Transcript: How to Trust Yourself to Follow Through
Hello there. How are you doing today? I hope you're having a lovely day wherever you are. I am in Northern California, in Sacramento and there is a light sprinkling going on right now. You probably can't hear it but it definitely feels like warm sweater, hot cocoa fireplace weather in the middle of may, which is a lot of fun since it's been super sunny lately. It's nice for a little change of pace and I wanted to just take this time to say hello to you, to say thank you for showing up every week for you know, being here and working on yourself. Even though there's a lot going on in the world that we have no control over, we can always control what we are doing in our own lives to make it better, to find ways to do things like trust ourselves more, which is what we're going to talk about today.
And the fact that you're taking the time to listen to this, even when things might not be ideal, the way that they, you know, you're used to them being is a testament to how committed you are to doing something different in your life, to creating some change in your life, to kind of mix things up no matter what. So I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge you there. Okay.
So I want you to ask yourself, how much do you trust yourself? Do you trust yourself to make good choices? Do you trust yourself to make good choices? Not only for the present moment, but for your future self. The theme of trust or the lack of trust pops up a lot. When I coach lawyers, the typical non lawyer might think that, you know, we have it all together, that you know, we of course trust ourselves and that they had to trust themselves to push their way through law school.
Right. Well, I see a different side of things. When I talk to lawyers, I see lawyers who have taught themselves not to trust themselves by how they behave in the world. No matter how much they can accomplish, they don't quite feel like they can trust themselves, that they can commit and do what they say that they're going to do. The good news is that if you answered that, no, you don't trust yourself. You can change that. Trusting yourself is a learnable skill and today I'm going to walk you through the process of how to begin trusting yourself. These are some of the same that I teach my coaching clients step-by-step and I guide them through it in whatever endeavor that they're trying to reach for. Before we jump in, I want to invite you to download my free busy lawyer's guide. If you have downloaded it before, it's actually new and improved.
So go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer. I wanted to change it up a little bit and this is actually in alignment with this episode because it's going to help you begin creating trust with yourself. It goes really nicely today. It worked out really well. So let's just jump in to talking about these nine skills that I have outlined to build self trust. It took me a long time to trust myself. I didn't have a history of following through on my commitments to myself. Okay. Even though I had worked really hard, I'd gone through law school, I had, you know, obviously done all the work, you know, got a job, became a trial lawyer. I mean, you've gotta be committed to get that done, right? Well, I was committed to the work, but I was never committed to myself. Right? I would always follow through on commitments to the job and to other people, but I would never follow through on those commitments to myself.
In fact, I never really made set in stone commitments. If someone asked me to stay late at the office to help them on a project, I'd say, sure, I don't need to go to yoga tonight. That's fine. I'll just rearrange my whole schedule, my whole plan that I had and I'm going to help out. If somebody asked me out for drinks, I'd say, sure, I'd skip working on my business to hang out and have some wine. If I told myself that I'd have one glass of wine and then I'd cut myself off at a party, I'd allow myself to have four glasses of wine and then feel horrible the next day. It was easy for me to change all of those commitments up because I wasn't really committed to myself. Right. If I were, then I would have had different results. I would have chosen yoga.
I would have said no or I would have found time the next day to help them on that project or I wouldn't have drunk at all or I wouldn't have gone to that party and I would have worked on my business. I would have followed through on exactly what I said I was going to do in terms of drinking, but I wasn't really committed to myself. So I was teaching myself not to trust myself and when I didn't trust myself, that meant I didn't trust my judgment and then I couldn't trust myself to make anything happen if I wanted it to happen, right? Like I could do the work stuff, but in my life, like how could I trust myself to make anything happen? How could I trust myself to, you know, do what I said I was going to do in my calendar if I just was not following through.
