Transcript: 5 Beliefs I Gave Up to Live Better
Hello. How are you today? I hope your day is fabulous. I am sitting here on a Sunday afternoon with my dog Frankie, of course, and I'm just overall enjoying a beautiful, warm, sunny day in Sacramento. I want to talk to you about something and want to talk to you about giving up beliefs that no longer serve you. And these were beliefs that I'm gonna talk about today that I held onto for way too long. And I was thinking about this topic in particular because I'm launching my group coaching program, the Lawyer's Soul Roadmap, and I was thinking about all of those beliefs that we have to let go before we start taking those big leaps of faith forward.
And in the last episode I talked about faith in yourself being a key component in achieving any of your goals. So today I want to talk about how we can just begin giving up these beliefs that don't serve us so that we can begin growing more and creating more ease in our lives and our practices and really just living to our fullest, living our best life. I was struck when I went through these by how many of these beliefs that I had in one area of my life, but not another at the time. I would believe something whole heartedly in my personal life, but not my work life and vice versa. A lot of these, I can argue, all of these beliefs were conditioned in me from a young age. So it's not surprising that I wouldn't see them sooner. We all have blind spots and I know going to a coach helped me see blind spots along the way.
That's why I coach and create these group coaching programs. It's to help other people see their blind spots and then create the change in their life that they may not have even known they could make. Now, while these were my personal beliefs that I collected here in this podcast, they are beliefs that a lot of us hold onto unconsciously. When I'm going through these five beliefs, I want you to ask yourself where they might show up in your life in different ways. Do you have beliefs that don't serve you and beliefs that you can begin changing if you see them? I want to remind you to have compassion for yourself. I used to beat myself up when I saw there was something quote unquote wrong with me and that doesn't help create change. It just creates shame to create change. We simply have to notice, create awareness around that issue and then when it comes up, we can say something to ourselves like, “that's interesting.”
We can take a breath, maybe two and move on. Not Judging ourselves, not beating ourselves up for doing something that has come naturally to us for so long. Doing that interrupts the habitual neuropathway that our brains create between a thought and a feeling that we have when we have that thought. This is the very first step to changing our thoughts and changing the results that we're getting in our lives. Now, before we get started today, I want to make sure that you have joined me for my new live masterclass for lawyers that's coming up in September. You gotta reserve your spot for this. I'm sharing with you seven non-techie secrets to a smoother legal practice and finally banishing that overwhelmed, anxious feeling. You can join it for free dinacataldo.com/masterclass. This will only be happening for a limited time, so be sure to save your spot.
And I've got one thing I want to tell you about this. I want you to know that when you show up for the masterclass for lawyers, I have a special,something that I'm offering you just for showing up. I'll tell you what it is in the emails leading up to the masterclass and I'm super excited about it. I can't wait to share it with you. So go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash masterclass right now. Then come back to listen to the rest of this podcast. I will wait patiently right here. All signed up. Okay, good. So let's talk about the five beliefs I gave up. You'll notice that in each of these five beliefs, there are multiple smaller beliefs wrapped up in them. A belief is a thought and a feeling that we have over and over again. So once we begin to noticing them, we can begin changing them and hopefully these will give you some food for thought in your own life.
Belief #1: I already knew what to do to make change in my life…and I'd find the time one day.
The first believe I want to talk about that I gave up was that I knew the only way to make change in my life and that I get around to it. When I had the time, when I was growing up, I was taught that hard work solves everything. Not Getting the grades work harder, not making money. You're not working hard enough. It was natural that when I was in law school and then practicing law, that I took this mentality with me when I knew I wasn't achieving goals outside of my legal practice that I wanted to hit. I just figured I wasn't working hard enough when I came home too exhausted to do anything but crash on the couch. I figured I was lazy and that's why I wasn't reaching my goals. I thought if I work just a little harder than things won't be so stressful.
