belief, building belief, build up your baseline belief, be a better lawyer podcast, lawyer podcast, Dina Cataldo

#219: Build Up Your Baseline Belief

Whatever results you have in your life right now were created because of a belief you had in yourself, your abilities, or what was possible.

You went to law school.

Presumably you believed you'd make it through law school, pass the Bar, and get a job.

You'd only invest 6 figures in yourself ahead of time because you had a strong belief you could get the result.

There was no guarantee of getting that result, but you still invested.

You believed in yourself, your capabilities and what was possible.

If you didn't believe, you'd have said, “Nice try, Law School. I'm no sucker. I'm not giving you my money.”

Instead, you believed you could create the results you wanted: a degree and a job.

Our results are only as good as the belief we have that we can create them.

Then why is it so hard to do things like:

  • start a new practice or business
  • manage your time, or
  • build your book of business

It's because you haven't built belief that you can do those things.

That's okay.

Belief is a learnable skill, and I'm going to teach it to you.

In this episode of Be a Better Podcast, I'm sharing what it takes to build belief in yourself, your capabilities and what's possible, so you can create the results you want in your life.

You'll learn:

  • your current baseline belief
  • the current results it's creating for you
  • how to shift your baseline belief step-by-step to get the results you want

Building up your baseline belief will give you the foundation you need to move forward and create the results you want in your life.

Listen in to get started.


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Thanks for listening, and I'll talk to you next week.

Building a new baseline of belief in yourself, your abilities and in what’s possible is the game-changer that everyone needs.

It’s important because our results are only as good as the belief that we have that we can create the results.

Whatever results you have in your life right now were created because of a belief you had in yourself, your abilities, or what was possible.

Beliefs are simply thoughts that we think over and over again.

They’re habits.

If you want to get sciencey, they’re neuropathways that we create by thinking the same thoughts. If you’ve ever been to the Forum in Rome, you’ll see these grooves in the marble roads. Those grooves were created by chariot wheels going over the same place on the road over and over again throughout the years.

That groove represents our baseline belief. The one that’s easiest to see.

It feels like you’re just reporting the news. It feels like a fact.

That’s why we don’t usually see them until we start questioning them and poking around our brains, which is what I do when I work with my clients.

If while you’re listening to this episode you’re nodding yes throughout it, I want to invite you to book a call with me.

I can help you get the results you want in your life.

It takes questioning what’s happening in your brain and starting to build up your baseline belief over and over again until the groove is as strong if not stronger than the other one built in your brain.

You can book a call at

This is how this episode is going to go.

First, I’m going to give you awareness about your baselines beliefs.

Then, I’m going to show you how these beliefs play out in your actions and inactions to create the result you currently have.

Finally, I’m going to help you use this new awareness to begin building your baseline of belief to help you get the results you want. 

I’m going to share with you ONE belief that you can use to start creating the results you want. It’s one that served me when I was starting to change things in my life, and it serves me to this day.

Sound good? Okay, let’s go.

How will you know if your baseline belief is low and that you can build it up to get better results?

You’ll hear yourself say things like:

  • I don’t have time.
  • It’s too hard.
  • I’ll do it later.
  • That sounds nice, but I can’t do that because…insert your special reason here.
  • I don’t know how.
  • I’m not ready.
  • It can’t be done.
  • I can’t do that.
  • If I do that, then something bad will happen.
  • Any thought with the flavor, “They’re not on my side” or “No one knows what I’m going through.”

You’ll notice that you feel things like:

  • Pressure
  • Overwhelm
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Uncertainty
  • Alone
  • Fearful

The way these thoughts and feelings will show themselves throughout the day are in your actions but most importantly your INaction.

There are three types of lawyers that come to me the most for help with this, so I’m going to focus on those three types. If you don’t identify with any of them, I encourage you to ask how this might apply to you. Not “does” it apply to me, but HOW does it apply to you. It’s one of the best questions you can ask yourself in any situation to get the most out of any conversation with anyone.

When we count ourselves out, it’s just a reflection of our baseline belief that no one knows our problem, and it’s unsolveable.

Don’t do that to yourself.

