Sometimes You Have to Break Down Before You Break Through

Do you find yourself questioning yourself these days?  Maybe with the new year, you are reflecting on the past year or two of your life and evaluated it against where you thought you would be in 2011, and you realized you are no where near where you wanted to be.
In order to understand and get to where you want to be, you have to understand where you have been and how you got there.  You have to also understand the reasons you got there, and the reasons that you are feeling unhappy/ inauthentic right now so those same issues and reasons do not lead you to a different, yet equally unsatisfying, path in the future.
For example, why did you go to law school?
  • Did you feel pressure from your family to go to graduate school?
  • Did you want to make a lot of money?
  • Did you want the status and prestige of being a lawyer?
  • Did you feel confused and not know what else to pursue?
  • Did you feel like you made a rushed decision because a lot of your other friends were doing it?
  • Did you feel like it was the “logical” next step based on your prior studies?
Now how many of those reasons are in line with your personal life values?  Which ones?  If none of them are in line with your personal values, no wonder you feel unsatisfied with your biglaw career and are considering leaving the law!
It’s good to question the decisions, events, and circumstances that have taken place in your life.  There is a tendency to avoid this intense self-questioning because it is uncomfortable for most of us, since it can reveal internal conflicts that are easier to avoid altogether.  This sort of questioning may bring up some issues that like to hide beneath the surface of your everyday life, but it’s always better to deal with them sooner rather than later, since they will eventually come back to get you.
This process of self-questioning may cause a mini breakdown (or a major one), but sometimes you have to break down before you break through.
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