Dina Cataldo, be a better lawyer podcast, reset

#257: Your Foundation for a Life Reset

Ever want a life reset?

Most of us have but didn't know where to start.

Each of us has a different starting point depending on our current mindset.

In this episode, I'm breaking down three starting points I've seen with myself and my clients.

Each of these starting points is an archetype.

  • The Grinder
  • The Perfectionist
  • The Cynic

You'll learn which archetype you most fit in right now, so you can decide which next steps you want to take for your life reset.

I'm also giving you a breakdown of those steps as well as resources you can dive into right now to start your reset.

We all need a life reset from time-to-time.

This episode of Be a Better Lawyer Podcast will give you what you need to do it.


The Grinder Archetype Resources

The Perfectionist Archetype Resources

The Cynic Archetype Resources


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

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Today I'm sharing where I started and the foundations that some of my clients needed to set depending on where they were starting out.

Hearing what's possible is inspiring to me, and my hope is that you gain inspiration to take action from what you hear in this episode.

I decided to pre-empt what I'd initially planned for this episode because I've noticed something in my podcast.

This small podcast is growing.

And not just a little.

The number of downloads has more than doubled in the last several months. It's bananas.

I see the number going up in the US but also in Canada, Ireland, Germany, Australia and beyond.

And I want to thank you for sharing the podcast with your friends and co-workers and family members.

This kind of growth doesn't happen in a vacuum.

So thank you. I appreciate you. And like I said in the last episode, I'm just getting warmed up.

If you're new to this podcast, I want to offer that this is the perfect episode for you to jump into.

In this episode, I'll mention resources to help you set the foundation for your life reset, and I'm sharing them all in the show notes at https://dinacataldo.com/201

Alright, my friend, let's go.

The first thing I want to identify for you before you take your next steps in your reset is your starting point. I've identified 3 starting points — 3 archetypes — and your next step may look a little different depending on which category you fall into.

One thing these archetypes all have in common: high-achieving ambitious lawyers who feel a pull for something more. And there's resistance to making the shift that will move you in the direction you're being moved to follow.

There are a few stories that they also have in common. See if you can identify which story you tell yourself. You may see yourself in all three of these archetypes, and that's okay. I'm going to deconstruct these and give you tools to set the foundation for moving forward no matter which archetype or archetypes you fall into.

You'll learn:
– the signs that you're a particular archetype
– an example of a transformation to show you what's possible
– what your next steps are in your life reset
– resources for your archetype, which I've place in the show notes at dinacataldo.com/201

This is gonna be fun.

Alright, the three archetypes are the Grinder, the Perfectionist, and the Cynic.

– The Grinder: I feel a pull, but I'm too busy to do anything about it right now. I'll address it later when I have more time. Not able to honor the feeling. Pushing it aside b/c of work, etc.

You know you're a Grinder if:
– you always feel behind
– any time you think, “It would be nice if….” you push it away because it's not “realistic”
– you beat yourself up for procrastinating or not completing your to-do list or not “being better” at whatever it is you think you should be better at
– you say “yes” to people and projects when you really want to say “no”
– you have almost a compulsive need to be doing something
– engage in emotional avoidance. Here are some examples:
– you'd rather work than have a difficult conversation with your spouse
– you'd go out and get hammered with your friends complaining about work instead of looking at how your behaviors may be impacting how horrible work feels
– you date people looking to feel love from them rather than learning how to feel loved without the relationship

Example of the Transformation from the Grinder:

This was definitely me. I worked hard as a criminal prosecutor. When I was in the trial units, I could work 50-70 hours a week even when I wasn't in trial, and there was always more work. I had this feeling of dread that I was going to miss something or that I was going to fall behind, so I worked harder. The problem was I hit a point of diminishing returns, and I was working to attempt to avoid the feelings of dread and fear. Which had the compound effect of creating a lot of suffering in other areas of my life.

I was probably on the far end of emotional avoidance. I used alcohol, sex, relationships, and work to fill in emotional gaps instead of working on myself internally to fill myself up. I was disconnected from myself, so all I knew was that I was not happy.

