Why I stopped being perfect

One of the major obstacles to leaving the law is our need to be perfect. Our need to not make mistakes.

I shot this short video for you (it’s 3 1/2 minutes long) delving into this fear we have of imperfection, and if you prefer reading, I jotted below some of the points I talk about in the video.

 

Celebrate the mistake

Of course, as a practicing attorney, we need to be perfect (or close to it). We have our fiduciary duties, we have judges to impress, counsel to oppose, clients to serve. We need to be perfect or close to perfect, and that is part of the job.

It’s also a main source of all the stress and anxiety that we feel as attorneys. There isn’t much cushion to make a mistake as we practice law.

But in leaving the law, it’s actually quite the opposite. In leaving the law, in being in a non-law job, and in succeeding in the world out there, making mistakes is welcomed.

Making mistakes is often celebrated.

Making mistakes is recognized as necessary.

Making mistakes is how we learn.

Making mistakes lets us test and experiment.

 

Becoming comfortable with the non-guarantee

I was working with someone to leave the law, and they said “I’ll know when I’m ready to leave the law when I see that path. When I pretty much have a guarantee. When I have a job lined-up.”

And any need we have for guarantee – for a set path, to only leave the law when we know what’s going to happen ahead of us – will only continue to prevent us from ever moving forward.

And the whole point is, in the beginning of this process, we’re not likely going to have a guarantee, we’re not likely going to have a job lined-up … until we have done a lot of the ground work, until we have put in a lot of the effort leading up to that, until we’ve made mistakes, until we have tried paths that dead ended and we needed to turn back around and start again.

Yes, we will arrive at a comfort level, where leaving the law looks more certain. Yes, we will get there.

But ironically, what it takes to get to the guarantee is to first navigate the non-guaranteed. To make a lot of mistakes. To first fall on our back. To first fail.

The good thing about leaving the law behind is we have the power of the baby steps. We can take small steps. We can work incrementally. So if we do make mistakes, or if we do fall on our back, we really don’t fall that far, and we can get back up and then again move forward. Baby steps are the most important tool I’ve seen help my clients to properly explore leaving law behind.

Remember, we don’t need to be perfect. Let’s get that big weight off of our shoulders. We can make mistakes, we can test, we can experiment, and we can really see what works for us. And before we know it, our failures and mistakes will help cause an energy and vibration and set of circumstances that will present opportunities to us, that will present the right people to us, that will present the right paths to take.

All because we had the courage to risk making a mistake …

 

And I’m on a mission to help attorneys get to themselves better so they can leave the law to become happier, and here’s what I’m doing to help:

Sign up for the free podcast I just launched “Love or Leave the Law” with fellow Leave Law Behind reader, former attorney and published author, Adam Ouellette.

Check out the online course I designed specifically to help you begin to leave the law right now at your own pace.

Or schedule a (no charge) time to speak with me to see if my one-to-one coaching is a fit for you.

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