Some of us became lawyers so we could have presence. We want to walk into a room and be noticed. We want to exude confidence and strength. We want to be that superhero that solves legal problems in people's lives. And our presence impresses the crowds! Wait, wait, wait - You don't feel this way? Not always? Okay, let's take a step back. What is the idea of presence anyway? I think it means you have shown up no matter what. No matter what kind of day or night you had, you show up. You show up for your clients. You show up to uphold the system. You believe in fairness and justice. And these are all things that many others would shy away from.
To state the obvious, you’re present. Like when we're in school and they did roll call, and they would say your name and you answered “present.” I bet that you were mostly present in school. I actually got the perfect attendance award at least once, for the whole year. So we like to be there. We'd like to be present out in the world. We're lawyers; we are there. We're not going to shy away from a problem. We're going to try to help. And here in this episode, I want to put out there that maybe just showing up is no longer enough.
Just being there may not be enough for what we need to do as lawyers. The world really needs us to be our best. Our clients need us to be ready. When we started out our careers as lawyers (people say “baby lawyers” and I don't know how I feel about that term), we have might have had to fake it. And maybe you're still in that phase where you feel you have to fake it. We don't feel like we fit in the role as lawyers; we’re beginners, there is so much we don't know.
And then as we gain experience, as we become wiser, and take on those years as lawyers, we stay in that habit, though. We don't step into our power. And I'm consulting right now with several lawyers who've been practicing for like 30 years and they still behave as new lawyers, when they're out there. When they're walking into a room, they still feel like they don't know enough. They still feel like they can't take on this role.
New and experienced lawyers alike, let me share a secret with you. Really and truly having presence will bring confidence and respect. Let me say it again. Really and truly having presence will bring confidence and respect. So what I mean is, if you really show up, like really show up, and not just pretend, that's true presence. True presence is being you. It is being present with who you are right now, right now in this moment. It's sharing yourself with others, so they can do the same. You're modeling this behavior. So being present to yourself, to what's happening now, expands the energy of yourself.
You're not contracted anymore; you're expanding yourself. And then other people will be invited to relax and expand. So we're not just all walking around pretending to be something we're not. We are actually ourselves; and then we can access the resources we need. You'll be able to access the resources of the experience you do have: the ability to research, the professional background, (whatever you have), the things in your personal life that you can bring in. If you're a parent, you can bring in what you're learning from there, if you're a teacher in another part of your life, if you have other hobbies, if you have had other careers before - you bring that all in! Because you're actually yourself and you're not tied up into having to take on this role of being a lawyer.
Being a lawyer is how you express yourself. It is one of the ways how you express yourself. By showing up, you will find that self-confidence and self-respect that's already there. This idea of impressing with your presence: we want other people to have confidence in us and respect us, which is totally valuable. However, relying on others can be can be problematic. And so having self-confidence (which you have, it's in yourself) and self-respect will actually allow other people to trust you. And you will allow other people to trust themselves. And from that connection, people will be impressed with you and with themselves because really, that's what we want. We want other people to feel good about the situation. So, that's what I have for you today. And go out there; “impress with your presence.”
Thank you to our sponsor for this episode and blog post: Stuhlman Law LLC, located in Minneapolis, MN, helps individuals and families with immigration cases involving family based petitions for permanent resident status, US citizenship, deportation defense and advice about the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Stuhlman Law LLC can be reached at 612-254-8224 or https://www.stuhlmanlaw.com/ To get your free copy of “The New Billable Hour” book and other resources, visit www.newbillablehour.com. If you are interested in working with Ritu to transform your relationship with your law practice, schedule a free consultation here: www.calendly.com/ritugo