Give yourself permission to be a beginner


When you started practicing law, there were a lot of things you didn’t know and couldn’t do.

You put on a good face and hoped nobody figured out that that this was your first oral argument or your first negotiation.

You were nervous. Wished there was another way. But you did it.

Because you had to.

You took the chance that you would mess up or be found out, and you got away with it. Today, you can laugh at the memory of how awkward you felt and how bad your first efforts must have looked.

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, says, “It is impossible to get better and look good at the same time. Give yourself permission to be a beginner.”

You did that when you were new and felt you had no other choice.

How about today?

What new skill are you avoiding learning because you don’t want to look bad or feel uncomfortable? What’s on your marketing to-do list, for example, that you keep telling yourself you’ll get around to but never do?

What are you not doing because you do have other options?

If you want your practice to continue to grow, you might have to pretend you don’t have any choice. You have to do what you’ve been avoiding or you won’t make the rent.

Because that might be the only way you’ll give yourself permission to be a beginner.