I’ve been thinking about resilience this summer, having watched Sheryl Sandberg’s commencement address at Berkeley, on what she learned about resilience following her husband’s death. Her message: Don’t wait until something terrible happens to build your resilience–build it every day.
Resilience is the capacity to renew yourself continually as you address life’s challenges—especially in times of ongoing stress when stamina is required. The last point is important as law firms can be havens of stress–deadlines, demanding clients, pressure to bill hours and originate business, pressure to be perfect, etc. Resilience is important for ALL lawyers, but may be more critical for women lawyers whose challenges and stresses can be greater than mens’.
- Women often have competing caregiving commitments that increase their time pressures.
- Research shows that the “worry center” (or amygdala) in women’s brains is slightly larger than in men’s brains, so women may worry more than men [Confidence Code].
- Research shows that women are less comfortable taking risks than men. The more senior a lawyer becomes, the more risk-taking the job demands. [Confidence Code].
But it’s possible to build your personal resilience—and summer is a good time to get started.