Is Lawyer Fear Pounding the Tune on Your Piano?

Are you feeling paralyzed about making a career change out of law into some unknown place? Does the idea of re-balancing your life, even a little, and saying no occasionally to the unceasing demands of clients and your lawyer colleagues make you hyperventilate about losing your job?


piano keys

Fear shouldn't be playing the melody of your life. Image courtesy Adrian Martin/


Yeah, I kind of thought so. Lately every time I talk to a regular, non-recovering lawyer or a legal recruiter, I can smell the fear. It actually rubs off, and I spend several hours afterward having to calm down my inner critic. Fear is catching. I know for many of you fear is pretty hard to resist when you’re utterly surrounded by it.

Laughter is a super antidote to fear. So here’s a great story to give you a giggle.

One time a woman, let’s call her Frances, went to visit her daughter-in-law’s mother, Helen. Helen’s house was a cluttered and disorganized mess. Frances, of course, was a very neat, organized person, and just couldn’t restrain herself entirely. But she did manage to say somewhat tactfully, “Helen, your house is so large, I just don’t know how you can keep up with it.” Helen replied, “Darling, sometimes I get those urges to clean and tidy. But then I just sit down at the piano and play until they pass.”

If you are a Southern woman, you will really, really appreciate Helen. Even if you’re not, I’ll bet she made you smile.

Helen, my friends, is a profoundly wise woman. She looks straight at those fears of being judged and found less than, unworthy, and essentially goes pphhhhbbbbttt! Instead, she focuses on what gives her pleasure and is important to her, and beats the fear.

So, go find your piano. And start playing it a lot.

Jennifer Alvey is a recovering lawyer who coaches attorneys on finding their inner joy, whether it’s piano, prestidigitation or another pecadillo, and then following it zealously. How do you beat your fear? I’d love to hear about it. Drop a line to jalvey AT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s