Byte of Prevention Blog

by Susan Liebel |

9 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in Law School (Lesson 6)

9 thingsMistakes and failures are critical to success.

We love to watch little kids, especially our own, learn new things. They will try something they've never done before and even if they don’t succeed at first, they keep trying, failing, trying, failing, trying until they succeed.  Most often they are enjoying the entire process flashing a triumphant smile when they hit their goal.  As you get older you stop trying as much because you calculate your chances of succeeding or failing. Other people's experiences as well as your own get in the way. Then you stop being proactive and trying new things period.  You simply start reacting.  Fear of failure is endemic in the legal profession. You wait for someone else to make an effort, afraid to fail because you don’t want people to see you not succeed, or worse, make a fool of yourself or hurt a client. You are choking down your creativity and your aspirations because, quite simply, you are afraid.

Perhaps people will laugh at you. Perhaps some bored lawyer will take your mistake and use you as a social media punching bag for a few days. Perhaps you will make an honest mistake with a client and have to fix it or deal with some form of reprimand. But when you experience that you soon realize that it’s not the end of your professional world. Quite frankly, most people don’t care what you do as long as you don’t hurt others. As lawyers, we have to pay attention to not hurting our clients.  But for the most part, we all have our own professional and personal challenges to worry about and we’re just not that concerned about yours!

Success in love and life most often comes from not giving up despite mistakes and failure. It comes from being persistent in the face of challenges even when others will tell you to stop trying.

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