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You Are More Than a Lawyer

Navneet was a young lawyer when she started having panic attacks. 

She’d be sitting at her desk, suddenly not able to breath, and gasping for air. At first it was happening every once in a while. Eventually, it was happening every 15 minutes. 

When she told her boss about it, he laughed. He thought she was just a young lawyer feeling stressed out. 


She couldn’t believe it. 

There she was, going through this very serious thing, and he was laughing. 

Over the next few days, things didn’t get better, so she decided to see her doctor during lunch. He immediately sent her to an ECG to get her heart tested. 

“Holy shit,” she thought. “I’m sitting here in a clinic with all of these wires attached, getting my heart tested during my lunch break in my blue skirt suit. Is this my life right now?”


That was her wake-up call.

She ended up leaving the firm, cold turkey. She had no plan. She just needed to get out. 

She remembers walking up and down the streets of her city, Vancouver, trying to figure out what the heck she just did and what she was going to do now. 

Navneet is a first generation Canadian, a daughter of immigrants who built their lives from scratch. Her dad was blue collar, and her mom was a homemaker. They provided everything they could, but started from very humble beginnings. 

Since she was young, she had heard, “Get an education and a good job. No one can take that away from you.” 

In her mind, this became: If I have a “good job” that pays me well, then I’ll be happy. My parents’ struggles will be worth it.

Growing up, she experienced a lot of prejudice and racism because she looked different. She’s always lived with the duality of trying to fit into her heritage, but also the culture she grew up in. 

For her, getting a law degree, climbing the ladder, and working at a prestigious job in an office downtown was a huge deal. Her family was so proud. They announced it to anyone who would listen.

So when Navneet started thinking about leaving the law, it felt like she would be kicking away the opportunity her parents had worked so hard to give her. 


It was difficult to process it all. 

She reached the point where she thought, “My parents did not give up all of this for me to be miserable, sick, and stressed, 24/7. They gave it up for me to have a good life.” 

When she finally walked away from the law, her parents were so supportive. They wanted her to do what made her happy. 

Even with their support, it was a lonely, scary feeling to be out of work. She wondered if she had just messed up her entire life. 

To get motivation, she started watching TED Talks every day. She saw a woman who looked like her give a talk about how powerful our mind is and how our thoughts can change our life. 


Navneet was immediately intrigued. 

She ended up finding the speaker and joining her coaching program. This was the beginning of her own journey of transformational work. 

During this program, she stepped into her power and developed a sense of confidence and acceptance of herself. She got clarity about what she actually wanted to do. 

Today, Navneet is a transformational coach who helps unfulfilled female lawyers discover their passion, purpose, and unique essence in order to plan their pivot out of the law so they can do the work that lights their soul on fire. 

When Navneet was doing her own identity work, a coach challenged her to message 5-7 people who were from different parts of her life and ask them, “What is it that you think I do really well?”

She reached out to several people, including friends she’d known for a long time, her partner, work colleagues, and people who knew her from the coaching world. 

She got responses like: You’re a great listener. You always make me feel seen. You connect so well. It’s easy for me to get along with you. You’re great at helping me work through my problems. You never judge.


All of these things fit so perfectly with the work she wanted to do in the coaching space. 


Today, Navneet has a revamped version of this exercise she gives to her own clients that she shared with me: 

Ask 5 Exercise:

Ask 5-7 people in your life these questions: 

What do you think I do better than anybody else? 

What is that like?
What value do I bring to your life? 

What would you come to me for and trust me for? 


The goal is not to create your direction based on what the outside world is telling you, but to understand their view and notice which parts feel good to you. 

In addition to that, Navneet teaches people to understand their core values. She challenges them to ask questions like: “Who am I?”, “What makes me me?”, and “What pieces are so integral to who I am that it’s not going to change, regardless of what I’m doing on the outside?”

Understand your core values, look at how the world sees you, then combine that with how you see yourself. This will give you a much clearer direction. 


For me, this conversation with Navneet solidified why I will always have a coach in my life. 

I want somebody with a fresh perspective to hold me accountable, show me the way, and encourage me with their experience. 

If you don’t believe in yourself yet, a coach will let you borrow their belief in you. 

Because from the bottom of our heart, we want yourself as the powerhouse you are. 

You can connect with Navneet on LinkedIn: Navneet Mann

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