Give a warm welcome to SariDLM's Lead Mindset Coach (and my #1) Kevin de la Motte!
Coach K (as he is known in our H2H Membership) is here to debunk the three myths that are killing your cases and share the three truths that will help you win in trial.
He’ll cover his proven mindset practice, step by step, so you can have more fun, feel less stress, and never worry about winning again - I swear.
Give this episode a listen.
EPISODE 180 TRANSCRIPTION
Well, as you can tell, Sari's not here today. She told you she had a cold and it's pretty nasty as you could hear. So I'm showing up today. My name's Kevin de la Motte. I'm her husband. I am also the lead mindset coach at SariDLM. And I'm here today to talk about some mindset shifts around over preparing. I've worked with trial attorneys all over the country for years working through these particular kinds of things. And a lot of it, the big theme here is that your mindset is getting in the way. You are getting in the way in trial and in so many places in your life. And that's what I work with attorneys on. Well, today I'm talking about over preparation and how that's killing your case. The three myths. Right out the gate, I'm starting here with the myths.
Number one, myth number one is you think you can outwork the other side. You can't. You're not going to be able to outwork the other side. They've got too many people. You've got 14 attorneys on the other side. They've got unlimited resources, they've just got too much. It's you, maybe one or two other attorneys if you're lucky. And that's about it. So really you are not going to be able to outwork them ever, but you can show up as you. That's what's most important. They can have as many resources as they want, but you truly believing in your case and showing up, well that's more powerful than 14 attorneys and unlimited funds on the other side. Myth number two, you think it is possible to be a 100% prepared. It's not possible. You're never going to be a 100% prepared. It's just not going to happen. It is not possible to be a 100% prepared. Now, preparation, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with that, but over preparing and believing that you need to be a 100% prepared, well that fuels overwhelm. That's hard on you.
That's not good for you. And as your coach, which I will be saying that because through this episode, I will be your coach, it's not good for you. You over preparing, you thinking it's a 100% preparation is key, is not helping you. And that's myth number two. And the big part of that, that's really fucked up is you're chasing a feeling. You're chasing this feeling that you're going to get on the other side of that perfect a 100% preparation and you're never going to get it. So it's this limitless cycle. You're running in this hamster wheel thinking that you're going to get to this a 100% preparation and you're never going to get it. And really what we're working towards in mindset coaching is you giving yourself that feeling right now, and I'll get to that. But that's myth number two. You thinking that you will be a 100% prepared, not going to happen.
Myth number three is that you think preparation wins cases. It doesn't win cases, no. Preparation is important, but that's not what wins cases. What wins cases is you, you showing up fully as you. That's what wins cases. Now you may be asking, well why, why is this all happening? Why am I over preparing or why? What makes me do this? It's pretty simple, really. It's brain wiring, it's brain science. You're amygdala, the oldest part of your brain, it's your fear epicenter. It's designed to keep you safe, but it's an old part of your brain. It's when you were lighting fires and chasing down saber tooth tigers or they were chasing you down. I mean, this is primitive man stuff and this is not the kind of thinking that you want to have in trial and in most places in your life. I mean, I don't think you're going to be attacked by a bear in trial.
And there's not a lot of times you will in life. Well, if you're out camping, okay, you'll need your amygdala, but not right now. So the amygdala fires, the amygdala gets afraid, and then all of the sudden your saboteur comes in. And Sari's talked about this before. Saboteur is a collection of your limiting beliefs. Maybe something happened when you were a kid or something happened when you were a baby lawyer or recent trial and your saboteur decided, there's no fucking way we're going to let that happen again. So every single time something happens or something comes along that's similar to this, your saboteur jumps in and says, No, no, no, no, no, you're not. No, what the fuck are you doing? Don't do that. It's taking a risk. Your saboteur wants you to stay small. That's easy. You're in your comfort zone. That's what your saboteur wants and that's what your amygdala wants.
Your amygdala just wants to keep you safe, but it's not real. It's all these fears that come in that aren't real. What's real is there are times you have to take risks, especially being a trial attorney, you're taking a lot of risks and you hiding from those risks or hiding behind your notes, that is not going to fucking cut it. And you know this. So working away from your amygdala and working towards using your prefrontal cortex, the reasoning part of your brain. That's what we do in coaching. We are constantly going from, wait a minute, okay, what's the fear here? What's really going on? And what do you really know about this? What's the truth? Fear, lies, truth, these are things that we work through in mindset coaching. Once you've realized that this is the way your brain is wired right now, well okay, what do you want to do now to change that?
Well, what'll help you change that is start focusing on things that are truths, not lies, not myths. And that brings me to the three truths. Truth number one is connection with your jury, connecting with your jurors. That's what helps you win cases. That's huge. And it reminds me of a story. So we do trial labs, Sari does trial labs where the three attorneys come out and they go in front of three mock juries. But before then they work up their case. They'd work up their content with Sari throughout the week. And then they go in front of two, or sorry, three mock juries and they do their opening and they do their voir dire.
