Ep #49: Making Tough Decisions: From “On the Fence” to “No Regrets”

The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers with Paula Price | Making Tough Decisions: From "On the Fence" to "No Regrets"

Is there a decision you’re sitting on that is keeping you up at night? What are you currently grappling with, and how do you move forward? We resist making certain decisions, and for good reason. The unknown is daunting, and within the context of law, it’s likely you’re risk-averse and don’t want to gamble a secure position for something entirely unpredictable.


The desire for certainty is one that is human and normal. But if there’s a decision that is keeping you stuck, and the back and forth of ruminating on this decision is leading to more trouble than you started with, you’re in the right place. The longer we stay in indecision, the more our self-confidence gets undermined, so this week, I’m helping you evaluate your decisions with clarity and self-trust.


Join me on the podcast as I offer seven ideas you can use to make a decision. I’m showing you where to start if you’re currently stuck in indecision, how to have your back as you make new decisions, and my top tips for quantifying the decisions you’re considering for your future life and career. 


Are you a law student getting ready to enter the workforce? On Friday, April 29th at 9:30am Pacific time, I’m sharing a three-hour course that will go through six challenges I see students facing when they make the transition from law school to law firm, and I’ll be giving you strategies and tools to help you overcome these challenges. Click here to sign up!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • The pros and cons of both making a decision and not making a decision.
  • 7 ideas you can use to help you make a decision. 
  • How to approach your decisions in a way that gets you closer to where you want to go.
  • 2 ways to quantify a decision you’re considering making. 
  • The power of speaking to someone else about your decision-making process. 
  • How to have your own back as you make a new decision.
  • What is required of you as you practice making decisions. 

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast episode number 49.

Welcome to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast. I’m your host Paula Price, lawyer turned certified executive coach. This podcast was created to empower women lawyers just like you to create a life and practice you love. Join me every week for a break from the hustle so we can focus on you, what you truly want, and how you can create it.

If you’re over the overwhelm, done with putting out fires, and ready to create a life and practice that brings you more joy, you’re in the right place. Ready for today’s episode? Let’s dive in.

Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast. It is such a treat to connect with you this week. I’m excited that you’re joining me to talk about decisions. I know for a lot of you decisions are something that are holding you back, that are keeping you stuck, that you are grappling with, that are keeping you up at night. I know that because a number of lawyers reach out to me when they find themselves with decisions that are keeping them stuck.

I received an email yesterday from a lawyer who I’ve been working with on and off for the last couple of years. It was the most beautiful email. She announced that she had made a decision. This is something that we had talked about going way back. She’d signed some very important paperwork. She was excited. She was not looking back.

It made me appreciate how sometimes there are decisions that take time where we talk to somebody and we weigh those decisions. They feel really heavy until the moment when we make the decision. Then all of a sudden, it’s like a weight is lifted off your shoulders, and you are free to move forward in the direction that you want to go.

I’m also working with another client who is in the middle of decision. In that case, the decision has not yet been made. This particular lawyer is looking at the position that they are in currently and a position that has been offered to them.

that lawyer is weighing the pros and cons. that decision making process is one of uncertainty. Leaving something that is familiar and safe and predictable although not necessarily ideal for the long run versus doing something that is quite different. That is an unknown where there’s a risk. A risk that it’s not the right decision, that it’s not the forever job.

so if you find yourself anywhere on that spectrum, whether you’ve made a decision and you’re all in and you know you’ve made the right decision, and now you’re just flying toward whatever it is that you’ve decided. Or if you’re somewhere before that stage where you’re still grappling with the different options. I invite you to listen to today’s episode with whatever decision is on your mind in the background so that you can think about the concepts that we’re talking about. And ideally, work your way through your decision, get some clarity on your decision, and possibly even make a decision.

So today we’re going to talk about decisions. We’re going to talk about the pros and cons of making or not making a decision. I’m going to offer you seven ideas that you can use to help you make a decision when you feel like you’re stuck and having trouble moving forward.

So before we jump in, I would just invite you to think about some of the decisions that you may have made in the past, that you may be making in the future. I’ll share with you some of the decisions that lawyers bring to me. Sometimes you are a lawyer in private practice working at a law firm, and you are thinking that there are other firms that are options for you that may be a better fit. So in that case, you might be moving from a firm to another firm.

