3 Practical Tips for a More Peaceful Legal Practice
In his early years of practicing law, Gary was an active alcoholic.
He had an overwhelming desire to drink every day. It felt like he had no power or control over it.
It affected how he practiced. Even though he was still able to do his work, he was continually full of fear. There were days he wasn’t able to focus or be present. He was always worried about losing the next case.
He felt controlled, not only by alcohol, but by other people in his life. He was constantly trying to get their approval. He would often put on a face, trying to be someone he wasn’t to make them happy.
12 years into his practice, he underwent a huge transformation.
He went from practicing law as an active alcoholic to practicing completely sober. Today, his life looks completely different. No one else can make him unhappy. He can be genuine and authentic without putting on a face.
He’s free and empowered, and he’s helping others live that way too.
Gary is a coach, entrepreneur, and author who’s passionate about showing people how to get free from the prisons they entrap themselves in so they can enjoy the success and freedom they crave.
So many lawyers are trapped in a prison of perfectionism, self-doubt, or worry about the future.
They live in fear and stress over writing contracts or trying cases perfectly. They’re constantly wondering if they measure up, first in law school, then in their firm.
They’re stuck in cycles of worry, asking questions like, “What if I lose this trial? Will my client fire me? Will we lose our contingency? What will my partners say? What if I don't make partner?”
If you struggle with thoughts like this, you’re not alone. So often, lawyers feel completely isolated in these feelings, when in reality, we all struggle with thoughts like these.
I asked Gary to share some simple tips that people can use in their life to start breaking free from negative mindsets and thought cycles.
Here’s what he shared:
Be present in today. Let whatever's happening happen without judging it.
We judge things by asking questions like, “Is that good? Is that fair? Is it right? Is it wrong?” But all those sorts of thoughts just create stress.
If your partner was nasty to you, okay. That’s what you feel, and that’s okay, but don’t project ahead into the future about what it could mean or not mean. That’s what ends up driving us crazy.
We resist what we don't like. We don't like how that lawyer talks to us, so we fixate on it. I've had arguments in my mind with people who aren't even in the room.
“When that lawyer calls me, I'm going to tell him this.”
What a waste of time and energy! He is what he is. My client is as demanding as he is. What do I want to do about it? Maybe I don't want to represent him, or maybe it's to just accept that, and I just don't engage in the conversations and send him what he wants.
Too often the things in our life that cause stress are the ones we fixate on.
No matter how stressful our life is, no matter where we are, we're blessed in so many ways. We’re blessed to be born into this country, to be born who we are, to have the education, the skills, the training, the income, and the potential we have. We're so blessed, but so often we think about what we don't have or what we don't like.
Here’s one little tool I give all my clients to do:
Every morning for a month, write down 3 things you're grateful for. Here’s the catch: You can't repeat them for 3 weeks. So for 3 weeks, you're searching every day for something to be grateful for.
What happens is our whole perspective changes. It's not really about the 90 things you put on the list, although those things are good. It's about the fact that now you’re looking for ways to be grateful.
Here’s one more tool:
When we go to bed, we often think about what went wrong and what's going to happen tomorrow. Instead, write down what went right today, what calls went well, what matters got done, and what good things your paralegal did for you.
Write down each of the things that day that were good, and then you'll go to bed in a more peaceful state of mind.
I absolutely loved this conversation with Gary.
You deserve to build a life that feels good.
You don’t deserve to go to a job that feels gray and blah every single day, but you have to make the choice to break free from those negative thoughts.
How? By becoming aware of them, practicing gratitude, and choosing a different thought.
This is how you take the next step of transformation and actually start to build a life that feels good.
I believe in you, my powerhouse friend.
Where to find Gary:
Book on Amazon: Breaking Free
LinkedIn: Gary Miles