Charlène Gisèle: Beating Burnout to Be That Lawyer

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Charlène Gisèle discuss:

  • Taking the time to be, not just to do.
  • Drivers for burnout in lawyers.
  • The two voices in our head…and our choice on which we listen to.
  • The 6 tell-tale signs of burnout.
  • Understanding stress versus stressors.

Key Takeaways:

  • There is little room for anxiety when you are in the moment because you are fully present in the here and now.
  • Burnout affects more than just your career. It affects your mood, your personal relationships, your career, and every other aspect of your life. When you learn your stressors and how to manage the resulting stress, you can change your life.
  • There is no shame in struggling. The reason you are feeling the way you are feeling is because you are amazing! Because you do what you do at such a high level, that is why you are burning yourself out.
  • Surround yourself with your peers with whom you can have candid conversations.

“The best way to tell your body that the stressor has gone and you can let go of the stress is to speak body language to the body. The body only knows body language.” —  Charlène Gisèle

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About Charlène Gisèle: Charlène Gisèle is a former Big Law litigator and legal tech manager who transformed her career to become a High Performance Coach. Charlène Gisèle is a certified Master Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Business, Health and Breathwork Coach. She is the founder of coaching consultancy Charlène Gisèle and her unique ‘Sustainable High Performance’ coaching method. As a prior London Litigator, Charlène understands the pain points and stressors successful professionals can face. Charlène now works with industry-leading organisations and professionals with the mission to maximise their performance sustainably. Charlène is also an Award-winning Keynote speaker and thought leader on the subject of Burnout Prevention, Recovery, and Sustainable Success. Charlène’s unique Sustainable High Performance coaching method has been featured in The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian, and BBC Radio.

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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.


[00:00:00] Charlene Gisele: The first one is really the mental aspect. So that’s when you start feeling the dread. Call that a bit of the dooms and glooms, right? So you’re not really feeling excited to go to work or to work. You’re just dreading everything that you’ve got to do. So you see a real deterioration. You become a bit more cynical.

[00:00:20] Charlene Gisele: I bet you were already cynical, but now it’s like cynical plus plus plus, right?

[00:00:31] Narrator: You’re listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author, and lawyer coach Steve Fretzin will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

[00:00:53] Steve Fretzin: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Be That Lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin, your host, and I’m just so happy to be here with you once again. God, we’ve just hit over 300 shows and I, uh, was just so happy to see not only the warm regards from my, the guests that have been on the show, but also just, uh, all the lawyers coming out to tell me how wonderful the show has been and how much it’s impacted their lives.

[00:01:16] Steve Fretzin: And now nothing makes me feel more warm and hearty than that. And, you know, again, you guys, you know, hopefully appreciate that. I’m going out and finding and targeting and trying to talk to the best guests, the smartest guests, the ones that have the most value to add for you and. Guess what? Today’s no different.

[00:01:32] Steve Fretzin: I’ve got a fantastic one. Uh, Charlene’s awaiting in the wings. How are you?

[00:01:36] Charlene Gisele: I’m really good. So glad to be here with you today, Steve. Thank you for hosting

[00:01:40] Steve Fretzin: me. Yes, yes. And by the way, I didn’t say this to you when we originally met, but you have the coolest accent because it’s a little French and a little English and it’s mixed together.

[00:01:49] Steve Fretzin: Am I right about that or am I way

[00:01:51] Charlene Gisele: off? You are spot on. Actually, there is Probably a dash of Americanism as well, because I learned English in the U. S. initially, so I grew up in France. Learn English in the U. S. and lives in, live in the U. K., so there is a bit of a, bit of a

[00:02:07] Steve Fretzin: mix. But, but from my, my, my poorly trained ears, I just, I love the combination of the French and the English, and the way different words take on either accent.

[00:02:17] Steve Fretzin: It’s, anyway, I find it, I find it lovely. So, we’re going to come back in a moment. You guys know this show is all about helping you be that lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. And as we like to do, we’re going to start off with our quote of the show, and Charlene was so kind to send this over to me, and it’s unique in the sense that it’s something you picked up in your meditation journey to India, in India, and it’s, it’s the fastest track to burnout is chronically overdoing and pathologically under being.

