Transcript: I'm Successful. Now what? with Dina Cataldo
Hello there. I hope you're having a lovely week.
Right now my garden is blooming, and I've been spending as much time as possible outdoors. I've also been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to reconnect with what we want after years of having no other focus that of studying to become and then becoming a lawyer.
If you're a Type-A ambitious over-achieving lawyer, which you probably are if you're here, then you've always been a hard worker.
You worked hard to get where you are, but once you officially became a lawyer, something may have changed.
Chances are that if you're listening to this, you have something that gnaws at you. Maybe you don't know what it is, but there's something calling to you. It feels like an urge to do something, but you may not know exactly what it is. There's this voice that's telling you there's something more.
Maybe you don't know what it is, and all you know is it doesn't feel good to ignore that part of you.
Or maybe you know exactly what it is, but you've been putting off taking action on it.
Today I want to shine a light on what you may be feeling and help you get some clarity on what's happening for you and develop the courage to take action on it.
After all the time, money, and expectations you've invested into where you are right now, it may feel indulgent to you to ask for more. You may be asking yourself: “Shouldn't I be happy?” Or you may be telling yourself, “Maybe it's not possible for me to be happy or fulfilled. Maybe it's not possible for me to have more in my life. Maybe I shouldn't ask for more because I already have so much.”
Let's clear this up right now.
This voice questioning whether you should want more or are capable of having more is a liar.
I know this first-hand.
That voice is the voice our brain talks to us with whenever we are thinking about trying something new.
Our brain doesn't like new because it doesn't want anything to jeopardize our safety.
If you're making money, have a roof over your head and are staying fed, and attribute that to being a lawyer and practicing the law you're practicing right now, then your brain thinks you are safe.
And if you've been listening to this podcast for any length of time, then you know that it's actually your thoughts creating the feeling of safety. It's not the job, it's not the money, it's not the roof or even the food.
There are multi-millionaires who feel unsafe and worry they don't have enough money.
And there are people living month to month who don't worry about having enough money.
You can have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands in the bank and still need to remind yourself that you're safe and that everything will be okay.
How do I know this? When I decided to leave my law job, all the fears and doubts came up. My brain wanted to question my decision even though I knew in my heart it was the right one. One of the ways I overcome this voice when it enters my head is to remind it that I have enough, that I have always been able to take care of myself, that I created the feeling of safety not my job.
If you've never had a coach before, or you haven't been trained as a coach, then this can be difficult because you don't have anyone helping you train your brain to notice when this happens and to automatically start having this kind of conversation with yourself to generate courage.
A coach helps you rewire your brain, so you can go after what you want even when it's scary.
You're doing the work in session every week to practice these skills. Each session is like making a deposit in your bank account. Over time you generate compound interest that helps you make leaps and bounds.
If you haven't scheduled a strategy session with me to learn about how we can work together, I invite you to book a call with me. I believe with my whole being that coaching changes lives because I see it in my life and the lives of my clients. You can book a call at dinacataldo.com/
This pull we feel to go after something — any thing — is a gift.
It shows you that there's a part of your life you're not living into.
It's showing you that there's possibility you're not allowing yourself to fulfill.
Once you can see that, the question becomes, “Where do I start?”
That's where I see lawyers become confused.
They don't take action on this gnawing feeling. They don't start.
Their brain tells them everything I've already gone over:
– Maybe I can't be happy
– Maybe I should try to be happy
– Maybe I should wait and see what happens
Then it adds in
– “I'm just so tired. I'll do it later.”
– “There's so many possibilities. I'm just overwhelmed.”
– “I'm just lazy. I should be working harder.” And then they proceed to try to become more disciplined. Which might last a week or two and then they fall into their same old habits.
– “I don't know.” They stay in “I don't know”-land because they think they need to have it all figured out before they take any action. They try to THINK their way out of the problem. But they're THINKING is wrong. You can't THINK your way out of a problem with the same brain you used to get into the problem.
– “I don't want to waste time and energy if I don't know if it's the THING.”
– “I should feel sure about this before I do anything.”
– “Maybe I won't follow through on “fill-in-the-blank” new thing anyway. Why bother?”
If this is clicking with you, nothing has gone wrong. You're 100% normal.
The REAL problem is that you believe these thoughts. You buy these voices in your head hook line and sinker instead of questioning them.
And you can't even question them until you learn the tools to do so and use them every day.
It's like trying to navigate a ship in the middle of the ocean without having a compass, with no stars and without seeing land. You're staying afloat, but you don't have any real direction.
The kicker is, until you decide to take a step forward — any step forward — you can't gain the strategic bi-products you need to keep moving forward.
A strategic bi-product is a benefit you gain that you may not have thought of when you do something.
For instance, when lawyers book a consult with me, the strategic bi-product they get is learning how their brain processes decisions.
One of the skills my clients learn is how to make decisions more quickly, so they can accumulate more experiences. Staying in indecision limits your experiences, and therefore limits your ability to move forward. Booking a consult is the first step to show them how their brain works when they process a decision, and if they work with me they learn how to develop their decision-making muscles. Learning how their brain works when processing a decision is a strategic bi-product of their taking the step to book the call.
