When you are a practicing lawyer, so many things land on your plate. There are high-stakes situations, whether there is money involved, reputation, or family dynamics that are going to be affected. And as a lawyer, you may feel like a lot of this pressure rests on your shoulders, whether it’s coming from your clients, your superiors, or your partners.
As we become more stressed and overwhelmed, our to-do list starts to seem longer and longer, and the time goes faster and faster. So in this episode, I’m giving you some tools and strategies that you can use to navigate stressful situations when they come up for you in your day-to-day.
Tune in this week to discover how to thrive under pressure. I’m sharing the ways that currently aren’t working for so many lawyers, and how we can completely reframe the idea of pressure in our jobs. And even though it might sound counterintuitive, I’m showing you how you can look at stress as something that helps you feel productive in your workday, instead of like a weight on your back.
If you want to learn how to clear the runway so you can go after your goals, come join me for some upcoming webinars I’m hosting in the next few months! Mark your calendars for November 12th and December 3rd at noon Pacific time. Click the dates to register, and I look forward to seeing you there!
If you enjoyed today’s show and don’t want to miss an episode, be sure to subscribe and follow the show. And 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. Click here to learn how to subscribe, rate, and review.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- The thoughts that typically run through our heads when we’re under pressure at work.
- Why the most important part of this work is accepting that you can’t get everything done in one day.
- How I see lawyers unsuccessfully trying to relieve the pressure they experience at work.
- Why we have to completely reframe the way we look at stress.
- 5 strategies you can use to handle pressure and stress in a way that allows you to thrive.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- If you enjoyed today’s show and don’t want to miss an episode, be sure to subscribe and follow the show. And 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. Click here to learn how to subscribe, rate, and review.
- Want to get in touch with me? You can do so by clicking here or reaching out to me on LinkedIn
- If you are interested in learning more about the work I do with lawyers, click here and send me a note, I would love to hear from you.
- The Lawyers Assistance Program
- The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia
- CLE BC Lawyer Wellness and Well-Being Resource
- Bena Stock
- Kelly McGonigal
- Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk: How to Make Stress Your Friend
- The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
- Byron Katie
- Ep #3: How to Find the Joy in Your Work
Full Episode Transcript:
You’re listening to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast episode number 24.
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. For those of you joining for the first time, my name is Paula Price. I’m a lawyer turned certified executive coach and the host of the podcast. So I think today’s episode will resonate with a lot of you. It’s all about how to thrive under pressure. I was going to talk to you about boundaries. I think boundaries are very important, and I will talk about boundaries in the future.
The topic of thriving under pressure really resonated at the moment. It’s something that some of my clients are working on right now. It’s something that I’m working on in my own practice. So I think that what we talk about today will resonate with a lot of you. I’m going to offer you some tools and some strategies that will help you to navigate stress and pressure and to really thrive in those situations that come up for you.
So the first question to ask really is how does pressure come up in your practice and how is it a problem? So I think the reality is when you are practicing as a lawyer, there are a lot of things that land on your plate. There are some situations that are very high stakes.
It may be that there is a lot of money involved. It may be that there are family members that are going to be affected if you’re a family lawyer. It may be that your reputation, your firm’s reputation, your client’s reputation are at stake. There are all sorts of situations that have high stakes potential consequences. As the lawyer, you may feel like a lot of this rests on your shoulders.
You also have a number of different clients that you work for. Your clients may be external clients. They may be internal clients. So other lawyers that you work for within a law firm. It may be clients within your organization. So you may have a lot of different work sources. People are sending you work from all different directions. It may also be that you have a number of tasks on your desk and things come up last minute for you.
So what can happen is you start to feel stressed. You start to feel overwhelmed. Your to-do list starts to pile up. You start adding to it. The days go by, they fly by. And you feel like you’re never really getting to the bottom of your to-do list.
As you go through your day, there may be that internal dialogue going on. I mean this is what my internal dialogue sometimes sounds like. Maybe it sounds like yours. It might be something like I need to get all of this done today. I’m not going to get all of this done. I don’t have enough time to get it all done. That’s my personal favorite. This is too much work. I mean there are all sorts of thoughts that might be running through your head. You might think about what it is that you’re telling yourself as you go through your day that may be like that.
