As lawyers, integrity holds a very special position not just in our professional work but also in our personal existence. We are expected to conduct ourselves with a certain level of integrity, both in our work and personal lives. But what does integrity mean to you?
Integrity can mean different things to different people. It is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, or it can be the state of being whole or undivided. For you, it might be living in accordance with your values or the level of honesty you have in your communication with yourself and others.
In this episode, I’m showing you how to establish what integrity means to you and if you are showing up with integrity in your life and practice. Learn why being in integrity is important and hear some questions you can ask yourself to inspire you to think about how you can become more in integrity within your own practice.
You’re listening to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast episode number nine.
Welcome to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast. I’m your host Paula Price, litigator turned certified executive coach. This podcast was created to empower women lawyers just like you to create a life and practice you love. It’s your time away from the daily hustle to focus on taking care of you. To see where you’re stuck, figure out what you truly want, and learn coaching tools that will help you define and create success on your own terms.
If you’re over the overwhelm, done with putting out fires, and ready to redefine success on your own terms, you’re in the right place. Ready for today’s episode? Let’s dive in.
Hello everybody, and welcome back to the podcast. For those of you who are joining for the first time, my name is Paula Price. I’m a lawyer turned certified executive coach, and the host of this podcast. Welcome. I’m so happy to have you here. For those of you who are returning, welcome back. It’s a treat to have you here. I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you who are reaching out to me, who are sharing with me how this podcast has had a positive impact on you, how it’s helping you gain clarity and decide on action steps you can take in your practice. I just wanted to say thank you. I really appreciate your feedback.
For any of you who are interested in connecting with me or in reaching out to me, I would encourage you to link up with me on LinkedIn or send me a note to set up some sort of a call with me. I would really love to hear from you, send me an email. I’m delighted to hear from you, love hearing your feedback, and would love to hear any ideas that you have for topics going forward.
Now today’s topic is all about integrity. The reason that I decided to talk about this today is because it’s something that was really on my mind last week. I woke up in the morning, and for some reason I had this feeling or this topic of integrity on my mind. Now, I journal every morning. My journal entry that morning was all about integrity and really finding alignment between my values, what I really hoped to do, and the actions that I’m taking in my role professionally. I was also thinking about it in terms of my role as a parent. So it was really very much on my mind.
What’s really interesting about this experience for me, and for any of you who have heard about the reticular activating system, which is basically a term to describe a part of your brain. It’s a bundle of nerves at your brainstem that filters out unnecessary information. So when you have something that is on your mind, all of a sudden, you’ll start to notice other things that relate to that. So, for example, when you learn a new word, you may find that all of a sudden you start seeing that word everywhere. That is kind of what happened to me when I started thinking about integrity.
The first coincidence or the first thing that I noticed was that a book was recently published by an author whose earlier books I’d been trying to track down. Her name’s Marth Beck. She’s a coach and also an author. She recently wrote a book called the way of integrity. So, of course, I went out and bought that book because I thought this must be a sign. I need to focus more on integrity right now.
Interestingly when I was out that day, I think I was actually with my children driving to buy this book. We learned on the radio that it was international tell the truth day. So July 7, 2021, there was a thing about telling the truth. I thought isn’t that interesting that I would learn about this telling the truth day on a day where I’d really decided to focus on integrity.
So we’re going to talk about this a little bit today. We’re going to talk about how integrity is important. How when you fall out of integrity, what that might look like in your practice. Then I’m going to give you some questions at the end that you can ask yourself to assess whether you’re on track or to really inspire you to start thinking about how you can become more in integrity within your own practice. So with that, I’d like to talk about integrity and what that means. Because it can mean different things to different people.
The definition of integrity, it’s got more than one definition. I’ll talk about a few of them, but the Oxford Online dictionary defined it as number one, “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, moral uprightness. Aka, she is known to be a woman of integrity.” I think we often hear that definition of integrity, and we think of people as having integrity or not having integrity. Another definition offered by the Oxford dictionary was the state of being whole and undivided. So the example they gave was “upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”.
