The goal of this article is to raise your awareness of your often unnoticed internal feelings and thinking patterns and how they may be serving or sabotaging your career interests. Specifically, this article discusses (1) why lawyers are typically not positive thinkers; (2) how particular thoughts affect our actions and create reality (whether on a conscious or unconscious level); (3) how to tap into and rid yourself of self-defeating feelings and thoughts; and (4) how positive thinking is an extremely strong tool in helping to achieve success during your job search and throughout your career.
Why Lawyers Are Typically Not Positive Thinkers
We have all heard worn-out phrases such as "think positive" or "don't be negative." We also know that it's probably much better, for both personal and professional reasons, to go through life with a positive attitude rather than a negative one. However, during job searches, most lawyers often overlook the importance of stepping back and observing their feelings and thinking patterns and the effects they have on them. This is not a surprise because lawyers are not usually trained to focus on their internal dialogue or positive thinking. Conversely, lawyers are trained to analyze and foresee worst-case scenarios and to protect their clients from these situations. Furthermore, by working in typically adversarial situations, lawyers are often focused on finding fault in the opposition's position or trying to minimize the weaknesses in their own positions. Lastly, most daily interactions with opposing counsel or your colleagues involve analyzing what is wrong with a particular argument, case, statute, or position. By doing this 10 hours a day, five days a week, year in and year out-it is no surprise that lawyers do not spend much time focusing on positive thinking.