Would you jump out of a plane to salvage the rest of your life?

I watched a video recently of actor Will Smith speaking about his first sky diving trip.

He talked about how he only agreed to go sky diving after being forced into it over dinner and drinks with a group of friends. They all wanted to go, he didn’t want to be the only one not to go, so he said he was in. Peer pressure even works on famous celebrities.

But he was very afraid of jumping out of the plane.

He was too afraid to sleep. He was too afraid to eat.

The fear was a feeling caused by his belief that jumping out of the plane was going to put him in danger. It was going to cause him pain. Or loss or death or whatever else bad …

The fear of course only grew as he entered the plane. As they climbed to 14,000 feet. As the door opened. As the wind rushed in. As he stood at the edge of doorway.

And then he was pushed.

And as he dropped out of the plane … he said it was the most exhilarating experience he has ever had.

Continue Reading

How to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to leaving the law

In this week’s video, I touch on how to overcome one of the biggest obstacles we face in trying to leave the law.

I faced it in 2004 when I left the law for good.

And I speak weekly with so many of us who still face it.

The fear and anxiety it causes can stop us in our tracks.

Fortunately, there is a way around it.

Hope you enjoy the video.

Are you serious about leaving the law?

Want to talk with me for free? Go to http://meetme.so/LeaveLawBehind.

Interested in the Online Training Program & Community? Go to http://leavelawbehind.com/online-training.

Want to discuss One to One Coaching? Go to http://leavelawbehind.com/coaching.

.

Continue Reading

[Video] I love getting phone calls like this

I shot this video (it’s short, only 2:45) this past weekend after reflecting on my daughter’s softball game … and after thinking about a phone conversation I had with a fellow Leave Law Behind community member.

My daughter was afraid of being hit by the ball when she was at bat … and by trying to avoid being hit, she ended up striking out.

And the attorney I spoke with was afraid of all the risk he associated with leaving the law … and by trying to avoid making any mistakes, he ended up doing nothing and remained unhappy.

Check out the video below to see how both were able to mitigate their fears (not fully overcome their fears yet, just reduce them a bit) to be able to create some momentum and move forward.

 

 

Do you need some help?

Want to talk with me for free? Go to http://meetme.so/LeaveLawBehind

Interested in the Online Training Program? Go to http://leavelawbehind.com/online-training.

Want to discuss One to One Coaching? Go to http://leavelawbehind.com/coaching.

Continue Reading

Can you picture yourself leaving the law?

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”

Chinese proverb

Total insomnia

Last weekend I went skiing with some of my best friends I’ve known since childhood. We rented a cabin right off of Lake Tahoe, in the mountains of California. Sounds great, right?

It was a great … but I have to admit, it started off really wrong.

I’m not sure if it was the elevation or the excitement of being with friends or something else altogether, but I had trouble falling asleep the first night.

A lot of trouble.

Total insomnia.

All of my buddies were asleep like babies, snoring, peaceful, relaxed.

And there I was, middle of the night, eyes wide open, awake on the living room couch.

All alone in the dark, my mind racing. Anxious. Nervous. Frustrated. Worried I’d be a wreck the next day. Trying to figure out what I had done to deserve this.

And I also tried really hard to fall asleep: I paced, I did pushups, I drank water, I looked out the window,

Continue Reading

Begin

It is raining very hard. It is very quiet and so I can hear what seems like every rain drop on our roof and windows and balcony. It is very quiet because it is Saturday night and it is dark out and my children are asleep and my wife is asleep and the dog is asleep.

A big storm is passing over California. All week. We have had years of drought, so we all rejoice when we have wet winters.

But actually the television weather people don’t seem to be rejoicing much – they only gloomily talk about how there may be flooding and downed trees and power outages and food shortages. I prefer to listen to the rain and be thankful that we now have water.

Needing greatness

I wondered a lot about what I was going to write this week, and so I ended up not writing much. I wondered and wondered and wondered. I wasn’t getting anywhere in my mind wondering so I didn’t even start writing. And that’s how I got to watching the weather on television.

I didn’t write because I didn’t have anything to write.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

The three things you are worried about

 

 

Last week I asked readers to schedule a time to speak with me. To talk about anything – to vent, to ask questions, to brainstorm next steps.

I’ve spoken with many of you. It’s been great. I hope I’ve been able to help, and I know I’ve learned so many insights from many of you.

And I wanted to share with everyone the three main, consistent themes that have surfaced in these talks.

For those who prefer auditory learning, I shot at the above short video for you (it’s short, just a bit over 3 minutes).

And for those of you who would rather read, I continue in more detail below.

 

We are not alone

So many of us looking to leave the law are battling with anxiety, self doubt and the fear of the unknown.

We are kicking ourselves for going to law school and doing work we don’t like. We feel we have wasted our time, our potential and our money. We don’t feel confident anyone else will every hire us.

And we feel we’re the only ones struggling with this.

Continue Reading

Tired … so tired

Sure, we want to leave the law.

But we have so much else to do …

  • Our day job as a lawyer.
  • Taking care of our kids.
  • Paying our bills.
  • Trying to stay in shape and eat healthy.
  • Trying to have a social life.
  • Getting sleep.
  • And what seems like more and more work …

So while we want to leave the law, it can be difficult to find the time.

In this week’s video, I discuss some ideas and ways to stay motivated and incrementally build confidence and momentum.

 

 

Want to take the next step in leaving the law? Check out the new Leave Law Behind, self-paced online course.

Need some more support in leaving the law? Click here to learn more about the one to one Leave Law Behind coaching program.

Continue Reading

We’ll know it when we feel it

The hurdle so many of us run into when trying to leave the law is that all we have known ourselves to be in recent years is an unhappy, unfulfilled, not-the-best-but-not-the-worst lawyer.

What we in essence have been saying to ourselves is “Because I have been an unhappy lawyer, I still am an unhappy lawyer.”

“And I may always remain an unhappy lawyer.”


This logically doesn’t make sense

We know things change all the time. Nothing is set in stone.

So why are many of us so set in the stone of lawyer drudgery, non-mentoring partners, little professional training, stressful fiduciary duties, anxiety ridden deadlines, money issues, and overwhelming amounts of work?

Because we think our past has everything to do with our now … when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

We cannot constantly focus our mind on all of the active, negative thoughts we have about our career as a law student and lawyer. Just because that is who we are now doesn’t mean we therefore still need to be that way, or still need to think that way or will always be that way. Continue Reading

The main fear preventing us from leaving the law

We want to know what non-law job we will get. We want to know how it will all work out. We want to know how and when we’ll be happy.

We need certainty. We’re lawyers, and we are naturally (or we were trained to be) risk averse, and we have people in our life who may not understand why we would want to leave, and we have student loans we need to pay down and we can’t risk time without a salary.

And if we can’t find out what our future holds for us now, right now, then we don’t know, we’re just not sure, maybe we won’t do this whole leave law behind thing after all.

We want certainty.

 

But let’s look at this another way.

What if in the beginning of an engagement, our clients came to us and said:

“Will this plea deal get done? And if it does, what will I be able to do?”

“Will I get custody, and if I do, will it be full or partial?”

“Will we sign this agreement? And if we do,

Continue Reading