I’ve started reading Martha Beck’s book talking about integrity. She actually focuses more on the second definition of integrity. This idea of wholeness and how when everything is aligned, much the way that an airplane’s pieces are in alignment, it has a smoother flight, for example, versus when we’re not feeling whole. So it’s interesting to think of the different ways that you can define integrity. I would encourage you to think about how you define integrity.
I’m going to turn in a minute to the relationship between integrity and lawyers in particular. Before I do that, I just wanted you to really think about what integrity means to you. Maybe it means living in accordance with your values. Maybe integrity means the level of honesty that you have with others and your communications with others. I would also add to that the integrity that you have with yourself. I think that’s really where we’re focusing on today is being true to yourself because I think sometimes we can let that go in efforts to do other things, to accomplish other things.
Another thing that integrity might mean to you is keeping your word. Again, is that keeping your word with others? Is it keeping your word to yourself? Another thing that might come up for you is maybe integrity means doing the right thing. I know this is something that I think about when I think about integrity. It is doing the right thing even when doing the right thing is hard, even when doing the right thing might go unnoticed by others around you. So those are some ideas of what integrity might mean. I would encourage you to think about what integrity means to you.
Now as lawyers, integrity has a very special position in relation to not just your professional work but also your personal existence. That you are expected as a lawyer to conduct yourself with a certain level of integrity both in your work and in your personal life.
Before recording this podcast, I looked at the code of professional conduct that is applicable in British Columbia. That’s where I used to practice. I’m still a member of the law society, but a non-practicing member. There are a number of mentions of integrity in chapter two of the code of professional conduct of British Columbia in relation to standards of the legal profession. That second talks about the duty of lawyers to demonstrate personal integrity and the duty of lawyers to maintain the integrity of the state.
I would encourage you to think about wherever you practice what your obligations are as a lawyer. It’s fascinating to me to think about how it’s really engrained professionally to have that integrity and then to really ask yourself what that means for you. The code of professional conduct talks about how lawyers should bear in mind that they can maintain the high traditions of the profession by steadfastly adhering to the time honored virtues of probity, integrity, honesty, and dignity.
So you see the kind of language—probity, integrity, honesty, and dignity—that is used to describe lawyers in the legal profession. There are other mentions. So a lawyer has a duty to carry on the practice of law and discharge all responsibilities to clients, tribunals, the public, and other members to the legal profession honorably and with integrity. Finally, the last mention that I’ll talk about here is that integrity is a fundamental quality of any person who seeks to practice in the legal profession.
So I really love how this code of professional conduct integrates this concept of integrity and how it’s something that as a lawyer, that you embody in the work that you do. There are also obligations to maintain a certain level of integrity in your personal life. So this is very much in your nature. I imagine and I believe that all of you who are listening live your lives by this high level of integrity, the standards that you set for yourself in relation to the work that you do, in your dealings with others, and the way that you choose to live your life.
What I want to focus on today is really looking at integrity from the perspective of are you in integrity with yourself? As lawyers I know that your commitments to your clients, to the work that you’re doing, you are putting that at a very high level. Your standards are very high. You are prepared and willing to make sacrifices to uphold those standards.
What I am thinking about today is looking at the way that you see yourself, the goals that you have for yourself, and aligning yourself so that you are not only in integrity with your professional obligations, your personal obligations, but also in integrity with yourself. And how becoming in alignment can really enhance your ability to contribute, to feel joy, to create a legacy for yourself that is very much in alignment with who you are.
So what does this mean in practice? How would you know, for example, if maybe you had fallen out of integrity? This may not be something that we go around thinking about on a daily basis. So if you were to start thinking about that, how might you be able to tell whether or not you are in integrity with yourself? I see this with clients that I work with. It can show up in a number of ways.
Some of the ways that I have been this come up with are maybe you’re in the wrong job. I mention this one first because I think that’s often when people will really start to notice. When they feel like they’re not really in a position that allows them to fully express who they are. That maybe what they valued before has shifted, and that the current position that they’re in is no longer really suited to them.