Some lawyers are at a firm and they want to go in-house. so they’re looking at what that might look like. So maybe that transition is a little bit less familiar because the nature of the work is different or the nature of the organization is different. It may be that you are in-house already, and what you’ve decided is that in house is not the greener pasture that you were hoping for. actually what you want is a return to private practice or a transition to another role.

It may be that you are practicing as a lawyer. You’ve tried a few different roles as a practicing lawyer, and what you’ve decided is that you no longer want to be practicing law. You’re looking at other opportunities. You’re wondering what your transferable skills are. If that describes you, I recorded a podcast recently with Randi Bean of Life After Law. You can listen to that episode for some ideas. She offered some really great suggestions.

finally, it may be that you are simply in a rut. You don’t know what you want to do next. so you are just thinking about what options are available to you not really knowing what that looks like going forward. So I love helping lawyers through these transitions. I love helping people make decisions. what I’m going to share with you today is some of what I have experienced myself in terms of the decisions that I’ve made as a lawyer and as a coach, and also sharing with you some of what I’ve experienced in coaching lawyers through their decisions.

So the first thing that I want to talk about is some of the downsides of not making a decision. Now for some of you, you have been sitting on a decision for some time. I receive calls from lawyers who want to talk to me about making a transition. Sometimes it’s applying for a type of job, or it’s moving into a different role.

they tell me that they want to make that transition because they’re not happy where they are. But they’re not ready yet to move. if that is you, then I want to say that that is okay. If you need more time to make a decision, allow yourself to have that time. Sometimes we just aren’t ready.

Now, when we don’t make a decision and we don’t move forward, what that does is it does cost us in a way. usually what that costs is just your enjoyment of your work. I’ve seen this happen. I’ve experienced this myself where staying in a position where you’re not truly fulfilled can cause you to experience your days in a way that is not always enjoyable, right. you may find that you have challenges at work, and you then bring those challenges home with you. So you’re not just experiencing it once. You’re experiencing it twice.

sometimes it means that you are having conversations with your friends, with your spouse, with colleagues at work where you have the same issue come up, but you don’t reach a resolution. so that can cost you in terms of your enjoyment. It can cost you in terms of your relationships with other people. It can also cost you in terms of your relationship with yourself.

you may find that the longer this goes on, the more you are troubled with the way that you are treating yourself. It’s almost like you’re forcing yourself to show up in a situation that you don’t want to be in. that can undermine your sense of self trust. It can undermine your sense of self-confidence.

so I’m not saying that you need to make a decision one way or the other at any particular point in time. For a lot of lawyers, there are good reasons to not make a decision. To stay where you are for a certain amount of time. However, what I’m just wanting to highlight here is that it can come at a cost to you and to the relationships that you’re in.

Now, when you don’t make a decision, that can also slow you down in terms of moving forward and making progress. if you listen to this podcast, then you may recall an episode I did, episode number seven, which is called The Power of Non-Negotiable Standards.

what I talk about in that episode is the difference of 99% versus 100%. how even when you think that you’re almost there, right. You’re at 99%. There’s just that 1% that’s missing. That 1% can really slow you down. Because when you are 100% all in, you move forward with a level of decisiveness that you just do not have when there is that 1% that is holding you back.

So you can imagine if you’re in a job where you’re not happy, but you’re not moving. If you are committed to a job, if you have decided that this is exactly what I want to do. It’s not working for me right now, but I know how I’m going to make it work. here are the steps I’m going to take. You would advance at a speed and in a direction that was in accordance with that decision, the decision to make it work.

Versus if you’re half in half out, you may not be making those decisions to make it work where you are nor are you making any progress in terms of doing something different. so what’s effectively happening is that you’re now stuck. You’re not moving forward. You’re simply staying where you are. so this is a cost to you of not moving forward in one direction or the other.