There were a lot of transformations for me along the way, and each one was like climbing a mountain to get to the other side. Each small win along the way didn't always feel like a win because I'd feel like one step forward and two steps back. But I persisted by reminding myself how I wanted to feel and that it mattered. This was not a straight line. If you looked at my progress on a graph it'd look like a zig zaggy line that had huge dips and high highs going up and down but gradually moving higher and higher.

I started looking at my life through the lens of, “I deserve better.” That I mattered. I deserve to feel better, I deserve to be treated better, I deserve to feel fulfilled. What I wanted mattered. For me that looked like:

– I got out of an emotionally draining relationship
– I stopped settling for superficial relationships
– I stopped drinking, which was just a way to numb out and not pay attention to how I feel or remind myself that I wasn't going after what I truly wanted.
– I started going to yoga
– I journaled to see what was in my head – it was a hot mess
– But from that hot mess, I saw a pattern that I wanted to start a business.
– I started asking myself why I wasn't doing things that were on my bucket list and found that it was fear.
– I started following my fear.
– I started a business.
– I tried a bunch of other things too to see what I liked.
– I made progress, I procrastinated, and I worked myself hard
– I hired a coach
– I made my life easier
– I decided I didn't like my first business and closed it out.
– I decided to be certified as a coach.

You may think that if you're a grinder that step one is making time for yourself.

The true first step is deciding that you matter. Then everything else flows.

You'll make the time when you believe that what you want matters.

You'll figure out what to do when you believe that how you feel matters.

I give you the Busy Lawyer's Guide to Getting 5 Hours Back, which I'll link to in the show notes. It gives you the step-by-step plan to make more time.

But you won't implement what I teach there unless you believe that what you want matters and that it's possible to have what you want.

The time gradually expands in you calendar because you prioritize what you want and start eliminating what you don't want.

If you're a Grinder, what are your next steps for your life reset?

1. Pay attention, and start asking yourself questions.

– do you like how you feel
– do you like how you spend your time
– do you like who you spend your time with
– do you like how you treat yourself
– do you like how you treat other people
– how do you want to show up in your life? who do you want to be?

2. Find an example of what's possible

If it's possible for them, believe that it's possible for you too.

Don't let your brain tell you that they're a special snowflake that has more (fill in the blank) than you do.

Ask yourself why it might be possible for you too.

Then ask for help to make it reality.

You can spend a lot of time spinning out and trying to figure out the “how,” but we won't know the how until we've done it. We've got to work on how we think — our mindset — to keep taking action even when it feels like we're taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back. Learning the emotional resilience needed to make it through this period makes progress faster.

I needed a coach to see my emotional gaps and to help me evaluate my decision-making processes. When I could see these more clearly, I made the fastest progress.

3. stop settling for what you have and demand better

4. start doing things that scare you a little

Our fears are our biggest teachers.

Every transformation I had, I felt like I was on a roller coaster. I'd hear the tick-tick-tick going up as I was making the decision to do something scary or uncomfortable, then I'd feel the fear and rush as I went down the other side. Then I'd have some space to think about what was next, then the next tick tick tick would happen as I made a new transformation.

I was learning the skills to navigate the ups and downs, learning to trust my judgment, learning that I could handle anything, learning that I didn't need to settle because there was always something better on the other side, and learning how to fill myself up instead of looking outside myself for fulfillment with relationships, work, and the need to constantly be doing something

If any of this spoke to you, I've linked to some tools for you in the show notes. They're:
– The Busy Lawyer's Guide to Getting 5 Hours Back Weekly
– The Calendar Masterclass
– Podcast episodes on time
– And for each of these archetypes, I highly suggest you book a call with me and learn what your work is and how we can work together.

The next archetype is The Perfectionist.

The Perfectionist archetype: I feel a pull, but I don't know what I want OR I'm not sure where to start. I want to be sure I make the “right” decision before I do anything because I don't want to waste time. Fearful of making the wrong decision.

