This week on the show we have Dr. Jan Newman, a performance and mindset coach, a psychologist and researcher, and a former corporate attorney with an American Lawyer 100 law firm.
She brings her education, training, and research in human behavior, motivation, and neuroscience as well as my real-world experience to help you build a life and work that aligns with your values and priorities.
6:00 Building your mindset
9:00 Act and the confidence will follow
10:00 Emotion is geared towards safety and survival
15:15 Work-life integration
19:17 Mom lawyers
22:30 Identify what you want
25:00 Action Jackson
27:00 If you do something and mess up that’s data
28:59 Avoiding discomfort
31:25 Experiment and do it anyway
32:30 First FIVE people to contact Jan get a free 45 minutes coaching session: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim’s Hack: Create an email for your kids, and send updates to it so when they grow up they have those emails to look back through stories of their past.
Tyson’s Tip: Make sure you talk to your bank to make sure your application paperwork hasn’t changed.
Jan’s Tip: Take shorter, 3 day vacations versus long vacations, it’s less stressful when you return to work!
To keep on maximizing your firm, stay connected!
– – – – – – – –
Run your law firm the right way.
This is The Maximum Lawyer Podcast.
Your hosts, Jim Hacking and Tyson Mutrux.
Let’s partner up and maximize your firm.
Welcome to the show.
Jim: Welcome back to The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. I’m Jim Hacking.
Tyson: And I’m Tyson Mutrux. What’s up, Jimmy?
Jim: Oh, Tyson. It’s a rainy Tuesday here in St. Louis. I had to do my exercise this morning on the treadmill because it’s so gross and muggy out. We’ve got that hurricane coming up from Florida.
Tyson: Yeah, it was really muggy. I wanted to sit outside last night. We did for a little bit. It’s just muggy, and humid, and awful. It’s been hot lately but this weekend is going to be great. The weather’s going to be nice and cool. It’s going to be awesome.
Jim: Well, I took a mental health day yesterday. I did a little bit of work but I did it all around the pool all day so I feel recharged and ready for today.
Tyson: Nice. I look forward to in a few weeks, having that pool, to be able to do the same thing, so I’m excited about it.
Jim: Well, do you want to go ahead and introduce our guest?
Our guest today is Jan Newman. She is a coach for lawyers and executives which I find fascinating. I think it’s an amazing industry. I think it’s really, really cool. As you know, I’ve used Jason Self in the past. He’s a coach, I’d say for executives, not just lawyers.
And so, I think, Jan, what you will do is really fascinating. I think it’s really helpful as well. Can you talk a little bit about your business and how you got into this?
Jan: Sure. Yes.
I was actually a lawyer for seven years. Went from regional law firm to big law. I think that’s all caps in quotes. I think, I was fortunate that my career actually enjoyed my last position in big law better than any of my other ones. I was at a firm that I really liked, but it never connected with me. I loved the client work as far as just relating to clients and all of that, but it just never did it for me.
I had always been interested in human behavior, and neuroscience, and psychology. And so, I ended up leaving to get a PhD. And so, I think– actually, it was interesting, I was pursuing my PhD. I was just doing my stuff and I had actually had an attorney contact me to say, “Hey, you have a law degree. You’ve been in big law. And now you know something about psychology and behavior. Do you do coaching?” and I was like, “Well, I’ve never really thought about that but that seems like a good idea.” I wish I could have found a coach that knew something about being a lawyer when I was a lawyer.
So, I actually kind of got into it by a client’s suggestion. And then. really– I think it’s my favorite population to work with because it’s another version of me so I get it and I can remember what it was like to not have anybody to get it, when you’re trying to explain what it’s like to practice law and someone says, “Oh, you know, I think your job’s just taking too much of your time. You should probably quit.” And then exactly how am I going to pay you coach or whoever? Yeah, that’s how I got started.
I still practice psychology. I don’t practice law, but I’m licensed. My businesses is a blend of that but most of my clients are lawyers or healthcare executives.