[00:02:47] Steve Fretzin: And man, that’s a little bit deep. I mean, that’s kind of heavy. So you know, what were you, you were doing that with meditation in India? I don’t think you get anything deeper than that. Right.

[00:02:56] Charlene Gisele: That’s it. I’ll tell you something, Steve. It was quite the challenge for me. I went to India just after deciding that I was going to let go of my career as an attorney, specifically as a litigator.

[00:03:09] Charlene Gisele: So, all I did is talk and litigate for a living, and here I am in India, meditating, asking to be still and silent, which was extremely challenging. And it really dawned on me there and then that one of the reasons I burnt out when I did was because I was in this constant state of to do, to do, to do. And I totally neglected my to bes.

[00:03:38] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. So I think to be is, you know, what is that, is that being, that’s being in the moment with your family, being in the moment with the activity that you’re engaging in and maybe not thinking about all the things that you’re not doing, but thinking about the one thing that you are currently doing. Is that kind of the, the take on that?

[00:03:58] Charlene Gisele: Pardon. It’s the essence of presence, really. It’s being aware of the moment that you’re in. And it’s the state where there is an absence of anxiety. What do I mean by that? Anxiety, by definition, is reminiscing the past or worrying about the future. There is very little or even zero room for anxiety when we are in the moment because there is only the here and the now.

[00:04:23] Charlene Gisele: And those moments are, are very small and we often don’t capture them, right? Because we’re constantly running into the next direction, the next goalposts, particularly if we are high achievers, as many of our listeners are as top attorneys. And then it’s always the, what’s next instead of what now?

[00:04:42] Steve Fretzin: Yeah.

[00:04:43] Steve Fretzin: And one of the things I love about meditation, and I, um, was practiced under transcendental meditation, which is just one form of many, but the thing that I always remember standing out is that, and lawyers may feel this way, that you’re on the rockiest sea and the greatest storm that could happen on the top of the ocean.

[00:05:00] Steve Fretzin: You know, boats being thrown around left and right and when you do meditation properly, you’re down 500 feet under the surface where everything is calm, like there’s no storm at all. And that’s a place to be in the moment that most people have a hard time getting to because of all the, to your point, the anxiety and the worry and the things that are, you know, cooking on the to do list.

[00:05:22] Steve Fretzin: So true.

[00:05:22] Charlene Gisele: I also find that. The reason I bring it back to the state of being is because meditation has a bit of a bad rep, particularly amongst the legal community. And what I mean by that is, you know, a lot of us think it’s a bit fluffy, a bit sentimental, a bit off the wall, woo woo. If I remember back my, you know, days as a hardcore litigator and you told me meditation, I would have just ran away and thought it was hilarious.

[00:05:49] Charlene Gisele: So I’m just being really candid, but when you tap into it and you learn the neuroscience behind it and the science behind it, you can’t not be amazed by the result. But still, the label of meditation in itself can be off putting to the lawyer’s brain. Because it’s hard to grab onto a concept that we don’t really know what we’re trying to achieve because by essence, we’re not trying to achieve and that’s very triggering, right?

[00:06:14] Charlene Gisele: To someone that wants to do a lot and do many things. That’s why I really say to my clients, look, forget about meditation. Call it just being here, just practicing being net, stillness, presence. That’s

[00:06:29] Steve Fretzin: it. Yeah, and it’s hard, it’s hard to do that now more than ever with all the communication devices and social media and everything that’s buzzing around our brains and we just, we sometimes just have to, you know, and I know like there’s people that go away on vacation and but they’re working on the vacation or they’re going on vacation and they’re.

[00:06:48] Steve Fretzin: You know, they’re not really in the moment, you know, in a site or, or a destination that’s beautiful, or there’s historic, you know, value there and all that, but it’s unfortunate, but, um, let’s, let’s get into the, into the, the main point of our, of our show today, which is, um, first of all, introducing my guest, you’ve already heard a little bit, um, Charlene, uh, uh, gazelle, um, not gazelle, gazelle, and you are a burnout advisor, uh, living in the UK and.

[00:07:13] Steve Fretzin: We had a fantastic conversation leading up to this interview today, and I’d love to have you share a little bit about your background. How did you get from being that, you know, trial attorney litigator to the place where you’re now working with attorneys on burnout? It took a

[00:07:28] Charlene Gisele: bit of a journey and it was actually prompted by a life event.