The three types of lawyers I work with the most are those who want help… 

1) starting a new business venture of some sort, building business, or who want to start a new practice area, 

2) reigning in their calendar

3) want to make partner

This is what I see them do, and I’ve done these things too. Nothing has gone wrong if you’re doing them. Your brain is working exactly as it was designed. Your actions are a reflection of the baseline belief that you have. That’s all. What we’ll get to in this episode is how to begin building up your baseline belief, so you can get the results you want.

For those lawyers who fall into type #1 — starting a new business or practice area — here’s where you’ll see the thoughts and feelings I described show up in your actions:

  • not making plans
  • Listening to lots of podcasts, reading books and blogs, but implementing very little if anything
  • Not telling people about your new business or practice area
  • Not asking for help
  • Not putting yourself out there on social media or telling people in your network what you do

For those lawyers who fall into type #2 — reigning in your calendar — your actions or inactions will look like:

  • you jump into your work week instead of taking time to plan for the week
  • Buying new planners thinking it will change things for you
  • Trying a calendar plan for a week or two then ditching the plan and tell yourself it’s not working
  • Going on vacation and worrying about work and checking emails the whole time
  • Bringing work home then staring at your briefcase all night and doing zero work
  • Skipping the gym so you can work more on a consistent basis
  • Procrastinating on work

For those lawyers who fall into Type #3 — wanting to make partner — your actions and inactions will look like:

  • not letting people know that you want to make partner
  • Not asking for work you want
  • Saying yes to lots of projects even if you’re already stretched thin
  • Not raising your hand in meetings
  • Not taking charge of your projects
  • Gossiping about other lawyers who you might see as “go-getters” or “brown nosing”
  • Asking lots of questions of your partners but not first taking a little time to look up the answer because you don’t trust yourself or your afraid you’re going to get the wrong answer

If you identified with any of these indicators, I’m going to help you use this awareness to build a new baseline of belief.

Remember, if you’re unhappy with your results it’s your baseline belief in you, your capabilities, or what’s possible that’s creating those results.

Before we get into this, it’s important to know, you are not your beliefs.

Just because you’ve held a belief for however long doesn’t mean anything about whether or not you can change it, yourself or your results.

I know this first hand

I use this example a lot. When I decided I wanted to build a business while being a full time criminal prosecutor, I had to make time. My baseline beliefs were:

  • I hate waking up in the morning.
  • I don’t have time.
  • This is too hard.

I’m sure I had more, but these stood out.

These baseline beliefs showed up in my results.

I woke up hurried and frazzled and ran out the door. This set the tone for my whole day. I’d watch myself rush and be short with people. I felt like I was doing a terrible job. Who did I think I was to think I could take on more, right?

I’ll tell you who I thought I was.

I had another baseline belief that served me, which was, “I can figure this out.”

I encourage you to steal that belief.

Once I wanted something, I had a why — a reason to change things. I wanted time to think about what business I wanted to build. I wanted time to learn what I needed to learn about entrepreneurship.

That allowed me to get curious.

What would need to change?

First, I needed to feel better. 

I hated the way I felt in the morning.

I thought the best time to work on my business was in the morning because I wasn’t exhausted from the day at the office, so I asked myself what I would need to do to change things?

I observed my current morning routine.

Then I sifted out what I didn’t like.

I became the observer.

  • Had phone by bed
  • Scrolled email before getting up
  • Hit snooze multiple times
  • Woke up 30-60 minutes later than I wanted
  • Ran to take shower and leave
  • No food
  • No coffee or tea

Then I made a hypothesis.

  • Get phone away from bed, maybe makes it easier to get up.
  • Have journal/coffee/tea or whatever I wanted set up before bed

Of course, this didn’t work the first few times b/c I’d forget to do something or I stayed up too late.

Then I added other observations.

  • I need 8 hours of sleep
  • Go to bed at X time to get 8 hours of sleep
  • Don’t look at phone 1 hour before bed to unwind
  • Don’t drink caffeine after 3pm

I was literally playing the scientist in my life.

You can do this too.

That one thought — I can figure this out — saved me.

And having an hour to reflect or listen to a podcast made me realize there were other things I wanted.

