Law is one of the most ambitious and harrowing paths to follow in life. It can feel akin to aiming for the stars. As a lawyer, you're no stranger to hard work, late nights, and difficult challenges, but you chose this because you knew you had the drive, determination, and perseverance to see it through.
However, burnout is real, and this stressful career can negatively affect your mental health. When things get dark, you can lose sight of your goals. This is when it's more important than ever to harness the power of perseverance--the ability to work towards your goals despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Believe it or not, there are steps you can take to strengthen your mindset and cultivate persistence. Let's power on.
Accept failure as a reality. You may have heard the worn phrase of "failure isn't an option" at some point in your life. Perhaps even many times over. If failure was an option, no one would pick it willingly, but things don't always go the way we plan. You lose a client or a case. You make mistakes. Even when you do everything right, failure can still show its face.
The main takeaway: so long as you get back up every time you are knocked down, you can carry on. You can learn from your mistakes and become stronger and more resilient for it. Do not fear failure or deny its existence--accept that it is part of life and positivity can still come of it in the end. So long as you persevere.
Have a mindset for growth. The idea of constant self-improvement might sound exhausting, but having a mindset for growth is just like having an open mind. Be open to new opportunities and learning experiences that come your way. Improve yourself each day by honing a skill or gaining a little bit of knowledge. This can have a positive effect on staying motivated in attaining your goals.
Think of yourself as a plant. No plant can grow overnight (save for a fictional magic beanstalk). Plants grow little by little and the same goes for us. Nurture your strengths as you would the soil. Keep your network of roots strong by cultivating your relationships with others. And of course, drink water. That's a big one.
Create a support system. Speaking of your network, you should have a powerful and positive support system that you can lean on in times of need. It can be family, friends, a therapist, coworkers, or even your fellow lawyers--someone you can share your problems with and receive understanding from. There is no room for negativity in a support system, so you will have to use your own judgment to determine the best people to surround yourself with. Positive encouragement is a major factor in perseverance. Negativity can only drag you down, but positivity lifts you up and keeps you going.
If you feel you have no one to turn to, help is always available at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. All services are 100% confidential and free of charge. Remember, you're never alone.
Set smaller goals. When you feel overwhelmed by the big picture, it can be a major detriment to your work ethic. It's important to set benchmarks on what sometimes can feel like a never-ending grind. Achieving smaller goals, celebrating milestones, and rewarding yourself can give you an extra boost in improving your perseverance. After all, reward has always been one of the greatest motivators!
It's about the journey. Don't fixate on the future or stress about the outcome if you can help it. Perseverance is about the here and now, and dealing with life as it comes to you. Getting too wrapped up in the end result can induce stress and anxiety. Take the journey one step at a time, aiming for those smaller goals and celebrating little victories along the way. Should resistance arise, hold tight to your resilience and continue on as the unstoppable force that you are.
Remember why you chose this. Why did you take that first step into law school? What is your purpose? Your passion? Your goal? Every so often, take time to reflect on why you became a lawyer. Think about your victories and the times you were able to help others. Celebrate your achievements and consider how far you've come.
If you ever feel defeated and things seem dark, return to the "why." It may help you once again find the light and guide you back onto your path of perseverance.
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