Stop Holding Yourself Back: Three Ways to Fire Your Worst Critic

If you are like most lawyers… then YOU are your own worst critic!

You’re highly skilled at finding problems in just about anything. That’s a great skill while you are practicing law… but when it comes to developing yourself and developing your practice, it can be fatal.

If you’re constantly self-critiquing and killing enthusiasm for new ideas then guess what… you’re never going to grow. So today I want you to FIRE your worst critic and give yourself permission to experiment, to make mistakes, and to grow… so that you can create a thriving practice.

Here are three ways to do just that.

1) Train yourself to look for positives before you look for the negatives in new ideas. What’s the first thing you do when you’re thinking about a new business development initiative? Be honest… for most lawyers the answer is “look for all the problems and all of the reasons why this will NOT work.” With this mindset, you’re never going to pursue anything, because you can always find a problem if that’s what you’re looking for. Instead, train yourself to look for reasons to LOVE each new idea for at least a few moments. Imagine the possibilities. Once you’ve thought about the positives and what it could mean for your practice, you can look at the challenges involved and determine whether it’s an opportunity worth pursuing. So stop killing ideas before you’ve even thought about the upside!

2) Don’t demand perfection. Don’t let “perfection” become the enemy of “very good.” In other words, stop shelving ideas because they aren’t perfect. When Steve Jobs launched the first iPhone in 2007, do you think that it was perfect? Of course not… that’s why Apple is currently on their 6th version! It wasn’t perfect… but it was good enough to turn the world upside down! How many ideas have you disregarded that weren’t perfect… but could have turned YOUR world upside down in a very good way?

3) Celebrate progress and learn from mistakes. Once you roll up your sleeves and commit to business development, you’re going to see progress, and you’re going to make mistakes. As a lawyer, your tendency will be to beat yourself up for the mistakes while ignoring your progress. But to stay positive and keep moving forward, you need to flip this response. Turn your mistakes into lessons… learn what you did wrong and figure out how to improve. And celebrate your progress, even if it’s a very small victory. This mindset will fuel you and keep you moving forward.

Stop selling yourself short and holding yourself back. FIRE your worst critic!

If you’d like to discuss this subject further, I would love to work through it with you. Send me an email and let’s talk!