Grow Your Confidence By Taming Your Inner Critic
If, like many high-achievers, you wrestle with self-criticism, you’re shortchanging yourself unnecessarily. Your inner critic is present in the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) thoughts and emotions that influence you throughout the day.
Whether it’s guilt over not capturing your time properly, fear of holding the line on your fee, reluctance to advance a more sophisticated argument, procrastinating on a marketing activity, the root thought (and its accompanying feeling) goes something like this: “I’m not good enough.” And whether the thought pertains to your not being a good enough manager, marketer, or even lawyer, the net effect is weakened self confidence.
As usual (and fortunately), the first step in changing a pattern of behavior is to become aware of it. So this week, pay attention to those flashes of self-criticism and consciously choose a different, more positive response in those moments. Lean into the discomfort and challenge yourself to choose a stronger course of action.
For example, you might resolve to pick up the phone anyway, rather than let fear hold you back from making a call. Or you might resist the temptation to write down your bill. Or you might tackle the problem file you’ve been avoiding.
By changing your negative self talk – that is, by taming your inner critic – you’ll experience an incremental growth in your confidence, both in your ability to perform particular tasks, and in your overall abilities as an attorney and business developer.
If you want to get valuable – and actionable – information when you ask your staff for their input, start by asking the right question.
As I’ve mentioned in previous STips, eDiscovery has significantly altered how lawyers approach the issue of discovery for their clients. If you’re using it (and you should be), you already know that there’s an ocean of information available. What’s becoming ever more critical is how to navigate that ocean to find the valuable evidence you need.
You may feel as if you’re on a seesaw when it comes to finding new clients: hectically chasing down leads when it’s slow, and abandoning client development activities when your case load is heavy. There’s a better way.
Effective messaging is a huge challenge for most law firms — and especially for mid-size firms. But this 230-attorney firm absolutely nails every key page, from About Us (which, for most firms is formulaically bland) to their pages on Diversity, Industry Focus, and Resources. The writing conveys strong authenticity and is highly engaging (again, something hard to do for larger, non-boutique firms). Finally, though it’s visually unassuming, the site navigation is extremely clean. There’s a lot to learn from here.