Becoming a powerful creator in your life, Dina Cataldo, be a better lawyer podcast, how to build my law firm, work life balance

#277: Becoming a Powerful Creator in Your Life

You get to intentionally design your life. But so often we let inertia prevent us from creating change.

In this episode, learn how to become a powerful creator in your life and your law practice and get inspired to take action to make the change you want.


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Becoming a Powerful Creator in Your Life

Hello my friends. How are you doing today? Okay, so I wanted to talk about being a powerful creator in your life. So often we minimize our capabilities. We minimize our ability to problem solve, we minimize how we can find solutions to anything. And instead, and I am guilty of this too, I have been there.

Instead, we think that we are at the effect of everything, that we don't have choices, that we simply don't know how to get out of whatever we are in. And I wanna share with you that that mindset is keeping us small when we are telling ourselves that we're not capable or we don't know how we are limiting ourselves. And I've recently had some experiences with this that have really shown me how I have grown over the years and become acro a powerful creator in my life. And I know that when I speak to my clients, they don't always see what a powerful creator they are. And so I'm gonna walk you through an exercise I walk them through so that you can see what a powerful creator you already are and start gaining more confidence with yourself. But I wanna share with you a couple stories.

So as a lot of you know back in January of 2023, I left my 16 year career as a criminal prosecutor, and I became a coach for lawyers full time. Now, that was not an overnight thing. I needed to build up my confidence. I needed to build up my skillset as a coach. I needed to build up an audience. I needed to prove to myself that I could make money as a coach. And I needed to manage my time in such a way that I wasn't frantic, that I was able to problem solve in my practice. I needed to hire help. I needed to hire a coach to help me see what I couldn't see, and to help me really streamline the action I was taking so that the actions I was taking were the most productive for growing my practice. And when we don't do that, we spread ourselves thin.

And when we spread ourselves thin, we get into this place where we feel so overwhelmed, we can't think we are so unable to focus and really think clearly that we can't solve for the problems that are in front of us. And then we block ourselves from being, being able to make change. So in that case, if I had told myself, there's just no way I can figure this out. I don't have time. I, you know, like right now isn't a great time. I've got all these things going on that I'm never gonna be able to do this. Like, I'm gonna have to wait to do this because I, I, I just can't, I need to save some money to do this. Like, I would never have invested in myself. I would never have invested the time and the energy and the money in myself to start the process of moving towards the goal that I had, which was to become a coach full-time.

I would've never done it. I would've shut myself down, but I didn't do that. Instead, I threw myself into the step-by-step process. So becoming a powerful creator doesn't mean that we just flip a switch and everything changes in our life. Becoming a powerful creator means we create a vision for our life and then we take things step by step and we do it in a calm, methodical, strategic way. Like that's what I do with my clients when we're designing their practice. We wanna see where they are right now, and we wanna walk them through step-by-step. How much are you charging for your consults? How much are you charging for X, Y, z? And do you like that? Like does that actually measure up to the work that you're doing, the value that you're providing? And most of the time it doesn't. And do they even like the work that they're doing?

A lot of times they're doing work that they don't even enjoy, but they're doing it for the money. And so we wanna look at that. We wanna say, okay, well where do you really enjoy spending your time? And we start creating a plan, a roadmap. So they could take that step by step methodical action so that they can start changing their practice to create the practice that they want. And so that big change, we all think like, oh, I need to change my life. Right? Well, that big change doesn't come all at once. I mean, sometimes it could. But I find for myself that simply having a vision and then being methodical and having that help, really to think methodically. 'cause Sometimes we just get too close to the problem and we can't think through it. That really helps. Another example that I'm gonna share with you that just happened recently was last week I spent a week in Sedona.

I met some amazing people. I had some amazing experiences, and I've decided to move my home from California to Sedona. And that was a really big decision for me. But it was also a very easy decision at the same time. Like I grieved it in a moment. I felt like that hole, because I have always lived in California and California is really all I've known in terms of a place to live. And so I had that moment and I realized, oh, the only reason this is even difficult for me right now is because I have attachments to California. And it's, there's really, like, it's not a problem. I just figure out the solutions, right? Like the friends that I have here, I love them dearly and it's not as if I'm never gonna see them again or speak to them again, right? It, it's not as if I'm not going to have the connections that I have.