There’s another drawback of not making decisions, and that is a subtle form of self-sabotage. this may have happened to you before where you were in a situation. You didn’t really want to be in that situation, but you also didn’t want to expressly remove yourself from that situation.

so maybe what happened there is you didn’t give it 100% of your effort or your attention. Maybe you weren’t fully engaged. your experience of that, whether it was the work product that you were creating, whether it was your level of participation, whether it was the relationships you had with others who were involved in that project. Maybe you found that you just weren’t 100%, and that that was reflected in how you were coming across, and you ended up self-sabotaging. So that is another potential drawback of being in that land of indecision and staying on the fence as it were.

So as much as there are potential drawbacks for not making a decision, there are, of course, benefits to making decisions. one of the benefits of making a decision is that sense of freedom that comes from taking a situation where you’ve been sitting on the fence, where you’ve been weighing it back and forth, and you finally just decide to go one way or the other.

This is like the freedom that was expressed in the email that I received yesterday. I made the decision, I signed the papers, and I’m not looking back. That might be your experience of making a decision. if you have made decisions like that, you can probably feel that weight lifting off your shoulder and the freedom that came with making that decision.

Another benefit of making a decision is that you get information and knowledge. So maybe you’re in a position right now where you’re not particularly happy, but you don’t know what else is out there. maybe it’s that firm situation that you’re in. You want to go in-house. You don’t know what that’s like. You’ve never done it before. You’ve heard through friends who have done it that this is their experience of it. So you try it out for yourself.

what you then gain is information. You gain the experience. You learn what it’s like firsthand. You’re no longer left wondering, is it for me or is it not for me? You will learn that yes; it is exactly for you. Why didn’t you do this earlier? Or you may learn this isn’t exactly what I had hoped for, and now you have that additional information from which to move forward.

Another advantage of making a decision is speed. Once you have made that decision, going back to that 100% versus 99% difference is you’re able to make those decisions that are 100% decisions. You’re no longer left wondering am I doing this or am I not doing this? That will allow you to move faster in the direction of where you want to go.

finally, when you make decisions, regardless of the outcome of those decisions, is that you start to develop a greater sense of self-confidence and a greater sense of self-trust as you learn that regardless of the outcomes of your decisions, you have your own back. You’re able to move forward, and you can handle whatever it is that comes your way.

Even though you may know at an intellectual and logical and cognitive level that making a decision is the best way for you to move forward, you may still find that there is resistance there. if you do, you are not alone. A lot of people and lawyers in particular resist making certain decisions for good reason.

Number one, there’s a desire for certainty. You want to know what the outcome is going to be. But one of the decisions you have to make, one of the choices, doesn’t present certainty. You don’t know how it’s going to turn out. so when faced against the uncertainty of making a move, for example, versus staying where you are, where you know what to expect, for better or for worse, that unknown can be really daunting.

It may be that you’re risk averse. It may be that you’re taking a gamble by leaving a very secure position for something that might be more unpredictable. Maybe you want to start your own law firm, and you’re wondering well, how am I going to make that work? How am I going to make that work financially? Where will I find my clients? Where will I set up my office? What if I am unable to generate enough work to stay open, etc.? There are all sorts of risks that may come with making a decision. those risks may be preventing you from taking that next step forward.

Another reason why you may not want to make a move is that you have invested so much in where you are right now. this may apply in the sense that you’re an organization where you’ve put in a number of years. You have a solid reputation with your colleagues, with your clients. You know the industry. You know the office. You know how things work. You’re an expert in your field. the idea of giving all that up feels like it would be a big loss to you.

Similarly, if you are a lawyer and you’re wanting to explore what it’s like to stop practicing, you may feel like you’ve invested all this time, you invested in getting your law degree, you invested in practicing, you invested in developing a practice. to step away from that just feels like you’re losing out on so much work that you’ve already done.

It may be that one of the reasons you don’t want to make a move is that you’re concerned about what other people are going to think about you. I know this comes up a lot in the context of lawyers within the legal community. That there’s a certain level of reputation that you are known a certain way, and to step out of your identity as a lawyer feels really unsettling. That you don’t really know how you would identify yourself and that you’re concerned about others would identify you.

finally, one of the reasons why you may not be making a decision is that you are seeking permission on some level. It’s like you feel like somebody other than you needs to grant you that permission for you to move forward.