And we were at the last day with the last mock jury and there was some time left over and one of the attorneys looked over to me and he said, You know what? We got this time. I want to work on resonant conversations. And Sari was like, okay, we got a little bit of time. So what do you want to work on? So the attorney that said he wanted to work on resonant conversations, he probably told me, because I'm a mindset coach and that's what I do every day. But it was nice to hear him say that to me. He said, Okay, this is what I'm doing. So when he went in front of the jury, he proceeded to just ask these powerful questions. These what questions. Not how questions, not questions that were getting them in their head and getting to details, these big expansive questions that were trying to get to the heart of them, what really made them tick, what matters to them. And he went around one by one at first, and then he started getting this great involvement with the jury and the group dynamics were shifting.
I mean this jury panel, they were somewhat formed, but by the time he was done, they were fully formed. They were laughing, they were crying, they were looking at each other and talking and pointing. It was amazing what he did just by focusing on connection with that jury. It is key. It is huge here. And you know this. And that's the truth number one, connection with your jury, connecting with your jurors.
Truth number two is a willingness to go there. In storytelling when you're acting out a story, instead of reading it like a script, get out there, do voices, use props, act out the characters. This is what it takes to get that jury to come inside that story with you. To really get invested in that story, you got to go there. This is the truth number two that you've got to do that will help you win in trial.
And this reminds me of another story. We used to do voir dire studios years ago, and we'd have six attorneys come out. It's different than trial lab. It was only a few days and they only went in front of one mock jury. And well actually it was two mock juries, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. But anyway, there was one attorney, he came to the studio at the very beginning, I mean first day. And he was shaking when he was presenting anything, he was noticeably nervous. And throughout each day it didn't seem to get better. He was just so nervous. But every time it got to him telling a story, everything changed. So Sari, said to him multiple times, Okay, you come alive in storytelling, that's your thing. Lean into that.
So when the mock jury day came, he went in front of this jury with his notes. And at first, he stated some facts and he was shaking a bit with his notes. He put his notes down and he proceeded to come alive and bring this story forward. The jury was just dumbfounded. They were so into this story. I mean he was acting out that doctor, the nurse with the paddles and flat lining and all of it, doing the voices, changing characters, running down the hall. It was incredible. And it was because he had this willingness to go there. He went there. And that's what it takes. And that is truth number two. And truth number three is an utter belief in your case. Don't fucking take cases that you don't believe in. You know when something comes across your desk. I've had plenty of clients say, Yeah, I knew when I looked at the case, I shouldn't have taken this. You know. Your gut will tell you, your wisdom will tell you to not take this case.
So don't fucking take it because you need to believe in this case fully. And that is truth number three, the utter belief in your cases and that you know which ones to take and which ones not to take. So how do you start putting this into practice? I talked about the myths. Now I've talked about these truths. So how do I start resonating, getting resonant conversations with a jury and connecting with my jury? How do I start going there and storytelling? And how do I start really taking only on the cases that I truly believe in? Well, most of it's a mindset shift. Yes. And it takes practice, practice, practice, practice, and breathe, breathe, breathe. That's what I say, it's always a good thing to remember. The big one here when you're practicing is remembering to breathe. Breathing is important.
And what is going to help you shift towards these truths and away from the three myths, shift away from the fears and the lies and towards the wisdom and truth is a mindset practice. And I'm going to break it down for you. The first thing you need to start doing in your mindset practice is decide what it means to be prepared. And I'm not saying what your saboteur decides. I'm not saying your saboteur says, okay, you need to be this prepared. You got to be up all night, you got to be working seven days a week. This is the only way and you will get into trial and you'll fucking do this. No poor saboteur probably won't say fucking do this. Maybe you'll get it done stupid. Whatever your saboteur says. But that's not it. No, it's you deciding, you designing with yourself. Sari, talks about designing with a jury in the design alliance. You can do this with yourself. Design with yourself what it means to be prepared.
If you need to sit down and journal about this and think about the times where you felt prepared, prepared enough, what you feel is right, whatever it takes, start really getting to that answer. Because once you get to the answer of what it takes to truly be prepared and not over preparing out of fear, you put that shit out on your calendar. You block it out. Sari talks about blocking out your calendar with this stuff. Well you do this. You block out your calendar. This is when I'm preparing. And when you're done in that time slot, you're done. You move on to something else and you do this continuously. You practice this. You're rewiring your brain and this is making you at choice. You're not out of control with your saboteur pushing you and forcing you to do all this fucking shit. You are making a choice that this is how I practice, this is how I prepare, this is who I am.
This is a paradigm shift people, this is a identity shift. When you start thinking this way and taking control of your life in this way, everything changes. And that is step number one. Decide what it means to be prepared and then do it and practice it and don't deviate because your saboteur fucking tells you. Step number two is focus on what wins cases. And that's these trues I was telling you about. Focus on connecting with the jury. Focus on that willingness to go there and storytelling and being a great teacher. Really focus on those things and practice those things. And I will talk about places you can practice in a little bit. And then of course focusing on that belief in your case. These are the things that you focus on. This is number two in your three step mindset practice.