Maybe they have a really high value placed on their growth, and they’re not able to grow in the position that they’re in. So they want to start moving into something different. Maybe they realized that there are certain attributes that they want to do that they aren’t able to do in their current position. So that’s a place where you might notice that you’re falling out of integrity with yourself. That the opportunities available to you in your current working environment are no longer aligned with what you truly want.
I mentioned that maybe your values shift. So what starts out perhaps as an opportunity that is very much in alignment with who you are, maybe that shifts over time. It could be that your personal life shifts. I see this sometimes with women who are returning to work after being on mat leave. They realize that some of the things that allowed them to be successful in practice before they went on mat leave.
So for example being able to work a certain number of hours or work on certain types of files. Maybe that shifts for them. Maybe they have professional or personal obligations at home that requires in a way that they need to shift their working arrangements so that they can have the life that they want personally. They can attend to commitments that they want to make vis-à-vis their family but also work professionally in a capacity that is fulfilling to them.
I know of women who have returned to work who have all different ranges of working arrangements. Whether it’s an arrangement where they go fully back into their original positions where they pick up where they left off and they’ve arranged their personal and professional lives so that the childcare obligations maybe are assumed more by their husbands or somebody else in their family or somebody that they’ve retained to help them raise their children.
I’ve also seen other ends of the spectrum where women may take a pause or a break from their practice because they want to devote themselves 100% to the childcare piece after mat leave. Or maybe they fall somewhere in between. There’s so many different examples of that.
A conversation I had recently with a lawyer, she was telling me about a position that her firm created for her that was much more conducive to her being able to balance her work and parenting role. I also read an article that was just featured in Canadian Lawyer Magazine about a lawyer who brings her child to work.
That she has her own firm. She brings her child to the office. She has help. It’s the woman who helps her with her child who brings the child to the office. The child, as far as I can tell, isn’t there all day. She has a practice of bringing into her firm other women who are new mothers. She likes that they are learning how to manage time very efficiently. So she looks to support that.
So there’s all these different examples of how that might shift. So what I’m getting at here is this is one example of how your life might change and how your values might shift. So where you are currently might evolve over time. I can give you the personal example from me where my integrity with the work that I was doing started to shift around the same time that I discovered coaching.
What happened in a nutshell, I mean it’s a much more complicated story as you can imagine. One of the major shifts that started happening to me is that I was losing my ability to see my long term vision in the role that I was in at that time.
At the same time, I had really started to develop a keen interest in coaching and how that could help people. How I could use coaching, how I could build coaching to help other particularly lawyers, particularly women lawyers, how they could use coaching to really enhance their practices. How they could grow. How they could overcome so many of the limitations that were really essentially self-imposed.
So as I had this shift, I loved the work that I was doing as a lawyer. There were so many great elements to it, but my values started to shift in terms of where I saw myself professionally. That was something that needed to be reconciled. So for all of you, a shift in your values, a shift in what you want, falling out of integrity. Sometimes it’s not even always falling. It’s maybe a gradual shift where you notice one day, “Wait a minute. Something’s not right here. I think I need to change this.”
It can happen also in other areas of your life. So you might find yourself falling out of integrity when it comes to the commitments that you’ve made to yourself in respect to your health. A lot of clients that I work with, the main thrust of our work together is focused on their professional work. But very often there’s some element of their physical health that they have not necessarily been attending to in the way that they want to.
So when we’re planning what they want to do going forward, when we talk about all the different pieces, then we also talk about the self-care piece and maintaining the type of health that they want that will give them the energy to sustain the changes that they want to make. So that’s another area where you may find that you’re out of integrity with yourself. Are you taking care of yourself? Are you living up to the standards that you want in terms of just your basic needs?
Another area where you might find yourself falling out of integrity is your relationships. This may be relationships with significant others, with friends, with family. I know with my children, I’m always asking myself, “Is this the mother that I want to be with my children?” Sometimes the answer is no, and then I know that I need to readjust. I need to change something so that I can be confident and content and satisfied that I’m showing up as the mother that I want to show up as.
It may also be the relationship that you have with yourself. That’s really what we’re talking about today. Are you showing up to yourself in a way that is in integrity with what you want for yourself and the vision that you have for yourself.