So if any of these factors are standing between you and making a decision, I just want you to know you’re not alone. These are all legitimate concerns. I would invite you to think about which of these are applicable to you, and how you might reconcile these concerns with your desire to move forward in the direction of what is most important to you.

So, for example, if what you really want is to move out of practice or to move into a certain type of position, and you’re concerned about one of these factors. How can you put into perspective what stands to be gained from making that decision versus what it is that you would put at risk?

So I’m going to offer you a number of strategies that will hopefully help you if you find that you are in the process of making a decision, but you’re not quite sure how to move forward. some of these are strategies that I offered a client recently who is struggling with what to do next.

There are seven strategies altogether. Seven ideas. the first is probably the most important. it’s a concept that is talked about in a book written by Susan Jeffers called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways. it is the idea that there is no wrong decision.

I think so many of us are brought up to think that there’s a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things. in some cases, there may truly be a wrong decision. Like it is probably not a good decision to do something that will hurt somebody on purpose or a decision that is reckless or one you don’t give it any thought at all.

I mean there are probably examples of decisions where there is objectively a wrong thing to do. But for a lot of decisions that fall into the gray area, for example a career transition, for example putting your name in for a promotion, for example, deciding that you really need to have a certain conversation. I mean, the decisions don’t just have to be big career transitions. They can be smaller decisions that occur throughout the day.

But the idea here is that there are no wrong decisions. Susan Jeffers uses her own language for this. She talks about there being a no win model versus a no lose model. really, what we’re looking at is a no lose model.  That regardless of the decision that you make, a certain series of consequences will flow, good and bad, but that neither one is right, nor is one of them wrong.

so what you do in making a decision is you actually gain information. You build momentum. You move forward. the analogy that she offers is one of an airplane. I don’t know a lot about airplanes and how they fly, but the way she describes it, it’s almost like a sailboat when it’s tacking from side to side. The vessel is going in one direction, but it doesn’t travel a straight trajectory to get there. It travels by moving in a zigzagged line. that zigzagged line will ultimately lead to the destination.

so the way she describes it is that 90% of the time the plane is going in the wrong direction. But ultimately, by moving forward and by course correcting, it will arrive where it’s meant to arrive.

so I would invite you to take that same approach in terms of the decisions that you’re making. That each decision that you’re making is getting you closer to where you want to go, even if you’re not traveling in a linear or direct path to get there. So that’s the first tip is to remove from the equation the idea that there is a right decision and a wrong decision.

Now, the second idea is one that is based on metrics. when I speak with lawyers who are making decisions, often they just want the answer to be math, right? If only there was a way of calculating which decision is right and which decision is wrong. maybe there’s an algorithm for that. Here are a couple of ideas I have in terms of trying to quantify a decision.

Number one is a t-graph, which you’ve probably heard of, where you line up let’s say there’s two options. You line them up next to each other. then you do the pros and cons of each of them. That brainstorming exercise will force you to start thinking about what in relation to each of the options are pros, and what are cons. That exercise may help you identify if there’s a deal breaker, for example. That one of the options is just not one that you want to pursue versus the other one is. So that exercise might make it more clear to you.

It may not. It may be that you look at the pros and cons list, and it just further confuses you, or contributes to your indecision because you realize that there is no one situation that is materially better than the other. That maybe there are pros and cons for each, but it’s hard to navigate or it’s hard to assess which weighs more heavily than the other.

So if what you want to do is incorporate an element of weight to it, an idea that you might try is this. It is to take a step back, first of all, and think about what factors are going into your decision. So rather than looking at the decision and weighing the pros and cons in relation to the options, take a step back and think about what’s important to you in relation to your career.

So it may be that it’s financial considerations. It may be that it is contribution or community or practicing in a certain area. So I would invite you to write out a list of values. that will give you some guidance in terms of how you’re going to then evaluate one option against another in relation to those values.

Now, if you want to get more in depth in this exercise, you can take your list of values and try to rank them, right. Maybe community is top of the list and financial is less important to you, or maybe it’s vice versa. But when you look at what’s important to you and then force yourself to go through the exercise of ranking them, that gives you a somewhat more objective view of what matters to you.