Jim: That’s awesome. You know, I was having a conversation with someone the other day. And I guess we can call you Dr. Jan because you have a PhD. You’re not just a JD doctor, like Tyson [inaudible 00:03:37]?
I know. I’m sorry. I’ll call you guys doctor. I will.
Jim: I was having a conversation online the other day with a friend of mine about how lawyers, a lot of times, don’t feel like they know their purpose or what they’re even doing or their motivation. I think a lot of that stems from people going to law school without even really knowing why.
As a reform lawyer and someone who went to law school, can you talk about that, about sort of, at the at that early stage, when you’re even in law school or thinking about going to law school, about maybe some of the mindset mistakes that people make?
Jan: Yeah. You’re so right, Jim.
When I think about when I work with lawyers, it’s this group of extremely multi-passionate, competent people that could do just about anything except for probably be a math professor. I think most of us – a lot of us were like avoiding math. But there’s something about, you know, trying to make one career capture all of these interests and things and like law just sounds so broad that it could handle all of that. But I think the expectations are– you can’t meet those expectations because a lot of us are doing it as a default of I don’t know what to do next. And we haven’t really– I mean, a lot of my friends from law school had done some stuff in law like be a runner or things like that. But, otherwise, none of us had actually ever worked in a law firm and seen what it’s like and talked to lawyers.
So, I think it’s like you’re going into it expecting it to check a box of “This is what I’m going to do with the rest of my life”. Not many professions could live up to that but there’s not been a lot of– you know, when people are going into it, I think– and I think it also depends on ”Are you going into it straight from undergrad or are you going into it later?” But, in general, I think if you’re going straight from undergrad, we don’t really have a sense of what it’s like because there’s just no way to tell you, one.
And then, law school is much different from the practice of law. So that’s a whole other conversation in itself. Some people really like law school and hate practice and vice-versa. So, I think part of it is just trying to shove so much into one profession to meet that and it can’t.
Tyson: So, Jan, the other day, we were having a conversation in the Guild about mindset and like having that positive mindset and building confidence and everything. One of the things you talked about is mindset and skill set and, focusing on those, you create a life and work you deserve. Will you talk a little bit about mindset and building that mindset?
Jan: Yes. I think with a lot of– and especially with a lot of attorneys, I mean, we’re taught that reason, thought, and cognition are more important than anything else, and that we can think our way through everything but sometimes that actual thinking can be a barrier. I like to talk with the clients a lot because a lot of lawyers actually deal and suffer from a lack of confidence. And that’s something that really plagues them. They don’t talk about it openly. They do a lot to actually mask that.
A great deal of it is really, to me, the mindset shift is being able to actually not fight these negative thoughts but actually acknowledge that we all have kind of those stories and thoughts that are telling us, “you’re not good enough. You’re going to lose this motion.” All that stuff’s happening and acknowledging that. And then it’s thinking about what type action you want to pivot to whether that be– one of my clients tried to say it this way, if he hears this, he won’t be offended but would get so angry in partnership meetings that he could not be in there without turning red and everybody knowing. So, we came up with like when he was getting ready to go into these meetings and he’s having the thoughts, instead of just fuming, he would then pivot to an action which was actually before the meeting, he would take the stairs instead of the elevator. He’d like go to his office and do 25 pushups. So, he’s going into the meeting feeling calm instead of feeling so stressed. And then, when we’re in there, I was like, “Let’s think about something that’s relaxing to you that you can do as a mindfulness exercise.” And that really helped him to just get through the meeting. So that might be one form of action.
The other form of action could be just really moving from this mindset of, “I’ll wait till I feel confident enough, until I’m going to go ahead and act with certainty” because the meaning of confidence is “to be certain,” is one of the meanings. And so, it’s just shifting it to act with certainty even when you don’t feel or think that you’re certain. You just kind of just do it, Nike swoosh.