[00:07:33] Charlene Gisele: So I started my career rather unoriginally, I would say, when I was a little girl, I saw my dad being super successful and I wanted to be just like him. He was working, he was successful and I thought, wow, I want to be a business woman. I want to. Be on top of the world. I want to travel, learn multiple languages and serve as many clients as possible.

[00:07:55] Charlene Gisele: So I did just that, joined my dream law firm. I was thrilled and I worked super hard. And honestly, I’m so grateful about what I learned, have a really good relationship with that firm. But the intensity was not sustainable because I didn’t set boundaries. I very much feel 100% responsible for what happened there in the sense that I completely neglected my self care, completely neglected my personal needs, passions, and anything that really made me me in the first place.

[00:08:28] Charlene Gisele: But I still completely neglected the fact that I felt the way that I did and kept off pushing harder and harder and kept on building more and more and kept on working harder and harder up until the point where my father, who had inspired me to become a lawyer, had a burnout induced heart attack. And that was really a catalyst for

[00:08:47] Steve Fretzin: me.

[00:08:49] Steve Fretzin: And that’s unfortunate that it takes a life event to kind of open up our eyes to see what’s happening. And I’ve had multiple life events that have done that for me, and I think they help craft who we are. However, it’s also nice to make a change without having a tragedy happen or without having that type of life event.

[00:09:08] Steve Fretzin: So lawyers are You know, notorious of all the industries, uh, the legal industry of having burnout. What are some of the drivers to that burnout that you felt and that you’re seeing in the clients that you work with today?

[00:09:23] Charlene Gisele: Time recording is very stressful for many of us. and digital ways of working more and more so, and also just the lawyer’s brain in itself.

[00:09:33] Charlene Gisele: As lawyer, we are professionally trained as early as law school to think of the worst case possible scenario, to actually look at anything. this situation and find a way out, find a solution and play devil’s advocate and make sure that we look at things of really different angles and we’re three, four, five steps ahead so that we can serve our clients in the best possible way.

[00:09:58] Charlene Gisele: That in itself wires us with quite a strong predisposition for. Pessimism, negativism, and catastrophic thinking. We’re effectively trained to think in terms of worst case scenario, which is awesome for business because we’re super diligent advisors. We’re really good at troubleshooting, finding creative solution.

[00:10:23] Charlene Gisele: Not so awesome for our personal life because. Everything become catastrophic and very often when I talk to attorneys, I ask them, Hey, how was your day today? Well, this went really wrong. This was awful and this was just a nightmare and I’m completely overwhelmed and this didn’t work. And then I just investigate and investigate.

[00:10:45] Charlene Gisele: Oh, that sounds like that was really good. Oh, you just, you won this case. Oh, well, you got this amazing client feedback. Oh, wow. That was a success. Oh, yeah. Yeah. But, oh, yeah. Yeah.

[00:10:57] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. But, yeah, they can’t, they can’t stop to smell the roses, right? No.

[00:11:03] Charlene Gisele: And they down negotiate their success because they’re already looking up on the horizon of the next case and the next client and the next trial and the next arbitration and the next litigation.

[00:11:15] Charlene Gisele: Yeah.

[00:11:16] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. My wife catches me doing that. Like, you know, I’ll. Talk about something that didn’t go right because I just I’m not a perfectionist, but although I have a perfectionist father lawyer father, I, um, but I just feel like if I’m not pushing myself, then I’m falling behind when in fact, I have so many wins and so many.

[00:11:37] Steve Fretzin: You know, wonderful things in my life that I, I need to just, I just need to be in that and doesn’t mean you can’t be committed to, to get accomplishing goals, but I think sometimes we were just so driven, right? I feel like I’m so driven that I sometimes don’t stop to really take that moment.

[00:11:55] Charlene Gisele: And you’re not alone.

[00:11:58] Charlene Gisele: That’s what I hear. Look, we can put it in very simple terms. We all have several voices in our head. I know that sounds very schizophrenic. But I mean, we’re not mentally well. We do. We all do. And roughly, we have at least two. Sometimes have many more, but let’s say we have two. We have one that is the worst critic, the nagging voice.