Now, again, going back to the metrics and trying to turn this into somewhat of a math equation. You might look at each of the criteria that you have set out, and then assign a ranking relative to each of the options that you have.

So it may be that you’re looking at options A and B. in option A, you look at community, and you say it’s a five out of 10. if you look at option B, it is a seven out of 10. Then you might ask yourself, well, what is it that made me rank option A is a five and option B is a seven? So that will help you get more granular about what each of those options has to offer. You might also ask yourself how would I bring each of those options from where they are now to a 10?

so maybe that means developing a stronger community within an organization. Maybe it means something else, but what that exercise will do is allow you to think into the possibility of how you might engage in either of those options in a way that brings that element of community, in this example, or whatever it is that you’re after, the criteria that you’re looking for. How you can bring more of that element into that role.

So really, that’s allowing you, and I’m sort of repeating myself, but it gives you that sense of agency. It gives you that sense of control. So those are some ways of quantifying or turning your decision making process into one that is a little bit more objective.

So we talked about the t-graph. We talked about figuring out what your values are, ranking those values, giving an assessment of each option in relation to those values, playing with how you rank them, what you would want to do differently, etcetera. All these exercises are going to get you thinking. As you do these exercises, you might find that the answer becomes clear to you. That there’s a deal breaker in there. That there’s one that is very much more in favor than the other.

So the third tool that I would invite you to consider is to play with time. I love doing this. I love asking clients to do this because sometimes we look at the decision and we’re looking at it in the present moment as it relates to the other option, for example. what I would encourage everybody to do is to think about their careers on a longer term spectrum.

so looking out three years, five years, 10 years, looking at where you want to go ultimately. Chances are you will not know today where you want to be in 20 years. Maybe you do. But you may know where you want to be in three years or five years. so if you look at your options, if you look at a decision based on where you want to be in five years, that might really clarify the decision making process for you.

So, for example, if you know or you think you know that you want to have your own practice, you want to start your own firm. you look at the short term, and you think, well, in the short term, that means I’m going to be taking a pay cut. It means that I’m inviting a new risks because I don’t know where my clients are going to come from.

However, if I look out 10 years, I see myself as my own independent practice. I see myself as a business owner versus being an employee at a firm or at an organization. If you know that that is your long term goal, it makes the decision that you’re making today a lot more tangible, and it puts it into context. Now you know, for you, what the right next move is. So look at that decision from different perspectives because that will help you figure out what move today is going to bring you closer to that other move down the road.

Another way this might come up is if you’re in private practice, for example, and you know that you do not want to follow the traditional path at your firm, which may be to progress to the partnership. You may know already, maybe a few years in, that’s not really what you want. that what you really want is more of a policy advisory role.

You might look at an organization that is available and think well, this isn’t the perfect role for me, but it gets me a lot closer to what I think my perfect role is. even if it’s not the right role for me, it will get me in front of people. It will help me gather information so that I know what my next move is going to be. So tip number three is to evaluate the decision, not just from what’s best for you today, but what is going to get you closer to your goals, two years, three years, five years from now.

Now, tip number four is to talk to people. you might talk to a coach. You might reach out to somebody like me, and I or someone like me can help you make these decisions. To ask you questions about these decisions, to listen to you speak about these decisions.

You might reach out to professionals in the area where you want to make a decision. Maybe you want to move into a policymaking role. There’s somebody in that organization you would like to speak with. Maybe it’s speaking with your friends, people who know you really well, to get a sense of how they perceive your level of job satisfaction, for example.

what you might find is that you will learn information from those who you speak with, but you will also learn information from yourself. What I have found when I am working with clients and when I am being coached myself is that what I say or what my clients say can be really impactful when they are hearing it for the first time.

So sometimes the conversations I have with my clients are ones they haven’t had with anybody. when they speak those words out loud, they realize what rings true for them. I always think that we are each the expert in our own lives.

so the decision that is right for you is the one that you will reach based on your own intuition, based on your own knowledge. by talking about the decision with somebody else, you are articulating your thoughts about it and learning through that process what it is that really matters to you and what is important. It will help you figure out what to do next.

