Transcript: Practicing Confusion
Hi there, this is the second of a four part series I'm doing on a motions and if you missed episode 96 I encourage you to go back to that one and then come here at least some groundwork, some ground rules for what I'm going through and it's really the perfect place to start. If you are just joining me on the be a better lawyer podcast today, I want to talk to you about some thoughts that keep us from getting things done.
They keep us from accomplishing what we want most in our lives and keeps us grinding. And we think of these things as if they're facts. And when we do, we fail ahead of time before we've even put in the effort to do any of the things that'll get us what we want. We just give up the thoughts that we have, create emotions, and when we act in the world, we act from those emotions. We never make our most productive decisions from the unhelpful emotions. And we actually have to learn to practice the helpful ones and the helpful thoughts that create our emotions before we can consistently be productive in our lives. So when I'm coaching people, I hear these a lot, so I don't want you to feel that you're bad or wrong for thinking what I'm going to talk about. I'm going to talk about all these thoughts that pop into our brain.
There is absolutely nothing shameful about them. They are the defense mechanisms that our brain uses to keep us safe. Our brain actually thinks it is keeping us safe because we're not doing anything new. Anything new is bad. To our brain. We could die if we try something new. Everything we're doing now has kept us alive so far, so the brain saying, Hey, let's just keep doing that. Our brain doesn't do well with uncertainty, so I want you to know that these thoughts are normal. They are gonna keep popping up, but part of what this series is about is practicing, practicing, noticing the thoughts that are unhelpful, the ones that aren't getting us what we want, the ones that aren't creating the emotions that we want, the relationships that we want, the reactions that we have in our lives that we want and starting to recognize that there are shifts that we can make in our thinking and that those practicing those thoughts are going to get us more of what we want, which is why I'm doing this whole series in the first place is to really start getting you connected more connected with your emotions, which we seem to be detaching from all the time now.
What's going on in the world right now? We've got a lot of people who are completely detaching themselves from what is going on. They are eating themselves, you know through it. They are drinking themselves through it rather than feeling their feelings through it, which is what is going to make them stronger on the other side, which is going to keep them with the momentum that they had in their life before towards their goals. When this is all over. So practicing these things is really going to make us stronger in the long run. The thoughts that can bring us these feelings of uncertainty and sometimes it's worry and anxiety, hopelessness, doubtful, all of those kinds of feelings. Some of them are these, I don't know how it sounds really simple, right? Saying, I don't know how is simply stating a fact. I don't know how to do this.
Well, I'm going to tell you this right now. We create our reality with our thoughts and we can choose to think a thought like, I don't know how. Or we can move to a thought like I can figure this out if you stay in, which a lot of people do, if you stay in this spot spinning out and I don't know how you are just going to perpetuate that feeling of uncertainty. And another thought that sounds really pretty and sounds kind of true, right? When you say it is, well, now's not the right time. Maybe later. This is a thought that I hear so often and it keeps us in uncertainty. Well, I'm not going to make a decision right now. It just doesn't feel like the right time. It's never the right time. That's why it doesn't feel like the right time. So I want you to know that when you're thinking these thoughts, you have to come into a certain energy, a decisive energy if you want to get anything done in your life, and I'm going to talk more about those thoughts a little bit, but I want you to start recognizing where this might show up in your life.
Where are you saying now is not the right time? Another thought that I hear is, I don't know why I can't make this work. I've thought this thought, I don't know why I can't make this work. Well that is going to lead us to feelings of worry and anxiety. And anytime you say, I don't know why, I want you to eliminate that thought from your vocabulary, I want you to completely say that I can't say, I don't know why anymore. And when you notice yourself saying, I don't know why, I want you to think about why. Why am I having this thought? What is the issue here? Because you have an answer. But when you let your brain spin into uncertainty and worry and anxiety, it is going to make you incredibly and productive. You will not schedule what you need to get done. You will not actually do those things.