It'll all smooth out on the other side of the hard work. I just had to figure out how to work hard enough to create more time to do all those other things I wanted to do too. And when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, well that forced me to question everything. So my goal here is to make sure you don't have to go through what I went through. I began questioning all the ways I was using my time and whether that was a priority, a question, my thoughts about time, and over the course of years I realized that I needed to take a hundred percent responsibility of the results I was getting in my life. Once I did that, I was able to intentionally designed my life to achieve what I wanted to achieve with way less stress.
Belief #2: I'm just a stressed person.
The second belief I want to talk about is the one in which I thought I was just a stressed person.
I identified so much with that feeling, that feeling of stress that I didn't know any other way to be. I felt that way all the time. What I didn't know was that my brain had actually made stress a habit in my body. It felt second nature because my brain had actually made it that way. What you probably already know instinctually is that whenever you practice something over and over again, it becomes easier. The reason that's so is because our brain is strengthening the neuro-pathways in our brain each time we practice something. That's why the more we practice the guitar, the better. We'll get at it. It's creating a shortcut. You notice this when you drive to work and you suddenly look up and you're there not even having thought about all the terms that you made, how the shifts that you had to make, all the breaking that you had to do.
That's what our brain does with the stress response in our bodies over time. Our buddy used to initiate the stress response in our body when there was actual danger, like when a person jumped out at us from a dark alley or we were being chased by a tiger. Understanding how the stress response works helped me build awareness around when I felt stress in my body, then I could do what was necessary to relieve that stress and I'm going to share some of those with you in a bit. It's important to recognize this because if you're listening to this right now, you may not even know what your body feels like when it's at ease. It may have been so long since you have felt any kind of release in your body, any type of release of tension in your body, that this feeling of tension is now something that you think is normal.
It's not normal. And I want you to recognize that if you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, stressed right now, that there is something on the other side, but you have to look for it and you have to be really intentional about it. So it's really important to listen here. If you are someone who has this automatic response, this feeling all the time, the first thing that happens when we're with something like a tiger or in our example here, it's going to be looming deadlines, okay? It's that our hypothalamus is activated. That's the tiny area at the base of our brains, and it releases signals to our body to respond to the threat, including releasing hormones that are things like adrenaline and cortisol. Now, the reason understanding the stress response is so important is because…
“Our results in our life are only as good as the thoughts and feelings that we're having.”
If we're having crappy thoughts, we're going to have crappy results. So the hormones that are released, adrenaline and cortisol, each do different things. Adrenaline increases our heart rate to pump blood through. Our body's preparing our body to respond to danger. Cortisol increases the glucose in our blood to provide more easily accessible energy to our body. Cortisol also is suppressing things like our digestive system and our reproductive systems. So anyone who's had issues in these areas and may want to pay special attention to how stress is impacting you physically, these responses are supposed to be short lived, right? The threat usually goes away. We don't have something chasing us forever, but the thing is is there's always going to be a deadline. There's always going to be another brief to write. There's always going to be another court appearance. There's always going to be that emergency at home.
There's always going to be something. It seems like we're always putting out fires. So what can we do? The very first step is just be aware that this is happening. That's gonna help you interrupt your brain, stop whatever you're doing. When you notice this, take a few breaths. Notice where you can relax in your body. For me personally, I noticed this tension in my forehead. I notice it in my shoulders. I noticed that and my stomach because I'll hold my stomach in a certain way. Like I'll notice I can release my stomach and I notice it in my jaw. So if you kind of do a scan of your body and just recognize what's happening when you feel this tension, you can take a breath and focus on that area and focus on releasing it. One of the things that I like to do is just for that moment, refocus myself.
So what is my goal? What is my intention in that moment? How do I want to show up? And I remind myself of that so I can generate the feeling that I want to have. I don't want to have the stress from the thought of I don't have enough time. I want the feeling of somebody who has plenty of time. It's all going to get done. I'm totally in control. Don't worry about it. That's the feeling that I want. And so that's where I have to stop and I have to actually consciously think about the thought that I want to have so I can generate that feeling. So many of us think that we just have these feelings and it's the result of something coming in at us from the outside when these feelings are actually generating themselves from the inside and we have control over generating them.
So just remember when you are feeling stressed out, take a moment, take a breath, refocus, get back to your intention.