Number six is to listen to your gut. So it may be that you do the math. You follow the T-bar framework or you come up with a list of values and you assign some metrics. You feel like you’ve been able to give a decision a score.

what I would invite you to consider is that sometimes the score on paper may not match the instinct or the gut level reaction that you have. sometimes what you might want to do is go with your gut. I can tell you that I have almost never made a decision at a gut level that I regretted. I have made decisions at an intellectual level, but not listened to my gut and regretted that decision.

I have a podcast episode that’s all about trusting your gut. I don’t have the reference number handy, but it will be linked to in the show notes. so that’s another criteria that you might consider if you’re having a tough time making a decision.

number seven is to start making small decisions. It may be that you are not really comfortable making a big decision. Maybe what you’re contemplating is a big career move. Maybe you’re thinking of leaving law altogether, and that just seems like too much to bite off at this moment. What you might try doing is making a smaller decision. Maybe you join a nonprofit board and start exploring what different opportunities look like. Maybe you start reaching out and expanding your professional network to more non lawyers to see what kind of work they are doing.

So making these small decisions might help you build your confidence for when you make the big decision, which will ultimately have the impact or the effect of moving away from where you are now, from letting go of that position or that situation where you’re comfortable, but not happy. And building the confidence and the risk tolerance for stepping into the unknown.

finally, the last suggestion that I would offer to you in terms of making a decision is to be aware of what is going to happen after you make your decision. So in some cases, you may experience what my client experienced, which is I made the decision, and I’m not looking back. This is the no regrets decision. if that is you, that is amazing. It is truly freeing and wonderful and expansive and exciting to step into a new position, step into a decision, and just feel that confidence and that certainty that that was the right thing to do.

However, sometimes you can make a decision, and it doesn’t feel right. sometimes the reason that it doesn’t feel right is because there truly is something that isn’t right. You may accept a job, for example, and you step into that position. a few weeks in you realize, wait a minute, this is not exactly what was presented to me during the interview process. This is not the role that I had anticipated. This is not the work that I anticipated. I’m not working with the individuals I was supposed to work with. This is quite different. I’m not happy.

That may be the situation that you’re in, in which case you will need to make another decision whether or not to stay and try to make it work. Whether you want to leave right away. I mean, there are lots of different options available to you. But sometimes you may feel like the decision that you made, because it didn’t result in exactly what you wanted, in itself was not the right decision.

what I would invite you to do here, and that feels like regret. for anybody who has ever felt regret, it’s not a very nice place to be nor is it productive. Looking back and saying I never should have made that decision is not going to get you any closer to your goals. So rather than living in that feeling of regret and saying, “Oh, I never should have done that.”

What I would invite you to do instead is to allow yourself to choose to believe that that was the right decision. it was the right decision because that’s the decision that you made based on the facts in the moment. it’s given you an opportunity to make another decision moving forward that ultimately will get you closer to where it is you want to go.

So remember that airplane. It’s flying in the wrong direction 90% of the time, but so long as you keep moving forward and you keep recalibrating, you will end up where you want to be. So that is tip number seven, which is after you’ve made that decision to really have your own back, to feel confident that whatever decision you made was the right decision in the moment, it doesn’t mean that that is your final decision. if you want to recalibrate, you can do that.

So to recap, the seven suggestions I have if you find yourself sitting on the fence wanting to make a decision and feeling stuck are number one to make that initial meta decision that whatever decision you make is going to be the right decision. There is no wrong decision. Number two is to find a way to put metrics on your decision, whether it’s a T-graph, one versus the other, pros and cons, whether it’s looking at your values and assigning a score, a ranking. Then drilling down into why you give different options different rankings and figuring out what deal breakers might come up for you in that process.

Number three is to look at the decision not just from today’s perspective but going forward into the future. How does this decision play into your greater objectives long term? Number four is to talk to people, whether that’s a coach, whether that’s a colleague, whether that’s friends, family, your spouse. Whoever it is that you think will help you by giving you feedback, but also through whom having that conversation will help you to articulate what’s really going on inside your mind so that you can understand better where you are coming from.

The next is to listen to your gut. So whatever it is that you’re feeling at an instinctive level, regardless of how the decisions might look on paper. Next is to start with small decisions. So what are some of the smaller decisions you could make that will help you build confidence for that big decision?

