Hello, my friend.

I just got back from Austin on an adventure. My coach had her Mastermind there this year, and I spend a few days getting to know the city and a few days getting to know myself and my fellow entrepreneurs there.

Napoleon Hill coined the term Mastermind. In his book Think and Grow Rich he talks about envisioning those people who we aspire to become and tapping into how they think and problem-solve. In a Mastermind, we do the same thing. We all help different people with our businesses, but we are all there for the expansion. We help each other see our blindspots, to see where we can fine tune our messaging, and to see where we may have been playing small in our businesses. When we do this kind of work, it helps us expand how and who we help, and it expands our vision of what's possible for us.

This podcast will help you step into the version of you that fills that expanded vision of yourself. I'll walk you through 5 indicators that you can expand your vision for what you want and give you lots of examples along the way to give you more awareness about where you can stretch yourself.

I'll offer to you that being uncomfortable and stretching yourself is much more fulfilling than staying where you are.

What we see around us is a pale reflection of what's possible for us.

Until we get another pair of eyes on our lives, we don't see what's around us. We just aren't aware.

That can be a simple awareness we make by reading an article, a book, listening to a podcast, or it can be more intensive like we can get when a coach is showing us our blind spots.

We're like fish swimming in water. If you asked a fish what water is, they'd have no clue. It's their whole world. They're in it every day and don't have anything to compare it to.

When we believe the world we live in is what it is, we don't look any further than what's in front of our faces. We don't look past what's in front of us to see if there's another perspective.

The choices we make are a reflection of what we think about our world.

They tell us whether we're contracting like a turtle into its shell or expanding and moving ourselves forward towards our vision. Those choices are reflections of what we think about…

– ourselves
– what we think people think of us
– what we think is possible for us
– what we think is expected of us

Fortunately for us, there's lag time between our thoughts and our choices. We can make choices that are more expansive if we learn to see our thoughts and intercept them before we make choices. The choices we make are often reactions instead of thoughtful decisions.

Doing thought work helps us exercise this muscle of seeing our thoughts before we react. This work helps you make better decisions for yourself and your law practice and it slows down the lag time, so you're not reacting.

Picture sprinters in slow motion. A sprinter is running as fast as they can, but if you slow them down a bit, it still looks like they're running. Your brain gets better and better at slowing down the thoughts and catching decisions that aren't moving you towards where you want to be because it slows down your mental processing.

For example, if your habit is saying yes to projects when you really want to say no, you've created a habit that's become a reaction.

I had a client who was in the habit of saying yes to every project she was offered. She wanted to make more thoughtful decisions about projects she'd take from senior partners though, and she trained herself to say no, and started asking for the projects she wanted. It was uncomfortable at first, but once she did that, she saw that it was easier than she ever thought before. Now she's leading projects that are more interesting to her and light her up.

Expansion is growth. With growth comes discomfort; it's called growing pains for a reason.

If I'm super comfortable, then I know I'm not growing.

Comfortable can be nice for a while, but when I'm too cozy I know I'm not moving to the fullest expression of me. I'm not building my coaching practice into the practice that can help more people. I'm not building my identity into the person who can help those people in the way that they need it. I'm not focused on the most important things that will move me towards my expanded vision for my practice.

A butterfly is the perfect expression of expansion.

It starts out as a tiny egg. It hatches a caterpillar. For a couple weeks, the caterpillar thinks “this is it, I'm a caterpillar,” for a couple weeks then suddenly — seemingly out of nowhere — decides it's going to hook itself to a branch, shed its skin, and make a pupa around itself. Inside that pupa, it disintegrates into goo, so it's unrecognizable. Then it reforms itself into a butterfly with delicate wings and a totally different body before it flies out of its pupa that it leaves behind.

Sidenote: in Austin I'd never seen so many monarch butterflies. I was on the 12th floor of my hotel and saw multiple monarchs flying. They were at the parks, everywhere. And by the LBJ Presidential library there is a butterfly garden. There were hundreds if not more monarchs there. It was magical. Highly recommend going.

How do you know if you're not as expansive as you could be? There's not a class on this or anything.

Well, now there is.

There are 4 places I'm going to focus on in this podcast to help you see whether there's areas of your life oyu'd like to stretch yourself and what's possible for you.

You probably already know instinctually where you hold back, so those are definitely areas of expansion for you.

Let's start by taking a look at how you know there's room for expansion in your life?

– what you want comes last
– you “forget” to put you time on the calendar. You're an afterthought.
– Your home doesn't reflect you.
– You tell yourself it's not possible, that it's physically impossible or there's not enough time right now to think about it. These were all excuses I gave for not expanding the space I use for my coaching calls. Since I'm expanding my practice to full time in January, I wanted to rethink…

What I needed was someone else to see possibility for me where I couldn't see it. Someone who could pull out my vision for my practice and my identity as a full time coach, so I could expand my identity to meet that. Someone who could sit with me who had skills to see things I couldn't because I was stuck in my head believing my limiting thoughts were absolute truth.

Our thoughts are like those two-faced optical illusions. You know the kinds where you look at the same image and if you look at it one way it's an old woman and if you look at it another way it's a young woman. Or you're either looking at two figures or it's a vase? Sometimes we can't see something until someone points it out to us.

Another important askpect is to be WILLING to see another perspective. You can be willing even if you're a bit skeptical. I got an awesome result just because I was WILLING to try something. Then when I did it, I could decide if I liked it.

Here are five indicators that you could stretch yourself more and grow into a bigger bolder version of you.

1. Not asking for help

I used to be the kind of person who only asked for help if the sky was falling. That meant never. I actually remember asking for help when I needed someone to take me to and from surgery and chemo appointments, and it was so uncomfortable. I hated it. But once I did it, I realized it was easy to do and people wanted to help me. Now I ask for and accept help all the time.

