There Is Enough to Go Around

I was recently at a conference when I met a friendly young lady and we started talking about our careers, she told me she was an attorney, as well and that she was getting ready to do the Bar Exam in a few months. We continued chatting for a while, exchanging pleasantries, when another young lady came over to us and joined in on our conversation. Since the conference could also be considered a networking event it wasn’t strange that the other young lady had randomly joined in on our conversation.

Turns out that young lady #2 was also an attorney, an entertainment lawyer, she said. She posed the question to me and my first conversationalist about our areas of practice and how long had we both been practicing. I told her. Young Lady #1 explained that she was getting ready to study for the Bar Exam and that she was currently employed as a patent attorney.

“You haven’t taken the Bar yet?” Young Lady #2 said incredulously to Young Lady #1.

“No, but I’m studying for it now, I take the exam in…” Young Lady #1 was interrupted by Young Lady #2. “Well that means you’re really not an attorney then, if you haven’t taken the Bar yet, I mean you have to be licensed first before you can call yourself a lawyer.”

The two women kept going back and forth for a minute. The first young lady explaining that since she already graduated law school and was currently employed as an attorney with a law firm that she was, in fact, a lawyer, while the other young lady kept telling her in a somewhat condescending tone that she was not, in fact, a lawyer until she had passed the Bar Exam and received her law license.

I really don’t know what the proper protocol is in order to call one’s self an attorney. However, what I got from the conversation or should I say debate between the two women was that it seemed that Young Lady #2 was somewhat threatened by the prospect of another young female attorney coming aboard the legal train and was determined to let her know, in no uncertain terms, that she is not “one of us” until she had gone through certain rigorous training, which Young Lady #1, might not even be able to complete. Young Lady #2’s conduct was uncalled for and unkind and, in my opinion, just plain boorish.

My Light Does Not Dim Yours

Here’s the thing – My light, no matter how bright it shines, does not diminish yours. There is room enough for all of us to succeed and be great without anyone feeling threatened. Your success does not affect mine, nor does it happen the other way around either, my success certainly does not affect yours, even if we are in the same industry. We could even be interviewing for the same job and the fact that you may get that job does not mean that I won’t get another job, equally as good. How I see it is that particular job wasn’t really meant for me if I wasn’t the selected candidate.

There is no over saturation in any field or profession, where they won’t be room for another success story. People die, unfortunately, or retire every day, therefore there will always be room for others. Always!

Discouragement

Years ago when I first decided to start my own law practice I was still wet behind the ears, only a few years out of law school, but it was something I wanted to do. I remember speaking to a successful solo practitioner, someone who was somewhat of a mentor to me, telling him I wanted to go out on my own and asked for some advice about what I should expect initially. I was surprised when he advised me not to start my own practice. He asked why I would want to give up the security of a salary to work for myself? He told me that it would take years and years and years to build my practice to the point where I would be comfortable enough to turn over a profit.

My response to him was, “I better get started then since it’s gonna take so long.”

Honestly, I was shocked at the lack of encouragement. Here I was thinking that he’d be gung-ho at his protegé trying to go out there and make a name for herself, sort of following in his footsteps, but instead, he was trying to talk me out of it. It seemed as if he thought little ole me was going to be some kind of competition to his already thriving practice. I took his words with a grain of salt and still went out on my own because I knew that if I never tried it I would spend my life wondering, “What if?”

A few years after I had started my own practice and was doing okay for myself when my mentor and I were having lunch and he admitted to me that “new, young fresh blood and brains” is always a threat to the older folks who had been “grinding for all these years”. Wow! My first thought was what about the opportunity to teach? What about the opportunity to impart your knowledge upon these “new, young, fresh blood and brains” coming into the industry? The older generation will always have more expertise than the new kids on the block. Why not seize the opportunity to impart your knowledge and expertise in a positive way? Lead, by example. Encourage! There is enough happiness and blessings to go around for everyone to partake and be content. Always!

Competition

Personally, I don’t like competition. There is a theory that a little healthy competition never hurts. That might very well be true but the only person I am in competition with is myself in an effort to be better today than I was yesterday. I admire those who inspire and motivate but competition only pits one person against the other and builds misplaced resentment. We each move at our own pace as individuals and what might work for you today might not work for you tomorrow and that goes for all of us so getting cutthroat and competitive, in my humble opinion, is a waste of time. Have that healthy competition with yourself, not with others, and become the best you can possibly be.

We have to get rid of this scarcity mindset, that there isn’t enough of a good thing to go around, because there truly is. We should be happy for others when they elevate themselves, especially when well-deserved through hard work. We should promote, encourage and cheer each other. I truly believe that when we uplift others it does something for our psyche that allows us to grow as individuals and make us better people. Someone else’s gain is not your loss, the successes of others, if anything, should be evidence that we can all be successful too. Believe me when I tell you there is enough to go around for everyone.