If you think about it in your life, anything that you’re trying for the first time, you feel much better when you’re in the middle of it than you did before you do it. You have to start acting and doing something. So, I think a lot of the mindset shift really is not trying to feel like it, not waiting until you feel good enough or certain enough to act but getting a game plan and going ahead and acting, acknowledging you’re going to have some thoughts that “you’re not good enough” and that kind of thing and, if you’ve prepared, that should carry over.
But I think a lot of lawyers are like, “Well, I should feel confident in doing this. I should feel better.” And they don’t. It’s like, “Now, I’m bad.” Well, no, you’re a human. It’s more– I don’t want to say fake it till you make it, but it’s like, I guess, fake it– you know, basically, you start making it. You just kind of go ahead and start acting and the confidence will follow. It doesn’t come before.
Jim: I think it’s such a great point, Jan. Talk to us a little bit more there about being purposeful and mindful versus being reactive because I think a lot of lawyers spend a lot of time in reactive mode, especially those involved in litigation where you’re always one side’s up, one side’s down, and you’re sort of fighting back and forth. I really liked that example that you said about the guy doing his push-ups. Talk a little bit about sort of that making a decision before you get into the problem, if that makes sense.
Jan: Right. Yeah.
So, I think it’s– you know, one of the places I start a lot, with lawyers and even I work with some physicians, and even though they know a lot about neuroscience, they have to have a reminder of this, but just remembering that what we call emotion is really physiological arousal that’s typically geared towards safety and survival, and you can’t turn it off, and you can’t out think it. And so, if I’m in a litigation situation and someone is being a jerk, that’s going to be interpreted by my brain as a threat and I’m going to start to see some type of sign of sympathetic nervous system arousal like heart rate increase, flushed face, breathing increase, tension. That’s a sign that my body is now reacting and I have to deal with that. If that gets too intense, I’m compromised because what then follows is confused thinking, tunnel vision, literally and cognitively. You focus on the problem and you can’t see anything else.
And so, for that client, in particular, we had to deal with that because he could not really take in other inputs. So, when he was in those meetings, if there was a partner who he really liked, who was making a good point, he could only focus on the negatives.
So, I think it’s first recognizing that you have to address how your body is reacting and you’re not going to be able to think your way out of it and be like, “Oh, yeah, Jan, you need to just ignore him. It’s going to be fine.” It’s more like, “Okay, this is stress. I’m feeling stressed. I’ve got to deal with that. It’s not getting better, so I’m going to have to stand up, walk around.” Maybe before that meeting, I could front load my emotional regulation by doing some exercise.
I do push-ups all the time between clients. I learned that from actually working with teenage boys. That was something they would tell me like, “You can do this. Like, you’ve got to remember, if you can get to do 25 push-ups, you can do that and feel better.” And I was like, “Oh, man, you’re right. I just got to get to do 25 push-ups. If I can do that, I’ll feel better.” I think it’s just dealing with the biology.
Most of my clients, when we talk about that, that makes them feel so much better than when– you know, I think when we talk about emotion, they’re thinking I’m going to start talking about touchy feely mumbo jumbo about, “Tell me how you really feel” and I’m like, “Tell me like where your brain is.” I’m talking about like arousal for athletes or military professionals. This is the same thing that they do.
And kind of speaking to that, when you asked about thinking ahead, if you think about it in the military, like I worked with a group of snipers when I was doing my psychology training. They plan for this, this state of fight or flight arousal, that they can then pivot and do deep breathing or whatever because they can’t have dysregulated breathing and shoot a mile away. If they do that, they are going to likely miss, give away their position. They could endanger the entire mission. So, they have to, as a team, be able to identify when they’re off. And they do that actually, by– I mean, they don’t have this for lawyers, but they wear bioharnesses that actually have gauges on them that tell them their heart rate is too high or whatever. I wish we had that, but we don’t. That is why they then have protocols. They have over learned procedures and protocols so that when they are in a fight or flight or very tense situation, they can then pivot to that without a lot of thought because they’ve already thought about it.