You will not follow through on your calendar and you were going to spin and waste time and maybe Netflix your way through your goals. So I want you to recognize when you say, I don't know, I don't know why. I don't know how another, I don't know why is, I don't know why this is so hard. You know? It's kind of like that hopeless, you know, helpless sound to it. I don't know why, but I'm going to tell you, I've thought that thought too. So if you're, if you've ever thought that thought, I want you to know you're in good company. I'm not sure. That's another one. I'm not sure. Is this going to work? I'll wait until I feel inspired. Oh, I like this one so much because it sounds so pretty, right? It's this really pretty thought like, I'm going to wait until I feel inspired.
And you know what? That is just the lamest thought that you could possibly have. You cannot wait until you feel inspired or you will procrastinate yourself into pieces. It is going to lead you into uncertainty. And no, you never hear a writer say, Oh, I just waited until I was inspired and then I created this book and it was just perfect. It just like came out so wonderfully. No, the weave, if you've never read the book, Stephen King on writing, he wrote this amazing book on his process and he is one of, if not the most prolific writers of books that people actually read and he does the work. He gets up, he writes, he edits, he does it. It's not as if he is just suddenly inspired. He gets up and he does the work and that's what we have to do. We have to come up with the thoughts that will get us to work and feel really amazing about moving forward.
All of these feelings and the thoughts I just mentioned, well, the feelings, they all fall into the category of being helpless, right? Like just being a victim to circumstance and when we have the thoughts that lead to that victim mentality, we are making ourselves into the victim as if we can't control the outcome, as if we have absolutely no power or control over our lives. Now hold up. Now you might be saying, well, my situation is different. Everyone does. My situation is different. What about right now with everything going on in the world, I can't control that. Well, no, we can't control what's happening on the outside world on those circumstances. What I'm talking about is controlling what's happening on the inside of ourselves, our thoughts, and when we control what we think about the outside world, then we can create the outcome that we want.
Now why would we choose to practice thoughts that given to doubt and uncertainty when we can choose thoughts that feel certain, now we have a choice, right? Like we can decide how we want to think. Everything in our brain is an interpretation of the world. We are constantly coming up with interpretation, so why not choose the interpretation that is best for us and the outcome that we want? So our brain has collected evidence over the years, our old beliefs that they're all safe to believe, right? Because we've practiced all these old thoughts. They've, they've kept us alive. All of these old thoughts, we've been fine, everything's been fine, and it doesn't want anything new in our brain. It doesn't want us to find new thoughts that are going to get us new results. They like where their brain likes where we are right now, and I want to give you this interesting observation that I've made.
I think it's interesting. Anyway, so when I hear about people who believe things that are contrary to popular belief and scientific evidence, it fascinates me. The people who believe these things have every reason to believe what science has shown, what people commonly believe, but they choose to be certain about their own belief that differs from everyone else's. They've practiced that belief so much that nothing can tear it down, and if someone disagrees with them, they have created evidence, not usually persuasive to people who don't believe what they believe, but they have created that evidence to support their own beliefs. Think about something in your life where you are certain that it's true. The earth is round. People should be vaccinated. The JFK assassination was a conspiracy. Chances are when I said those topics, you had a visceral reaction. You either 100% agreed and said, Oh heck yeah, that's a fact.
Or you said to yourself, whatever, that's a bunch of baloney. For those of you who agreed with me on all of those statements, it can be difficult to believe that someone would disagree with those statements. We can create so much evidence that they're true, that we close ourselves off entirely to the idea that the opposite could be true or that anyone could possibly believe that the opposite is true and I used these particular examples to show you how powerful it is to make a decision and feel certain about it. Just like you've decided to believe the earth is round, you can make decisions about your abilities. They may not feel that way at first. You may not feel certain about them at first, but when you begin recognizing the unhelpful thoughts, the one I've got, the ones I've gone through, and then you can begin collecting evidence to support the helpful ones that you want to have.