In fact, I'll make even more connections because I'll learn you know, more people in Sedona. But I didn't think, okay, well I'm gonna go home and I'm just gonna pack up all my stuff and go, no, I, I had to think, okay, how can I make this happen? Because I have other things happening in my life too, right? I run a business, you know, my mom has some things that she's gonna be taking care of health-wise. I need to make sure that's taken care of. I've got a house full of stuff that I wanna purge before I go to Sedona. So I mean, it's gonna take time, right? It's probably gonna be at least six months. So I wanna look at how can I methodically plan, make an exit strategy for myself, if you will, just like I did for my legal career. I have to plan it though because if I don't plan it, then it doesn't happen.

And I noticed how quickly my brain wanted to get into inertia, maybe even the second day when I had gotten home. 'cause I had made this decision, I had talked it over with my mom, 'cause my mom lives with me. And I said, Hey, I don't wanna just like push this on you and like, this is what I would like to do. What are your thoughts? And she was like, I'm all in. Let's go. Which was amazing. I loved that. And I started just thinking through, okay, well what needs to happen in order for this move to take place? And one of the things is purging so much from this home. So like, you can't see this in <laugh> in this video, but I mean, I have things piled up, things that I'm selling, things I'm getting rid of that they're just gonna be gone.

Like I'm releasing so much in this move and I'm doing it intentionally. And that is part of becoming a powerful creator is recognizing like, yeah, maybe I have some fears, maybe I have some doubts and I could feel that little bit of inertia kick in, right? Like that, oh, you know, you could do that later. You don't have to put that on eBay right now. And realizing like, oh, that's just the comfort voice. That's just the voice that comes up when I'm doing something that is going to put me outside of my comfort zone. So what I'm going through right now is a total purging of my life. Of what, 43 years here in California and now moving out to Arizona. This is a big deal, right? Like this is just me changing everything. And that was the same process I went through with changing careers.

And so often I hear clients come to me and they tell me like, I can't, or, oh, that feels so hard. Like what are, what are my clients gonna think, right? Like, what are they gonna think if I raise my prices? Or what are they gonna think if I tell them No, I don't do that practice area? Or they worry, right? Like they worry that, well if I say no to this practice area, then I'm not gonna make enough money. But the worries and the fears block you from becoming a powerful creator because instead of looking for solutions, you're just seeing the problem. Like I could look at this move to Sedona and I could say, oh my gosh, look at all the problems. Like, oh my God, I'm gonna have to get a U-haul and I have so much stuff and like, I'm gonna have to like drive out there.

It's just gonna be really hard, right? And then what am I gonna do like in terms of a house? Like what, what am I gonna do there? But I didn't do that. Instead I started by saying, okay, this is not something I've ever done before. And that's okay. What do I know, right? So I knew that I had met somebody there who knew Sedona real estate. And so that was a fantastic resource. And so that person could really help me understand when I should buy and what I could be expecting during the process and what I could do with my house in the meantime. So those are things that was just a solution that popped up because I wasn't thinking about the problem. I was looking for a solution. And you'll notice that whenever you're looking for solutions, they come up, right? You just start seeing solutions left and right.

You're like, oh, I could actually do this. I could actually do that. And if we're focused on the problem, we can't see the solution. So once I understood there were no problems, there's only solutions, right? You've heard that phrase before, then I could just look for solutions. And so the solution is, look, I don't want to bring all of this stuff with me to Arizona. There's so much here that I've just kind of out of inertia and been taking with me through my life. And now I have this beautiful opportunity to purge it. 'cause So much in my house is not gonna go in a house in Arizona. 'cause There's a much different feel there, <laugh>. And so I can see that, I can feel that with what's in my house currently. And so it's a great opportunity. This is how I am thinking about it, right?

‘Cause I'm choosing how to think about this situation. I'm not letting my brain just go haywire and worry. I'm like, no, this is such a great opportunity. I get to consciously decide piece by piece what I release and what I bring into my house. How beautiful is that? What a great experience to get to have. And yeah, some of it is kind of hard. I was looking at my I was looking at my high school yearbooks earlier and I was actually talking about a high with a high school girlfriend the other day about this. And she inspired me. She inspired me to just like release my high school yearbooks. And these things are huge, right? They're so heavy. And I was just like, wow, that is a literal weight that has been lifted from my life releasing these things. And that's part of being a powerful creator, is understanding our attachments to things, understanding our attachments to situations, to jobs right?