So, I think, for lawyers, that would be recognizing that you are not above the law of nature, so to speak from neurobiology, that you do get stressed and you do get this threat reaction. And if you can pause, take a breath, potentially, plan ahead and you’ve prepared, all you’ve got to do is really get that emotion regulation down. And then, you can pivot to that prefrontal cortex that’s going to help you where you’ve prepared for your case.
I’ve seen that a lot with lawyers where I’ve been involved in mediation and saw like a lawyer insults another lawyer. And this, this other lawyer is just so focused on the insult and I’m like, “This guy’s just messing with you. He doesn’t really have an argument. This is just let me poke the bear until the bear loses it, you know.” So, I think it’s really remembering that you really want to go from reacting to responding to whatever that stimulus is, if it’s a jerk partner, if it’s a judge, if it’s whatever that is making you upset – reactive and you’ve got to be able to pivot to that other side which is responding with that prefrontal cortex part of your brain.
Tyson: That’s such good advice. Jan, what you can’t tell, if I’m wearing a bioharness right now.
Jan: That’s so cool.
Tyson: You just can’t see it.
Jan: That’s our new product for lawyers, bioharnesses for lawyers.
Tyson: Right. [inaudible 00:14:55].
Jan: They’re really cool-looking.
Tyson: Yeah, absolutely.
So, it’s really interesting. So, we send this questionnaire to our guests before the podcast and you used a phrase that really is– I’m stuck on it “work-life integration”, right?
Jan: I don’t know what to call it but balance is not it.
Tyson: [inaudible 00:15:16] but it’s work-life integration and burnout issues, right. So, [inaudible 00:15:20] the burnout part of it, though–
Tyson: –because I was fascinated by the use of integration and work life because I think it is more of an integration as opposed to a balance. That’s [inaudible 00:15:31] but with burnout.
And then, the secondary trauma dealing with difficult situation. Will you talk about that part of it and you actually having to deal with that, because that’s something that we talk about on a daily basis. Will you talk about dealing with that?
So, you know, really, when you think about burnout, what that is, is when you are in a state of emotional, physical, psychological exhaustion, that you can’t really go on anymore. So you’ve got stress, first. And we all deal with that. But then, if that state– if the stress maintains like above a level that you can cope with and it just keeps going till there’s like this chronic, basically, a condition. I mean, you can even have like adrenal fatigue and have–
When I was an attorney, one of the partners, we were working on a deal, and he just fainted in the middle of like us doing some document prep to go to New York and I was like, “What is going on?” Now, I know what was going on. He wasn’t sick or anything. They just said, “he has a lot of stress,” but that was actually adrenal fatigue. So, that’s one piece of it.
I think, then, when you are working with people who have trauma, and lawyers do that and judges do as well. You know, we work with people who’ve been victims of something. It can be a victim of a financial crime. It can be a victim of a physical assault. But then, when you’re on top of that, working with a client who has a lot of trauma and things that you’re taking that on, then that can raise it to another level that might be called vicarious trauma or secondary stress. When we put those things together, it can start to be– I mean, vicarious trauma literally looks like PTSD. It isn’t PTSD, unless you’re a first responder or someone like that, but it looks a lot like that. And it’s that combination of burnout, usually, with being exposed to people who have had trauma. They’re talking about it. You’re having to deal with it, learn the facts of it. And that can be impairing – very impairing.
Thanks to our sponsor, Smith AI. Smith AI is a superior receptionist service for law firms, trusted by many Maximum Lawyers, including me.
At my immigration practice, the Hacking Law practice, Smith’s friendly US-based receptionists respond to potential clients in English or Spanish, screen and schedule new leads, and even take payment for our consults. The best part is that they don’t just handle these conversations via phone. They also have live agents and chatbots capturing leads on our website through their chat widget. They serve as our friendly gatekeepers while my team and I work uninterrupted. We get new clients and we get work done. How awesome is that? If you’re in a solo or small firm, I know you’ll appreciate this.
