The world needs you to embrace your inner badass.
Does your badass run the show like mine?
Or is it buried inside of you, desperate for a chance to escape?
In today’s episode of the FHTH podcast, I’m telling you WHY I want you to be a badass and HOW to do it.
Even if you think you don’t have it in you, ya do. I swear.
Tune in to find out more.
Links from today’s episode:
Nevada Justice Association (Embrace Your Inner Badass)
EPISODE 204 TRANSCRIPTION
Well, hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of From Hostage to Hero, Sari de la Motte here with you today. And I am when this episode drops, in Palm Springs, California for the NJA Women's Caucus: Embrace Your Inner Bad-Ass. And I'm so excited because this is my first time back to this seminar that I helped headline several years ago with Randi McGinn and Dorothy Clay Sims, who I adore both of them and it's now grown. But for the last couple of years, I have not been able to be there due to cancer and recovering from said cancer. So I'm so excited to be back. And also this is my first on stage, in person keynote for a long time or it's been a long time. So I'm very excited to also be doing that here live. But for you today, and a shout-out first of all to my badass ladies here at Palm Springs.
By the way, if you are a plaintiff female trial attorney, you're definitely going to want to come. This happens every March. And if you go to Nevada Justice Association's website, we'll put it in the show notes, you can get on the list to figure out how to come next year. You do not have to be a part of Nevada Justice Association. You just need to be a female trial attorney.
All right, so today I thought it would be very appropriate to talk about how to become a badass since I'm here at my most favorite live event every year. And it got me thinking about what is a badass? Why do you want to be one? And how do you do it? And as is often the case, I will have an idea and then I will work it out on paper, well really on my iPad, and it goes somewhere completely different than where I thought it was going to go. And today is no, what's the word that I'm looking for? No different I guess is what I want to say.
So before we go there, I do want to point out that in our show notes, we are going to have a link to the Finnish comedian, Ismo, who is fantastic, not only because he's Finnish, but he's hilarious and he's funny, and he starts this whole thing talking about the word badass and how the word ass is the most difficult word in the English language and it's hilarious. You're going to have to watch it, take my word for it. But he uses the example about how ass is not necessarily a good thing, but badass is good and how he doesn't understand that. So definitely watch that. But here's the actual definition because you know I love to look at the definition of words. It says, "Tough, uncompromising, and intimidating. A person who has extreme attitudes and behavior and is admired by others."
Now, immediately off the bat we have a problem because the words extreme and admired are subjective. For example, some people find me extreme and are repulsed, and others admire me for it. I think we can all agree that everyone thinks I am extreme. And this is also true when we're thinking about the difference between, for example, men and women in terms of a trial lawyers. When men dress someone down in court or get a little aggressive, it is not considered extreme. It is considered expected. It's something that we expect men to do. But when women do it, it is extreme. And again, depending on whether it's admired or not, determines whether or not that woman is labeled as a "badass." Spoiler alert, she rarely is.
So I'm going to change the definition so that it's not subjective. And here's what my definition is. A badass is someone who speaks the truth regardless of the consequences and acts in integrity. It was funny just this morning Kevin came in from his workout and he listens to books on tape while he is working out. And he's been listening to The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, which I absolutely adore. In fact, we went through that book in the H2H crew a couple of years ago and talked about hitting your upper limit, and how to get beyond that, and the ways that we subconsciously sabotage ourselves. And he said just this morning that Gay was talking about the concept of integrity because it really does have a couple of different definitions. And one of the definitions we tend to think of when we're thinking about integrity is someone who's like moral or ethical. But again, that is subjective.
The definition that Gay used this morning and what I had planned to use, so this is kind of serendipitous, is integrity is being whole and undivided, which to me says is a person who is unapologetically themselves regardless of the situation. And that's why I bring in that word integrity when we're talking about how to become a badass. Our pediatrician has been asking us for the last several years, has she lied yet? Has she started lying yet? Talking about our seven year old daughter. And for the last couple years we're like, "No, not really." But guess what? The lying has begun. And of course I'm freaking out as a parent, but Kevin continually reminds me that even our pediatrician was like, "It's completely normal. This is what kids do to test boundaries."
But anyway, we caught Elena in a couple of lies in the last couple of weeks. And so we tried talking to her about first how lying hurts us. Like it hurts us when you lie. That didn't seem to make much of a mark. And the second one was, well, we can't trust you when you lie. That got a little bit further, but not too much. And it wasn't till her and I had our sleepover. She gets a sleepover with mom and one with dad one a month. And we were lying in bed talking, which is my favorite part of the sleepover. And I said, "It really comes down to integrity." And she said, "What do you mean? What does that word mean? Integrity?" And I said, "It's hard to explain, but basically it's feeling proud of who you're being even when no one is watching." And I said, "Out of all of the things that we've talked about of why you don't want to lie or why we think lying isn't something that you should be doing or something that anyone should be doing, what really made the most sense to you?"
