debra vey voda-hamilton, solo practice university, hamilton law and mediation, hamiltonlawandmediation.com, joy stealers

As you think about rezooming your legal career beware of the joy-stealers. Who and what is a joy stealer? They are the people who, when you speak about your dream or positive events that have unfolded in your favor on this journey to rezoom, pour cold water on your moment. As you reflect on the law you would like to practice they tell you its too competitive or worse, “Well, no one would want to practice in that field so it should be wide open.”

Joy stealers can be everywhere in the world of rezooming. Think about it. You begin to take confident steps toward your desire and someone, usually a friend or relative, reminds you about your commitment. These joy-stealing individuals can include your kids, aging parents, spouse or even yourself. As you rezoom your legal career joy stealers will be your most momentum-stopping influence.

The joy stealers come along and tell you things like, “the only reason you got an interview was because you were older,” “they were meeting diversity quotas” or worse, “you knew someone in the practice.” All of these joy-stealing statements deflate your commitment to rezoom. Rezooming is about you. If you are ready to commit to your own joy, other’s opinions will follow. You need to believe in yourself and your abilities first. Otherwise, these joy-stealers will gain a foothold in your indecision and wreak havoc on your journey.

Joy stealing comments may be true. Yes, your kids and aging parents will miss you and they do need you. The difference is, you will be better at fulfilling their needs and making them more self-sufficient if you step away and have them problem solve on their own. You are not leaving them forever. You are still available to them, yet not at a moment’s notice and for kids, especially; this might be a good thing.

The best way to handle the joy stealers is to thank them for sharing their perception or observation. Assure them you understand their concern. You believe you have made the right decision for you and others. The joy that comes from resuming your legal career with the mindset that it’s the thing you want to do is key. If you allow the joy stealers to chip away at your confidence it may be more difficult to rezoom your legal career.

Remember these three things when faced with the joy stealers:

  1. Say thank you. This will quickly quiet them. You didn’t respond defensively and so caught them off guard.
  2. Know they mean well. In fact they may want to take the leap you are taking but do not have the commitment.
  3. Finally, recognize you are in control of how you respond to joy-stealers. This may be the most important piece of rezooming.

When the joy-stealers arrive in your rezooming adventure how you respond is key. It fuels your journey. Reflect back what they’re saying to you. If you remain positive and grateful for their observations they cannot steal your joy. Now get out there and rezoom.

This article was originally posted on Solo Practice University.

Debra is a conflict coach, mediator and Mastermind group leader for people in conflict over animals. She practices alternative conflict resolution (ADR) in conflicts over animals, using mediation and collaborative practice, in Contract, Civil, Criminal, Commercial, Divorce, Special Education and Veterans Affairs where the disagreement involves an animal.

She speaks all over the country at State Bar Animal Law Committee Meetings, Pet Industry Conferences and Veterinary Conferences about the methods that can be used to address conflicts before they become unwieldy, keeping the relationship between the parties intact and acknowledging the parties desire to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation.

She is a member of the NYCLA-Animal Law committee, ABA-TIPS-Animal Law Committee, Eastern Irish Setter Association, Irish Setter Club of America, NYSBA- Women in the Law Committee, ABA-LPM-Women Rainmakers Committee, Westchester Bar Association, New York City Bar Association-Animal Law Committee and the Westchester Women’s Bar Association.

Debra is a published writer and go-to authority for many periodicals and news features. Her book Nipped in the Bud Not in the Butt debuted to great acclaim in August 2015.