Plans start at just $70 a month for calls and $100 a month for chats. They even offer a totally free chatbot so there’s no excuse. Try Smith AI today and see for yourself why attorneys like me say, “Smith AI receptionists are the secret to business growth.”
Smith AI offers a free trial and Maximum Lawyer listeners get an extra $100-dollar discount with promo code MAXLAW100. That’s M-A-X-L-A-W-1-0-0. Sign up and learn more at www.smith.ai.
Trust me when I say don’t let another day go by, try Smith AI.
Jim: We’re speaking with Dr. Jan Newman. She’s an executive coach, a psychologist, a speaker, a trainer, a writer, a researcher and she’s a mom.
I am lucky enough to be married to a lawyer who actually practices law with me. We’re immigration lawyers and we practice together. One thing that the coronavirus has really made apparent for me is that mom’s still get the short end of the stick and as much as I try to help.
Talk to us a little bit about your work with mom lawyers.
Jan: I think fathers are incredibly important. And I’m talking to you because I have a wonderful husband who’s helping raise my children right now. So, I don’t know how he’s doing with the dogs. I heard them [inaudible 00:19:37].
I think, with mom’s, a lot of it, Jim, is about the expectations that, I think, they feel– and I think this is correct that society puts on moms. So, there’s this expectation that, if we go to taekwondo and my husband takes them all the time, then I feel like I’m going to get more judgment than he would if he’s not taking them. And I think a lot of mom lawyers are dealing with that perception and that judgment from outside, and it feels a little bit like a rock and a hard place. They also get that judgment from family members, sometimes, who have different views on how they should be parenting and lawyering. I think all those outside expectations.
So, a lot of, when I’m working with moms, it’s really about defining at the front end– and I do this a lot with any client that I work with, is really defining at the front end, what really matters to you. Not what should matter to you, from society or outside, but what really does matter. So, what kind of parent do you really want to be. What kind of husband and wife do you really want to be – leading that instead of what society thinks you should do.
So, a lot of times, just clarifying that can help you then set goals and actions that are in line with that, so you’re not trying to be– I always tell parents, there’s a million ways to be a good enough parent and there’s no way to be a perfect one. So, you’re trying to find actions that you can do. These little bitty things like maybe taking your kid to practice more than you were or spending time with him in the morning and doing things like that. It’s these tiny steps – these tiny actions, not these great big, “I need to quit my job and I can’t work and be a mom” kind of steps.
Tyson: So, Jan, I want to talk a little bit more about working, I guess, with you. So, let’s say if someone were to hire you to help them out. What’s that process like?
Jan: Well, typically, it depends on the person. I mean, I’ve worked with people who, I think, are in different places. Like a lot of times with attorneys, it’s either lawyers who think they might want to get out of law so they’re not sure if they do or not, or they want a different position in law, like maybe they’re big law and they want to go in-house. That kind of thing.
Some lawyers come to me with already knowing, “I’m done with this and I want to get out. Now, I’m terrified. How do we do that?” And so, it looks different depending on where they’re at. Typically, the first part of it really is identifying what they want because back to Jim’s earlier question about “how do we end up getting into law school?” and not really thinking. We don’t do it with the end in mind. We don’t think about, when we’re 24, what the lifestyle is that we want to lead.
And so, a lot of what I’m doing at the front end is, “What kind of lifestyle do you want? What matters to you?” And that’s typically in the domains of work relationships and you personally, like your personal health, personal growth. Those kinds of things. And looking at that part first.
What’s interesting is lawyers that I’ve worked with have a really hard time doing that. Like, they’d really like, “Can we just go ahead and work on this mindset stuff?” Well, it’s kind of hard for me to figure out what kind of actions you want to take unless we’ve set a compass of what matters to you because I don’t want us to end up like you want to go to Denver and you’re like, “Well, I didn’t want to go west,” so we end up in like Egypt. I don’t want to do that. So, can we figure that out? But they hate it. They hate it. They really do.
