By Shannon Jenkins
Normal. Normal is the next word, a word you might not expect but is exactly what a lawyer is. Yes, you’re correct, they are intelligent, confident, and powerful people but, they are also human beings, just like you.
The idea of becoming a lawyer can often seem scary, overwhelming and intimidating which are feelings I’ve often felt myself. But by speaking and listening to barristers and solicitors within the legal field I’ve learnt that although they are successful and great at what they do, they’re human beings who make mistakes, have bad days and feel like the worlds against them.
So, let this be a reminder. A reminder that you can become the lawyer you want to be, and you will. Just remember that thousands of people have been in your shoes at some point in their lives, completely stressed, confused or lost in the crazy field of law.
If you feel like you are lacking confidence a few things that you can do to improve your confidence (something I have often lacked in myself) are:
Think about how much will it affect you if something doesn’t go the way you want it to. Often, you’ll find that what you’re fearing won’t be the end of the world if you fail, however, you will live with regret if you don’t ‘give it a go’.
Know everything you can about what you’re talking or writing about. They say, ‘knowledge is power’ and it’s true, often lecturers, barristers and solicitors will have a specific area that they know everything about, as a result, they are confident in every presentation that they give on that set topic.
Do something out of your comfort zone. For example, I recently entered into an advocacy competition, something I never would have done as I often lack confidence when addressing strangers or big groups. I decided, however, to tackle my lack of confidence by simply just going for it! In doing so I have enjoyed the experience so far and I’m proud of myself for even entering and building my confidence even if by a small amount.
By taking some of these steps I hope that you find your confidence grows allowing you to reach your full potential. Even small steps count, you cannot expect yourself to become confident in a day but with small steps, you will get there.