Daily Habits: Build Confidence

· 382 words · about 2 minutes

Surviving in the legal industry as an attorney takes confidence. That’s a skill counselors are not always born with, but must develop. Speaking about daily habits that can help people, attorneys included, build confidence, the Psychologist, and TEDx Speaker and Professor, Dr. Joan Rosenberg, recently shared this advice:

Throughout all my years of clinical work, I've identified at least six ways people build confidence, four of them you can certainly practice daily.

  1. The first is to allow yourself to experience and move through the full range of your feelings - pleasant and unpleasant. This helps you "know what you know" as opposed to avoiding and "trying not to know what you know". I primarily talk about dealing with eight unpleasant feelings (sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, vulnerability, embarrassment, disappointment and frustration). This is the start of building confidence.
  2. The second is to express yourself (in a positive, kind and well-intentioned manner) by telling the truth of what you experience.
  3. The third is to take actions or do things that move you toward your goals even if it seems hard to take those risks. With both speaking up and taking action, it is not that you have confidence and then speak or do something; instead, it is through speaking and taking action that you develop confidence.
  4. The fourth is to accept the genuine compliments you receive.

Confidence follows action, is essentially what Rosenberg is saying. New attorneys, and those seasoned practitioners, who wish to cultivate more confidence are wise to follow Rosenberg’s advice: act first and confidence will follow.

Hand-in-hand with a lack of confidence is feelings of anxiety. Attorneys suffer from mental health issues like anxiety at higher rates than the general population and at the highest of rates among working professionals. Rosenberg tackles issues of anxiety while helping readers boost their confidence in her unabashed self-help book, Ease Your Anxiety: How to Gain Confidence, Emotional Strength, and Inner Piece.

There is no shortage of work for an attorney to complete; adding reading a self-help book to the mix is certainly something that appears to lack in priority. But time for self-care – or as Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would say, time to Treat Yo Self– pays dividends. Being mentally and emotionally healthy now could mean a better, happier legal career in the long-run.