As you likely know, Leave Law Behind was spotlighted on Tuesday by the blog Live Your Legend. It was great to be associated with such other interesting and inspiring people, and it really raised the awareness of Leave Law Behind.
So a time for celebration, right? Of course, but it didn’t take long for my happiness to be tempered by that (not-so) little voice in my head. You know the one, the one that feeds doubt, that takes shots at our self-confidence, that limits our growth.
This “demon voice” told me that I didn’t deserve to belong on this list. These people are building schools for girls in Africa and encouraging organ donation. Who was I to think that my little blog Leave Law Behind was special? Who was I to think that I had anything to offer that was unique? I’m not perfect – who was I to think that I could help others? And this voice told me that I was wasting my time, that educated, professional attorneys don’t really need any help.
I’m not sure if this demon voice can ever be completely eradicated. And to make matters worse, it often sneaks up on us, and brings us down without any warning, confusing us and ruining our day or week.
But it can be ignored and dealt with and minimized. First, isolate the issue: Realize that what is actually bringing you down is just this little demon voice, and not anything endemic to you personally. It’s the voice, not you.
Second, act to send the demon voice on its merry way. Clear your head, go for a walk, sit in the sun, begin writing down thoughts and ideas, talk to yourself out loud if you need to, do whatever relaxing, analytical physical or mental activity you need to re-inspire yourself and shake yourself free of the demon voice.
And third, begin a task, any type of task, but do something (reserve a domain name of your new businesses, do an informational interview, peruse some blogs you have been meaning to read, sign up for that 10K run you’ve been putting off) that quickly leads to a tangible result. Prove to that demon voice that it is wrong. You can get something done, you can add value to the world (Stuart Smalley had it right).
Fear of failure and embarrassment can stop us dead in our tracks before we can even get started. This demon voice is often the messenger of this fear. Think about how creative and useful we can be once we show it to the door.
Feeling stuck or fearful of leaving the law or taking the next step? Send me a note.