You know you're the Perfectionist if:
– you hesitate to make a decision
– you think there's a right decision to be made, and you want to make sure you make the right one
– you wait to take action on what you want because you tell yourself you need to know more information
– you'd describe yourself as pretty confident in some areas of your life, but sometimes you have self-doubt that paralyzes you from taking action.
– you consume a lot more information than you take action on. For example, you listen to a lot of self-help podcasts but don't implement anything.
– you take some action, but you stop when you don't see an immediate improvement. For instance, you start a habit, then a week in because it didn't look how you thought it should look, you quit and tell yourself it didn't work
– sometimes you notice yourself frozen or not following through on what you tell yourself you're going to do because you're afraid of what people might think

A Perfectionist Transformation:

If you're like me, you probably see yourself in this archetype and the Grinder archetype. This was something I definitely needed to work through along the way as I learned to market my business online and be on video. But I want to share the story of my client Aman because she transformed herself after we started working together.

She came to me with a couple ideas for her next step in resetting her life. She had a good handle on time management, but she'd spent about a year going back and forth over what her next move was. She spent a lot of time and energy in indecision because she thought there was a “right” decision. Once we did the mindset work she needed to see that there's no such thing as a right decision and that there's only the decision you decide is the right decision, she could move forward. This takes resetting our brain to see that we can trust ourselves, and nothing has to be perfect. In fact, there's no such thing as perfect.

Aman decided to follow her desire to start teaching yoga to other lawyers. She started Beyond Yoga for Lawyers.

But of course, because each of these archetypes is powerfully programmed into our brain from years of practicing the thoughts that form it, this archetype showed up again.

She noticed that she wasn't showing up on social media as much as she wanted to and would hesitate to share her business at the office. When we coached on her thoughts about who she thought she was speaking to, and what she thought would happen if she was more vulnerable, she began showing up more and more. And if you follow her online, she shows up all the time in a big way now and is helping a lot of lawyers as she does.

And as she practiced the work she learned in our sessions, she started dissolving the Perfectionist Archetype and it became easier and easier for her to make decisions about how she wanted to show up. When our decisions become easier, it's easier to show up as the fullest expression of ourselves and release the judgments our brain has.

If you're the Perfectionist, what are your next steps for your life reset?

1. Notice where you feel stuck in indecision.

Here's a few questions to ask yourself:

– What have you been hesitant to take action on in your life?
– What have you been consuming information about and not taking action on? Maybe you've been saving articles, links, papers, and they're sitting in a stack somewhere. That's a tip off.
– What would you need to believe about yourself to decide and take action?

2. Learn how to trust that you will have your own back no matter what decision you make.

We've been trained to look outside of ourselves to see what other people are doing and compare ourselves. We can hold back from making a decision because we're afraid of how other people will perceive our decisions.

– What might you decide if you weren't thinking about what other people thought about you?
– Ask yourself where you've made decisions, and they were really good ones? Even if they seem small.
– If you don't believe you make good decisions, ask yourself why that decision was still the best decision you could make for yourself.

When we're in the Perfectionist Archetype, we tend to believe that the right decision means we'll be happy and we'll be safe, and the wrong decision means we're in trouble.

If you look at life, that's not how it works.

We can only make the best decisions we can in the moment then take the lessons we want to take.

If we make a decision to be in a relationship with someone, there are no guarantees. We could be happy one day, then unhappy the next. They could be kind to us for months, then flip a switch and not be kind. It doesn't mean we're bad at making decisions. It just means that we did the best we could with the information we had at the time.

If we make a decision about which direction we want to take our life, it's the same thing. It's up to us to make decisions and move forward and not waste our time in indecision.

It starts with recognizing that no matter what decision you make that you will be okay. That everything will be fine.

3. Move towards the fear.

This is the same as the Grinder Archetype. We must move towards the fear and discomfort if we want change.

I have a client who's started writing a book, and she has a lot of thoughts about what it means to write a book. She has fears and doubts just like we all do when we're starting something new. This is a normal part of the process. Give yourself lots of love and support as you move through the fear, so you feel safe moving forward.

If you resonate with the Perfectionist archetype, I've linked to some resources in the show notes for you:
– Deciding Between Goals: https://dinacataldo.com/2021/05/31/deciding-between-goals/
– Podcast episode with Aman Costigan: https://dinacataldo.com/2021/06/03/aman-costigan/
– Resisting the Process: https://dinacataldo.com/2022/02/23/resisting-the-process/
– Making Change inevitable #154: https://dinacataldo.com/2021/06/01/making-change-inevitable/

– The Cynic Archetype: I feel a pull, and I know what I want. But I tell myself I can't do it because…golden handcuffs, no time, not sure where to start.