I wasn’t allowing myself to want them because my head was so jumbled with crappy baseline beliefs.

I wasn’t seeing this kind of work modeled in the lawyers I worked with. I had to look outside the legal profession for this.

Even more importantly than changing my morning routine was the secondary benefit I got from this exercise.

I gained confidence.

It fueled my belief that I really could figure anything out and I really could change my life.

Now onto building your new baseline of belief.

As you were listening to this episode, you likely picked up a few habits of thinking that are creating your current results.

Keep those in mind as you listen to this section.

You don’t have to change ALL of your beliefs. I just had one great thought that helped me change my whole morning routing: “I can figure this out.”

If you’re stuck, I would make this thought your mantra.

First — what do you want?

You will not change anything until you define this.

It doesn’t have to be fancy.

If you don’t know what you want, then maybe you want to figure out what it is you want.

Why do you want it?

Why is it important to you?

Your reason doesn’t have to be poetic. It can just be because you’re tired of being tired or you want to make more money. No one is judging you on this. Just pick a reason and go. You can keep building and shifting your beliefs as you go.

Having your why in mind is going to give you the fuel you need to do the next steps.

Second — if you had to guess, what do you think would help you do that thing that you chose in the first step?

Don’t let your brain say, “I don’t know.” Take a guess.

For my business, I guessed having time in the mornings because I wouldn’t be tired. I could have been wrong. I wouldn’t know until I tried.

You may have, “Make time,” as your guess. A lot of my clients start there, and I help them create the time.

If your new baseline belief is, “I can figure it out,” then where might that time be?

Ask yourself where you might find more time?

Where might you be wasting time?

Then ask what’s more important to you?

If what you want is more important than social media time, then remind yourself of that every time you’re on social media.

Building a new baseline of belief requires reminding yourself over and over again about what you want.

Third — Once you’ve taken a guess at what will help you, how are you going to make that happen?

One thing that can help you with this is taking out a pad of paper and a pen and just writing all the thoughts you have about what could help you make that happen.

Keep asking yourself, “What else? What else?” Do this for 20 minutes. Write down even the most ridiculous ideas. Keep your brain working for the entire 20 minutes. Most of us stop too soon and then miss out on the genius our brains offer us.

So in an example like making partner, your list might include things like:

  • take partner out to lunch to talk to them about my performance review
  • Ask other partners I’m comfortable with what they did
  • Read a couple articles about how to make partner
  • Make sure partners know the work I’m putting in by ccing them on team emails
  • Talk to the marketing person in my firm about building my book of business
  • Find a podcast that resonates with me and listen to that once a week

Keep writing.

Fourth — Pick one of those activities on your list and do it.

Fifth — Keep picking activities off that list and doing them.

Pick another, then another, keep going.

You’re going to be uncomfortable. We talked about that in the last episode, “Putting Off Hard Things.” If you haven’t listened to that one, you can go back.

Let it be uncomfortable.

Do those things.

As you take action, your belief in yourself and what’s possible will grow. 

And as you begin to see better results, your belief in what’s possible will grow.

The action and the belief go hand-in-hand.

If you want help building your baseline of belief to get better results in your life and your practice, book a call with me. I can help you.

There’s a reason you have the desire that you have.

It’s not a coincidence that you have that desire and you’re listening to this podcast.

I don’t believe in coincidences.

If you’re feeling a pull for something more in your life, that you’re meant for more, then book a call with me.

I went through the same thing and having a coach with me side-by-side helped me build the beliefs I needed to stay the course and create the life I wanted.

Okay, so let’s recap those five steps to building your baseline belief.

First — ask yourself what you want.

Second — if you had to guess, what do you think would help you move the needle to help you achieve what you want?

Third — Once you’ve taken a guess at what will help you, what are all the ways that might help you make that happen?

Fourth — Pick one of those activities on your list and do it.

Fifth — Keep picking activities off that list and doing them even if it’s uncomfortable.

Whew — this was like a Masterclass in getting better results in your life.

There’s a lot there to digest, but it’s always there for you to re-listen to it.

Okay my friend. I hope you have a great rest of your week, and I’ll talk to you soon.


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