Facebook freaks people out. Recently, I was in a group discussing monthly income as a measure of success. A very touchy subject, right. Who doesn’t feel pressured to make 6 figures? Hey, if you live in the East Bay, making 6 figures is almost a requirement.
Many lawyers, entrepreneurs, and coaches claim to make 6 figures on Facebook. Or simply lead to believe that they do by what they post or talk about. Looking at all those happy pictures can be depressing when you are working your butt off without even getting close to those numbers.
Facebook does make you depressed according to Harvard Business Review article. This is when emotional intelligence comes to the rescue, giving you tools to shield you from way too much BS.
Self-awareness and self-regulation are gonna be like confidence-protecting superheroes on a mission to battle evil self-doubt! (Why yes, I did enjoy Black Panther. Wakanda Forever!)
That’s the $64k question, isn’t it?
Measure success on your own terms, not external measures. That sounds glib, and we all say we do that but do you?
Facebook is one of the best/worst things to happen to communication. Sure, I believe Facebook has made the world smaller. That’s a great thing. I see my friends in Malta or Chiangmai on there, which helps me to feel a part of their life. I learn a lot.
“Exposure to the carefully curated images from others’ lives leads to negative self-comparison”-
The downside is that we are all subjected to constant images and references to what I’ll call is ‘the good life’.
You know, travel to exotic places, doing cool stuff and meeting incredible people. We see people who are our peers getting recognized, selected, honored and held up as examples of greatness. It has to make a gal wonder, what am I doing wrong?
The truth is nothing. You’re not doing anything wrong. That’s not your life on Facebook.
What people post on FB is an impression, a reflection of who they see themselves as in the world. And, as you know, not all reflections are true. Some of those shared reflections are like funhouse mirrors- a bit distorted. More aspirational than actual. It’s not really their life either.
I try to keep that in mind on Facebook. Every post is a story. Somebody is telling you the story of their life as they know it. Or as I used to say to my mediation students,
People tell the truth that they know. Sometimes they don’t know it all or know any better. Dina Eisenberg
You can choose to believe the story or not. Think about that next time someone is ‘6 figure flexing’ on Facebook or Instagram. It’s just a story, don’t imagine it to be commentary on you. Self-control, baby!
You decide what success means for you. Like most lawyers, I’m competitive. I like to win. We had a ban on games in our house for a while because my kids like to win, too. That means I keep score. You probably do, too.
Lawyers thrive on beating the success model. We were the brightest in school and we are used to winning. But sometimes you have to redefine what a win looks like.
I transitioned from being a prosecutor to a small biz mediator. I was lucky enough to do my 100+ hours of mediation training in the Boston/Cambridge area, the cradle of ADR.
Total piece of cake, I thought. How hard could neutrality be?
An early instructor said to me, You’re a lawyer, right? I can tell. It was not a compliment. He noticed that I tended to shoehorn parties into the agreement I felt best fit the situation. My win rate was high, however, the durability of my agreements was low. Short term wins are no win at all.
My solution was to redefine the win. Realistically, I couldn’t stop being competitive but I could make the prize something different. Self-awareness gave me options.
I could adjust what I was competing for. The new and improved win was defined this way:
Parties gain knowledge about the situation, other person or themselves as a result of mediation
Cool because then I was competing against myself to raise the level of empathy and understanding in the room. One time a dentist and patient, who were friends that stopped talking over an unpaid bill, left arm in arm. Neither realized how embarrassed the other one was about the money. My agreements grew more durable and a lot good relationships were saved.
Who says money is the only way to measure a person’s wealth? Certainly not me.
Many of my clients are in people-facing practices like family, probate, immigration, criminal and disability.Their work dramatically changes lives. One told me that seeing her clients get what is rightfully theirs gives her an amazing sense of pride and purpose.
Knowing that you are changing the world for the better with your talents is real wealth to me.
The 4 Signs of Wealth
I believe in wealth. Actually, I believe in four types of wealth. You can be wealthy in purpose, time, health and money. Money is last, although it’s the first kind of wealth we think of.
Continued in Pt 2 next week we’ll talk about a new view on wealth and how you can make 6 figures in your law practice.