Tyson: Jim, does that sound familiar at all?
Jim: It’s so amazing that she picked Denver and Egypt. When I was a senior in college, I thought I was going to be a Jesuit priest, so I moved to Denver. And then, I eventually left that and I moved back to St. Louis and I married someone from Egypt.
Jan: That’s awesome.
Jim: Isn’t that amazing?
Jan: That is amazing.
Yeah, so people hate that part. But typically, it’s starting there and then trying to figure out. Usually, then, it’s like framing “What are your goals?” And then, that’s where the barriers come up. That’s kind of where the mindset stuff comes up.
Like, for example, a lawyer that might want to leave big law and go to in-house. I might be working with that person and we’ve defined the lifestyle and got the action. So, I want to be somewhere where there’s a cheaper cost of living, I’m closer to my family. We have all these criteria. And then, like Cravath says, “Hey, would you like to come be a mid-level associate, or a junior partner?” or whatever. Let’s say that mythical thing would come up. Then, they’re like, “I’m going to move to New York.” “Wait a second, that is the opposite. What does that have to do with anything?” “Well, it’s Cravath so I’ve got to go because that would mean I’m really good.”
And it’s this whole thing about, you know, then, Okay, what’s that about? What’s that kind of story about to be good enough as a person, you have to be at this prestigious law firm that actually has– there’s no way you can meet this other bar that we’ve set. But those kind of– I call those like squirrels. You know, it’s like “Squirrel, here we go.” Like my dog, when he sees a squirrel, he’s kind of just like, “Okay, let me go that way.”
That usually comes up around after we’ve defined what matters to you. Then, it’s like being present and being psychologically flexible that, when you have these kind of thoughts and stories – ”you’re not good enough,” you need to be a lawyer because– I mean, one of the biggest with lawyers is that thought, that sunk cost fallacy of, “I put all this time in it, so I need to continue. I’ve been a lawyer for eight years, so I should be a lawyer for 30 more years.” That doesn’t make any logical sense but, for a lot of lawyers, that comes up as a mindset barrier that we have to then break through.
And then the rest of– the final phase is really just implementing action. I tried to keep action as part of it the whole way through but then we’re taking bigger and bigger steps. But most people find that when they’re working with me, I will tell people, “I’m action Jackson. I want to get us like moving even if it’s small at the beginning” because that really gives people confidence.
Like we were talking about, confidence is more about taking action and experiencing yourself doing it and going, “Okay, I did that. I didn’t die. Okay. Now, I can take another step, and another step, and another step.” It’s not waiting for this big– you know, I think when people talk about leaving law, they’re like this calling, and they’ll be like a light that will shine on and go, you know, “Here’s where you go.” It’s not like that. It’s experiments. I tell people like think more like a scientist than a judge.
Sciences publish their bad data and their null findings because they don’t want other people to waste their time on that cure for cancer or whatever. They don’t feel bad about it. They’re still furthering science. So, it’s more like if you do something and mess up that’s data. That’s not bad. That’s just data. That wasn’t the right thing. So, let’s re-calibrate and then re-tool and do it again. Okay, now, that was closer so we’re closer. It’s not zero-sum game, as we often are dealing with in litigation. You win or you lose. [crosstalk] like baseball.
Jim: Jan, this is really good stuff. Tyson and I are not psychologists, but we do do a fair amount of coaching with our group. So, our group, just so you know, we have like entrepreneurial lawyers who have a growth mindset, for the most part, right. We’re really lucky that we don’t have a lot of people in our group who are complainers, or bitchers, or like wanting to get out. It’s really people that want to grow and do a good job for their clients and make their firm better and bigger.