[00:12:22] Charlene Gisele: You know that one that’s going, you didn’t do a good job. That’s not good enough. What if, could have, would have, should have. That one usually has quite a loud volume, but there is another voice. For sure, however, down the volume might be where you did a great job. That’s your inner cheerleader. That’s your best friend.

[00:12:45] Charlene Gisele: That’s your best self. That’s the person whose advice you want to receive, the person whose feedback you crave the most. And that voice we just don’t tap into often enough. So often I tell my clients, all right, just take a moment, close your eyes. Let’s see. Can we turn off? The little nagging voice in the background, can we turn up the volume on your inner cheerleader?

[00:13:06] Charlene Gisele: We all have

[00:13:07] Steve Fretzin: it. Yeah. So are there, are there then early warning signs that burnout is occurring, that lawyers can, as they’re listening to this, go, wait a second, I have that, I have that, I have that, two out of three. What should they be looking into to identify that it’s happening?

[00:13:24] Charlene Gisele: There’s series. I’ve identified six.

[00:13:28] Charlene Gisele: Aspects of burnout that are telltale sign would it be helpful for me to go through

[00:13:32] Steve Fretzin: this? I think that’d be incredible. Yeah.

[00:13:35] Charlene Gisele: Awesome. So the first one is really the mental aspect. So that’s when you start feeling the dread. Call that a bit of the dooms and glooms, right? So you’re not really feeling excited to go to work or to work.

[00:13:49] Charlene Gisele: You just. Spreading everything that you’ve got to do. So you see a real deterioration. You become a bit more cynical. I bet you were already cynical, but now you’re, it’s like cynical plus, plus, plus, right? The second level is the emotional level. So that’s when you start to feel frustrated, anger, sadness, uh, you feel hurt.

[00:14:11] Charlene Gisele: You feel really snappy. Your emotional landscape or. If you don’t want to call it emotion, your mood is just not quite right, and you take it out on people that you love. That’s often the case. The third level is social. So you either completely withdraw yourself, you feel like you don’t have energy, or you find yourself having really odd social behavior, randomly canceling.

[00:14:37] Charlene Gisele: Thinking that something that you used to love to do becomes really cumbersome. So you find yourself not wanting to go to something you used to love to go to. That’s a bit of a warning sign as well. Then there is the behavioral signs. So those are really taboos because that’s typically what you do either when no one’s watching or if people are watching, you wouldn’t talk about it in public or at work.

[00:15:04] Charlene Gisele: Typically, drinking alone or drinking socially, but in a way that is quite excessive, under eating, over eating, binge watching TVs of all sorts, numbing yourself with medication and painkiller or sleeping pills or any other kind of stuff, medication, and you’re kind of going into this spiral of… Negative behavior, and then the last one, which is really common is professional.

[00:15:32] Charlene Gisele: So performance going down a little bit doesn’t always happen. Sometimes performance stays up above. What goes down is the drive, the motivation, the focus, the concentration,

[00:15:44] Steve Fretzin: the passion. So it’s something that if you guys are all, as you’re listening to this, you know, you’re, you’re feeling some of that, none of that, or all of that, it might be.

[00:15:55] Steve Fretzin: Something to consider that, you know, you’re going through something and maybe you need to take stock of that. Hey, everybody. Check this out. You’ve just had a call with a client where they need help with something you don’t do. You’ve reached out to colleagues, you’ve searched the lawyer directories, and you simply tell them you don’t know anyone that can help.

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[00:17:23] Charlene Gisele: Lawyers, there’s an easy way to boost your law practice.

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[00:17:28] Charlene Gisele: GetVisible, the digital marketing agency that makes you stand out. Meet Sarah, an awesome lawyer, but a terrible marketer. GetVisible helped her build a powerful website and boost her online visibility.

[00:17:39] Charlene Gisele: Now she ranks high on Google, gains clients through ads and engaging content. Tired of feeling insignificant? Make it rain. Visit GetVisible. com and

[00:17:48] Steve Fretzin: stand out. Why is it so important then for a lawyer to sort of have the awareness of those things happening maybe before it gets to, obviously, I mean, before it gets too late or before it gets too, you get, it gets worse.

