Confidence is the feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. Confidence is key in anything that you do but as a solo attorney, it can make or break your success. Implementing these simple changes will do wonders for your confidence, productivity, and happiness in your profession.
Know your worth
The best tip anyone could give a budding solo attorney is to know their worth. Setting a standard early on is crucial to the development of not only your firm but yourself personally. It’s natural to want to please people, especially when trying to form a professional relationship but saying “yes” to everyone will spread you too thin and quickly. Confident attorneys recognize that saying “no” is healthy and it shows that you respect your time, efforts, and resources. Also, note that just because you say no doesn’t mean you can’t pass the referral or the task to someone else who might be more suitable.
Dress the part
Looking professional will make you feel professional, and while this may sound a bit superficial, it’s crucial because it communicates confidence to others. If you decide that you want a casual tone for your firm that is perfectly fine, just be sure to keep your appearance well-groomed and presentable every day. Finding your own personal style helps with branding your firm as well, so when you find a style that represents you, commit to it. And remember dressing for the part doesn’t just stop at the clothes you wear it includes implementing a self-care routine that takes care of your mental, physical, and emotional self too.
Step out of your comfort zone
Deciding to start your own law firm can be a daunting task but through the decision making and good follow-through, your confidence will strengthen and expand. With every new challenge, you are given an opportunity to find new ways to conquer them. This is a great way to prove to yourself that you can easily recover from anything placed in front of you, this also applies to networking. It’s easy to fall into an introverted state when you’re around new and unfamiliar people, but being able to effectively network will also boost your confidence. If you struggle with meeting new people at networking events try some of these tips.
Seek Validation from Within
Believing in yourself is where the base of your confidence should come from. Having the ability to look in the mirror and say “I’m proud of myself and the work I’m doing” is something every solo attorney should strive for. If you constantly search for the approval of your peers and the outside world, then you will start to set unrealistic expectations for your life. In short, stay away from the “keeping up with the Jones’” mentality and focus on what you truly want from your career. And once you set your goals, stick to them and don’t let anyone sway you into thinking that you aren’t worthy.
Find a mentor
One of the most impactful relationships that you can grow is one with a smart and experienced mentor. Just because you choose to operate as a solo attorney doesn’t mean you can’t find value in the experience that other attorneys have to offer. Being able to sit and bounce ideas, express faults and successes with someone that has been in your position before is important. The guidance they give you will help you to make impactful decisions with ease and confidence.
Celebrate Small Wins and Milestones Reached
Start off by setting small attainable goals and when you reach those goals, treat yourself. Oftentimes attorneys set goals that are unrealistic and place unattainable time limits on them. This causes an immense amount of stress and the feeling of failure to rear its head. Remember that no goal is too small! If you seek out to do something and you actually do it then you deserve a reward. If you feel like you don’t have enough time to properly reward yourself, then count your accomplishments by writing a list of everything you’ve accomplished within that month, and then at the end of each month, reward yourself. Positive reinforcement is the ultimate confidence booster.
Speak Life into Your Business
Practicing positive self-talk helps build confidence in a cosmic way. By consistently speaking life and positivity into yourself and your business you will begin to anticipate obstacles in a level minded way. Things that would normally cause stress you will be able to conquer with ease. It is so important for you to realize the power of your thoughts and the things you say to yourself and others. You’ll never hear a successful attorney downplay their accomplishments or question their decisions, instead, they move and speak with authority.
Remember that no one is expecting you to be a rockstar fresh out the gate. Obstacles will come and deter you from your set goals but if you continue to build your confidence daily, then when challenges do arise you won’t be taken aback so easily. There are many other ways that one can boost their confidence, but these are just some basic and easy steps that will help you move further in your journey as a confident solo attorney.