How do you know if you have fallen out of integrity? I think we talked about examples where that might show up, what does that feel like? Well, it probably doesn’t feel very good. I know for myself it shows up as discomfort. I see in clients it shows up as anxiety. It may show up as experiencing some form of burnout where they have just decided that the course that they were on is no longer tenable. So they have stepped off that course one way or another.
It may show up as this general feeling of malaise. That there’s something off and you don’t know quite where it is. The importance of taking the time to reflect and figure out what is truly at play here is what will allow you to identify where you may be out of integrity. By identifying it, that will allow you to then take steps towards correcting the course that you’re on so that you can slowly bring yourself back into alignment. Some people might do it more quickly, but here what I’m really thinking about is how to readjust yourself.
Another element that may be an indication to you that you’re not in alignment is what I mentioned earlier in relation to myself. That is the lack of being able to see a clear vision for your future. I know that’s where I was. The difference between where I was several years ago and where I am now is that I have a much clearer vision of where I want to go. Now, I understand that in my example I am moving towards a practice that is a coaching practice. It’s quite different from a legal practice in many respects.
However, I have a clarity of vision that allows me to take on work. It allows me to feel motivated. It allows me to take risks that I would not otherwise be taking because I know where I’m going. I know that that vision may shift over time. I know that I can’t really know today what that’s going to look like in five years. But having that vision for myself makes all the difference.
When I work with lawyers and they talk about what their vision is, it’s so empowering when they start to see what type of legacy, for example, they want to leave. Or they see themselves in a position, and they are planning for that several years out. So they are planning today for something they want to accomplish two or three years from now. That vision, that clarity of purpose, allows them to fit into the process a number of steps. It encourages them to take risks. It gives them the power to make decisions because they know where they’re going.
So if you find yourself in a position where you’re looking at your career or your personal life or relationships or parenting, whatever it is, the area where you feel like you’re not 100% in integrity. You look out several years, and you ask yourself where you want to be. If you can’t answer that question, if it’s not clear to you, that may be an area where you might want to ask yourself a few questions. I’ll be offering a number of questions when we get to the end of the podcast.
So what do you do? I mean we’re going through our lives. You’re going through your practice. You may or may not be aware of being in integrity or not being in integrity. What do you do about that? I see a number of things with the lawyers that I work with in my practice. I know I’ve seen this in myself too. I’ve seen maybe three strategies, I’m sure there are more that people have used to deal with that lack of integrity.
The first thing that we might do, and this is so interesting. This was highlighted by Martha Beck in her book was this idea of working harder. It’s so fascinating. When I read that in her book, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head because she’s spot on. Sometimes when we are out of integrity, we think, “There must be something wrong with me. If I was working harder, then this would all fall into place.”
So even though when I’m saying this now, I think that just doesn’t make any sense. Why would you work harder at something where you know you’re out of alignment? I’ve absolutely done that in the past. I have clients who’ve done that in the past. I think it’s perfectly natural where we see that something is working. It doesn’t feel right.
Our instinct, sometimes, is just to go harder on that thing. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to create a different result, a result that is more in alignment, or is more in integrity. It just means that we’re working harder at something that maybe is not what we are intended to do. That can create a lot of discomfort. It doesn’t create a different outcome. It doesn’t help us align.
Another thing, another strategy that we might use to address an unalignment or a falling out of integrity is this idea of just ignoring it. Sometimes it’s done at a conscious level. That we know that we’re feeling out of alignment, but we decide I’m not going to deal with that ever. Or maybe we have no idea that we’re out of alignment. So we ignore it not on purpose, but we just don’t do anything about it.
A third strategy that we might use—and I know I’ve done this; I’ve worked with clients who’ve done this—is to put off dealing with it. So we may recognize that there’s a disconnect between what we truly want and the actions that we’re taking. Accept that I’m not going to deal with this right now. This is not the right time. I’m going to deal with that a few months down the road, a few years down the road when it really becomes a problem.
You can do that for a certain amount of time. But what my experience has been, what I’ve witnessed in others is that that will take you so far, but that discomfort will eventually get stronger. You may then really choose to get off that path.