Sometimes we don't ask for help because we think we should be able to figure a problem out on our own or we worry what others will think about us if we ask for help. These fears are pure ego. When we listen to what our ego wants we waste time, and energy and moeny on things that don't serve us. Then we start to doubt ourselves because we're not getting things to work the way we want them to. When what we needed to do in the first place was ask for help.

2. We hide our best assets

When we hold back — we hide our best assets!

I almost walked right past a piece of the moon! Yeah, there was a piece of the moon on exhibit in a glass case. There was a larger exhibit about the moon and how NASA featured in LBJ's presidency, but there was a piece of the MOON there. I may geek out about these things, but that seems like a pretty important asset to the museum. How often do you get to see that? If I'd know that was there, I wouldn't have waffled on whether I was going to go inside.

When we hide our assets, people can't find us.

When we don't show up and share what we're good at with people, we're doing them a disservice. We're depriving them of the experience of what they can get from us. It can be something like seeing a piece of the moon and the awe that I felt in that moment or it could be something like depriving people of your legal services because you're not doing the videos or podcast or whatever else you may feel is unimportant.

When we hold back because we're comfortable where we are and doing something different feels uncomfortable, nothing changes and people don't get the experience they need.

Stretching into a new version of me is something I'm experiencing as I move closer to my end date at my job at the DA's Office.

I actively worked on — and still work on — expanding my vision of what's possible for me. I needed to do that before I made the decision to leave my law job to coach full time.

3. Dimming ourselves to fit in

We turn ourselves down a notch because we don't want people to think we're “too much.” Fear of judgment. People will judge you anyway. You may as well enjoy yourself and have people judge you. Not everyone will like you, and that's okay. As long as you like you, there's not a problem.

On Instagram I posted a story on expansion being something as subtle as wearing a red lipstick. It's something that feels just a little outside your comfort zone.

If you're not following me on Instagram, what are you waiting for. I have so much good stuff there. You can go to @dina.cataldo to find me – If you share the podcast there, be sure to tag me in your story, so I can thank you properly.

Other ways we dim ourselves: not wearing the jewelry or clothes that we want because we don't want to be judged. I'll point out that people are judging you anyway, so you may as well be happy. I have lawyers compliment me on my jewelry and tell me that I'm the first lawyer that's modeled that you can wear large pieces of jewelry in the courtroom, and it inspired them to wear jewelry they enjoy wearing. You showing up as you can help people. How awesome is that?

We hear this in trial advocacy: we can't just copy other people. We need to have our personality shine through, so that the jury can connect with us. When we first start out as attorneys we're told things like: wear blue on the first day of jury selection and one guy even wore a wedding ring, so the jury could trust him more. We have to shed what's expected of us by others and do our own thing. Maybe your boss doesn't want you wearing sequins or dying your hair. That's fine. But where can you express yourself more fully?

4. We put things off

Where do you put off what you want or showing up in your practice bigger?

Maybe you want to show up on video or social media to promote your practice. I had a client that was putting of writing letters to let counsel know about her mediation practice, but once she had the awareness that she was putting it off and sabotaging her vision of having a thriving mediation practice, she created the time to write letters.

I used to do this without even thinking about it in my office space at the law job. I didn't take a larger office and kept my small one because it was easier instead of thinking about who I needed to get to know in the office and how that office would be better positioned to be in the middle of conversations. I wanted to quietly work instead of talk about what I was doing or engage with others. I even had a fellow lawyer in my office point out I should take it for those reasons, but I didn't see the value in that and stayed to myself.

It's so interesting that I saw myself do this with my office space in my house. We really can't see the blind spots until someone shows them to us, and if you're not ready to hear it, you can't hear it.

When my coaching practice was new, it reflected that newness.

I tried different spaces to see what would work, then I settled on a corner of my home that seemed to work. But it felt cramped after a while, and I even saw myself resenting it. I wanted to move things around, but I couldn't see how it was possible — I was swimming in the water — and I kept putting off thinking about it. When I went to my Mastermind last week, our coach brought in an interiors expert to help us reflect our personalities in our spaces more, and she helped me expand my vision for the space I had. That meant moving everything around — which my brain told me was a hassle — and beginning to incorporate more me in my space. This was timely too as I move my coaching practice from a part-time to full-time practice. The physical space needs to be larger to reflect the larger part of my life I want it to enjoy.

5. Not asking for what you want

This can show up where you say yes to new projects instead of saying no like you really want to because you're afraid of what the other person will think or you don't want to disappoint someone.

It can show up as hesitating to reach out to someone who can help you get what you want.

It can show up as telling yourself that you're okay and don't really need anything when, if you were really honest with yourself, you really do want it.

You're allowed to want things. You're allowed to ask for what you want. People want to help you. Once you start asking for help, you may be surprised at how willing people are to help.

When I started asking for what I wanted, I started making space in my life for it. My life naturally expanded.

You are ready to expand.

There's no doubt in my mind.

If you're listening to this podcast, you're a different breed of lawyer.

You're someone who craves expansion.

You get a little flutter of butterflies in your stomach when you think about stretching yourself and seeing what's possible for you.

If that's you, you can take everything to a higher lever with coaching.

Book a call with me.

The only way you'll ever know what's possible for you is if you dig in and work on yourself.

I know exactly how to help you do the most impactful work on yourself to expand. There's a process to it that will make your expansion inevitable.

You can book a call with me at dinacataldo.com/strategysession

that's dinacataldo.com/strategysession

Alright my friend. If you loved this episode, share it with your people and tag me in your posts. I love getting to know you.

I hope you have a wonderful week, and I'll talk to you soon