You may be telling yourself that you should be getting everything done all at once. Really that’s probably not realistic nor is it desirable. If you think about it, I came with this analogy in an earlier podcast. If you think about it, when you sit down to a meal, you don’t sit down and eat a year’s supply of food or a life supply of food in one sitting. You eat what is appropriate for a single meal. Likewise when you’re breathing, you don’t breathe your lifetime supply of oxygen in one breath and then be done with it. I mean this is an ongoing process.
The same is true when it comes to your work. So rather than feeling you need to get everything done all in one day, the real exercise here is in learning how to accept that you will not get everything done all in one day and being okay with the idea that there are going to be things that you get done today and there are going to be things that get done tomorrow. There are probably things that will not get done at all.
Another situation that might come up for you is when you get to the office. You’ve got your day all planned out. You know exactly what you’re going to do. Then all of a sudden, there are new demands that come from your email. Maybe it’s somebody that you see in your hallway on your way to the office. So that further adds to the pressure that you might feel. Now you’re not going to get the things done that you thought you would. You’ve got new work to do on top of that.
Another reason that you might feel the pressure is from other people. It’s so natural. You have people who depend on you, and you don’t want to disappoint them. They may be asking you to hurry up one something. They may be sending you emails asking when is it ready. Of course we know these things don’t really help move things forward any quicker, but it can add to the pressure that you feel in getting your work done.
Now the reason that feeling pressure is a problem is there’s a few things going on here. Number one, you are busy. You’re busy. You run a busy practice. Your days are full. You’re in demand. You have clients who want your assistance. You have colleagues who want your assistance.
Maybe there’s a culture in your organization. Maybe there’s a culture of working and having, maybe there’s a really high billing expectation. Maybe you’re not in a law firm, but there’s a really strong work ethic and that’s really the culture of the organization. So you’re wanting to keep up with that. Maybe that’s something that resonates with you as well.
It may also be that you really enjoy it at some level, and you don’t want to stop. You’ve tried being less busy, but it just doesn’t really work for you. So this may become more of a problem when you are told that this is a problem. I mean there’s this whole idea that stress is a bad thing. Stress will make you sick. I’m going to talk about this a little bit more. There’s also this idea that you don’t have enough balance in your life.
So you might be listening to other people who are commenting on how you live your life. You might be seeing advertisements for holidays at beachside resorts where people just sit in armchairs and drink mojitos, and that somehow is better than what it is that you’re doing right now.
I’m not to say that holidays are not a good thing, but the messaging about the way that you should be living your life may be quite different from how you’re actually living your life. That might cause you stress and anxiety. It might start to have you doubting yourself that what you’re doing is actually what you should be doing. It doesn’t help with the pressure to get things done.
So the way that you might try to resolve the pressure that you feel in going about your work is you might start to fantasize about this notional work-life balance. You might buy into the fantasy that if you were living a different life that you would be so much happier. Maybe it’s a different job. Maybe it’s you retire. Maybe you go live on a beach somewhere.
If you actually were to do that, you might find that after about five minutes of drinking mojitos on the beach that you’re bored. That this just isn’t stimulating or challenging enough for you.
It may be also that you try to schedule better. Maybe you’re asserting your boundaries better, but you feel like you’re always ending up in the same place which is that feeling of pressure. Then maybe you start second guessing yourself or you start getting resentful when people are asking you to do things.
So the reason that this doesn’t work is that you are constantly in a state of conflict. You’re, on the one hand, wanting to be productive and feel engaged with your work.
I worked with a lawyer who used to talk about how much she loved the deals that she was working on because it would get really busy. She’d get all these emails. It would make her feel really important. She felt really productive. She was contributing to something that really mattered.
So that can be a really powerful and invigorating feeling. On the other hand, you’re getting messages that too much work is a bad thing. Stress should be avoided. What that leads to is all sorts of unproductive thoughts. So you might be thinking this is going to kill me. This is not sustainable. I’ll never get everything done. You might be feeling resistance. You might think this shouldn’t be happening right now. You might also start taking actions that align with those thoughts.
