When everything is going very well, it can be surprising to fall into a funk of doubt. But that’s what happened to me recently … and a friend of mine used my own writings to pull me out.
I was speaking with my team here at Leave Law Behind about the work we’ve recently completed: The free Video Mini-Class, the new Online Course, the Ultimate Coaching Program, the new videos we’re producing.
And we discussed all the things we have in store for the future: live events, new products, webinars …
And through all of this excitement, yup, I unfortunately let some cold-blooded doubt creep in.
I thought aloud about how daunting all of this could be. About how I could possibly get all of this done. About whether all of this work would actually help attorneys looking to leave the law. About whether I was the right person to do this.
I further reinforced this doubt with what I thought was some quite irrefutable evidence: I had tried my hand at entrepreneurship in the past, and I had achieved varying levels of success.
So … who was I to think I could really be entrepreneurial again … if I hadn’t been able to fully do it before?
My colleague than said something I’ll never, ever forget: Casey, those things you did in the past didn’t align or call upon your Unique Genius. Leave Law Behind does.
Don’t base our future actions on our past misalignment
Of course. Of course. Of course.
Of course I doubted my entrepreneurial abilities – I was basing my abilities on past experiences I had tried that (with the benefit of hindsight) were not really in alignment with what I was good at, with what I enjoy, with what is my Unique Genius.
I was giving myself a hard time about my perceived inability to be a business person, to be entrepreneurial, to be cutting edge, based on experiences that, really, shouldn’t count.
When I look at Leave Law Behind, it’s completely in alignment with me. I like to help. I like to write. I like to speak. I like to do video. I like to talk from the heart. I am allowed to be authentic. I am allowed to create products and services I believe in. I am of value. I have already helped positively change many people’s lives.
When I focus on things I feel that I should have been good at for whatever reason, but wasn’t, the world becomes a dark place.
But when I focus on the source of what makes me tick, the world becomes limitless.
The three powerful questions
What doubts do we all have? We doubt our professional skills will let us be anything other than a lawyer. We doubt we can make enough money in a new non-law job role. We doubt anyone in a non-law job would want to hire an ex-lawyer.
These doubts persist only because we’re basing our (perceived) future inability to do anything different or creative on our current difficulty in being good at a job that really is not in alignment with our Unique Genius.
Put another way: For many of us, if not all of us, we weren’t supposed to be attorneys. There, I said it. And let me say that again – we weren’t supposed to be attorneys. We are supposed to be something else.
This realization can hurt, I know … but only if we let it hurt. The more we focus on the problem, the more we get down … the more we can’t see the solution.
So let’s not let it hurt. Let’s not focus on the problem.
Let’s focus on the solution, the opportunity, the limitless-ness.
And let’s not put too much pressure on ourselves. This idea doesn’t mean we now need to find our life purpose or our life mission or the key to life. If we find it, great, but these can be daunting.
But let’s try and keep it simple.
What we really want to focus on, what we really want to think about, is … what we are good at, what our Unique Genius is.
To kick off, here are some questions we can ask ourselves, which provide very tangible, actionable answers in exploring our Unique Genius:
- What do people compliment us on?
- What do we do right now for free?
- What advice (besides legal advice) do people come to us for?
We can then take these answers, digest them, organize them, refine them, and craft them into a narrative that compels us, drives us, and enlightens us to know what we are truly good at, and let that inform the job types we research, the informational interviews we set up, the people we network with, and the non-law professional roles we ultimately apply for as we leave the law.
When we truly feel authentic with what we are good at, we become powerful.
You see, bad thought, I won’t let you get me this time, no no, you took hold yesterday, and the day before, you turned me down this spiral of confusion, you grabbed hold of my mind and altered it by making me think of negative thoughts, so that my promising day turned bad, it became something that weighed me down and was scary and not fun. I won’t let that happen today. I know I won’t. Because I have learned that I am actually powerful. I have learned that I am good at things: People want my skills – I can write and I can speak and I can present and I can issue spot and I can upsell and I can put out fires and I can be the adult in the room and I can project manage and I can be a creative thinker – and I know I can provide value. And I also know there is a group of people out there just like me, attorneys looking to leave, attorneys looking for more, so I know I’m not alone, so I’m less scared now that I know that I am not alone, and when I know I’m not alone, I feel stronger, yes I do, and when I feel stronger I know that I can get done what I hope to get done, because there was a time in my life when I was hopeful and determined and I didn’t fear Mondays and even though I do now still fear things, I do know I will get over it, I will mitigate it, I will reduce it, I will exterminate this fear … of Monday, of taking risks, of being called crazy, of changing my identity. I am stronger, and I am more conscious and I am reinvigorating myself and when I do still get afraid I now can intellectually realize that this fear is actually not a sign of something scary about to get me and to ruin me, but rather simply proof that I’m just a bit disconnected, that I’m just letting my thoughts trend to the dark, and that I’m just not at that point, not yet, just not yet, of letting myself see the beauty that is my life.
Want to take the next step in leaving the law? Check out the new Leave Law Behind, self-paced online course.