Now the reason that these strategies are maybe not ideal strategies or why you may choose to take a different approach is that ignoring the problem, working harder to compensate for the problem, putting off resolving the problem to another day doesn’t create the outcomes that you want. It can really cost you. So some of the costs that I’ve seen, and this is really interesting to see. For some lawyers, for example, they end up on a path that they didn’t really choose.
Here I’d invite you to think about the impact of incremental changes, for example. If you were about to fly a plane from destination A to destination B, and let’s say that you were off by one degree in your flight. You would end up in a completely different place from where you intended to go. The same is true in relation to your career. If you think about what impact a small lack of alignment would have. If you’re looking at it over the course of the day, not a big deal. If you start looking at that over the course of several years, you may find yourself at the end of it very much off track for what you wanted to accomplish.
I’ve worked with lawyers who have been into their practices maybe a dozen years, maybe two dozen years, three dozen years where they acknowledge that they are not where they really wanted to be. They attribute where they are to a decision that was made very early on in their career. It may have been the decision even to go into law school. That this was something that their parents had a strong influence over. They never really course corrected. They were given a few options. Lawyering seemed to be the path of least resistance.
So they chose that and haven’t looked back. There have maybe been opportunities along the way. They’ve really enjoyed their career, but they’re missing something. Or a lawyer that I worked with who was several years into practice at an organization. She was very well established. What she really wanted to do was to break out of this and start a mediation practice. She was talking herself out of this. “No, I’m too busy. No, it’s too late for me.”
It’s disappointing in a sense when you see that somebody has a passion for something, and they know that they want it yet they’re talking themselves out of doing it. Because as a coach especially I look at them and think, “Well, you can do this. What if you try it? What if you just started taking baby steps towards that goal of yours?” So when we look at this idea of being in integrity, being in alignment, and we let that drift overtime, we can end up in a very different space from where we really wanted to be.
Now, conversely I work with clients who sometimes see this early on, and they’re willing to take that risk. I’ve worked with a number of clients who have sort of gone off the beaten path, the trajectory that they thought they were going to be on. They have the courage to go ahead and explore opportunities that are quite different from what they initially set out for.
That is such a wonderful exercise because it involves them asking themselves questions. Looking for the breadcrumbs in their career? What is it that they’ve enjoyed so far? Where is it that they want to go? Working with these clients is fascinating because sometimes they have such a clear image of where they want to go, and they didn’t even know it.
There was one client who I worked with who we sat down. Well, it was virtual, but we met up virtually. She proceeded to tell me, “I really don’t know what I want to do. I just know that this is not for me.” After a few questions, she literally had mapped out a six month plan that would get her transitioning from where she was to where she wanted to be. She had a course she wanted to take. She had people she wanted to reach out to. She had very clear goals about where she wanted to end up. All of these ideas were within her. She just needed the opportunity to articulate them.
So whatever stage you’re at in your career, if there is something that is out there that is calling to you, I would encourage you to explore that. I’m not suggesting that you need to take drastic measures, quit your job, move to Hawaii, whatever it is. I would just encourage you to start noticing if there is that voice inside your head that’s making suggestions, offering new ideas. That is nudging you in one direction or another. I would encourage you to start listening to that voice because it can tell you a lot.
If you look at what happens over the long term, you may find yourself following a path that is quite different and being quite fulfilled in that path versus staying on the path that you’re on if that path isn’t right for you.
So maybe this is something that you can relate to. I know for me, I could really relate to this. I mentioned earlier about a dozen years or so into my legal practice, I started to realize that I was no longer in integrity with what I truly wanted. One of the signs that I had was that I no longer had a clear vision for what I wanted for myself as a lawyer.
Once I started to explore coaching, because that’s really what I was drawn to, I had my own reticular activating system activated. I really started noticing opportunities for what I could do as a coach. I started to recognize what the need was. I started recognizing some of the breadcrumbs in my own career where I’d really gravitated towards working with other lawyers, working with students, creating processes to help bring up and mentor other lawyers.