So if you find that you’re getting really overwhelmed, you might simply freeze up and procrastinate and not doing anything. Which, of course, doesn’t result in the outcomes that you want. It may be that you start to feel really resentful when people start to ask you to do things or they’re adding more things to your desk. You might start to really resent that. That might come out in the way that you relate to those individuals. So it can start to spoil those relationships.
What you ultimately create is you feel frustrated, you feel exhausted, you feel depleted. Your work starts to feel heavy, and you feel like you’re always behind.
So what I want to offer today are five strategies to help you come up with another way to do this. Another way to handle pressure, to handle stress so that the result is that you are thriving instead of feeling overwhelmed or like you just don’t want to do this work anymore.
So the first thing, and this is really, really impactful. Really powerful. Is to reframe the way that you look at stress. Now I attended an education, a CLE, a couple of years ago. It was led by a counselor for lawyers here in British Columbia. Her name is Bena Stock. It is when she used to work at the LAP, the Lawyers Assistant Program also in British Columbia, which is an organization that helps lawyers with mental health among other things.
So she was talking about stress. She shared some research that had been done by an American health psychologist named Kelly McGonigal. Kelly McGonigal if you’re not familiar with any of her work, she had a TED Talk. It’s 15 minutes long. It has 27 million views. It’s called How to Make Friends with Stress. It really summarizes some of the key points of her research. She also has a book called The Upside of Stress.
What is so fascinating is that by the time Bena was done with her presentation, because she was speaking about stress, and this was one of the key points of her presentation. I went from being somebody who kind of, I didn’t think a ton about stress. If I had thought about stress, I probably would have been trying to avoid it. I left that presentation thinking wait a second. I want to go and find more stressful situations because stress can be a good thing.
If you listen to Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk, she sums it up really nicely. The whole conclusion of her research is that stress when you perceive it in a certain way can actually be good for you. It can help you be productive. If you perceive it in a less productive way then it can be harmful.
So what she says is if you think of stress as a bad thing, if you look at stress as something that can kill you, it will actually change your physiological reaction to stress. When you feel stress, your blood vessels in particular. She talks about a lot of different ways in which this affects you. I’m just going to talk about a couple of things here. When you feel stressed and you see it as a bad thing, your blood vessels actually constrict. That, of course, is associated with things like heart disease.
Conversely if you think about stress in a more positive way then that actually has no effect on your blood vessels. Stress can actually be a good thing. The way that your body reacts is more consistent with the emotions of joy and courage when you’re thinking about stress as a positive thing. When you’re thinking about stress, for example, as something that is helpful, that is your body’s natural response to help you get ready for something that is challenging.
So if you take that and apply that to your practice, to me I think probably the simplest way to do that is to really focus on your mindset. If you follow my work, you know that I’m really, really interested in mindset.
I’ve spoken before about the growth mindset. That, of course, is Carol Dweck. She’s done a ton of research about how the way that you perceive your intelligence, whether you view it as fixed or whether you see it as capable of improving, has a huge impact on the results that you can create in your life. It can affect your intelligence.
So here this is taking stress and looking at it from a completely different perspective. So some reframes that Kelly offers in her TED Talk, for example, are instead of seeing stress and thinking, “Oh I feel stressed. This is terrible. There must be something wrong.” Some of the reframes that she offers are I feel stressed. I feel energized. My body is helping me rise to the challenge.
So I would invite you to think about what else you might be telling yourself when it comes to pressure in your practice. So maybe the thought that you have right now is, “Oh I have all this work to do. This is so stressful.” Maybe a different thought that you could have for yourself is, “I do my best work when I’m under pressure. Pressure motivates me and it inspires my creativity.”
Another thought that you might think is maybe you’re in a situation where people rely on you for last minute turnarounds because they know that you’re really good at your job. That you’re efficient. That you’re productive. So they give you these assignments. You might be thinking, “I always get left with these short fuse assignments.” That thought might not make you feel all that empowered. Maybe another way of looking at that would be to say to yourself, “People trust me because they know I can get things done.”