46 thoughts on “There Is Enough to Go Around

  1. I think I would have dismissed the second lawyer as someone who was being petty for seemingly no reason, but I think I would struggle if my mentor advised me not to do so something I wanted to do. I love that you had the conviction to go ahead and open your own practice anyway. As someone who’s young and trying to make a way in the world, I’m finding that I need to strike a balance between listening to advice and recognizing that people aren’t always right. People also have baggage that shapes their worldview, which they try to pass onto us, wrongly or rightly. But at the same time, people might have valid concerns that would be wise to listen to. How do you sort out the two?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Intuition! That’s how you sort out the two. Follow your gut. Whenever I ignore my instincts I have always regretted it. Trust your instincts, my friend.

      Thank you, not only reading but for also making a legitimate inquiry. Hope that helped.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Lady #2 is a replica of our society today – there will always be someone, somewhere ready to tell us what we’re not, who we’re not and what we have to accomplish before we get here or there. He snide comments were very rude but I loved when you said “I took his words with a grain of salt and still went out on my own because I knew that if I never tried it I would spend my life wondering, “What if?” – People don’t realize that the things that they say can hurt and/or demoralize a person to the point where they will actually quit – it’s sad, but for some people, it only takes one word or action. I pray that Lady #1 was able to think like you when you were given words of negativity from your mentor. You’re right – there are 7 Billion people on planet earth and there is surely a little piece of the pie for EVERYONE! Great Post Sis!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Some women lack the confidence and believes that their light dims when another flame burns. I’ve always seen the confidend side of you and admire the goals instilled in you, hence being so successful. Continue to teach the new upcoming lawyers…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. There’s a saying in nursing that nurses eat their young and it’s true. Like you, I’m not a competitive person and I also live in a world where there is room for everyone. I only strive to be better than myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the caption and how you have treated with the topic Racqs. Hopefully your words will remind another Mentor or just anyone really, that there is enough to go around. The other important message which i hope is taken from your blog is to not allow others (even if they are people you look up to), to dampen your enthusiasm or kill your confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My thoughts were on you, the author- Racquel, while I read Your post. I thought “wow! This woman has such a huge heart.”

    Thing is, this type of ‘enough’ thinking doesn’t seem to be that common. Unfortunately, many of us behave like a half-starved feral cat who just found a scrap of meat.

    Love the confidence and the goodness flowing from this post.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks for these wise words. Interesting to hear about the world of attorneys. Have you always been this confident? I definitely struggle with insecurity and can be competitive, but I also love seeing others do well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great question, P. Have I always been this confident? Hmmm, I think I have. It has a lot to do with my parents and the way they raised me.

      Whenever we didn’t do well, in school or whatever we attempted, my Mom always found the most encouraging words to make my brothers and I feel better. My Dad was such a confident, self-assured man, he would tolerate nothing less than an extension of himself from his children, I think.

      I did read a book about self-confidence when I was in high school, I was a voracious reader, I think that helped a lot. I wish I could remember the exact name of the book and the author.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They sound like wonderful parents! Mine were loving and good , but both had difficult childhoods . I think I picked up a little of the self-doubt they had, but also a lot of the strength and faith that they both showed in raising a big family , pursing education and doing the right thing. My mom is 77 and still works in a stressful important career. Sadly my das died at 62, but he influenced many people with his positive words. He loved Zig Ziglar and Dale Carnegie . Keep up the good work ! I can see you as a public servant/aka politician.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Firstly, I looooooooooove Dale Carnegie writings. Love, love, love! My favorite self-help book of all time is “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” I discovered that one in high school too.

        Your parents too sound like wonderful people. Sounds like they did the best they could with what they have and encouraged the pursuit of a good, solid education, which is always great. I’m trying to do the same for my son.

        Like you, I lost my Dad when, in my opinion, it was too soon for him to be gone. He died a month before his 66th birthday. He was a good man, but very strict and proper. Thankfully, I still have my Mom, she is still supportive (my biggest fan, she is always one of the first to read and comment on my blog posts😃). She is great. My parents were married for 45 years and I think one day I’ll write about them.

        Thanks so much for the compliment…Lol at politician, nope, I don’t think so. A public servant? Yes! Definitely.

        P. thank you for sharing a little about your family with me. That was nice.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Awesome post, I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve never understood the concept of “there’s no way you can do what I do as good as I do it”. You gotta give people the opportunity to fail on their own. Too often nasty sarcasm and belittling happen when someone feels threatened. Don’t they realize that the possibility of someone else succeeding only opens the arena to more possibility and success for all? History is fraught with trailblazers that emboldened generations of new ideas and possibilities. Anyone who simply slanders a hungry newbie, is usually resting on their laurels and is immediately exhausted at the thought of more competition.