You know you're a Cynic if:
– You always have an excuse for why you can't do what you want to do. “I would expand my practice to do what I want, but then I wouldn't have time to do the bread and butter work.” “I would leave the law, but I have too many student loans.” “I would leave the law, but I don't know what I'd do.” “I would learn what I need to market my firm better, but I don't have the money.”
– You don't allow yourself to stay in the energy of desiring a new life for yourself because you don't believe there's any point
– You grind through the work you have and use it to numb your disappointment. You probably numb out with other things too like online shopping, maybe drinking, eating, watching Netflix.
– You don't feel like you have a direction.
– Your work life may have zero boundaries

A Cynic Transformation:

This was totally me too. So if you're seeing yourself in each of these archetypes, you're not alone.

I actually started coaching believing I didn't know what I was doing. Any time my coach would offer me a question, I'd say, “I don't know” or “I can't because…” But getting coaching helped me retrain my brain to think in possibility. All I had to do was show up to coaching and have my thoughts questioned.

I'm thinking of one client I have who started this way too. She came to me wanting to calm her practice down and build her confidence when interacting with other partners and associates in her firm. Her energy has completely changed from feeling very much the victim in her firm to much more powerful. She asks for what she wants and gets it. She takes the lead on projects. She delegates. All because she recognized that she needed help and asked for it.

I had another client who came to stop feeling so overwhelmed about her solo practice. She 100% believed that she wouldn't have time to do her bread and butter work and expand her practice in the direction she wanted to expand it in, that she didn't have the experience she think she needed to expand, that she had to have all of her old cases wrapped up before she could change the direction of her practice. She was also numbing herself out with lots of Netflix. We knocked down the excuses one by one until she was managing her calendar and marketing herself in the area she wanted to expand in and still making money in her bread and butter practice areas.

If you're the Cynic, what are your next steps for your life reset?

1. Give up your excuses

I say this with so much love: you must recognize your excuses are BS. And I can say this because I indulged in those kinds of excuses too until I didn't. The lawyers who come to me area ready to give up their excuses and start where they are. They know it's time for a change, and they are doing #2.

2. They allow themselves to desire something new.

It may be painful. That's the point. You wouldn't want something if you weren't meant to go towards it and do the mental and emotional work of growing into the person who has the capacity to have it.

3. Ask yourself where you may be numbing out.

Numbing out is the same thing as buffering if you've listened to some of my other episodes. Where are you spending a lot of time and it's creating a negative net result?

For instance, do you spend a lot of money online then later regret your purchases? Do you drink to a point that you're feeling sick or have other negative consequences? Do you eat to a point where you have negative consequences? Noticing this is huge. Because once you see it, you can do something about it. Ask for help where you need it.

When I work with my clients, this is integrated into the work we do towards their goals. Sometimes — especially with things like over-drinking — I'll work with them on this particular goal before we do anything else because it cleans up a lot of brain space when they clean up this area of their life.

When I stopped drinking, my energy for other things skyrocketed. And I just felt better about myself, which helped me make better decisions for myself.

When my client stopped binging Netflix, she learned how to process her emotions better so she could do the important work she wanted to do in her practice.

If you resonate with the Cynic archetype, I've linked to some resources in the show notes for you:

Loving Yourself More: https://dinacataldo.com/2022/03/16/loving-yourself-more/

The Codependent Lawyer: https://dinacataldo.com/188

Choosing to Believe: https://dinacataldo.com/2022/01/11/choosing-to-believe/

You may be hovering between a couple sections. That's okay. Pick the one that resonated the most with you then go to the resources section in the show notes at dinacataldo.com/201

And when you're there, book a call with me.

Working with me will take this work to a deeper level.

Not only will we set the foundation for your reset, but I'll help you get clarity on what you want.

This is the most important work we can do for ourselves and those around us.

Coaching really provides a reset.

Alright, my friend, I'll talk to you soon. Bye

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