To the career that we've had for 16, 20, 25 years. And realizing at any moment we have the opportunity to become the powerful creator in our life by simply releasing the reins and saying, what's possible? What could be possible for me here? What feels right? And am I willing to follow what feels right and release what no longer serves me? And that could be in the context of people in your life. That could be in the context of your law practice. That could be in the context of how you show up every day, you know, around your family and your friends. This is something that I feel so passionately about because I was not always like this. I used to be the person who, I think I've said this in the podcast before. My very first coach that I had years ago, he said, Hey, you know, you're having, you're telling me that you have, you're having a hard time at your office.

Have you ever thought about going to another job? And my brain immediately said, no, I can't do that. Like, well, why not? I, he asked me and I said, well, I just couldn't because, you know, I get paid really well here. And I really don't know any other law practice. I mean, I had all the reasons, right? 'cause I was focusing on the problem. Like, oh, no, no, no, I can't do that. I can't do that. Versus what is it that I really wanted? Right? I wasn't able to even see what I wanted and then what the possibilities were because my brain was so focused on, Nope, I can't. So that is one thing to start releasing. If you're feeling like you want a change, but you're noticing that your brain is saying, no, I can't make a change. It's just not possible. I make such good money here.

Or, you know, my clients, what are they gonna think if I raise my rates? Or, you know, I need to have like eight practice areas in order to survive, right? I want you to start questioning all of those beliefs because I have found time after time that my beliefs, they kept me stuck. And until I was willing to question those beliefs and question whether or not the problems that I was seeing was actually a problem, until I could do that, I I couldn't become a powerful creator in my life. I couldn't consciously design my life. I was talking to a client today actually, and, and I wanna bring this up because every time I, I talk to a client or like 90% of the time I talk to a client, I wanna ask them what their wins are. And so what a win is is something that they have created in their life in the last week since we've talked.

And the reason I ask them that question is because I want to begin retraining their brain to show them that they are a powerful creator. And this was a tool I learned from John Wooden because he would do these exercises with his basketball players at the U C L A campus to really solidify like the celebration, right? Understanding like they are powerful people. And when I do this with my clients, oftentimes what they'll tell me is something like oh, I, I got I, I got a new client, right? Let's give that as an example. I got a new client this week, or I got, you know, the person, you know, paid in full upfront. I say, that's great. Why is that a win? And they think it's because that the person paid in full or because they got the new client.

So I keep pulling at them and I'm like, okay, well how did you create that? Because remember, we minimize our 'cause actions and how they create our results. And when we understand that we are the powerful creator, the person who has the thoughts that generate the feelings, that then influence the actions that generate the result, then we can start making quicker progress in our life towards the life we wanna create. So when they tell me, Hey, I created a new client this week. I closed this case this week. It was a really big deal. I asked them how they created that, and I can get them to the point where they see, oh, like I really believed in myself enough to raise my rates and I believed in the value that I created for my clients. And I kept showing up even when I didn't feel like it.

And I was scared to tell them that price. But you know what? I said it out loud and I stayed uncomfortable in my body and I didn't discount my rate and they paid in full, right? I did that. And it's so important that you recognize how you create the results you have in your life because that's what creates power. That is the powerful actor in your life. And until we really solidify that in ourselves, we can be in victim mode. We're always in reaction mode to what other people say, to what other people we think other people think about us to what we think is gonna happen versus just deciding what we want and making it happen. It doesn't have to be all at once. Let's, you know, take our lives and let's flip it all upside down. We don't have to do that. What we can do is understand and be really honest with ourselves.

Look, this is what I want. I wanna practice where I feel calm and I love the people that I work with, and I'm getting paid well and I feel like I'm being paid the amount of the value that I am worth on the marketplace. And I'm not resentful that I'm working and not getting paid what I think I should be paid. I'm being talked to respectfully. I'm am in places and environments that I love being in that I get to structure my life in a way where I get to work from home some days I get to take my dog on walks in the middle of the days. Like whatever it is that you want in your life, you can have that. And I didn't, don't think I really truly believed that until I left my legal job. I think that really showed me, even though I was really scared, like I was like, what is happening?

Especially the first few months, right? You're on your own and you're like, okay, I guess this is happening now. We're making this happen and I made it happen. And then when I went to Sedona last week and I was like, I actually wanna live here. I had that moment of grief and like, oh my gosh, why am I choosing this? Why, why? But it was like, oh, because this is what I want. This is what I truly want, what my heart wants versus what my brain is saying would be easy, right? Because the easy thing would be for me to stay in California and just do the things that I've always done and be around the people that I've always been around and, you know, have all the same haunts that I have. Now, the more difficult thing would be for me to move to Sedona, but I know it's the right thing to do, right?

