“Is it really possible to self-author in a law firm?”
Yes, if you think of self-authoring as an ongoing evolution, not a single destination to be reached.
The key to making the transition to a self-authored mind-set is being able to identify the SMALL changes that will make the biggest differences in your life on daily basis. You have to give up on the idea that you can make a few changes (e.g., go part-time) and achieve a state of balance – this will not happen. It will not happen because your environment is too complex and is always changing. Rather, your reality requires you to be flexible, have the ability to “see” your options and be willing to make changes on an ongoing basis.
When you are feeling the pulls of overwhelming demands and expectations of others ask yourself: do I really “need” to meet this expectation or do I need to reframe some of my beliefs, think differently about circumstances that are weighing me down, act differently, make more requests, or learn to say no?
The idea is to identify what matters most to YOU today, this week, this month and notice all the places in your life where you have more choice than you think. If you really look, you will find there are a lot of them. Also, make sure you are in an on-going conversation with a group of like-minded women who also are making the transition to a self-authored frame of mind.
One of the biggest obstacles to making the transition is the feeling of isolation that often accompanies making different choices — mutual support can make all the difference.