[00:18:03] Steve Fretzin: Like, obviously you go down a rabbit hole of drugs and alcohol. You go down a rabbit hole of abusing your employees or your friends or your family in a negative way, you know, verbally, right? Things that might be difficult to recover from. So how should they be aware that it’s happening in the moment and what should they kind of think about as it’s happening?

[00:18:25] Charlene Gisele: It’s a really important question. Well, the key is to realize that one of the reasons you’re feeling the way you’re feeling is because you are so amazing. And the reason I’m saying that is because there is no shame in struggling. So often when I start a coaching conversation, there is even embarrassment to book a session in the first place.

[00:18:43] Charlene Gisele: It’s almost, Oh, I need to justify myself. So I’m still doing really well. My billing hours are really good, but okay. I’m sure you’re awesome. You’re totally awesome and terrific at what you do. And actually the reason you’re talking to me is because you’re terrific at what you do. And because you do what you do at such a high level.

[00:19:02] Charlene Gisele: You’ve burned yourself out in the process. That’s not something to be embarrassed about. That’s something to be proud of only if you get the help that you need. Think about it in athletic world, right? How often have you seen someone go to the Olympic games, bring gold home and didn’t get coached? I’m going to say zero and you’ll be right, right?

[00:19:23] Charlene Gisele: The greatest performers have been coached. They might have extraordinary skills to begin with an innate talent, but you need that accountability piece and that support because we all struggle, whether it’s injuries, whether it’s burnout, we are only human. And for some reason, there is still a bit of a vulnerability piece, particularly around attorneys, that I should be able to sort it out on my own, that God forbid, if I get a coach, it’s a sign of weakness.

[00:19:56] Charlene Gisele: And that is a great

[00:19:58] Steve Fretzin: shame. Yeah. It’s been talked on this show many times. I want to say Margaret Enloe and I talked about this a few episodes ago that, you know, there are coaches for, you know, Burnout like yourself, there’s coaches for business development, there’s coaches for leadership, and there definitely is still, even though I think it’s better now than it was, say, even 10 or 15 years ago, there’s, there’s definitely still a good percentage of the, of the, of the legal community that feels That it’s like, you know, Hey, they’re like almost being therapy, like you have to be in therapy on a couch, like where everyone’s going to look down on them because they’re getting help and they can’t do it themselves.

[00:20:34] Steve Fretzin: And they’re not the superstar they thought they were when it’s actually the opposite, but we can’t tell them that they almost have to come to that understanding themselves at some point.

[00:20:45] Charlene Gisele: Well, all my clients are superstars. I genuinely believe that and I genuinely see that in every single one of them.

[00:20:52] Charlene Gisele: And the gift of being a superstar is brilliance. But the curse of being a superstar is that all of you over commit, so it really comes at a high price, right? So if you’re listening to this episode today and you’re thinking, Oh God, I have a lot of those signs and symptoms of burnout, I tick that box, tick that box, does that make me a less greater lawyer or am I a weaker attorney?

[00:21:16] Charlene Gisele: No, you’re a superstar, you’re a superstar who might be struggling with some aspects in your life. Because you haven’t yet gotten the strategies that will help you overcome the challenge. That’s

[00:21:27] Steve Fretzin: it. Well, and it all leads to, you know… Us discussing, you know, what are some things, you know, home remedies, if you will, that lawyers that start to recognize it’s either happening or it’s going to happen, it’s, it’s happening, it’s happened before, it’ll happen again.

[00:21:45] Steve Fretzin: That they should start considering ways to deal with it, ways to start. You know, obviously we’d love them to talk with you but if somebody isn’t right, quite ready for that, what are some things that they can do sort of on their own to get in a better position or better place than maybe they’re that they might be feeling today?

[00:22:02] Steve Fretzin: Brutal

[00:22:03] Charlene Gisele: honesty. I would say step one, if you don’t want to get external support. And by the way, external support is not just professional coaching. You could go to peers, you could go to masterminds, you could go to round tables, you can get, you know, that level of peer mentorship and sponsorship that is hugely helpful because when you are amongst peers of the same status, it’s easy, uh, not easy, easy, uh, to be vulnerable because other people in the room are of the same status.