And she said, "That one. That one made the most sense to me." And it really seems to have made a big dent that she wants to be in integrity, whether someone's watching her behavior or if she's doing it without anybody watching, and it's secretive. So integrity is being whole and undivided. I am who I am all the time. Taking me for example, I am who I am on the podcast, I am who I am on stage, I am who I am with clients, I am who I am with relationships. And what that does is it creates safety for others, meaning what you see is what you get.
Now, it's funny to talk about safety and badassery because we often tend to think that those two things don't go together, that being a badass makes other people unsafe. I would suggest that when you are consistently being you, that creates safety because people know what to expect. But it's not always safe for you, meaning it's not always safe for me to be a badass as I have already gone into many times in this podcast because there are a lot of people out there who think that I should be different than what I am, that I shouldn't swear as much, that I shouldn't tell people to stop going to CLEs and buying all the books, which is actually not what I said. But basically I shouldn't have an opinion is what I'm hearing. And so it's not always safe for me to be a badass, but this is where I think badassery really comes in because it is bravely and unapologetically being yourself regardless of the consequences.
And here's why I call that badassery, because it is a radical act to fully and unapologetically be yourself, especially for women and minorities. But this is true for everyone. I mean, if we look at Maslow's, I always say that wrong, Maslow's Hierarchy, those two words together particularly give me trouble, and this is the hierarchy of needs. One of the five basic needs that we need as humans is the sense of belonging. We want to belong. Way back in caveman days, if you were thrown out of your tribe, you literally did not survive. So the sense of belonging is literally hardwired in our DNA. So it does make sense that it is difficult to be unapologetically ourselves, especially when we go against the status quo because environmentally, or what's the word I'm looking for, evolutionary-wise, that is something that we are not supposed to do.
But here's the secret. Here's what I really want you to get is that a shit ton of people think like you. They're just afraid to say it. And we see this all the time in the H2H crew is people share their fears thinking they're the only person to ever have that fear. And literally hundreds of people will come and say, "I feel the exact same way." I mean, think about modern parenting for example. We were never meant to parent in isolation like we do now, where even in a "traditional home" we've got the mom or the dad, in our family it was the dad that stayed home, by themselves with just the child or children and had no other help. See, that isolation then creates this thought pattern that I'm the only one that feels I'm not doing good at this. I'm the only one that feels like I don't know how to do this. I'm the only one that ever struggles with X, Y, or Z.
Which brings us to the first benefit of badassery. First, as we said before, it creates safety, not just in you being in integrity, meaning you being you all the time instead of compartmentalizing yourself. I have an actual podcast. If I think about it, I'll put it in the podcast notes about how to stop compartmentalizing yourself and get yourself into integrity. But in addition to that, it creates safety for other people to also be themselves unapologetically. I would say it is my number one reason why I consistently am who I am, warts and all for y'all to see, because I want to be an example for other people to also be authentic and real. This is where I believe life really gets good because this is where we start to dismantle some of the things that have been the way they've always been when we start saying, no, that's not right, that's not okay.
And so I hope to be an example. And if you choose to embrace your badassery, because I believe we all have it. I mean, there's a reason why we call this seminar that I'm here in Palm Springs at Embrace Your Inner BadAss, meaning everybody has one. You just have to bring it out. And when you do that, that first benefit is that it creates safety for other people to do it as well. You've been following me for a while that I am on mission to change the way law is practiced. Yes, but to really change the world, I cannot do that by myself. So when I come out and be a badass, that invites you to be a badass, we have much more possibility of changing things than if I were just to do them on my own.
The second benefit of claiming you're a badassery is it ends isolation. Isolation is what keeps marginalized groups like women and people of color powerless. There is power in groups. So when you speak out, I mean just take a look at the Me Too movement, or any time one person says, I was just reading the other day, and this is probably already in your ether because it's a plaintiff trial case where one woman came forward to say that she was sexually abused by a doctor. And now the hospital group is saying, this is actually a med and mal issue, which of course has caps versus a straightforward plaintiff issue. And of course they're fighting. But my point is that when the first person did that, I think now 93 women have come forward to say the same thing about the doctor. So it ends this isolation. We know that you all, men, women, people of color, all of you because your plaintiff attorneys are up against it. You start behind the finish line. What you are doing is really fighting against an unfair system.
And so what is needed is for you to speak out and speak against those things. But we are less likely to do that if we feel we are the only people doing it. If we start seeing states, people in the states that don't have voir dire or very limited voir dire or judge led voir dire, standing up and saying, this needs to be different, then we have the courage to start making changes. So it creates that safety for other people to do it, but it also ends the isolation, and that's really important because there's safety in numbers.
It also brings you into integrity. There can be stress, yes, from being apologetically yourself, but that stress does not even compare to the stress of when you act against your principles. I mean, when you want to speak up, when you see an injustice and you don't speak up, either for yourself or someone else, the pain of that is much bigger than the pain or the consequences you may face when you actually speak up and act according to your principles. So it brings you into integrity by acting like a badass.