Number three is surrender and trust your jury. And how do you do that? Well that takes practice too. And it takes empowering beliefs rather than limiting ones. You literally need to start telling yourself on a regular basis, these are my people. Visualize being in front of a jury and them being your people. When you do this enough, it tricks your brain. All of these things, this practice you're doing is rewiring your brain and tricking your brain to believe these things and they're fucking true. What do you want to believe, the lies of your saboteur or these truths that are going to support you and make you show up fully as you in trial? I think the answer is yes. If not, okay, well maybe we can have another conversation some other time.
And the theme of all of this, I mean I'm talking about an overarching theme. I'm talking about umbrella that hangs over all of this. This empowering belief of you are on the side of the right, you stand on the side of the right, you are here for a righteous cause. That is something that is empowering, that is something to believe, that is something to keep in your hip pocket. That's an empowering belief that can reinforce all of this. Now you may be asking, why would I be doing this? And you're saying I need to practice and all this stuff and rewire my brain. Well, back to brain science. The practice of this by doing these things over and over again, this rewiring of your brain, you're starting to use your prefrontal cortex, you're using it more and more. It trains your brain to not know the difference. So if you're doing this on a regular basis, say you are practicing in front of focus groups, you are practicing with your family resonant conversations, you are practicing storytelling, you are doing all of these things.
You are even practicing when a case comes on your desk or thinking about if that case is going to come on your desk, that it better be one that you believe in. By doing this over and over again, you're training your brain that this is the way you do things. This is the paradigm shift. This is your new identity. So when you show up in trial and you walk in, you've been practicing this all along. Your brain doesn't know the difference. This is how you're going to show up. And this is the work my friends, this is what needs to be done to get you to that place, that place that makes you show up, you win your cases. And I'm not saying you're going to win every fucking case, but if you lose the case, you've got that long view like Rick Friedman says, you've got that long view that you'll get them next time.
That's not going to stop you just because you lose a case. You know that you're going to lose cases. That's what fucking happens being a plaintiff's attorney. And especially if you're in something like MedMal, wrongful death cases, you are going to lose cases, but you're going to get them next time. And you're going to stand in that belief that you have got this, you stand on the side of the right and all of the truths that are backing you, connecting with your jurors, willingness to go there in storytelling and this utter belief in your case, you'll be standing in that. You'll be practicing that on a regular basis. You will show up in trial and that's who you will be.
And that brings me to Sari's beautiful model, which is Be, Do, Have. Now if you don't remember this one, Be, Do, Have means you need to be the great trial attorney to do the things that the great trial attorney does. And then you will have the big verdict, everything you've ever wanted on the other side of all of that. But so many of us think that we need to do it in reverse. We think it's the other way around. We need the evidence first. Uh, uh uh, no, you don't need the evidence first. You're not going to get the evidence first. That's just not how it works. The greats show up as the greats and their actions are just that, they're great because of showing up that way and then they get that evidence.
So that's what this whole mindset practice is all about. Shifting your mindset towards you are already there. You are already inhabiting this identity of great trial attorney. You believe it now. So you will be it and it will motivate your doing. This is all about your being who you are, what makes you tick, what's really important to you, that motivating your doing.
And then what you will have is every fucking thing you've ever wanted. And I know this might sound like, okay, whatever, bullshit. I have fucking seen it countless times with countless different attorneys and it's a beautiful thing to witness. I swear to God, you attorneys, how you put yourself out there like that. I mean that's the reason why Sari went all in with attorneys. Well, I did too. I have only attorney clients because of what you're up against and the kinds of humans that you are. You are beautiful fucking people. You will put everything you have into a case, even though there's a huge chance that you're going to lose it because you believe in it and you believe in your client. That is fucking amazing. So you've got this, you understand, Be, Do, Have. You be this first, you be this great attorney, you fucking go out there.
You don't over prepare. You don't think that a 100% preparation is what's going to win cases. You don't think you can outwork the other side. That's just not you. You believe that you've got this, you stand on the side of the right and you're going to show up fully as you because you do this every fucking day. Do you think the other side is practicing this shit every other day? No, they aren't. And they're not going to mindset coaches and going to the ranch and doing all these fucking things that you do to better yourself. Every CLE you could think of. These fucking defense attorneys aren't doing this. You are. You're a fucking badass. So be that. Do not believe in this a 100% preparation bullshit.
So that is mindset coaching my friend. If you're interested in mindset coaching, look around, search for somebody, reach out to me. You can reach out to Kristi that's in our office and we've got mindset coaches that work for our business too. So there's plenty of options, but start coaching through this stuff. If this still sounds like a real struggle to you, and I totally understand if it does, well find a coach and you can start working through this stuff. I believe in you. You've got this and you stand on the side of the right. All right. Well, it was lovely talking to you today, and I look forward to talking to you soon. Have a great day. Bye.
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