[00:22:32] Charlene Gisele: And

[00:22:32] Steve Fretzin: I, and I just want to mention since, since you said that and not me that I’m currently running five peer advisory roundtables and I can tell you. As an observer, not as a participant, but as observer and a facilitator, the conversations they’re having in a confidential environment with people that they trust and they share their feelings, they share their challenges, they share their best practices.

[00:22:56] Steve Fretzin: They don’t get that at their firm. They don’t get that from me in my coaching, you know, necessarily that they’re not alone and that they feel like they’re understood and they feel like they can be open and vulnerable with a group of like minded and like minded. You know focus people superstars to your point and i’m just putting it out there that has been one of the wonderful gifts that i’ve had in my life is being in a position to observe and facilitate those groups um so so i just i love that you said that and i love that because i’m seeing that and feeling that every single month with the groups i have

[00:23:28] Charlene Gisele: so important i can’t highlight the importance of roundtable here group mastermind especially facilitated where there is that.

[00:23:37] Charlene Gisele: That safe space where you can be heard, you don’t need to be validated just to hear and be heard. It’s a huge amount of relief. And sometimes some of the clients that I’ve seen benefit most from Roundtable or Peers Meeting or Mastermind are some of the ones that don’t say anything. But because they’re just listening in, they’re tapping into that kind of observer in mind and they’re going, Ooh, yes, I can relate to this.

[00:24:04] Charlene Gisele: And that in itself soothes some of the aches and pains because you think. Okay. I don’t have to wear the burden of the performance mask all day long. Right. It’s a heavy mask to wear and it’s a good one. It’s often shiny and gold, or bronze or platinum. Yum. Like a platinum, right? Don’t forget, it’s whatever you want it to be.

[00:24:27] Charlene Gisele: It’s as bright as you want it to be, but I know it’s heavy and. I’ve worn it, I wear it, and it’s, it’s, it’s a tough one to wear. So when you take it off, what’s underneath, what’s underneath that mask? And so be honest with yourself, you know, be surround yourself by your peers. Find people with whom you can have candid conversation.

[00:24:50] Charlene Gisele: It doesn’t mean that you must be vulnerable, but can you be candid, right? And there is also a big pushback on this idea that, Oh, this is emotional and vulnerable and sentimental. And let me get out. A lot of my clients, when I start with coaching, they go, okay, so well of warning, I don’t do emotions. So I don’t, I don’t do emotions.

[00:25:11] Charlene Gisele: Oh, really? How does that work for you? Give me an example of how you don’t. Do emotion. Well, I just, I don’t do, I don’t believe in emotion. Right. Well. Tell me more.

[00:25:22] Steve Fretzin: Tell me more. Barry, Barry, Barry. Right? Exactly. Not a healthy, not a healthy way to be. That’s for sure. And I’m

[00:25:29] Charlene Gisele: lovingly saying this and I’m sure many of my clients will hear me say that and recognize themselves.

[00:25:36] Charlene Gisele: And the reason I can lovingly laugh about this is because I was very much like that when I started this journey. And the reason I became a coach is because I wanted to become the coach that I wish I had. Yeah. Exactly.

[00:25:48] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah, that’s it. That’s really great. And again, I think, you know, I was talking, you know, obviously have all this experience of doing all these podcasts, interviewing all these amazing people.

[00:25:57] Steve Fretzin: And, you know, we talked about also the physical pain that can happen through bearing emotional pain that that sometimes you end up with back pain or you end up with sciatica, you end up with with stress related pain because you’re actually not dealing with your emotions and that that could be You know, super harmful and put lawyers out of their game for me, you know, months at a time because they’re not dealing with those emotional pieces.

[00:26:23] Charlene Gisele: Well, the synchronicity of you speaking about that is as if we had this conversation backstage and promise we did not. But the reason I was smiling and sort of surprised that you said that just a few weeks ago, uh, one of my clients. Called me super stressed because he was experiencing a kind of level of debilitating back pain that was out of this world, the kind that he couldn’t actually catch his plane and go to attend a meeting.

[00:26:54] Charlene Gisele: For him not to make it to a meeting is the sort of world breaking thing, major, exactly actual catastrophic. But the reality is he could not get up and he could not get out of bed. He could not get dressed. So of course, at first we imagined the worst, you know, something had really happened. The reality is we did the scans, we did all sorts of analysis and made sure Nothing was broken.

