It’s been a week of ups and downs for me, and so what better thing to do than write about it. Because sometimes telling yourself to pull your socks up, pick your chin up and keep moving works and other times it doesn’t work as well.
I spend my days handing out advice to people about all aspects of their lives and of course it’s so easy to tell others what to do but it’s a different thing when it’s you. I’m usually pretty good at taking my own advice – being positive, ignoring criticism and focusing on what really matters to me. But there are days when that’s so much harder than others and yesterday was one of those days.
Which is almost ridiculous as only the day before some amazing things were happening. But of course it’s that one negative thing that overrides all of the great things that have happened over the last few weeks that takes hold of your mind and that you can’t let go of.
I see this all the time in my work. I see it in my friends and this week I’ve seen it in me.
Today I had to just put the pen down, take a break and step away. For a moment I decided that the idea of continuing to be ‘The Happy Family Lawyer’ was exhausting and maybe it was time to toss it all in. Which is ridiculous in so many ways, but this is what happens to most of us when we have to manage criticism, discontent and negativity in our lives.
So I guess writing this piece is my reminder to myself that I’m not 20 any more, I’m almost 40 and the best thing about this is that the older I get the more comfortable I am in being who I am, in knowing what I believe and in living my life congruent with my values. Some days this is easier than others and today it’s pretty hard. But I know tomorrow it will probably be all okay again.
So this piece is perhaps selfishly for me, but also for those of you who have those moments in your life where you think you’re making a difference, you’re going somewhere great, something good is happening in the world around you and then it all feels like it’s all coming crashing down – all because of one silly person or thing.
Yesterday I felt a bit like I was 20 years old again, back at university, not part of the cool squad and not really fitting in. And the thing is, that’s actually the bit about me that usually I like the most. There are so many things about life now that I love- it is easier in so many ways than ever before, but there are still those moments when no matter how hard we try, things rattle us.
See here are my three things that I really wish I realised sooner- when I was 20 and not now that I’m almost 40! The things that are making the biggest difference in my life now. And these are probably the things that I’m going to spend a lot of time talking to my daughter about as she meanders her way through life, relationships, friendships and love-
No matter how hard you try, not everyone will like you.
I’m not sure that there’s much more to say – the title says it itself. But every once in a while I have to remind myself that the minute you stand up and share your thoughts, the minute you express a belief or a view, there’s a strong chance that there’ll be people who don’t always believe the same thing. Which is entirely okay. Most of the time that’s not a problem but sometimes that’s really hard to deal with, particularly when at the core of all of us we’re human beings who are biologically designed to be part of communities, of groups, of friendships and relationships. We want to be liked! But we have to remember that not everyone is going to like us all of the time. And the more you go out into the world and do something differently, the greater the chance you will come across the people who, for whatever reason, don’t really like what you are about.
Just be you – it really is enough.
I am the first person to tell others- just be yourself, that is the secret as no one is ‘youer than you’. Coming to accept that not everyone’s going to like us is a big part of accepting that we are who we are, and being yourself is so much easier than trying to be anything else. Being yourself is enough, but sometimes it can be really tough. I wish I’d realised 20 years ago that being me with all my perks, quirks, creativity and stupidity is what was really going to make the biggest difference in the world around me, and I wished I’d embraced that so much earlier in my life. Today I’m reminding myself to embrace it now.
3. Dream big.
The world is full of people who’ll happily tell you why something can’t be done. In fact they’ll actively go out of their way to show you that your dreams, the bigger they are, are entirely unachievable. And then you find there’s people who’ll sit in your corner, listen to your ideas, smile along with you and support you all the way you go. I’m one of those people and I’m lucky to have many of them in my life. If you have a dream, I firmly believe you can achieve it and I will very happily do everything I can to help you get there. There’ll be plenty of people telling you along the way why you can’t, why you shouldn’t and how crazy your idea is, but in many respects that’s half the fun. I wish I realised much earlier in my life that most of the stuff that really matters comes out of those dreams and that nothing- no success or failure- is ever wasted. It all goes together to make me, me and you, you.
So today I’m taking a break from changing the world, making all lawyers happy or making divorce easier for others. And I decided to clean my desk. But I’m sure tomorrow I’ll wake up and remind myself that I’m not 20, I am almost 40 and the best years are still ahead of me, but it’s time to accept that if you do dream big, you are just you, not everyone’s going to like you and that’s okay too. But don’t let it get you down. (for too long anyway!)
Usually a dreamer, but today just Clarissa
Clarissa Rayward is a Divorce Lawyer and the Owner of Brisbane Family Law Centre. Over the past 14 years, Clarissa has worked with over 2000 families during separation and divorce. She specialises in assisting her clients to experience a dignified divorce- staying away from the Court process and finding sustainable agreements for the future. This past year Clarissa has begun to tackle the challenging issue of unhappiness in the legal profession through her writing and weekly Podcast ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ where once a week she interviews lawyers who have found a way to maintain a successful career in the law while not giving up their life outside of their career.
In January 2017 Clarissa published her second book, ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life- How to the be Happy in Law and Life’ and launched the first ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ online course, helping lawyers nationwide to better understand how they can drive happiness in their careers.
If you or someone you know needs assistance during divorce you can organise a complimentary 15 minute phone appointment with Clarissa or one of her team here.
You can organise order a copy of Clarissa’s Book or find out more about her Online Course and Podcast below.
And if you are a lawyer like me looking to better find that integration in your life, my new Membership program ‘The Club’ might be for you!