Have you ever been on a roll, everything going your way, and then all of a sudden, you make a mistake? How do you “come back?” How do you get your self confidence back?
I had this happen more than one time while practicing law. I was reminded about the issue recently.
As you know, Nancy and I spent 10 days in Cabo San Lucas before Christmas. We played golf 7 times, a whole lot of golf for me.
On our last day, I was warming up on the driving range. All of a sudden I felt “it.” Every time I was hitting the sweet spot on the club. The ball was going the distance and direction I wanted. I just stood there and hit ball after ball and watched the ball flight with glee.
I didn’t dare tell Nancy how I was feeling. I didn’t want to ruin my luck. I remained “in the zone” on the front nine. I shot 39 on the front from the number IV (old men’s tees.)
You know where this is going, right? I somehow lost my great tempo on the back. I tried, but I never got it back. In fact, the harder I tried, the more erratic I became.
I wanted to get it back, but unfortunately we were heading for home. When I got home, I looked on line. I found: HOW DO I REGAIN MY CONFIDENCE WHEN I AM PLAYING GOLF POORLY?
I also found an article by noted author, Bob Rotella: Inside the Golfer’s Mind. He says:
There is no such thing as “muscle memory.” Your muscles have no capacity to remember anything. Memory resides in your head.
I want to get that memory back in my head as soon as possible.
What does this have to do with practicing law?
Some time ago, I wrote about losing a jury trial: Being Number 1, Career Dips and Quitting. If you read the post, you know I was seriously in the tank. I thought maybe I was just not cut out to try cases to a jury.
How did I get my mojo back? I read books and articles and listened to audio tapes on communicating to juries. I wanted to learn from the masters. Then, I practiced. I practiced opening statements. I practiced closing arguments. I practiced cross-examining witnesses.
Over the next several years, I won several cases in a row, all in federal court. I got to the point where I could feel “it” again.
If you practice law long enough, you are going to have a setback. The real key to your success is how you respond, how you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and prepare to do it again.