Maybe sometimes you’re fantasizing about leaving your practice all together. There’s that sort of stereotypical, “I wish I lived on a deserted island where I could just do my own thing.” Maybe you change that to, “I love the excitement and stimulation of my work.” Maybe you’re thinking, “I wish I didn’t have so much to do.” Maybe the new thought that you have is, “I’m grateful for the amazing projects that I get to work on.” Finally if you’re like me and your big complaint is I don’t have enough time then maybe your new thought could be, “I have all the time that I need.”
So these are some possible reframes that you can make so that when you are in a stressful situation you can start to perceive your response to it as a positive one. Whether it’s the stress, whether it’s the pressure. So I really encourage you to try these on as soon as possible. As soon as the next time you feel a stressful situation come your way.
Now I wanted to sort of carve out a little caveat here that what I’m talking about really is for lawyers and individuals who feel some stress but you’re still functioning. There are clearly situations where that is going to be more debilitating. Where you will need professional help with that. So I would encourage you to seek out that help if that’s what you need.
I mentioned Bena if you’re in British Columbia. I mentioned Bena Stock. She’s an individual counselor. You might think about who might be available in your jurisdiction. The Lawyers Assistant Program, of course, helps lawyers in British Columbia. There’s a number of really useful resources on their website. So you might check those out even if you’re not a lawyer who practices in British Columbia.
Finally another resource that I wanted to highlight is one that is produced by the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia. So they have created some wellness resources that are available for free on their website. You can go and check those videos out. There’s a number of free materials that deal with mental health for lawyers. There’s a number of resources that are available for free on their website.
So I’m going to provide links to all of these resources in my show notes. If you’re not in BC, and maybe these aren’t resources that are directly applicable to you. You might also consider what resources are available in your jurisdiction that you can turn to if stress has become something that is really no longer manageable in your practice or something that you even want some professional help with. So those are my points on stress.
Before moving on to the next step, I also wanted to highlight that in this particular podcast episode, I’m not really focused so much on changing the things around you. That might be something that you may need to do. Maybe it’s moving into a different job. Maybe it’s moving into a different practice area. Those are all things that you might consider.
For the moment what I’m really inviting you to do is to really get focused in on mindset. Let that be the first tool that you use to see if that helps you feel and experience pressure in a way that leads you to being more productive in your day as opposed to being something that’s a weight on your shoulder or something that’s holding you back.
So that was the first step is to reframe the way that you think about stress. Now the second thing that I would encourage you to do when it comes to that pressure you feel when you’re going about your day is to identify your balance.
So here what I’m really encouraging you to do is to be honest with yourself. Really be honest. I mean do you really want a predictable contained job, or do you want something that’s a little bit different from that? If you’re listening to this podcast, my guess is that you might really enjoy that excitement that comes with the really challenging work. Maybe there’s some unpredictability there in terms of the hours or the expectations sometimes, but it’s the thrill of the challenge that is really exciting for you.
So I would just invite you to think about what you want. Maybe you want something that isn’t quite as exhilarating. So it really depends. So I would encourage you to ask yourself what level of busy excites you. What really is too much for you and what is not enough for you?
I would also encourage you to think about the nature of your work. Are you in the right place or do you need to make some shifts? An example that I would like to share is one of my mother. She recently retired from teaching school. That was her career. Now she’s not living out this retirement life of sitting around and not doing anything.
On the contrary she’s taken up writing screenplays. She’s already writing screenplays. She’s creating music videos. She’s learning how to play the guitar. She’s out there submitting all these screenplays to different film festivals. She’s winning awards for her music, for her screenplays. It’s incredible. So it’s not so much that she wanted to retire and then not do anything. She retired and then moved into doing something that she finds really exciting.
So when it comes to your practice, you might think about that. If you’re really feeling like you’re just waiting for retirement, what’s going on there? Can you maybe make some adjustments in the nature of your work? Maybe it’s the practice area, maybe it’s the environment. Can you make some changes? Because maybe the issue isn’t so much that there’s too much on your plate. It’s that there’s too much of the wrong thing that is on your plate.
The other thing that I want you to think about when you are coming up with your ideal balance is to not buy into the notions or the fiction that you are being offered from other people out there. There is no one size fits all. There is no one way to balance your life. It’s going to look so different for everybody involved.