Where I was really drawn was all in relation to the professional development, the work that I now do in my coaching practice. So for yourself, once you start realizing that maybe there’s a disconnect, what are the things that you are drawn towards? What are the things that are coming out of the woodwork and making themselves apparent to you? I assure you that when you start identifying the things that you truly want to create for yourself, opportunities will present themselves to you that will help you get closer to the goal that you have at this point, possibly just in your mind’s eye.
Now when it comes to the benefits, there’s also a real benefit in aligning your actions, in moving yourself into integrity with yourself at a professional level and, of course, at a personal level as well. So when you are operating from a place of integrity with yourself, you give yourself the opportunity to grow into who you really are meant to be on a professional level and on a personal level.
So you may have experienced this already where maybe you were in an environment, a job that really wasn’t aligned with what you wanted. You moved into a different job, and all of a sudden you started to feel much more at peace. Maybe you were working just as hard or harder than you were at a previous job, but you felt so much more connected to what was on the other side of it. Maybe it was the values. Maybe it was the nature of the work. Maybe it was who you were working with. It really depends on what you were looking for.
It may be that you have seen this before in your personal life. Maybe you’ve had the experience of being in a relationship or a friendship or some role at a personal level where things were just not on track. Once you were able to move more into a place where you felt more strongly about who you were showing up as in that relationship.
I mean sometimes you don’t need to change the relationship. You just need to change the way that you’re looking at the relationship, how you’re going up in the relationship, what you’re bringing to the relationship, and your expectations. Sometimes you can change the way that you’re perceiving the relationship and presenting yourself, and that can actually bring you back into integrity.
So there’s another way that bringing yourself into integrity can really enhance the longer term. If you can imagine aligning your values, the things that really matter to you, lighting your goals with the way that you spend your time, the work that you do, the people that you surround yourself with.
Imagine what kind of trajectory you could have in terms of where you’re going to end up. I would argue that this would be very much the opposite of what we discussed before. If you’re on track and you’re getting closer to what it is that you’re aspiring to, there’s so much more joy that comes out of that. There’s so much more fulfilment that comes out of that.
I mentioned in an earlier podcast. I talk about this a lot in episode three where I talk about how to create a joyful practice. It’s so much based on being true to yourself and deciding on a goal, deciding on a purpose for yourself where you then continue to practice and move yourself closer to those goals.
There’s a wonderful quote that I wanted to mention here. It’s one that I learned when I was doing my coach training. It’s a Japanese proverb. It goes like this. It is, “Where there is no break. Not even the thickness of a hair comes between a woman’s vision and her action.” So I’m just going to read that again. I find it to be such a powerful quote. “Where there is no break. Not even the thickness of a hair comes between a woman’s vision and her action.” I would invite you to think about what your vision is, what your actions are, and how you can go about bringing those two into integrity with each other.
Some of the questions that you might ask yourself when it comes to creating or resolving the question of integrity is to really think about the work that you’re doing. So, for example, what is your work? When you really get down into it, what is it that you do that you consider to be your work? Yes, there is the description of the work that you’re doing. Maybe it’s writing a statement of claim. Maybe it’s reviewing documents. I’m sort of making up these examples. There’s a deeper meaning to the work that you do.
I was working with a client recently who was talking about how she sees herself in her role as a lawyer. She said what she’s doing is she’s working with clients. She wants to work in litigation. She’s talking about how it’s an opportunity for her to take the stories of individuals who are not lawyers and to express them in a way in legal terms so that they can achieve their objectives from a legal perspective. So she’s really the conduit or the translator. She’s taking the language of people who are not lawyers, and she’s telling their story in a way that is language used by the courts.
So you might ask yourself what your role is. Maybe it’s you’re helping others resolve their problems so that they can move on with their lives. Whatever it happens to be for you, there is a deeper purpose. There is a significance. What is the work that you are doing? When you take off all the names and the labels, what is that to you?
Another question you might ask yourself is what are you so committed to that you are willing to spend your days practicing knowing? I mean practicing, not just the law, but practicing as in you are prepared to work and to continue to improve your craft and your skills knowing that you’re moving towards a vision that you’ll get closer to but that you may not fully reach.