Which is strange, right? Because lawyers are so powerful in our positions. We have total confidence in our ability to argue a case or to write a brief eviscerating the other party's argument. But when it comes to the practical day to day of our lives, we lack confidence. I began to trust myself when I began setting goals for myself and I started with small incremental, measurable goals and I followed through on them. I saw that there was a process to it. So I understood that it was always doable and I mean this took some time. Like I had to understand if I could do it once, I could repeat the process and I kept doing it. I figured out that I was of course going to fail, but that failure was part of this process. And if I knew, if I really had faith that I would achieve what I wanted, no matter what, then I was committed and if I was committed then I would follow through on what I said I would do.
And when I followed through, even when it was hard, even when I messed up, then I would make it happen. And that is a messy process to like dig into years of not trusting myself, but it was doable. And it started changing when I decided I was going to change. How I woke up in the morning. So this is what I did. So I used to wake up at the last possible moment to go to the office and if you've listened to my podcast for a while, then you know this story. But I would have my phone by my bed and I would hit snooze a dozen times. I would scroll through social media, my email, all of that, and then at the last possible moment I would get up and I would run and I would get changed and all that good stuff and go to the office.
Then I would come home and I would be exhausted. I would, you know, flop on the couch, watch some news, fall asleep on the couch and then go to bed at whatever crazy hour it was when I went to bed and I just woke up one morning and I said, that's it. I'm done. I'm done feeling like crap in the morning, like I'm not getting enough sleep. I'm, I'm not doing what I say that I want to do. Like I'm not working on a business that I want to create on top of my legal practice. I'm not doing any of the things that I'm dreaming about and I've got to figure this out. So I picked one thing and the most painful thing at that time was my morning routine. What I did is I started just writing out what I wanted, my morning routine to look like, how I wanted it to go, what time I wanted to wake up, what I wanted to accomplish in the morning, and then what would I have to do in order to make this happen?
What time would I have to go to sleep? Would I have to change some of the habits that I had at night in order to make this happen in the morning for me? And so it was a process. I worked through it. I kept notes, I found some things that worked for me. I found some things that didn't work for me. Some mornings it would work, some mornings it didn't. And then I kept working at it because I knew I could do this. Like, how hard could it possibly be to just change this one little thing? That's kind of how I was thinking about it and I finally did it and now, I mean, you're going to think it's crazy, but I wake up at four 30 in the morning now. I didn't start that way. Like I kind of worked my way back. I started at six o'clock discovered that wasn't really enough time for me.
5:30 that wasn't enough time. Five o'clock that wasn't enough time to get done what I wanted to get done and then now I've landed on this four 30 time and it works really well for me. So I just want you to know this is doable, but you've got to focus on one thing because if you are trying to change your whole life at once, you are going to drive yourself crazy and you're going to beat yourself up because you're not going to make change. Your brain is going to go haywire because it does not do well with multiple things changing at once. It will revert to your old habits. We really only have that brain power in our prefrontal cortex to handle, you know, small chunks of things at a time. So that's why I always recommend to coaching clients. If you have a goal, you pick one goal and you just work towards that one goal until you feel really confident about being able to make things happen.
Do not do more than that. That's why they tell people don't you know, do a weight loss plan and stop smoking cigarettes at the same time. It is not something that I would recommend. So that was the first thing. That was the first time I recognized this, this ability to trust myself and that it's a process and this is a learnable skill. So I want you to know all of what I'm telling you. I'm going to break down in a little bit so that you understand the learnable skills that you can take one at a time if you want to make a change in your life just like I was doing. And so when I had the opportunity to change my morning, I thought, okay, now I have time to work on my business. On top of this legal practice and I can see it taking shape and when I started doing what I was going to, when I said I was going to do in my business, then I was like, Hey, this is working.
Like I say, I'm going to do something and then I do it. It seems simple, right? Like I do it all the time and work. I do it all the time for other people, but when it came to myself I was like, wow, this is magic. Like actually doing it. And then there were other things that I was doing. Like I was just saying I was going to do it and then I did it. I was so I would set these goals. I didn't want to drink alcohol anymore, so I stopped drinking alcohol. I was like, wow, if I could do this, I mean this is amazing. And then I also had created a calendar one that worked for me, one where I could look at it and say, yeah, this is doable. I'm going to do this. I put things in my calendar, like go to yoga three times a week and I would just go and I would do it.