I sometimes feel guilty if I’m speaking with someone who’s talking about how you should be meditating every day and having more peace in your life. I think to myself well, I’m not really programmed for that. That’s not something that resonates with me.
I would encourage you to do what feels right to you. It may be that it means incorporating more downtime or it might be that you’re on the right track and the pressure is what you want. It’s what you crave. Here are some ideas on how you might perceive it differently so that it becomes more enjoyable, so that it makes you feel more productive. And that it enhances your practice as opposed to being something that pulls you away from it.
So the third suggestion that I’m going to offer you is to plan strategically. If you’re going to go out there into the world and you’re going to have all this work and you’re going to be engaged on different committees. You’re going to be engaged in your family life. You’re going to be engaged in your social life, I would encourage you to be strategic when it comes to your planning. Have a disciplined approach to how you manage your practice, how you manage your personal life.
I have a couple of podcasts episodes that I’ll refer you to. One in number two where I talk about time management, which is really some of the nuts and bolts that you might think about incorporating into your practice that help you with planning. There’s another episode, number 18, which is more about time mindset. So do you have a scarcity mindset or an abundant mindset when it comes to time? These two episodes I think will help you if time management is something that you want to explore a little bit more deeply.
Another thing that I would encourage you to do is to get the support if you need it. So it may be that it’s support in helping you execute on your tasks. Support will look different for everybody, but if you need that kind of support go out and there and get that support. Especially if you’re taking on more and you’re finding yourself in challenging situations where you’ve got a lot on your plate.
The next step, number four, is to accept and embrace your reality. In previous podcasts, I’ve mentioned Byron Katie. She has a wonderful expression. “When you argue with reality, you only lose 100% of the time.” It may be true that your life is really busy. That you may feel a lot of pressure.
What I’m inviting you to think about is how resisting that pressure doesn’t really help you. It doesn’t get you any further. That there may be ways of reframing what’s going on around you so that you feel actually more aligned with what you’re doing and almost more embracing and grateful for the pressure as it shows up in your life.
There’s this expression being in the right place at the right time. When I think about this, an analogy that comes to mind for me is my children. The fact that they’re here on this planet is a miracle, I think for all of us. All of us who are alive on this planet today, our chances of being born are something like one in a million trillion. Somebody’s done the math on it. It’s a very, very small percent chance.
Which means that for my children to be here on this planet, for us to be here on this planet, everything that happened before that had to have happened the way that it did, or we would not be here. So when I look at my kids, for example, I think well okay maybe I’ve had some tough times in my life that preceded when I had my children. If I hadn’t had those tough times then they would not be here.
Maybe it’s things that have happened in your life that are really amazing. You think, “Well I wouldn’t have had this amazing experience if I hadn’t had this much less amazing experience earlier.” When it comes to your work, maybe you sit down to write a paper or an argument or a contract. You feel a little bit under pressure. Maybe you wish you’d done it a little bit sooner.
Then you sit down, and you have these really great ideas that are sparking. You can think to yourself, “Well, if I hadn’t started that project exactly when I did, I wouldn’t have been creating these results.” Maybe it’s you’re settling a file and you wish that you had started the negotiations earlier. Then you get to this result that really is a good result for your client. You think this is just the right time.
So what I would invite you to think about here is to really start thinking about how things are happening exactly as it should, and the timing of how it’s happening is also exactly as how it should. That might help relieve some of the pressure that you feel about having done things in a different way or having done them faster.
Another thing that I would encourage you to do here when you’re accepting the reality of what’s going on around you is to go back to the belief that you can adopt about stress, the beliefs that you can adopt about pressure. So rather than telling yourself negative thoughts, you might start thinking if you’re faced with a challenging situation, this is a chance for me to prove how I can excel under pressure.
You might also think this is exactly the kind of challenge that I live for. Maybe you complete one of these challenges and you reinforce to yourself, “I’m so glad that I was able to handle this.”
A couple of other ideas is to let it be imperfect. To accept that there is no one size fits all. If something happens and you don’t get it right, don’t beat yourself up. If you start fantasizing about living on an island, you might really explore that possibility. Would you really want to be doing things differently? Chances are you wouldn’t. Maybe your practice is really crazy at times, but there’s also times where it slows down a little bit. Maybe you really enjoy the balance of having the more exciting times balanced out against maybe the more quiet times.
