Break free from these 5 obstacles to your success and well-being!

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A mid-year reset for lawyers and legal professionals


Tomorrow is the Fourth of July - so here is an advance “Happy Fourth of July!” since you are hopefully out of the office tomorrow relaxing a bit. 

Before I check out for a long weekend of fireworks, s’mores around the campfire, boat rides on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, and dousing myself regularly with mosquito repellent so that I can enjoy all of the aforementioned activities, I wanted to send a quick note out to you.

As we celebrate our nation's independence and honor those who've served to protect our freedoms, it got me thinking this morning about the concept of freedom in our own lives. 

We live in a free country (so much gratitude to those who serve and have served to make that true), but sometimes, in our personal and professional lives, we feel anything but free. Sometimes we feel trapped by stories we tell ourselves and old ways of thinking and doing. Our habits and routines, even if they don’t serve us, feel comfortable and familiar. We default to them even when we know it’s not in our best interest.

So where can we create some freedom in our lives so we can be happier, healthier, and more successful?

Freedom from Perfectionism

As lawyers and legal professionals, we often feel like we have to be perfect. But striving for perfection can be a heavy burden, leading to stress, burnout, and feeling like we’re never good enough. Research shows that perfectionism is linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression. Instead of chasing perfection, let’s aim for excellence and appreciate our genuine efforts and accomplishments. Have a learning and growth mindset, knowing that we are all human and, despite our best efforts, will make mistakes. Take responsibility, learn from what went wrong, and do better next time - all with a healthy dose of self-compassion.

Freedom from Neglecting Our Physical Well-being

With our demanding schedules, it's easy to neglect our physical health. Not getting enough sleep, eating poorly, and not moving enough can seriously affect our well-being and productivity. Regular exercise, enough sleep, and good nutrition are crucial for our mental and physical health. Let’s make our well-being a priority by getting enough rest, eating well, and staying active. It will boost our energy, focus, and set a positive example for everyone around us.

Freedom from Always Putting Others First

Our profession often calls for selflessness, but constantly putting others' needs before our own can lead to burnout and resentment. Effective self-care helps us be more resilient and perform better. By setting healthy boundaries and taking time for ourselves, we can serve others more effectively and sustainably.

Freedom from Personalizing Others’ Words and Actions

It's easy to take things personally in our high-stakes, high-stress environment. But reacting with curiosity, compassion, and confidence rather than personalizing can transform our interactions and reduce unnecessary conflict. Practicing emotional intelligence involves understanding and managing our own emotions and empathizing with others. This fosters better relationships and a more harmonious work environment.

Freedom from Comparing Ourselves to Others

In the age of social media and constant connectivity, comparing ourselves to others has become all too common. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Instead, let’s focus on our unique strengths and progress. Celebrating our own journey and milestones helps us stay motivated and grounded in our personal and professional growth. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Embrace Your Freedom

As we celebrate the freedoms we have as a nation, let's also take this chance to free ourselves from these internal limitations that we place on ourselves. 

By letting go of perfectionism, taking care of our well-being, setting boundaries, reacting with curiosity rather than personalizing, and avoiding comparisons, we can pave the way for a happier, healthier, and more successful second half of 2024!

Wishing you a joyful and reflective Fourth of July weekend!