“Know how you want to show up… and you're going to come from a much better place and you're going to create a much better result when you do that.”
Belief #3: Stress is temporary, and it'll go away by itself over time.
The third belief I gave up was that the stress that I felt was a temporary thing and it would resolve itself over time. Sucking it up is something most of us high achievers are taught at an early age. I don't know about you, but that's how I was raised. Anytime I had a negative emotion I was supposed to hide it away and pretend it wasn't happening. As a result of this, I believed that I was being weak and complaining when I felt overwhelmed and because no one in the legal culture wants to admit to the weakness, quote unquote, and totally putting that in quotes right now of feeling overwhelmed.
I didn't feel that I had anyone to talk to, but even if I felt that I did, I wasn't raised to talk about my feelings, so I don't think I would have known how to articulate them. I don't know that I would have been able to have an intelligent conversation about what I was experiencing. I didn't have the context for it. I didn't have the language for it. I continued grinding myself into the ground believing that the harder I worked, the closer I would get to the light at the end of the tunnel as if I'd soon have more time, more money or more significance to others if I worked harder. I've noticed that a lot of articles that I've been reading about lawyers say that feeling stressed out is just part of being a lawyer. The thing is it doesn't have to be like that.
It doesn't have to be part of being a lawyer. And if you're committed to being better at your job and being a better you in your life, then learning how to design your life intentionally to reduce stress and reach your goals is paramount. Right?
I literally had to deconstruct my life and redesign it for what I wanted. And it had been so long since I thought about what I wanted that I had to consciously think about that too.
So when you are thinking about how much you are conditioned to feel a certain way, right? We have so many people telling us how we're supposed to feel.
“It's important that we take time to notice how we're actually feeling. Are we getting what we need? Are we asking for help? Are we looking for ways to become better organized, prioritize things more so that we don't have the negative feelings that we feel like stress?”
Okay. And it was really funny because I remember being in a yoga workshop and when I heard the word stress, we were asked to say what the word stress meant and what our connection with that word was. And when I heard the word stress, it was very negative. When I heard the word stress, I thought of all the pressures that I put on all that pressure to work really hard and to be amazing at what I did and not make mistakes and show up for other people. Meanwhile, of course, ignoring how I was showing up for myself, but other people's interpretation of stress was very positive. Stress was something that helped you grow stress with something that could help you get to the next level. It's opposed to it help you get stronger, right? Like if we're working a muscle and we're putting stress on it, but we can't put too much stress on it, right?
Otherwise we hurt ourselves. So there's a positive way of looking at the word stress that I want to point out to you in case you haven't noticed it because I didn't notice it. And whenever you feel these feelings of stress or whenever you're told that whatever you do in life, whether you're an engineer or a doctor or a lawyer and you're being told, well, you know what? Stress is just part of the job. Recognize that you can put a positive spin on that. You can always have the opportunity to grow.
Belief #4: Change isn't really all that important.
Okay. Belief number four that I let go is one that kept me from changing for way too long. I underestimated the value of changing the way I did things in my life every single day. Part of that was not seeing how change was possible. I thought that the way things were where the way things were, it wasn't until that cancer diagnosis that I forced myself to begin asking myself questions.
The first one was, where the heck do I start? What did I do wrong? Which probably wasn't like the most resourceful question, but it did lead me to ask new questions, which is what do I do? I had a feeling of overwhelm at that time trying to figure out what I needed to do to start changing things in my life. To find more ease, to find more grace, to feel more confident in everything that I did because there didn't seem to be a single path. There wasn't one right way of doing things. I remember I had thought that the one right path was to work harder and that did not seem to be working for me. I knew that it was resulting in me feeling more and more of that negative stress and led to that cancer diagnosis, so I knew I needed to change something, right?
But what I didn't realize earlier was that I needed to value how I felt every single day. I needed to value how I spent my time and my other resources. I needed to value myself more. Once I recognize this, I could look for and try different things to create the result I wanted in my life, and that led to increases of all the positive feelings that I wanted. Once I started focusing on how I wanted to feel, what I wanted to create in my life, and recognizing that that was important, that it was important, that I felt good, then everything started to change.
