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4 Signs That You Are Your Own Worst Critic

A reasonable amount of self-criticism can be a good thing. It allows us to reflect on our actions and decisions, and it helps us push ourselves to improve. Certainly, having self-awareness of our shortcomings is vital for anyone who wants to build and develop a business, and lawyers are no exception.
BUT… many lawyers go beyond reflecting and become their own worst enemy.
Does that sound familiar?
Harsh judgement and analysis is important for winning in the courtroom, but not so for your business development efforts. Too much self-criticism will only serve to derail your business development efforts by sapping your enthusiasm to move forward.
Are YOU your own worst critic? Here are four signs that you might be…

YOU THINK MORE ABOUT WHY IDEAS WILL FAIL… RATHER THAN SUCCEED
When you prepare for court, you must poke any holes you can in your plans and ideas in anticipation of the opposing counsel’s attempts to do the same. This leads many lawyers to constantly search for reasons their ideas for business development and other aspects of their lives will fail, rather than thinking about the ways in which their ideas could succeed. To prevent yourself from derailing your business development efforts, train yourself to think about how your ideas could work…not how they will fail. Another way to look at it… train yourself to LOVE every idea for five minutes. Think of all the ways this action will benefit you and how you can make it work for at least five minutes. Then you can look at the dark side, not before.

ONLY PERFECTION WILL DO
Do you stay up all hours of the night poring over documents and case files getting ready for court or client meeting, only allowing yourself a moment’s rest once you are comfortable that everything is perfect? You are a lawyer…of course you do. But perfection is not necessary for your business development efforts. It is better to make progress with “good” or “great” plans and ideas than to stagnate while waiting for a level of perfection that may never come. The best ideas do not begin as perfect ideas…they are perfected over time.

YOU DON’T TAKE TIME TO ENJOY YOUR VICTORIES
If you are your own worst critic, you probably do not take the time you should to enjoy your victories. Even small victories matter, and if you are constantly moving on to the next thing without taking the time to reflect on your accomplishments, your victories will lack fulfillment. If you do this, you will eventually lose the incentive and enthusiasm to continue reaching for new heights and working to achieve your goals.

YOU FOCUS ON THE NEGATIVES IN YOUR ACTIONS INSTEAD OF THE POSITIVES
Negativity is one of the worst enemies of successful business development. Do not spend too much time focusing on what you did wrong…think about what you did right and how you can build on those actions. Always strive to be positive, no matter what! Learn from the situation. What will you do differently the next time?
If you are your own worst critic, it’s time to stop getting in your own way. Do not allow self-criticism to derail your business development efforts. Fire your worst critic and your practice will be able to THRIVE.
If you’d like to talk more about this subject, I’d love to chat with you. Let’s schedule a thirty-minute coaching session to discuss how I can help YOU create a thriving practice!

Paula Black

Drawing on over twenty years' experience in branding and positioning, Paula Black has advised law firms around the globe on everything from powerful and innovative design to marketing strategy and business growth. She is the award-winning author of "The Little Black Book on Law Firm Branding & Positioning," "The Little Black Book on Law Firm Marketing and Business Development," and "The Little Black Book: A Lawyer's Guide To Creating A Marketing Habit in 21 Days," as well as founder and President of Miami-based Paula Black & Associates. For more information visit http://www.paulablacklegalmarketing.com

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Filed Under: Featured StoriesPractice Management

About the Author: Drawing on over twenty years' experience in branding and positioning, Paula Black has advised law firms around the globe on everything from powerful and innovative design to marketing strategy and business growth. She is the award-winning author of "The Little Black Book on Law Firm Branding & Positioning," "The Little Black Book on Law Firm Marketing and Business Development," and "The Little Black Book: A Lawyer's Guide To Creating A Marketing Habit in 21 Days," as well as founder and President of Miami-based Paula Black & Associates. For more information visit http://www.paulablacklegalmarketing.com

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