And there were little things I could do to kind of trick my brain into getting me to go there. Right? So our brain really likes to freak out when we have these big goals. And the big goal could be just like make it to the gym. And one of the things that my brain would do is say, I don't need to go to the gym. I'll just stay at the office and finish project up. It'll be really nice just to finish this project up. And then I would say, no, no, no, no. What we're going to do is we are just going to grab my person, my keys. So I would do that and then I would tell my brain, okay, so the next thing that I'm going to do is I'm just going to walk to my car and then I would tell my brain, okay, now that we're in the car, we're going to go ahead and drive to the yoga studio.
And then once I got to the yoga studio, I'd say, okay, well I'm here. I'm just going to get out now and I'm going to go into the yoga studio. And you know, by the time you're there, you're doing it right. So you've got to kind of trick your brain sometimes to get it moving because it likes being comfortable, right? Like our primal brain likes to be comfortable. It likes us to avoid pain. It wants us to do pleasurable things like drink wine and eat potato chips and just sit around. It's not very goal oriented. We hear the only creatures who have this prefrontal cortex that allows us to think into the future and to design plans and to create these plans. But to do that, we have to master our primal brain that is stuck in the, you know, the dark ages. So I want you to recognize that this is a practice and it is work and it's always going to be work.
It's always something that you're going to need to think through when you have a goal. It's not as if it goes away. It's not as if now I just like boom, boom, boom. I have to think about what I want and why I want it and here's the process that I go through. It's really a matter of time and patience. But you can make anything happen. Having a coach makes it so much easier cause that's, that's why I have a coach. But here are like the rules, the compass that I go by. So the very first rule, I'm going to call it a rule, the very first rule is to have compassion all ways I compassion for yourself is a must. If you do not be, if you're not forgiving towards yourself for failing, failing, failure, failing. If you are not compassionate towards yourself when you fail because you will fail, you are going to want to give up.
Your brain isn't going to want to hear yourself beating yourself up. You're just going to give up. So what I tell everyone I work with is you've got to have compassion towards yourself. That means loving yourself no matter what. No beating yourself up allowed here. The second rule is to know your why. Why do you want to do your goal? What is so important about it that makes you want to do it so badly? So if you have a weight loss goal, what is it and why do you want it? If you want to stop over drinking, why do you want to stop overdrinking? If you want to follow your calendar, which is what I work with lawyers basically on all the time, it doesn't matter what they come to me, it's always going to come back to their calendar. They don't trust themselves to follow through on their calendar.
They create calendars that they hate. Well, why do you want to do what's on your calendar? What is so important to you about it? And once you know this, it makes everything else in this, in this list of things I'm going to share with you a lot easier. The third rule is to commit. So if you have a goal like waking up earlier in the morning so you can get some things done so you can feel really good in the morning, have your cup of tea, commit to it. Just say, yeah, I'm going to do it. And recognize that you are going to have these urges to take you off your path. You're going to have these emotions that come up that say, no. You know what? Why don't we go do that old thing we were doing cause that we're used to that that felt good and you are going to, if you don't commit, let yourself fall back into your old habits.
So when you step into the role of being committed, when you look at your calendar, for instance, as an extension of yourself, then how do you show up differently for yourself? You show up as the person who does what they say they're going to do and when you know your why, then it makes it easier for you. Rule number four, just do one goal at a time. A small one as best to start. Like if you really don't trust yourself, just start at the small stuff. Just pick one thing. And when you do something like this, like with the morning routine change that I did, you'll start recognizing where other things in your day do not work for you. Because if you were guarding your time in the morning and someone says, Hey, can you come in early to the office and work on this project, you are going to say something like, you know what?
