Female Lawyers: What Happened to Your Big Dreams?
In my process of working with new clients, I always ask them to describe "The Big Dream" they have for their life.
When I asked the same of Erica, a 33-year-old lawyer in Los Angeles, there was an unusually long pause. Through her tears, Erica stated she actually does not have a big dream for her life. The only thing she knows for sure is she does not want to continue the lifestyle she has now.
Erica works long and exhausting 10-hour days doing legal work beneath her intellect and skill set. She is playing a much smaller game professionally than she should. There is no room for growth in her current firm and she is completely out of alignment with her value and brilliance.
Erica hired me to help her get clear about what she really, really wants in her life professionally and personally. At the moment, she honestly has no idea what that is.
Though she fears something is wrong with her, I reassured Erica that her experience is actually quite common. Because lawyers spend so many years of their life working toward the Big Dream of becoming a lawyer (perhaps even a Super Lawyer), the journey can culminate in unintentionally suspending other Big Dreams they had for their life.
A few years into their legal career, many find themselves overworked, overtired and overwhelmed. They busily perform voluminous tasks, relying on adrenaline and caffeine to get through the day. Layer onto that the need to effectively manage their professional reputation and expanding network including firm partners, clients and even opposing counsel, and it can all become too much.
The result? They become numb.
- Numb to the pain of working 10-hour days with no end in sight;
- Numb to the pain of managing an unrealistic caseload, fearing a critical detail or date will slip through the cracks; or
- Numb to the pain of feeling like they never have time for themselves and for fun anymore.
And, just like Erica . . .
- Numb to the other big dreams they had for their life because they are simply too busy to devote time to think about them.
How about you? Are you numb to your big dreams?
If so, answering the following questions can help you begin to correct that.
- What is the overall big dream you have for your life?
- What do you really, really want professionally and personally for your life?
- What support do you need in your life to make your big dreams come true?
- Take the time to write out your answers in as much detail as possible. Why? Because this is the beginning of reconnecting to the big dreams you have for your life.
I have helped many women lawyers reconnect to the big dreams they had for their life as you will see in the video below. It would be my pleasure to help you too.