Now the question then becomes, well, how do I become a badass? And I think you're going to be very surprised by these three things because you're probably going to have me say, don't be afraid to speak up and make your voice heard. And of course, all of those things are true, but that's kind of the product of these three foundational things I want to share with you today about how to actually become a badass.
The first one is practice self-love.
Look, if you don't love you, you won't be apologetically you. That's just how this works. If you think that there is something wrong with you, if you think you are fundamentally flawed, if you think that you're an imposter, if you think that everybody else has it figured out except for you, they don't, you are not going to be apologetically you. I have my shit. I'm going to be sharing more about that in the next couple of months as some things are progressing in my life because I share with you. But I will tell you that I am my number one fan. My biggest fan is me. Why?
I have my own back. I believe in myself. I am apologetically myself because I love myself. I struggle for sure, but at the end of the day, I know who I am, and that who that person is worthy, and that is what allows me to say, and be, and do the things that I do here on the podcast, or on stage, or my book, or anywhere else. Because I know no matter what consequences may befall me that I'm acting in accordance to my principles. I will make mistakes at times for sure. So that first piece is you've got to practice, and the reason I say practice, it's not a one time thing. You have to consistently be on your saboteur's back. That saboteur, that inner critic, that's constantly telling you the opposite. Remember the saboteur does that so that you won't make change in your life. It's trying to protect you, but you constantly got to be on that voice.
I mean, I consistently, for example, write bad things about myself. What? That's weird. I write them down because if I don't write them down, I'm not aware of them and they become the narrative that is going on in my subconscious. I take what I'm hearing and I write it down, and then I immediately write down what's actually true consistently. Consistently, because that stuff is constantly coming because I'm constantly doing risky shit. So my saboteur is all over me. By the way, that's a good sign. That means you're really pushing the envelope when your saboteur is all over you. But because of that, I write that shit down because I don't want it to be something in my subconscious that's getting at me. So that's one way I practice self-love is I constantly identify those voices and then I write them down and immediately write what's actually true.
Two, find your fulfillment.
If you are unhappy all the time, if you are living a life that does not resemble you, then you're not going to have the energy or the focus to be a badass. Because you're going to be so drained and trying to just manage your day-to-day that thinking about adding one more thing on top of that, like speaking out and being extreme is just going to be one more thing on your to-do list, and going to add more stress to your life. I like to think a lot about in terms of life and anything that I'm doing, is I want to be pulled toward something, then pushed toward it. If I'm feeling like I'm being pushed to do something either by myself or somebody else, that's a big no for me. But I want this big, juicy dream that is pulling me toward it so that I have this almost magnetic pull to create the life of my dreams. It's almost like something I can't not do.
When you find your fulfillment, then you are living your unapologetic life because you are fully being you instead of running this script of what you think you should be. You can't be unapologetically you when you don't like your life. I mean, a lot of people will say, just be yourself, the feel goodery advice of if not the decade, the last 50 years. That isn't possible if you hate yourself and your life, which by the way, we are conditioned to do.
I mean, how many times have you heard, seize the moment, slay the day, no excuses? It's all about work hard, hustle, culture. Oh, but then you're supposed to be humble too. All these kinds of mixed messages telling you life is not supposed to be enjoyable. You are supposed to be achieving all the fucking time, and if you're not, then you're a fucking failure. Well, fuck that. Might as well add a third fuck in there. Four. Just be yourself is meaningless advice when the whole world is telling you that's actually not what you need to be doing. You just need to be producing.
Third thing, live life on your terms.
When you have that big juicy dream and you are following your fulfillment, guess what's going to happen? You're going to have to make some changes. It happens every time. Kevin's sitting here filming this right now, he could tell you that there's not a single client that he has coached, and this is true of my coaching too, of my clients that have wanted or that have found their fulfillment and had to have changed something. And normally it's something big. They had to start their own firm, leave their firm, divorce their spouse, marry their significant other. It was some big thing they had to change. But here's the thing, when you change that thing because you're following your fulfillment, you are now living life on your own terms, and it is much, much easier to fully claim, or as we say at this seminar, embrace your badass.
Badassery is required in this job, but when you love who you are, you have this big juicy dream that's pulling you toward it, and your living life on your own terms, it's much easier to be a badass. The world needs you. I love you. Talk to you next week.
While you wait for next week's episode, how would you like instant access to exclusive trial skills training on my H2H funnel method for voir dire? Grab a pen and paper so you can jot down the website address for a 16-minute video that will help you win more cases. The free training is called Let the Jury Solve Your Problems in Three Easy Steps, and I'm even going to send you a workbook to go with it. Now, are you ready for the address. Visit sariswears.com/training. You'll see me there. Enjoy.
If you liked this episode topic, check out these others:
- Episode #203 – Why You Don’t Want Your Firm To Pay For Your Personal Development
- Episode #202 – How To Make Any Juror Answer Work In Your Favor
- Episode #201 – Why I Take On My Detractors
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