I'm not going to stay. I'm not gonna be able to get there early. But what I can do is designate some time during my day to help you out. You know, if that is doable. So I want you to start looking at how if you pick one goal, it really is gonna domino effect the rest of your life. Like if you pick one goal where you're just going to work on one aspect of your life, you're going to see your patterns showing up in different areas and you're going to start adjusting those patterns to protect that goal that you have. The fifth rule is to track everything. So when you're doing a goal, when you're approaching a goal, you're treating it like an experiment. What worked? What didn't work and that's why there's no judgment involved here. That's why there's total compassion for whatever it is that you do.
Whether or not you consider it a failure or a success because what you're doing is you're treating this like a experiment where you are literally tracking. So for my, my morning experiment, I was tracking what I was doing in the morning and tracking how my day went and then tracking how my evening went and when I saw that my evening routines were impacting my morning routines, then I was maybe able to make adjustments. But if you don't track these things, if you don't actually take a look at them, then you will not be able to make the changes that you need. You've got to be conscious of what is happening that is preventing you from getting the result that you want. It's never a matter of muscling through to get the result that you want. It's a matter of recognizing where there are issues popping up throughout your day and looking at it like a scientist not looking at it as, Oh, I'm such a jerk because I couldn't manage to not drink last night and I stayed up really late and so I couldn't do my morning routine.
If I looked at my routines like that, I would have never made the changes that I was that I wanted to make. So I want you to recognize that that compassion is running through every single one of these rules. The six thing is that you are going to fail, you are going to stall out whatever you want to call it. It's okay. You are working on creating new neuro pathways in your brain. That is literally what you were doing. You have one neuro pathway right now, so let's say your habit is you like me, wake up at like seven 30 in the morning and you have this habit of looking at your phone and scrolling through email in the morning and then you stay up really late. Maybe your 12 one at night. That is one neuropathway. That is a habit that you've cultivated over time.
You didn't wake up one day and suddenly you were waking up at seven 30 and going to bed at midnight. This was something that was cultivated over time. Now you're looking to change that route in your brain to say, no, this is not what I want to do. I want to do something different. That is creating change and that new neuropathway takes practice. So you, you have to recognize you're going to fail and that you're going to stall out. And then rule number seven is that you're going to recommit. So no matter if you stall out, you're like, okay, that's okay. I see what I did there. I'm going to go back right now and I'm going to, I'm going to start over right now. Okay? So you're just recommitting. Rule number eight, you are gonna succeed. And so at that point, recognize how awesome you are.
So often when I'm coaching clients, they don't recognize the wins that they're making. And so that's part of what I do is like, Hey, let's take a time out. Look at what you did there. That was amazing. You managed to make significant change in your life, and that's going to significantly change not only your life and other areas, but the lives of those around you. So take that time to recognize that you have succeeded at something. And then rule number nine, I want to, I wanted to list those twice. Rule number nine is, Hey, compassion, compassion, compassion, compassion, love yourself. Talk to yourself like somebody that you love. All right? This is where I see so many coaching clients really hurt themselves, is in the beating themselves up and not loving themselves and not understanding that they are human and that they can do no wrong.
Nothing that they're doing is wrong. None of it is bad. It's just what you're doing right now. There's no judgment around it. You can just recognize, Hey, this is a pattern that I have and it's something that is changeable. It's a learnable skill. I can change this. So I want you to know that you are loved, that you can love yourself more, and that when you talk to yourself like a person that you love, it becomes a habit, right? And then you just follow these rules all over again, right? Why do you want to love yourself? Commit to loving yourself on and on and on, right? One goal at a time. Just love yourself every time you make a mistake. Just, I love me. No problem. I got this. So I want you to know that this is totally doable with any goal that you have, any thought that you want to change, anything that you want to do in life.
You just follow these nine simple rules. Not always easy, but simple rules and you will create what you want in your life. All right. I hope you have a great week and be sure to grab that. Quick start guide for busy lawyers. You can go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer. That's Dina cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer to grab your free copy. All right, talk to you next week.