How blaming ourselves is just a distraction from our goal of leaving the law

 March 16, 2014

By  Casey Berman


In many of the emails and comments I receive weekly, there is a lot of blame running around amongst us. And it is mainly being pointed at ourselves.

I shouldn’t have gone to law school. I shouldn’t have racked up so much debt. I shouldn’t have gotten into this job situation. I shouldn’t have made myself so unhappy. I’m running out of time. How did I get here? How did I get so off course? It’s so hard to get out. I can’t do it. This is all my fault.

It’s very easy to blame ourselves for the unhappy and dissatisfied way we view our jobs as attorneys. It’s very easy to blame ourselves for our low self-worth and worn out self-confidence.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. There can be a much different ending for us.

Think of the movies we’ve seen. Think of the stores we’ve read. The hero oftentimes finds him or herself in a tough spot. They are facing death stuck in a burning building. Or against all odds they have to pass the entrance exam. Or they have to find some way to afford the medical procedure.

And they could blame themselves. For not planning things correctly. For not being smart enough. For not having enough money.

And maybe they do. But what makes our hero a hero is he or she finds a way out, a way to get it done, a way to afford it. It’s not perfect, it’s ad hoc and it’s replete with more mistakes. But it’s interesting, and courageous and ultimately successful. They get the job done.

And that’s why we’re here. Sure, let yourself feel low for not liking being an attorney. Let yourself get down for how you feel stuck. Feel free to do it … but be sure to let it run its course. And then remember that this life of yours is your movie. If you want to be the hero of your movie, now is the time to find a way to get it done (… and there is always a way).

We’re the audience. We’re watching. We’re rooting for you.

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  1. Another point I like to keep front of mind is that we all learn so very much from the path we take in life. Even if we “regret” going to law school, being in debt, working as an attorney, it’s all happened for a reason. You may not know what the reason is now, but know that these tough years and experiences are not in vain. It can and does get better!

    1. Hi Annie

      Great point. I think of what you say as trying to not be in control of every little thing in life, and being open to exploring the reasons behind what happens in life, the good and the apparently not so good.

      Thanks for the comment.

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