You start looking for evidence that you can figure this out, that you can make it work, that you can make now be the right time to do what you want to do. So let's start with the feelings you want to begin looking for to create this evidence. And the reason I'm starting with the feelings is because that's usually what we see first in our body. We don't see our thoughts, we don't recognize our thoughts as being a negative or powerless. What we feel are our feelings, how our body's kind of vibrating that reaction to the chemical reactions, the chemicals that were released in our brain after we had the thought. So ask yourself, where in your life have you felt any of these emotions, certainty, self-confidence, resolved, not resignation. This is resolved like determined tenacious. Where have you felt these in your life? So I'm going to give you some examples.
Maybe these resonate with you. Maybe they don't. I'm going to give you some simple ones and some big ones. When you chose your law school, when you chose to go to law school, when you chose your partner, when you decided to have children, where you decided to work, when you decided you were going to be a lawyer, adopting a pet, pouring a glass of water, cooking a meal, washing the dishes, reading a book, notice that this is going to be different for everyone. But where did you feel or did you feel certain about your decision? Self-Confident. Tenacious. Now most of us feel really confident about pouring a glass of water or washing the dishes. Right? Maybe it was a very certain decision that we made when we decided we were going to go to law school. But recognize how you felt in your body when you decided that it was a snap.
Maybe a snap decision or maybe it was something that you came to after time and thinking about it. But what do you do when you notice the unhelpful but the pretty thoughts, right? The pretty thoughts, the, I don't know. It's not the right time. I'm not sure. You're probably gonna notice those feelings first. Right? And certain doubtful worry. Anxious. So when you notice those feelings, then start looking for the thought that caused it. What kind of thought were you having? And when you feel that feeling, just say to yourself, Hey, that's interesting. There's no need to beat yourself up. This isn't about having the right feeling because the feeling that you're having in that moment is the right feeling. You were supposed to have that feeling so that you could recognize what you needed to do to get where you wanted to go. But once you notice that feeling and you recognize the thought, then I want you to start using more powerful phrases to start your next thought.
So here's some examples. I've decided I decide I can figure this out. I can find out who knows how to do this. I can figure that out. I can handle it. One of my favorite phrases was from scandal, Olivia Pope's. It's handled like she's got this. That's like the ultimate confidence. It's handled. Don't even worry about it. I got this. You have to keep trying things until you make it work for yourself. Most of us want to be told how to do it right. I do. I knew law school was going to get me a job, so I went and I knew that I would just have to make it through law school and at the end there'd be a nice job at the end. But if you are an entrepreneur, there's no particular how if you went to law school and thinking, you know, Hey, I have a practice now.
I've got to build this practice. I'm creating this business for myself. I'm an entrepreneur, and you're thinking there's going to be a how a certain way to do it. Well, I got news for you. You've got to make it yourself. If you haven't made your business into what you want it to be, it just means you haven't tried enough things for you to figure out the how. Okay, so giving up with the, I don't know why I can't make it work. I don't know how. I don't know how is not going to get you where you want. We've got to do is be decisive about the actions that you're taking and then just be tenacious about it. You just go after it. You take one action after the next, after the next, after the next, you start redirecting your brain to look for evidence, to support your belief that you can reach your goal.
You can start with thoughts like these, Hey, I've done this before or I've seen other people do it. I know other people have done it, so I know it's possible. I've done way harder things. I can figure this out. If I can't figure it out on my own, I can find someone who can help me. We have to practice looking for evidence to support our goals, to support our beliefs and keep practicing to have more steady energy moving towards what we want to accomplish. And when you do that, you will be ahead of 99% of the people who want what you want. We all have self doubt sometimes and practicing helps us become more decisive, more certain, and will help us dissolve the self doubt and move us towards what we want most. But remember, this is a practice and this is something that we have to do throughout our lives.
We will always, if we are growing, we will always come up against bumps and that is normal. Just come back to this exact same practice and start recognizing, Hey, what am I feeling? What thought am I having that is causing me to have that feeling? Because I know that that worry, that anxiety, that doubt is not going to get me what I want. I need to get into more decisive energy so that I can become what I want to become. Okay? My friend, I will talk to you in the next episode. Bye. Hey, if you enjoy this podcast, I offer one on one coaching using my be a better lawyer framework. That's where we rewire your brain to help you create the life and the practice that you want. Go to Dina cataldo.com to schedule a strategy session.