The Golden Handcuffs, the Guilt, and the Reluctant Prince

I was speaking recently with a reader who is interested in the Leave Law Behind coaching. She works in BigLaw. She makes a lot of money. Is respected by her friends and family.

But she is dying to get out.

She almost never sees her family. She almost never has a weekend without work. She almost never feels appreciation from her clients.

But a major obstacle in her way to leaving the law is the guilt she feels complaining about such a high paying job. She has all the creature comforts. On top of that, she was raised in a solidly middle class family where money was often a topic of mild anxiety and worry.

She asks, How can I complain about a job that makes me so much money? How can I stare my parents and family in the face and say I don’t like my job when I make so much money? How can I complain when I have a job that so many other people would die to have?

She says, I should realize I’m lucky to have this job. I should appreciate this job more so. I should just stop complaining and keep my head down.

Should. A negative emotion, focusing on what we lack.

Guilt. A powerful social function to police our behavior.

Even Prince Harry wants out

Last week, England’s Prince Harry said he didn’t think anyone wanted to lead the Royal Family.

He noted that he longed to be something other than Prince Harry. “Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so”

Yet he still stays in the role – “But we will carry out our duties at the right time,” he added.

A reluctant prince. A reluctant lawyer.

Maybe Prince Harry will marry his American girlfriend and leave the royalty behind. Only time will tell.

As for us reluctant lawyers, who hang on because of the golden handcuffs and the crushing guilt that programs us to try and appreciate this money being a lawyer brings us at the sacrifice of happiness and fulfillment, I think of Voltaire’s quote: Every man and woman is guilty of all the good he or she did not do.

If you don’t want to feel the regret of lack of action, of never reaching your potential, join the Leave the Law course. The community is growing.

Want to talk with me? Schedule a free 15 minute time here.

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