This goes back to that episode number three that I mentioned. This notion that work being this ongoing process. That we will never truly attain perfection. That perfection doesn’t really exist. The magic is actually in the process of working towards that goal. The progress that you make in working towards that goal. So the question here is what will you consider to be? In terms of your work, what can you stand behind so that you’re willing to spend your days practicing in an effort to get closer to that ideal?
Other questions that you can ask yourself to get closer to bringing yourself into integrity is what do you want to be known for? When you look at your career, when you look at your personal life, when you look at what you want to be able to say at the end of all of this is what do you want to be known for? Think about what those qualities might be for you. What do you do better than anyone else? What comes with ease for you?
I think we often buy into a notion that for something to have value, it needs to have been difficult for us to attain it. What I would offer to you is maybe what comes easy to you, what you are known for, what people gravitate to you to do. If those are things that you enjoy, maybe that is an indication of where you are most in integrity with yourself. Often the things we find easy are also the things that are meaningful to us. We may discount them, but I would encourage you to really think about what those are and to ask yourself whether or not that is truly incorporated into the work that you are doing currently.
Another question that you might ask yourself is what do you want your legacy to be? I love this question. It came up recently in a coaching conversation. It really allows you to think about what kind of impact do you want to have? Whether it’s in your law firm, an organization that you work in. Maybe it’s in a professional membership or association that you want to create an impact in. What does that look like? Is it doing a certain type of work? Is it mentoring? Is it affecting some sort of a change within the legal profession? I mean there’s so many different ways that you could create a legacy for yourself.
I would encourage you to ask yourself what you would like your legacy to be. One of the magical things about this is that when you have a broader vision for what you want to create, it allows you to then look at the tasks on a day to day basis and ask yourself whether or not the completion of those tasks brings you closer to that vision or not. Is it helping you build that legacy or not? That can be a very powerful filter when it comes to deciding how you’re going to with the actions that you’re going to choose to take and whether or not they are aligned with your vision. So that’s another question that you can ask yourself.
Finally, the last question that I’m going to offer in today’s podcast is who do you need to become to create that legacy? So imagine that legacy that you want to leave behind, and how you need to be to get there. When you can identify the traits and characteristics of that person, this future version of yourself, what are they and how can you start being that person today?
I just wanted to add. When you start asking these questions, then you’ll start to see the opportunities present themselves. So I’ve mentioned a couple of times this idea of the reticular activating system. You will start to notice the opportunities that will present themselves to you that will allow you to move closer to the goal that you set for yourself, that vision that you have for yourself.
Once you also start noticing when you’re in integrity with yourself and when you have fallen out of integrity with yourself, you will be able to align your actions more closely with what truly resonates with you. You can start doing the course correction work at an earlier stage rather than waiting until you’ve kind of gone way off course, and you’ll need to exert more effort to dial that in.
What I have experienced and what I see my clients experience is that when they start to do that work, when they start to align what they truly want with what they’re doing on the ground, they create more joy. They experience more fulfillment. They derive so much more pleasure and create more impact in the work that they’re doing.
So this is a practice that I would encourage you all to develop for yourselves so that you can bring yourselves into an integrity with yourselves and to feel very much compelled on a path forward that will land you where you want to be in your practice, in your personal life, in your relationships, and your health.
So with that I am going to say goodbye and thank you so much for listening today. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this podcast as much as I’ve enjoyed preparing it and doing it for you. It is always a pleasure to connect. I would love for you to reach out if you have any feedback. Like I said in the beginning, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or send me an email.
If you feel inclined, I would love it if you would rate and review the podcast. The more ratings it has, the more easy it is for others to find it. I would very much like for lawyers who would benefit from this work to be able to find it and have access to it. So with that, I am going to say goodbye. Thank you so much for joining me. I will look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Bye for now.
If you enjoyed today’s show and don’t want to miss an episode, subscribe, and follow the show wherever you listen to your podcasts. If you haven’t already, please leave a rating and review. Your feedback will help me create a podcast that’s tailored to your needs and goes straight to the heart of what matters to you. For instructions on how to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast, visit www.thejoyfulpractice.com/podcastlaunch. See you next time.
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers podcast. If you want more information, visit www.thejoyfulpractice.com. See you next week.