And so then I can move mountains, right? We can move mountains when we simply start to be honest about what we want and not close ourself off from possibility. And we can start becoming the powerful creator, the person who really just makes a plan and goes step by step. And who knows, like, you know, sometimes things take longer on the timeline, right? Like, I might say six months and maybe it'll be eight months or a year, but my plan is six months. But if it's not six months, it's not the end of the world. I'm just planning it so I can get the, the momentum, I can keep the momentum going, I can keep it all moving. And that's something else I wanna mention about becoming the powerful creator because we're so locked into what society has taught us about how we should be. Well, you know, you should just be grateful for you know, what you have right now.

And you shouldn't be, you know, doing more. You shouldn't be like trying to do more. Just be happy where you are first is just saying, Hey, let's be honest with myself. Am I happy here? And then taking steps to create what you wanna create. But inertia will come in, right? Just like it did for me a couple days after I was in Sedona. It was a very certain decision. I was very certain coming into, you know, Sacramento being like, yep, this is happening. And then the day after I just saw this little sneak of inertia come in being like, Hey, like you don't have to do this right now. You could wait. And I just knew that little voice was there to try to keep me comfortable. 'cause That's its job, right? It wants me to be comfortable. It doesn't want me to be outside my comfort zone.

And I just said, Hey, I see you. We're gonna do this. We're gonna take some steps today even so that I can keep this momentum going. And that's what I've been doing every day since I've been back from Sedona, is I've just been taking one step at a time, taking a few things out here and there, putting some things aside, you know, just making sure that I am showing myself day after day that this is important to me. That this matters. That this is something that I want. And when I do that, I stay in creation mode. I stay in the energy of change, the energy of momentum. And I wanna offer to you that you can do that too in any area of your life. I talk a lot on this podcast about time management and so often I'll hear the same things. In fact, I heard that I think I I, I got an email today that somebody said, you know, I'd, I'd really like to do this process.

I just don't have the time to devote to it. And it was so interesting because they so easily dismissed their dreams. They so easily dismissed what they wanted. And it is so easy when we believe the problems outweigh our abilities to create the life that we want. And if that's happening with you right now, know that that's normal, but that it does not have to be that way. Do not dismiss what you want so lightly. Do not tell yourself that it can wait. Allow yourself to want, allow yourself to be in that mode of creation and to think about what you want to dream about what you want, and then make it happen. And you don't have to do it alone. If you want to work with me, you can book a strategy session with me, go to dina session because yeah, we're gonna have thoughts about what's possible for us.

What are we capable of? I had a lot of those thoughts and I've spent many years working on myself and learning how capable I am and relearning how strong and what a powerful creator I am. And I get to put that in practice with these big things. And I get to do them in the small things too, like planning my calendar, right? Like that act of simply planning your week is helping you become a powerful creator for your life. It's a week where you're just thinking about, okay, how do I want my week to go? And I think this is my belief is that because I practiced that week after week after week after week, some days I, some weeks I did great, some weeks I didn't do great, but I started to train my brain that I could decide how my week went and then I could decide how my month went, and then I could decide how my year went and then I could, I could really see how I created the calm, the business revenue I created, the masterclasses that I create, the podcasts I create, the content I create on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Like I could create that because I managed my brain and I understood how to become a creator. And then I could do it in bigger things like leaving my law job, moving out of state, all of those good things. And the more I do it, I think the bigger things I'll be able to do. And I wanna encourage you that you have this inside of you too. So if you're doubting yourself, if you're thinking it's just not possible, I want you to know what a hundred percent is possible when you start practicing these skills and you start really understanding what a powerful creator you are. Alright, my friend, I hope that that inspired you to take some powerful action today, no matter what it is, right? Because the world, it's not happening to you, right? I used to think that. I used to think the world was happening to me.

It's not happening to you. It's there for you to interact with and mold to your liking. You get to decide how you wanna live your life. All right? I will talk to you next week. Have a great one. Bye. If you are inspired by what you hear on this podcast, I want to invite you to a strategy session. And strategy sessions are designed for lawyers who want more lawyers, who want a master coach, who is going to help guide them through the process of creating clarity, of prioritizing, of building awareness of their actions and their inactions, of helping them regulate their nervous systems so that they can take powerful actions, even when they might doubt themselves. And learning how to really feel confident about the decisions that they're making for themselves and their law practice. I'm gonna help you get the clarity that you need and start generating, start creating those skills you need to create the law practice you want. So book a strategy session with me, go to dina session and you and I can start working together to design the practice that you want.