Fighting Gold Star Syndrome
Let’s be real, lawyers love to be the best.
We love chasing all the wins.
Graduating at the top of our class
Getting the top internship
Landing the top job
Getting the best cases
Making the most money
Being the best lawyer
This is not always a bad thing. I mean, if I’ve got my life on the line, I want the very best person in there fighting for me. I want a perfectionist.
But with all of that said, as gold star chasers, we can be pretty terrible at celebrating ourselves.
For years, I did amazing things and gave myself zero credit for them. In fact, the more I achieved, the harder I was on myself.
My mentality was “only home runs can be celebrated.”
As lawyers, we’re trained to chase achievements, but we’re never trained to say, “Showing up is a win. Trying something different is a win.”
If you don’t take time to celebrate your wins, you become so self-critical that you’re almost paralyzed. You can’t say you’re doing a good job unless it’s absolutely perfect.
I want to share 2 strategies to fight Gold Star syndrome, celebrate your wins, and enjoy the life you’ve worked so hard to build:
Become aware of your thoughts.
Get radically aware of what’s going on in your head.
What thoughts are swimming around? Where are they coming from? What meaning are you drawing from them? How are they controlling your actions?
Instead of judging yourself, use these thoughts as information. Be aware, take stock of what’s going on in your mind. Be honest about where you need to release control.
For me, it was in my business. I had to start telling myself it was okay to make simple logistical changes and delegate in some areas. The truth was, I could absolutely still make money and build a business without having to do all the things all the time.
Make a list of all you’re doing.
Sit down and make a list of all the things you do regularly. Take a long, hard look at what’s going on logistically for your team, in your office, or in your house.
What can you eliminate?
What can you delegate?
What can you release control of?
In my business, I had been inadvertently hanging onto control of different systems and tasks that did not need to be mine. They weren’t in my zone of genius. They were a waste of time, and that time adds up.
So I sat down and made a list of all the things I was doing daily for my business. I put all the things I enjoyed doing in one category. These were all the things I was good at and could do all day long. I separated these from the things I didn’t enjoy. Then, I asked myself what I could release control of.
So for all of my gold star chasers out there, I want you to know that I see you, and I get it.
You work in such a fast-paced, draining profession that requires perfection on a level that is sometimes inhuman. When you start to expect that of yourself every single day, it's debilitating.
So it’s time to start celebrating yourself.
To hear more, listen to my latest podcast: Fighting Gold Star Syndrome.
The more you celebrate those small wins, the more you set yourself up to have a better day. To practice law better. To get up and feel good about your life.
Can't wait to talk again soon,