By Anna Johansson • September 01, 2017•Careers, Other Career Issues
Few industries are more stressful or mentally draining as the legal field. Whether you spend your week in an office or the courtroom, it’s easy to feel as if everything is falling apart around you. Having the right mentality will allow you to thrive in the midst of this chaos.
4 Tips for Taking Control of Your Thoughts
One of the things law school doesn’t do an adequate job of preparing future attorneys for is the mental challenge that comes with working in such a fast-paced and brutal environment. While you may have entered your first job with book knowledge, you probably didn’t have any idea of how to handle the mental and emotional side of things. Even after being in the field for a number of years, you probably still struggle with these issues.
In order to really excel in your career, you need to find a way to control your thoughts and put yourself in the right frame of mind at all times. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
1. Remember Why You Do What You Do
It’s easy to lose focus and only focus on the money you’re making. If financial gain is your only motivating factor, you aren’t going to last very long. Attorney Christopher Ligori believes you have to always remember why you do what you do.
“When someone hires someone like us, they’re not just hiring us to do a job – they’re hiring us to determine the best course of action moving forward,” Ligori explains. “They’re hiring us to make sure someone’s got their back. They’re hiring us to help them fight back and control the impact an accident or injury of any kind can have on their life. Today and in the future.”
Your purpose might be different depending on the niche you work in, but you should be able to just as succinctly explain why you do what you do. It’ll help you maintain the right perspective, even when things get tough.
2. Don’t Obsess Over Irrelevant Details
Information overload can catch up with you if you aren’t careful. While there are times when attention to detail is absolutely necessary – such as when preparing a case – learn how to avoid obsessing over irrelevant details. By only spending your time on things that matter, you can save a lot of energy and mental anguish.
3. Turn Fear Into an Ally
If you’ve been an attorney for any length of time, then you know all about the fear that comes with the territory. As attorney Bill Rotts says, “We just move in an atmosphere of fear. It’s intrinsic to the profession. We’re fearful for our clients and fearful of making a boneheaded decision. We’re fearful for our reputation. We’re in a constant fear environment.”
While you might not be able to avoid fear, you can work to turn fear into an ally. When you start to feel fear encroaching, use it as motivation to work harder and prepare.
4. Choose Optimism
You can choose whether to approach a situation with optimism or pessimism. As the saying goes, you can either look at the glass as half empty or half full. While it sounds simplistic, you have to choose optimism. By switching your mindset, you’ll find that little issues just start to roll off your back.
Take Charge of Your Mental Approach
Physical circumstances can change and your industry can evolve, but you will always be in control of your mental approach to your career as a lawyer. While it’s easier said than done, taking control of your thoughts will allow you to continue thriving in the midst of chaos.
Remember these tips and techniques so that external factors don’t determine your success and potential.