When I used to practice, I used to really enjoy having the experience of going to court. That, to me, was a really big production where you are really focused. There’s a lot of paperwork to do beforehand. There’s a lot of preparation to do. Then there’s sort of the thrill of being in front of a judge and speaking to your case. Then there’s the after part where you get to celebrate. There’s the celebration of, “Okay, I’ve done what I’ve needed to do.” That can be really exhilarating.
I also enjoy balancing that out with more quiet work. So I would do research. I found that I really enjoyed the pace of the research. But I enjoyed having the research punctuated with these other tasks that were a little bit hands on which were a little bit more adrenaline, I guess, if I’m thinking about it in there.
So all I’m saying here is to really look at how your practice is unfolding. Look at the areas where you feel pressure. Ask yourself if you really want to give those up. Chances are you don’t want to give those up, or maybe you do. If you do want to give those up, that’s another story. If you want to keep doing it, the question isn’t do I want to stop or not do it. It’s more like I want to keep doing this and how am I going to do this in a way that is most productive where I feel the best?
That leads us to our fifth and final point, which is really to focus on how you feel. In previous podcast episodes, I talk about your creative state versus your reactive state. In your creative state, you’re really feeling expansive. That’s when you’re most open to learning. The reactive state, that’s when you kind of tend to go into that fight or flight and you shut down a little bit.
So what I would encourage you to do is to really focus on how you’re feeling and be really mindful about creating an environment for yourself or creating a mindset for yourself where you are thinking more expansively. So adopting some of these new beliefs about stress, for example, might help. Maybe taking some time in your day. Maybe strategizing so there are pockets in your day where you go for a walk around the block.
Being out in nature has been shown to put you in more of a rest and digest versus a fight or flight state. So maybe it’s going for a walk around the block and whatever nature is available to you. if you work downtown, I recognize there’s probably not a lot there. If you’re working from home, maybe there’s trees in your neighborhood or the woods close by. The point here is to really focus in on how you feel and then take proactive steps so that you feel better. So, again, talking about having some breaks throughout your day.
Also it’s focusing on your health. So are you getting enough sleep? Are you looking out for your caffeine intake? You might think a little bit of coffee is going to help you get more energized, but sometimes it can have the effect of creating a little bit more stress. So just be mindful of how you’re doing that. Breathing is very helpful. If you want to just take a pause and do some deep breaths. All of these things can help restore and rejuvenate you and help you to focus and to make your experience of your day feel a lot less stressful. It will help you release some of that pressure.
So these are the five suggestions. I’ll just recap those for you. Number one is to reframe the way that you look at stress. Number two is to identify your ideal balance. Number three is to plan strategically. Number four is to accept and embrace your reality. Number five is to focus on how you feel.
For that last point, I also just wanted to refer you to my earlier podcast, episode number three, which is all about finding the joy in your work. So that might also really help you when it comes to focusing on what brings you joy and how to think more expansively throughout your day.
So the reason that these strategies will work for you is that you’re no longer fighting the reality of what’s going on around you. You’re not fighting the fact that there is pressure in your work. You’re not wasting your energy resisting that. Instead what you’re doing is you’re putting yourself back in charge. You’re being very intentional about the way that you’re perceiving your surroundings. Hopefully you’re starting to feel more joy in your practice. You’re feeling the joy of being productive.
I mentioned going to court was an experience for me. When I practiced, some of my favorite memories were walking from the courthouse to the office where I used to work. That was a really satisfying feeling for me. It may be hitting send on an email where you’ve attached the final version of a document that’s gone back and forth multiple times. It might be getting your client’s results that make a big impact on their life.
So there are all these moments that you can really enjoy in your practice. Having an appreciation for that can really change the way you experience the pressure that you feel.
Another reason why these strategies work is that you’re not so caught up in resisting or thinking there’s something wrong with your practice if you are feeling pressure. Instead it’s really taking that pressure and reframing it in a way that can really serve you.
