Your Legal Career: Having Your Own Back

When trying to make a big decision, so many of my clients get stuck in the quagmire of indulgent emotions.

Indulgent emotions are those emotions that seem really important. They feel like we should pay attention to them. They suck us into their black hole and keep us from moving forward.

They are indulgent because we linger and stay with those emotions for far too long; we allow those emotions to take over and before we know it, we have been out of the game for weeks. We’ve been “busy” worrying.

Worry, overwhelm, boredom, confusion, and indecision are all indulgent emotions — dream killers.

I had a client who was feeling “stuck” because she couldn’t decide what kind of malpractice insurance she wanted to buy for her new firm. Naturally, she was arguing all the options, seeming to wait until absolute clarity would sweep in and bless her decision.

Decision lightning!

(It doesn’t exist!)

Failing to make decisions keeps us stuck. It allows us to spin in this world where there is only one right answer and we need to make sure we figure it out.

If we don’t get it right a whole parade of horribles will march through our homes and destroy everything; all will be lost.

What if you just made a decision and had your own back?

One decision is not going to make or break your legal career. We have to ditch the drama we build up around these decisions and stop making them so monumental.

If we don’t like our decision later on, we can regroup, make a different decision and grow from the experience. Is that such a big deal?

You won’t lose all your clients if you have to rebrand in three years.

The sky won’t fall if you decide maybe you don’t want to be at that firm.

There are no perfect choices.

At some point you have to recognize that indulging in worry and indecision is keeping you stuck–if you want to move forward, you simply have to make a decision.

What if you just decided not to believe that there was only one right answer?

Maybe all the roads lead to the same place?

Isn’t that a better place to be mentally than imagining you there are two roads–one leads to sudden death and one leads to rivers of gold?! That is what you are doing when you indulge in worry, fear, doubt, indecision. You are believing that one option is perfect and one option will destroy you. The pressure you are putting on that one small decision! How terrible that must feel.

Skip the drama around the decision. Make a choice and move forward. That’s the first step.

The second step is having your own damn back.

If you decide to change your mind in the future, commit to having your own back.

This means that if your choice doesn’t pan out the way you wanted it to, you aren’t going to indulge in GUILT (another indulgent emotion). You aren’t going to wade through your past….shoulda, coulda, woulda-ing yourself to death.

Have your own back. Be a good partner to yourself.

You have no idea how those other options would have panned out. Don’t use this an opportunity to soothsay. Don’t pretend that you “knew” this wasn’t going to work out and start berating yourself.

Part of the reason we avoid making decisions is because of how terrible we are to ourselves when a decision doesn’t work out how we imagined.

We beat ourselves up, we judge our past actions, we rewrite history to make ourselves feel even worse.

If you can commit to making a decision and having your own back no matter how it plays out, what is there to be afraid of?

Don’t allow indulgent emotions to side-track your dreams and keep you stuck. Be a good partner to yourself. Honor your ability to make a decision and be kind to yourself as you make the journey.

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