Lawyers are Human Too!
Vanessa Ugatti, Author of Amazon Best-seller, True Worth, helps lawyers to generate more income, have more time and create more freedom by charging what they’re worth and getting it, without having to get more clients, do more work or compromise their value or values.
Much is being shared right now about mental health in the legal profession and how firms must treat their employees with care which is perfectly true.
We all need some stress but excessive amounts of it are not beneficial either physically or mentally. If you are in a situation where you are constantly experiencing high levels of stress, then changing your mind-set as well as creating boundaries is a good way to manage it better.
It’s important to realise that you have the power to take control and not become a victim. Victimhood is the slippery slope to hell. Believe me, I’ve been there. You’re not a machine, you’re human and as one partner of a prestigious law firm once said to me and I quote:
“Lawyers are human too!”
That’s not to make light of the fact that law firms are under enormous pressure, what with huge competition, particularly with the rise of the internet, the SRA’s regulations, GDPR, COFA and COLP, the list goes on.
Gone are the days of the ‘old boys’ network’ when the work just appeared and people perceived lawyers (as well as doctors, teachers and other professionals) as superior beings to be deferred to.
Nowadays the general public is much more switched on. It’s just not good enough to be a hotshot lawyer to win the business, you must also get to grips with business development, sales, social media, building relationships with third-party introducers, networking as well as the dreaded negotiating and discussing fees with clients!
Law firms must make sure they treat their fee-earners (and other staff for that matter) properly, providing them with the right environment, training and support to be successful.
I hear countless appalling stories of how badly lawyers are being treated, working staggering hours, as if they are in a sweat shop, with little regard for their physical health and mental well-being. Their self-worth and confidence are shot to pieces. It’s no wonder they’re falling victim to mental illness.
Fortunately though, some firms are getting it right.
Not to make lightly of firms’ obligations, I also believe that each individual is responsible for his/her own mental and emotional well-being.
Although most of us were taught to take care of ourselves physically, we were not taught how to look after ourselves emotionally. There are lots of simple ways that you can do this. The key is to give yourself permission to make this a part of your routine. After all, you wouldn’t go to work without washing or brushing your teeth would you? So it’s time to take care of yourself mentally too. Here’s a few simple ideas:
Make a conscious effort to get up from your desk every couple of hours, stretch and move around.
Take some deep breaths, preferably in the fresh air, and as you exhale, make a noise of release.
Go somewhere private (the car is a good place) and scream your head off. This will enable you to safely release the pent up emotions and frustrations that you’ve gathered during the day.
I realise that this may be a little out of your comfort zone but I assure you, as someone who’s been practising this for years, it’s extremely liberating and very beneficial.
Write all your frustrations down, without censoring your language until you have nothing left to write. JUDGE NOTHING and DO NOT READ IT. Just burn it. Repeat as often as you need to.
If you’re struggling to cope, have the courage to speak up. Asking for help is a strength and not a weakness.
Learn to say no!
Use the following affirmation often: “I choose me!”
Self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity and includes your physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Make your self-care a priority right now.
I’m Vanessa Ugatti, author of Amazon Best Seller, True Worth: How to Charge What You’re Worth and Get It. I help accountants, lawyers and consultants to generate more income, have more time and create more freedom without having to get more clients, do more work or compromise value or values.
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