Belief #5: It's not all that important to invest money in my growth.
Finally belief number five and of the most important beliefs I held on to for way too long. I underestimated the impact of investing in myself. I mean investing in all things, right? My physical health, my mental health, my understanding of finances and business.
“If I were to do it all over again, I would have doubled the amount of time and money I spent on all of these areas to further fuel each of these areas in my life right now. I would be that much further ahead right now.”
It sounds funny, right? I already invested brain power, time and money into my legal career. I poured all of my resources into studying law and creating time boundaries with friends and family so I could focus on all things law school. Then I started practicing law in the real world and stopped paying attention to where I invested my resources. Our top resources in order of importance are our brain, our time, and our money. Our brains are our absolute most important assets. It's what helps us run our lives and it can help us run our lives smoothly. If we let it, the brain can help us streamline processes.
It can help us create more of what we want in our lives. It can help us create more resources in every area of our life. The pretty magical thing. Time is our next most important asset. It's finite. We all have the same amount of it, but some of us manage it better than others to create the life they want and they have more ease in their life and when we invest it right, we can achieve anything we want. Money is energy. It's the resource that can help us improve our brain. All lot school create more time and help others. And when we are good stewards of our money, we can invest in opportunities to do all of that. A lot of us are brought up to believe that we're being selfish if we need alone time or we want to spend money for her life coach, it sounds like we're being indulgent or narcissistic now, this couldn't be further from the truth.
When I started investing in my mental wellbeing, my brain, I began to understand how I could create more time and money for myself. I was selling myself short by not investing in myself, and I truly believe that when we fail to invest in ourselves, we're limiting the impact we can have in our lives, in the lives of those we love and in the lives of those we impact at the office and in the rest of our world. It's really interesting because there's so many people out there who de-value money, they call it the root of all evil. They make it seem as if it's something that's really negative that we shouldn't want more of. It's something that only greedy people want and that's not true. It's a source of energy, just like anything else that can be used in good ways and it can be used in bad ways.
You can use brain in good ways. You can use your brain and bad ways. I have all these criminal cases in which you've got these people who make really dumb decisions and they do things in prison like bartering and selling drugs, but they do it in such a way that's so ingenious. They come up with all of these really amazing ways to smuggle drugs or to transport drugs or to sell them through, you know, using all of these different cards and electronic devices. And it's amazing all of the ingenuity that is wasted on just selling drugs when they could be using that ingenuity to create a real legit business and they could be making real legit money. So it's fascinating to me these resources, how they can be used in a good way and they can be used in a bad way. And so often we're using time in a really poorly managed way.
We are wasting it and we could be so much more resourceful with it. So I just want you to see that all of these resources are amazing. They can be used in really positive ways and we can create more of them when we invest in them. Right. Okay.
A quick recap of the 5 Beliefs I Gave Up to Live Better:
One, assuming I knew how to make change in my life and that I get around to it. When I had the time, when I opened up the same possibilities for how to change what I felt, it had a huge impact on my life. Understanding that there were things I didn't know to help me was a game changer.
The second thing was that I thought I was just a stressed person and that that was just the way it was.That was so not true. Building an awareness in this area of my life really helped me to understand that it didn't have to be that way. I had a hundred percent control over how I felt and that was empowering.
The third belief I gave up was that the stress I felt was just a temporary detour and it was just going to take care of itself over time and when I look back on this, it was really apathy. It was abdicating responsibility for how I felt and the results I was creating in my life.
The fourth belief I gave up was underestimating the value of creating change in my life. I learned to value myself more and that's what really helped me create the change I needed and deserved in my life and belief.
Number five, underestimating the impact that investing in myself would make in my life if I had to do it all over again, I would have designed my life to invest in all the right things.
I hope you took something valuable away from this podcast. Remember to sign up for my masterclass for [email protected] forward slash masterclass there, you're going to learn seven secrets to a smoother legal practice and how to finally banish that anxious, overwhelmed feeling. We all need a little more ease and a lot less stress, right? Save your spot right by clicking here.
Alright, I will talk to you next week. Have a wonderful day!