Then finally, being aware that after you make a decision, it may be 100% smooth sailing, or you may find yourself having a bit of difficulty? If it’s the latter case, not to beat yourself up or regret having made a decision in the first place, but rather to take the information that you learned from that decision and apply it going forward to make another decision that is better for you.

Now, when you follow these steps, there are a couple of things that are required of you. Number one, you will be taking responsibility for these decisions, for the decisions you make. if we go back to that idea of self-sabotage where you may perform poorly not on purpose, but just because, or you’re not fully committed and you end up in a situation where somebody else is making that decision for you. Or if you are permission seeking, if you want to have somebody else make that decision for you.

believe me, I have people who want me to make decisions for them. I am more than happy to offer insights. I’m more than happy to share my experience or the experience that I’ve seen other people go through. But ultimately, nobody can give you permission except yourself to make a decision. you want that. You want that responsibility. You want that control and autonomy. That is you exerting your power or exercising your power in relation to choices that have an impact on you, that direct you in the course of your career.

Another thing that is required of you is to accept that there is uncertainty and risk in the choices that you make. sometimes we’ll make a decision, and you won’t be able to guarantee the outcome of that decision. But what deciding allows you to do, and this is kind of a neat concept which is kind of hard to explain in the abstract but makes a whole lot of sense on the granular level. Is that when you make a large decision, then you get to align all those micro decisions with that large decision.

So going back to the 99% example. If you’re not fully committed to something, it is really easy to slip into this no man’s land where you’re not truly acting in one direction or another. But when you make a decision to go for something, if it’s deciding that you’re going to start your own practice, all of a sudden, you get to start making micro decisions that align with that larger decision.

that creates the momentum going forward. It pulls you in that direction. all of a sudden, you find yourself going way faster than you ever anticipated possible and reaching goals in a way that you never anticipated. So there’s real power in accepting the risk associated with making a decision, and then being wrapped up in the momentum of all your micro decisions lining up with that end goal.

In terms of what is to be gained, there are a number of gains that come from making that decision. again, going back to what I said at the beginning. Sometimes it really truly does take time for you to make decisions. Sometimes you’re waiting for a bonus or you’re waiting for a trial to end, or you’re waiting for something in your personal life to come and go so that you’re in a better position to be able to make a transition.

if you are on the fence and you are waiting to make a decision, I fully support that. I don’t want this to come as a criticism for not acting sooner. However, once you do allow yourself to make that decision what you will find is that you are in a new zone. It may be more unpredictable. It may be uncertain. It may take time for you to really find your footing, but when you do ultimately find your footing, what you’ll find is that you’re so much more aligned with where it is you want to be. going back to that airplane analogy, you’re getting so much closer to your destination.

So that process in itself will increase your level of satisfaction. It will increase the confidence that you have with yourself. It will improve that relationship that you have with yourself as you reach greater integrity with what you are truly committed to. you’ll find that you start moving faster in that direction.

so if you are on the fence, if there is a decision that is holding you back, I would encourage you to think about how these concepts apply to you, how you might be able to use them to move forward. if I can support you in any way, please feel free to reach out to me. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn. You can email me. You can submit a contact form through the website, whatever it is, and I would be delighted to chat with you and see if I can help you.

Now for anybody who is listening when this podcast episode first comes out, which is April 27, 2022, I am putting on a training for law students on Friday, April 29th at 9:30 Pacific Time. Law students who are making a transition from law school to law firm.

if you know anybody who fits that bill, if that happens to be you, I would invite you to sign up. Even if you miss the live training but you catch this podcast episode over the course of the summer, I will be keeping the course alive. It’ll be recorded and put into a course platform. If that’s the topic that resonates with you, you can still register. If you have questions about it, you can always send me a note.

Anyhow, I would just invite you to think about whether that’s something you would like to sign up for or recommend to a student in your life who is making that transition this summer. So that, my friends, is what I have for you this week. I hope that whatever decision you have, you now have more clarity around it. like I said, if I can support you in any way, please feel free to reach out. It has been a pleasure. I look forward to connecting with you again next week. 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.

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