The skills that you’ll need to put these strategies into practice is number one, you will need to change your mind about stress. I really encourage you to go back to that video with Kelly McGonigal and think about that. Think about how much that could change things for you if you started to perceive stress as something that was good was opposed to something that was bad.
Another thing that you need to do is to be honest with yourself about what you want. It may not be that you want a very relaxed and unpressured work environment. It may be that you truly do thrive in that situation. So be honest with yourself and then work around that to set yourself up in your practice and in your personal life. You might have to establish some new boundaries at work and also at home to really support what makes you thrive.
Another thing you’ll need to do is to allow your days to be bumpy and imperfect. Chances are if you’re in an environment where you’re being challenged, where there’s pressure, things aren’t always going to go the way you wanted them to. That’s okay.
Finally, if you want to make these strategies work for you, I think you need to let go of any fantasies or ideas or suggestions that there’s something better out there than what you currently have. In other words, living on a beach and not having anything to do professionally would be something that would be desirable to you. I think that if you really get down to it and you really ask yourself what’s important and what matters that you’re going to find a very different answer. It’s going to be different for everybody.
The reason that this will work is now you’re building and rewarding yourself on what you have. So what you’ve already built. The projects, the skills, the practice that you’ve already developed. You’re rewarding yourself for something that you’re already doing instead of questioning it or resisting or resenting it.
The result that you will create is that you’ll feel more energized in situations where you feel that pressure instead of feeling stressed. You’ll feel empowered instead of at the mercy of your surroundings.
So that my friends is what I have to share for you in terms of responding to and thriving under pressure in your professional environment. I wanted to thank all of you, again, for joining me this week. It’s been such a pleasure to be doing this podcast and to be connecting with you the way that we are connecting. So thank you so much for tuning in.
For any of you who want to take this work further, I am working one-on-one with clients. If that’s something that interests you, I would encourage you to reach out to me on LinkedIn or send me an email. We can set up a consult and see if we’re a good fit for each other. I’m also planning to create a group program starting in January 2022. So if that is something that is of interest to you then I encourage you to send me a note, and I can share some of that information with you.
I also have two free webinars that are coming up. I mentioned these in earlier podcast episodes. The next one is on November 12th. It’s a Friday at noon pacific time, and it’s all about decluttering your desk, decluttering your calendar, and decluttering your habits. Habits include how you think about things. So one of the habits you might be decluttering is your former stress mindset. Maybe that gives you space to bring in your new productive and helpful mindset around stress.
The other webinar that I’ll be offering is on December 3rd. That is also a Friday. In that webinar, we’re going to be talking about amplifying your impact. So we’re going to take some of the materials we’ve learned in previous webinars. There’s a series of three. If you’re interested in having recordings to any that you missed, let me know. I’ll send them to you.
The third webinar will really be about amplifying your impact. In that one, we’re going to go deep into what it is that normally holds people back when they set a big goal for themselves. So the emotional resistance, the structural resistance. We’re going to go deep on that. I will offer some tools and some exercises to get you through that. So hopefully you’ll join me, and I can see you there. Not literally but virtually. I would love to have you.
Finally if you enjoy this podcast, if any of the messaging resonates with you or it speaks to you, I would highly encourage you to number one share it with your friends. I would love for more lawyers to have access to this podcast. If they’re not lawyers, don’t worry about it. Please send it to them as well. I’ve had a number of non-lawyers reach out to me to say they’ve really enjoyed the podcast.
So I want it to be available to benefit anybody who’s going to resonate with the message, who are going to be able to make changes, who are going to feel better as a result of listening to this podcast. So please share it. Maybe you think of one person or two people. You can send them a text with the link. Whatever it looks like for you.
The other thing I would love for you to do, and it would really help me out would be to subscribe to the podcast and to leave a rating for it. Maybe something if it’s on Apple or wherever it is that you listen to your podcast. It helps the algorithm that makes podcasts searchable. So if you like it, if you give it a five star review if that’s how you feel about the podcast, and hopefully that is how you feel about the podcast. It will help other people find it, which would be amazing.
So with that, I just wanted to say thank you again for joining me. I’m excited to reconnect with you again next week. I wish you all a fabulous week full of exciting opportunities and a fresh approach to stress. Bye for now.
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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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