[00:27:23] Charlene Gisele: He was just. So tense, so tense and through movement and physical care and getting him back into walking. He hadn’t walked in weeks, of course, walking a little bit, but you know, to the kitchen and to the coffee machine, to the coffee machine and to his desk, to his desk and back into the kitchen. Right.

[00:27:42] Charlene Gisele: Cause it was mostly working from home. Yeah. So you can see how that would pile up. And now we track our steps together. I put him on daily steps challenge. He goes on little gentle run three times a week. And his back is never hurt again. I

[00:27:57] Steve Fretzin: mean, it’s amazing. Like I will literally walk away from a difficult conversation, for example, with my teenager about something and I’ll walk away and my, and I’ll feel like a, like a pain shoot down my, you know, my leg or, or my lower back.

[00:28:10] Steve Fretzin: And I just go, I, there’s nothing wrong with me. I’m playing sports all the time. I’m super healthy that, that he did that to me, or I did that to me because of him. And I need to, I need to get back to my happy place too. And then, then the pain just mysteriously disappears. Well, it’s not mysterious, right?

[00:28:26] Steve Fretzin: I’m dealing with the emotional side of things that exist in that, that morph into the, into the pain anyway. Really, really interesting. What else? Give me one more way that, that lawyers can deal with the, the, the burnout that they’re ex, that they’re, uh, experiencing.

[00:28:43] Charlene Gisele: Well, I’m going to tap into what you just mentioned because I thought that was awesome.

[00:28:47] Charlene Gisele: So I’m going to expand on this Steve and what you mentioned was that pain. So perhaps one of the greatest way that we could take some advice from is to understand the difference between your stressors and your stress. Let me expand on that just for a quick moment. The stressors are that difficult conversation with your teenager, the stressful client, a fight with counsel, with whomever you have in your life, personal or professional, the deadline, finances, whatever it is.

[00:29:18] Charlene Gisele: But the stress is what happens in your body, it’s the physiology, it’s the fight or flight. And often we think, oh, so when the deadline’s gone, when the fight is over, when the difficult conversation is passed. It should therefore follow that my stress, my body physiological stress, should go quite the opposite.

[00:29:40] Charlene Gisele: You haven’t. Let go of that stress because you haven’t turned off the fight or flight response. So the best way to tell your body that the stress all has gone and you can let go of the stress is to speak body language to the body. The body only knows body language, right? So if you go with your mind, body be fine, stress go away, that’s not going to work.

[00:30:05] Charlene Gisele: What you can do is you can do something as simple as walk it off, run it off, breathe it off. Take a one minute breath work to do some deep, slow belly breathing, alternative nostril breathing, a humming breath, whatever breath work modality you choose, there are tons and tons and tons you can learn that will enable you to turn on rest and digest and only then the stress response

[00:30:36] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, really interesting. I mean, there’s, there’s, I’m sure a dozen different ways to do it, but breathing, getting to the most basic of what, back to the very beginning of our conversation about what it is to be, and that’s sometimes where we need to go to realize that all these stressors are sort of self made in the sense that, you know, we’re, we’re putting them on ourselves versus, you know, is it really necessary for, you know, You know, when you’re in a, in a dire situation and there’s a lion chasing after you, you’re not worried about, you know, the, the brief that’s due, you’re not worried about what the judge said, right?

[00:31:12] Steve Fretzin: You have a lion chasing after you. So, you know, it’s, it’s like, there’s all these things around you that you feel are, are, are breaking you down when in fact, you know, you decide if they’re real or not, or how important they are not in the sense of the, what life is all about a little deep there on my end.

[00:31:31] Steve Fretzin: Okay. So really, really great stuff. I think that there’s a lot to unpack and more to come, but we only have 30 minutes. So we’re going to wrap up with Charlene, the game changing podcast, which when I asked you that question, your eyes lit up and then I, I, I selfishly go, well, that’s one I have to check out because if it makes your eyes light up the way they did that, it did, I need to hear this podcast and I have it.

[00:31:58] Steve Fretzin: So the pad it’s, um, Andrew, is it Uberman?

