Beating the internal voice that ruins our confidence

 August 30, 2012

By  Casey Berman

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.

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  1. The Demon voice is just that. Many people talk themselves out of something before they even take a chance or try.

    Fearing failure leads to paralysis and inaction. If one can just put their foot on the demon and use it as a stepping stone to push yourself higher the rewards will speak for themselves.

    Mitchel M.D.

    1. Hi Mitchel

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, the irony is that the Demon voice, which can bring us down so much, can also be a good motivator. Once we realize that the voice is just that . . . a nagging voice and not something inherently wrong with ourselves, it can actually make it easier to take that next step.

  2. Hi Casey :),

    I think you bring up a point that so many of us battle with. Lately I have started to believe that the only way I can truly help others is to step outside of myself. Yes, others may be more qualified but I still have stuff to give. I am doing the world an injustice if I don’t give it under the guise of “I don’t deserve to be here”.

    I am certain the same goes for you man. Yeah, you might not be a blogger with 20,000 subscribers but you still got something to share. When you share that to help and don’t worry about others that is a beautiful thing :). Is it not?

    1. Hey Izzy, great to hear from you. I’ve been following your blog, love it! Your latest about never achieving your dream was great. I take it as “this is it, this is as good as it gets . . . and it’s actually great, and there is so much more to do and enjoy”.

      You are right. The main gist is that we all have value of some kind, we can help in some way. Once you get caught in the metrics and ways to judge one thing against another (subscribers, traffic, money) you lose sight. The money will follow, I’m sure of it, but be sure to do what you like, and what is needed. Thanks again man.

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