We do come across this one little subset of people, even within our group, and it’s people who will ask for our advice. We’ll spend good time with them. And sometimes I feel like I’m just dealing diamonds, left and right, like I’m giving them all these great ideas. Tyson gives them a lot of really good ideas. And they get into this mindset where they just always say to themselves, “That won’t work. That can’t work for me. My case is different. My life is different.” How do you help people who are locked like that unlock themselves, if you can?
Jan: I think two things for you guys, when you’re coaching, is to know that you’re dealing with your own response of we have this thing called the righting reflex where we want to tell people what to do. It’s not out of some “I want to tell people what to do because I’m mean.” It’s “I want to tell people what to do because I care and I want to help them.”
So, most lawyers, you guys included, are very motivated by helping others. So, it’s hard to hear those guys talking like that and girls talking like that. And so, for you guys knowing that what I’m going to say, they should do is also for you, is really acknowledging that change is hard and being curious about what is this really about because that story serves a purpose. It works to keep them where they’re at but what it also underlies is this truth of human behavior that we would rather avoid discomfort than anything.
We would rather avoid discomfort than, in some ways, be happy. Like, if you look at something that could offer you intense joy but it’s going to come through the price of something that will be uncomfortable, most human beings will try to find a way around that. And if they can’t, they’ll just stop moving. So, for you guys, just going, “Oh, this is just a block. This is normal human stuff.” For them, I think it is acknowledging, “Okay, that’s a thought. That’s a story. My brain’s working 24/7 and that’s a thing that it’s kind of putting out there. What’s the purpose of it? Like I really–
I will often talk to clients about that values piece first like, “what matters to you? This thought that you’re having, is it getting you further away or closer to what matters to you?” And if they’re like, “Well, you know, I really do want to do that thing, but I can’t. It’s not going to work for me. That thought probably isn’t that helpful.” “Okay. All right. Well, what do you think it’s for? Let’s get curious about that. What’s the function of it?”
Typically, it’s trying to keep you– that thought is trying to help you be safe. Well, then, we go back to like that hindbrain that’s always trying to keep us safe. That makes sense. But when you can pull yourself away from the thoughts, so it’s more like, instead of like the thought’s right here, you’re kind of putting it down and looking at it. It’s me observing that thought more than me being led and driven by it.
The research indicates that if you try to tell people to get rid of a thought, it actually makes the thought worse. So, when you say don’t think like that, that thought suppression actually activates that kind of process and keeps it going because we have a default negativity bias because, if you think about it, we’re not descended from people who went like, “Oh look, it’s a saber toothed tiger or whatever. Let’s just like make peace with it.” We’re descended from people who were nervous and ran and freaked out. So, we have a negativity bias. It’s more like just acknowledging that instead of locking into it and then pivoting towards some type of action – even if it’s small.
It doesn’t have to be the big thing. So, I think, a lot of times, it’s in helping people break that down. If that one thing feels like too much, can we break it down into a smaller step? Do an experiment. How did that go? Do you want to retool? Do you want to up the intensity? Do you want to lower the intensity? Just do an experiment with it. But the thoughts are really, they’re going to be there. So I tell clients often like, “Can we just like put that in your messenger bag or your backpack and just take it with you?” Just like while you’re doing this speech, can you just take that with you and just acknowledge it’s going to be there and do it anyway?
Tyson: This is fantastic.
Jim and I are actually messaging back and forth about how great you are. I’ll be honest with you. This is one of my favorite episodes already. We’ve been doing this for four years, so this is–
Jan: Oh, that’s so nice.
Tyson: You clearly know what you’re talking about. You’re very good.
We do have to wrap things up, unfortunately.
Jan: That’s okay.
Tyson: Before I do, I understand that you do have an offer for the listeners. And so, I just want to give you a chance to talk about that for a second before we–
Jan: Yes, yes.
I was going to offer to the first three– I mean, I’ve done this before and I’ve extended it to five, so we’ll just say five.