[00:32:01] Charlene Gisele: Yes. The Uberman lab. And so kindly as well that we had this conversation because an episode that I really recommend is one on control pain and heal faster with your brain. So anyone listening that loves science, that loves performance, uh, Andrew Uberman is one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, and he has a really great way of explaining complex Ideas in a very, very plain and simple way.

[00:32:31] Charlene Gisele: So go ahead. I’ve had tons of attorneys that love his podcast that became fun, uh, that have actually traveled to go and see him live, which I’m quite excited about. So there

[00:32:41] Steve Fretzin: you go. Yeah. I’m going to check, I’m going to check, I’m going to check that out. And that, listen, sometimes just giving a game changing book or podcast and getting people to start listening to something.

[00:32:51] Steve Fretzin: That it can make a big difference, whether it’s my podcast or others, you know, people, people can get on turned on to something that ends up becoming a big part of their life, whether that’s entertainment or educational or motivational. So, you know, kudos to that. I will be checking out the Uberman lab.

[00:33:09] Steve Fretzin: And just want to take a moment, of course, is always due to thank our sponsors. We’ve got Get Visible, just superstars in the legal marketing space, you know, doing the digital marketing, the pay per click and the SEO and everything you need to make sure that you’re getting found and getting that business in the door.

[00:33:23] Steve Fretzin: We’ve got Overture Law, who’s helping you not only get business, but also refer out business in an ethical way. And of course, Moneypenny, who’s just awesome at helping get rid of those stinking phone trees. I hate those phone trees. And so, of course, they’re going to be terrific to help you make sure you get to the right person and, um, and get the, get the intake going on that.

[00:33:42] Steve Fretzin: So, check out Moneypenny. And also want to let you know that we are going to continue to give away my book, Sales Free Selling, on my website, fretson. com. You can go to fretson. com slash sales dash free dash selling to get a free version of my first book, which is written as a parable. So, if you’re interested in reading a book that’s written as a story that walks a lawyer through how.

[00:34:06] Steve Fretzin: He built his book of business through a coaching and training through my program. Something similar, check that out as well. And I’m Charlene. If people want to get in touch with you, they want to reduce stress. They want to burn out advisor coach. Well, what are the best ways for them to reach you? My

[00:34:22] Charlene Gisele: website, www.

[00:34:22] Charlene Gisele: sharlenegiselle. com, or I’m really active on LinkedIn as well, at Sharlene Giselle as the Bernhardt advisor. And, uh, I love to hear from you. And for anyone that has listened to this podcast today, if you mentioned Steve, I will send you a little freebie and one of my Breathwork ebook. How

[00:34:42] Steve Fretzin: about that? Yeah.

[00:34:43] Steve Fretzin: I love that. And so we’ll, uh, we’ll make sure we put that in the show notes so people know. And um, just thank you so much for coming and sharing your wisdom, you know, giving us kind of the real deal, kind of, you know, scoop on what burnout is, why it’s happening, how it’s happening, what people need to do to start thinking about it in a way that, you know, if you, it’s like, um, and I’ve mentioned this on another show, but like, you know, there’s a reason when the airplane loses oxygen that you put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you take care of the kids.

[00:35:12] Steve Fretzin: Right, before you take care of people around you. So I don’t think lawyers understand that they need to take care of themselves before they start or are able to really truly take care of their clients, their family and other people around them. So, right. I mean, that’s, that’s what it comes down to. It is indeed.

[00:35:29] Steve Fretzin: Well, thank you so much. And I’m hoping that this is the beginning of our, you know, business and relationship. And I, I’m just excited to continue to figure out ways to, to work together and to continue to support each other. I also want to just thank you all for listening and spending time with Charlene and I today.

[00:35:44] Steve Fretzin: And again, you know, if you’re taking this show seriously, I mean, hell, we have some fun, but also that this is a way for you to consider. You know, that there’s so many different aspects to being successful as an attorney. And while we don’t talk about, you know, the legal side of it, the actual ins and outs of being a lawyer in a courtroom or, or writing briefs, we’re covering every other side of it.

[00:36:04] Steve Fretzin: And so, you know, hopefully it’s helping you to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized and a skilled rainmaker. Take care, everybody. Be safe. Be well. We will talk again real soon.

[00:36:17] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website Fretzin. com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.