How to Reconnect With Who You Are Outside the Law
When I graduated from law school, I understood the assignment.
My professors had made it very clear what I was “supposed” to do, and I did all of it.
I took the big firm job, had the offers, made the money…
And I was miserable.
I thought there had to be something wrong with me.
How could I achieve all that stuff, have this great, prestigious job, and still feel like absolute crap on the inside?
Then I became a mom, and it completely stopped me in my tracks. Talk about adding a whole new layer onto your identity.
I left my in-house job for maternity leave as one woman and walked back in the door a completely different person.
I didn’t understand it then, but the reason I felt so different was because I was different. I was entering a new stage of life. My values had shifted and changed.
Eventually, I ended up walking away from that job. Seat time was a real big deal, and this boy’s club held no exceptions for working moms.
I left to be a stay-at-home mom, thinking surely this would alleviate the friction.
It did the exact opposite.
I had wrapped my identity so tightly around being a lawyer that when I was no longer practicing, I had no idea who I was outside the law.
I battled crippling lies of:
You’re a failure.
You couldn’t hack it.
You weren't smart enough.
You just couldn't handle it all.
You needed to walk away.
In the middle of this very deep growing and unraveling, I started working with a coach.
She helped me ask myself hard questions. I got really honest with myself and went on the journey of radically accepting who I was, where I wanted to go, and what my dreams were.
She also helped me realize that being an attorney was still part of my superpower. I was never going to lose that skillset.
(Let’s be real, law school sears that way of thinking into your mind.)
And it’s incredibly beneficial in many other areas outside the law.
I know many of you are also trying to answer the question, “Who am I? Outside of this profession, what do I want my life to look like and feel like?”
That’s why I wanted to share 3 tips for reconnecting to who you are outside of the law:
Let go of what other people think about you.
I share this quote with my clients all the time:
“Other people’s opinions about you are none of your business.”
There’s nothing wrong with seeking counsel from other people who have been there, but ultimately, this is your life, and you only get one. You can always make more money and get more clients, but you can’t buy more time.
The sooner you let go of other people’s opinions about what you “should” be doing, the freer you’ll be to move towards the person you ultimately want to be.
Reconnect to your values.
Your values are the foundation for everything else you do. All your decisions stem from here.
(In my fourth podcast episode, I walk you through a values exercise I do with each of my clients.)
Your priorities are based on your values, so sit down and reconnect with those. Find somewhere to be still and quiet and journal about what’s most important to you.
What do you want your life to look like in five years, financially? With your family? Spiritually? With your health?
When you’re connected to your values and your priorities, you know exactly when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” You can draw boundaries and truly create the life you’re meant to have because you’re living according to your terms.
Make time for things outside of your job.
There is a lot of life happening outside the four corners of your office. What did you love to do when you were young? Dance? Paint? Ride horses?
Go to a wine tasting or salsa class. Have a girl's night out. Go on a vacation. Listen to your favorite music.
Reconnect to those things that you like to do outside of work. Making time for those opens your mind to what’s possible. There’s a whole other world out there outside of the law firm.
I heard this quote on a podcast the other day, and it stuck with me:
“Grit without community and connection is simply resistance.”
Lawyers are gritty as hell. We’ve made it through law school. We've taken the bar exam. We do really hard things on a daily basis.
But we can also be very resistant to asking for help or leaning on someone else for answers.
Get yourself in rooms with other like-minded women who want the same things as you. There’s no faster way to be reconnected and reassured of who you are.
You’re the combination of the top five people you spend the most time with. If that’s only the attorneys in your office, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. There are so many women in the law outside of your office.
I’m hosting a retreat at the end of September. I’m gathering an exceptional community of women to reconnect with who they are, build their dreams, and further their careers.
You are more than your job.
You have a plethora of superpowers you haven’t tapped into because you’ve been on autopilot trying to get where you’re going.
Take a minute, reconnect with who you are.
Once you lean into that, life isn’t as hard. Things ease up. You can see the next step more clearly. You have less judgment and more compassion for yourself.
You’re more than a lawyer, my powerhouse friend. Don’t forget it!
I'll see you next time.