    The more you encourage, the better your chances that one day, that same newbie might help you over the obstacle. A few people gave me the opportunity to fail on my own, I owe it to the ones behind me, to allow them to fail on their own as well. Who knows, the more diverse the field, the higher the chances of balance and success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All of what you said – older folks not giving the youngsters the opportunity to fail on their own, the slandering of the newbie without giving him or her a chance, the lack of encouragement – all goes back to the fear, the fear that if someone else is given a chance to forge ahead and rise to the top then the ones already on top will be kicked out of their glory. It all goes back to that damn scarcity mindset and basic selfishness.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. 🙂 Unfortunately, those people from the old-school are stuck in their old-fashioned ways. They are only acting out what they were taught.

    The world is changing and the younger folks are going to shake things up by doing things differently.

    I wished that some people were not enslaved by the scarcity complex.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I completely agree with you. I believe in encouraging individuals and celebrate success. If someone sees you as a threat I think that says more about the other person really. This goes across many areas in life. I don’t mind competition in small doses and when it’s there to encourage and spur. But not when it gets ugly and turns into something stressful. I sometimes even compete against myself! I strive to be better than yesterday but also to enjoy the ride…!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your blog posted later than usual today – I kept checking on and off until mid-afternoon, then gave up until now. Glad to see it finally posted!

    I’m very competitive by nature (e.g., pool, bowling, board games, the list goes on…) – but most of all with myself. While I know a lot of people do it, I don’t personally see a point in tearing down others. It doesn’t accomplish anything aside from making them look petty, jealous, scared and/or a whole host of other negative things.

    One thing that I think I may differ from you on this is that when I see someone else in a position where I want to be, I aim to get to an equal or better position. Some may call it competition, but I call it receiving inspiration and setting a goal. I don’t put myself in competition with them directly. I’m not interested in taking away from their achievements or stealing their thunder.

    I am a helper by nature. If I see an area in which someone else can improve by my input, I freely give it. It regularly comes across as my being bossy or a show off, but I truly want other people to succeed and if I can provide suggestions for them to be more successful, I do. Unsolicited advice – master level.

    One of my favorite quotes is my mantra: Work until your idols become your rivals. It’s a friendly rivalry though – we all know there’s room for plenty of us at whatever level we’re at. and that even when/if we reach the top, there’s still ceilings to be broken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I posted much later than usual today because I didn’t write last night, I wrote today. Had a date night with my Hubby last night so….🙂

      It’s okay to be competitive in board games etc but it’s a whole other world to not want good for others because you think it ruins your own chances of success. I could never subscribe to that behavior and something tells me you would never do that either.

      I do see that you’re a helper by nature. You already helped me with a bunch of things thus far – suggestions on what to write about, blogging tips, editing my ‘About Me’, showing me step by step how to create an entirely new page for it. Yeah, you’re a helper alright and that’s a great thing. 💗

      Laughing out loud at “Unsolicited advice – master level”. That’s fine because your advice is good advice and you’re not forcing it down anyone’s throat. We all have a choice on what to do with unsolicited advice, we either take it or leave it. No harm, no foul.

      Not everyone knows that there is plenty of room for everyone at the top; unfortunately some believe if there are others there then there will be no room for them. Go figure!

      As always, thanks for reading and commenting, Heather. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Date night – yeah, boii!!

        I’m genuinely happy for others’ successes and don’t think their success has any reflection on me whatsoever. That, actually, might be what others don’t get.

        It doesn’t hurt my feelings when my advice isn’t taken. I *do* get irritated when my advice isn’t taken and the person continues to complain about the same issue without trying anything different…but that’s a matter for another day!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. As usual another interesting post. There will always be those who will have that fear. People will be people even if they are already at the top of the ladder. the fear is there that someone might come and pull them down. They never think that the other person only want to join them.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I read this post with shock and dismay at how one female lawyer would tear down another up and coming lawyer who has done her no harm. I agree with your outlook and response to what you saw and heard. Great post as always because you believe in yourself. We all should have this faith in our abilities and determination to succeed

    Like

  14. Well-written Rac. I believe that someone who needs to belittle another lacks an admirable character. It’s unfortunate that your real-life example is yet another woman trying to tear down a woman.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. So much YES to all of this. It takes women like you, sharing their power and helping other women see that your shine (and successes) in no way diminishes theirs (and vice versa) to overturn the make patriarchal mindset of lack, scarcity, fear and competitiveness we have adopted a thing of the past. Imagine if men embraced this too? What a world it would be. (And I believe many do.) Love your activism and your energy. You take your readers higher.

    Liked by 1 person

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