the long run.

We can forget ourselves, get caught up in people pleasing, have zero boundaries for what we are and aren’t prepared to do/hours we are prepared to work – and we do all this because we have convinced ourselves that this is just how it is, that there is no other way to be if we want to succeed.

The truth is that so much of how we are is based on perception – in the stories we tell ourselves of how we need to be.

If we break it down and look at the evidence (the actual evidence – the stuff you can put in a witness statement with an exhibit that backs up what you are saying) – there is probably a lot more flexibility in how it can be done than we allow ourselves to believe.

Another massive issue is the little voice in our heads telling us we aren’t good enough. I have clients who are absolutely fantastic at their jobs but are too scared to move companies incase the new employer “discovers they aren’t a fraud/aren’t any good”.

If any of this resonates give the below a go:

1.Write down all of your thoughts about how you have to be at work, what you need to do, the hours you need to work, the persona you have to portray etc.

2.Put your lawyer hat on and divide all of your thoughts into 2 categories. 1 – the hard facts you can substantiate with actual evidence; and 2 – the thoughts you have that you realise there is no evidence to support.

3.From the non evidence list ask yourself where have those thoughts and beliefs come from? How do those thoughts serve you in how you want to be and feel in your life?

4.When you identify the unhelpful thoughts – how could you reframe these so they are more helpful to you? So for example, instead of “I am terrible at presenting”, change to “I am a fantastic presenter”. 

5.Practice the new thoughts daily and look for evidence to support them.

Don’t forget that negative thinking is a habit – and you can break the habit by practising positive thinking. #fact

Have a great day

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