People who contact me that I would offer a 45-minute free coaching session. Typically, if I’m doing a consult, it’s only 20 minutes so I am doing a full session and offering that to your listeners for the first five that contact me.
Tyson: All right. How do they get in touch with you – website, email?
Jan: Yeah. So, I was going to make sure that you guys had that for the show notes. My email is jan@DrJanNewman.com which is pretty straightforward. That’s my website as well. That would be the best way to contact me.
I also thought I might send you guys some resources that could be helpful that a lot of my clients use so you’d have that – books, podcasts, those kinds of things. Not podcasts. Never.
Tyson: Never a podcast, good.
Jan: TED Talks. TED Talks. There we go.
Jim: I think she’s going to get about 20 people reach out to her, at least.
Jan: Then, I’m going to have to just do like random things–
Jim: A lottery or something.
Jan: –like who’s your favorite football team? If you say somebody that’s not in the SEC, I’m not listening to you.
Tyson: You also have JanNewmanCoaching.com as well.
Tyson: So, I do want to wrap things up. I do want to remind everyone to go to the Facebook group, get involved there.
We also have this little thing called the Guild that we’re doing. And so, if you’re interested, go to maximumlawyer.com. If you don’t mind taking just a couple seconds giving us a five-star review, we would appreciate it.
Jimmy, what is your hack of the week?
Jim: So, Tyson, my hack of the week is actually for you and for the other members of Maximum Lawyer who have young children. I read about it on Twitter yesterday. I thought it was a great idea. So, there’s this guy. He has a few month-old baby, a three year old, and a five year old. And what he did is he created a gmail address for each of them and he and he emails them pictures and stories about what’s going on in the family life so that when they grow up and have their email address, they’ll have all those emails telling them sort of stories from their past that they were too young to appreciate at the time. I thought it was brilliant.
Tyson: I like it. Very good stuff.
Jan: Great. That’s great.
Tyson: Jan, all right. We gave you a little bit of time to think about it. Do you have a tip or a hack for us?
Jan: Yeah. I actually just– I read this in a research article and I’ve been trying it. So, I read in a research article that to help with burnout. Instead of looking and taking big vacations, you should be taking long, like three-day vacations, four-day work week-type vacations, that kind of thing.
So, I’ve been doing that during the pandemic. Like, we went on a short trip recently to the mountains and went hiking. It just made such a big difference because usually we save them up for these big vacations, but now we can’t fly, so we’ve been doing that every month. We went camping, that kind of thing. And so, it really does help give you a shift, I think, with your environment but you’re not–
When I was a lawyer, I can remember take long vacations and then just never– it was like you get back and you’re going, “Why did I go on vacation?”
So that’s my that’s my tip for the week. That works.
Tyson: That’s perfect.
And when you get back, you’re all stressed out, “Okay, what do I need to catch up on?”
Jan: Right, exactly. But if it’s just the weekend and you just did a short trip, or even just going somewhere like driving for the day, for a short day trip, it can be really helpful just to reset things.
Tyson: So, last week, I talked about meeting with your bank to go over PPP, your forgiveness applications. Well, I met with my bank the other day and things have changed quite a bit. And so, the application actually might completely change, too. So my tip, again, it’s actually, to meet your bank but it’s because things have changed again. So, make sure that in case you’ve filled out your application already and you just haven’t submitted it, make sure you you’ve talked to them to make sure that your application or the actual form has not changed because I have not looked yet but, by the time this episode launches or is published, it might have changed. So, make sure that you’ve checked the application and that you’re not using the old application.
Jan, thank you so much for coming on. This has been a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot. You clearly know what you’re talking about, so thank you so much.
Jan: You’re welcome.
Thanks, guys. I appreciate it.
Jim: Thanks, Jan. That was great. See ya.
Thanks for listening to The Maximum Lawyer Podcast.
To stay in contact with your hosts and to access more content, go to maximumlawyer.com.
Have a great week and catch you next time.