“By affirming your own gifts & accomplishments, you build your confidence & increase your ability to build a brighter future.” Debbie Ford
At times, being a lawyer can be challenging. Being a young lawyer or law student, however, can be even more challenging, partly due to the immense lack of confidence that many young lawyers endure.
When I think back to my time as a young lawyer, I recall the occasional pangs of uncertainty and the associated pressure of trying to solve problems.
Procrastination that would set in when I was required to deal with a matter that seemed so insurmountable that I just didn’t know where to start. I remember the crippling nerves of having to face a tough, highly skilled opposing counsel in a crucial contract negotiation.
If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self not to worry so much. I would give myself a pep talk, and remind myself that I had the talent and skills to deal with any matter. That confidence and ease comes with time, as well as from within.
My message to today’s graduates & students is simple:
- Look at how far you have already come – your achievements are amazing.
- Comparison is futile – stay in your own lane.
- Your determination & strength helped you during your studies – this highlights resilience.
- The above evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt that you are enough.
You are clearly bright enough, tenacious enough and confident enough to have been accepted into law school, and to have landed your dream job.
There will be pressures & challenges & extremely long work hours on your journey ahead.
There will be difficult people & difficult matters that you will come across.
You will navigate these challenges & overcome obstacles.
You are a human before you are a lawyer. It’s ok not to know everything, and it’s ok to get it wrong. And day by day, it will get easier, and you will become a better, more confident lawyer. I believe that some confidence will only ever come with experience & practice. However, the rest of it really is an inside job.
And that’s why I am so pleased to announce that we have just launched a course on confidence, designed with young lawyers in mind, and delivered by an expert on confidence, Lisa Philips. I wish I had this available to me when I was a young lawyer. Although this course is specifically designed with young lawyers in mind – it is an equally valuable resource for any lawyer who feels they will benefit from increasing their confidence.
P.S. According to Dr Larry Richard, and his 30 years of studying lawyer personalities, “Behind the bravado and confidence that lawyers show, there is typically a worried nerd that lives there!” Intrigued about whether you fit the “lawyer mold”? Check out our insightful course on lawyer personalities here