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Tips for Avoiding Late-Night Mistakes

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Clients often ask me…

“How do I stop making “silly” mistakes when I’m working late?”

Firstly, just a reminder that you’re HUMAN. Your brain doesn’t function at 100% late at night. It’s NORMAL to make mistakes in those conditions.

Also…...

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Knowledge does NOT = confidence

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I used to think that, to feel more confident and stop second-guessing myself, all I needed to do was learn MORE. 

Surely, more knowledge meant less mistakes and tons of confidence… 

Sadly, every year I stepped up a qualification level, which meant that people kept asking me more...

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Feeling anxious at night

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Do you ever lie awake at night worrying about mistakes you might have made… or how to fix a mistake you definitely DID make?  

It’s always worse in the middle of the night. 

You’re too tired to see things objectively, so your worst fears have a party! 

And...

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Why haven’t you been fired?

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Why haven’t you been fired?

Good question to ANSWER if your inner-critic is going wild.  

Because…. genuinely, if: 

  • you make mistakes; and 
  • you’re not as good as ‘them’; and
  • you have knowledge gaps,

… why HAVEN’T you been...

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Let’s talk imposter syndrome …

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Let’s talk imposter syndrome for a minute…

It’s not a disease. It just a couple of thoughts. 

Some version of: 

  • I’m not good enough; and
  • sooner or later, they’ll figure it out.

For me, I was convinced that I wasn’t as good they thought I...

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Fear of being seen as ‘arrogant’

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Do you ever worry about sounding ‘arrogant’?

Perhaps if someone asks you to talk about your strengths or successes…

You feel the urge to minimise, give credit elsewhere, avoid the conversation entirely, or change the subject as soon as humanely possible! 

And the CRAZY...

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Your brain is not telling the truth…

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As lawyers, we are GREAT at using our ‘executive’ brain. 

That’s the part of our brain capable of reasoning and problem solving. 

Let us loose analysing some complex documents or making a logical argument and we are on FIRE! Very useful. High fives all round.

But...

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Maybe they ARE smarter than you

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When I was an associate, I had a colleague who was SO smart. 

He just ‘got things’ so quickly. 

My poor imposter syndrome brain could not take it!  

So much compare and despair. 

Constant thoughts about how much ‘smarter’ he was than me. 

...

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Panic is always a lie

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Have you ever felt panic at work? 

Let me set the scene…

You’re happily working away at your desk. An email pops into your inbox from a client. They point out an error in a draft doc you recently sent through. Another email immediately pops into your inbox from the partner on...

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You don’t need confidence

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Just a reminder that you DON’T need confidence to do the thing. 

Confidence in doing a specific thing comes AFTER you have done it many times. 

When your brain will happily send you thoughts like:

  • I know exactly what to do.
  • I know the answer.

If you’re doing something new...

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