For another example, when I started my first business, I learned how to do video. Not only all the technical stuff, but I learned how to process emotions because I had a lot of stress, self-doubt and worry about how I looked and what people thought about me. Working through all of that during my first business allows me to show up much more powerfully and confidently in my coaching business.
The alternative to making a decision to go in any direction is that you stay stuck. You don't make any moves in any direction.
What's the price of staying stuck?
Ask yourself this.
For me, the price of staying stuck was never feeling fulfilled.
– It was always feeling like I was missing out on a life I was supposed to have lived.
– It was wondering whether I could have been more or done more with my life.
– It was leaving money on the table when I believed I could make more than what I was making as a lawyer.
– It was feeling trapped instead of free.
– It was waiting to live my life until I was too old to enjoy it.
Maybe yours are different.
Ask yourself what the cost is of not taking action on that feeling gnawing at you that you're meant for more.
I want to help your brain start to deconstruct the lies it may be telling you, so I'm going to take a few of the most common thoughts and break them down.
1. “I should feel sure about this before I do anything.”
There's this myth that angels will sing and the sky will part when we've made the “right” decision. This is a lie.
Decisions are not supposed to be comfortable. They're not supposed to feel easy. It's supposed to feel uncomfortable because our brain is flipping out that we're trying something new.
Once I learned this, it was like I discovered the key to the universe. Once we make one decision, we move through the discomfort faster, but there's discomfort no matter what level of the game you're playing at. We know we're upleveling ourselves when we feel uncomfortable. It's called growing pains.
2. “There's so many possibilities. I'm just overwhelmed.”
This is along the same lines as the first lie I broke down. Your brain is trying to keep you scared, so you don't change anything. Remember, you've successfully kept yourself alive up until now. Your brain thinks any changes means you could die.
You will not die if you pick something and move on. You can always change your mind. And you'll pick up strategic bi-products along the way, so you're never wasting your time. At the very LEAST, you'll discover whether you do or don't like something. Decide and go.
I tried everything to see if I could satisfy that itch to feel more fulfilled.
– Painting – watercolor, acrylic, Copic markers, oils, charcoal, color pencils
– Guitar – which I do love still
– writing – which I get to incorporate into my business
– blending tea
– selling tea
– gardening – which I still do
– …you get the point
– coaching – and here I am enjoying a coaching business and life that incorporates my favorite things.
Trying new things is part of the process to find fulfillment. There's not a magic red pill to swallow to do this. We have to be active participants in our life to find fulfillment.
3. If you're brain is telling you, “I'm just lazy. I should be working harder,” I've been there. Turns out that this is another lie.
The truth is, you're working too hard. The truth is, you need to step back and reconnect with yourself.
For my clients this may look like taking baby steps like turning off notifications, taking 15 minutes each morning to sit still and do nothing, not checking email after 5, learning how to time block their calendar to make time for themselves to do things JUST for themselves.
This is the hardest for the lawyers I work with because our whole lives we've been told that we need to work hard. We've derived our self-worth from working hard. It seems incongruous that we should work less to achieve our goals or to move closer to the feeling of fulfillment we're seeking.
This lie that I should be working harder is a thought that I still have, but I have the tools to counteract it now, so I see it faster and can counteract it faster. I waste less time. If you spend time thinking this thought, ask yourself how much time you're wasting staying here instead of just loving where you are right now and celebrating what you've accomplished.
4. “I don't know.”
Just stop thinking this thought. It's the least helpful thought ever. If I could pull a thought out of your brain right now, it'd be this one.
Seriously. Just stop. You always know the answer. You always know what's right for you. Following what feels right to you and trusting yourself is just a new skill you haven't practices. Saying “I don't know” puts your brain in an unresourceful state. Always ask yourself, “If I did know the answer, what would I say?”
5. “I don't want to waste time and energy if I don't know if it's the THING.” and “Maybe I won't follow through on “fill-in-the-blank” new thing anyway. Why bother?”
I put these two thoughts together because they're basically the same thing. Remember when I talked about strategic bi-products. If I believed these thoughts, then I would have missed out on everything I learned starting a tea business online. Without pursuing that business, I never would have bumped into coaching, so I wouldn't even be a coach or have this podcast if I didn't try something new and allow myself to be scared.
OK, those are the 5 lies I wanted to debunk for you. This is important because if you are feeling called to do more or be more in your life, your brain is going to pop these thoughts up. It's up to you to use your brain to say, “Hey, I see you, brain. I want more even if it mean feeling uncomfortable or trying new things.”
You can't THINK your way out of a problem with the same brain you used to get into the problem. You've got to start rewiring it to get the result you want in your life.
If you need help with this, I'm here for you.
Book a call with me at dinacataldo.com
I can help you learn to make the best decisions for yourself to get you closer to clarity and fulfillment.
I love coaching. It's so freaking magical. It can truly help us achieve anything. I really believe that.
Hope you have a wonderful week, and I'll talk to you next week.
Bye for now.