Is winning your holy grail?
Do you beat yourself up if you lose?
Believe your job is to win at trial?
Well… how would you like to NEVER worry about winning again?
Check out today’s episode of the FHTH podcast because imma tell you how.
Mentioned in this episode:
- Our (not all that new anymore) website!
- FHTH Podcast: Episode #211 - You’re Probably Going To Lose (And That’s A Good Thing)
EPISODE 223 TRANSCRIPTION
Well, welcome everyone. Today we're talking about never worry about winning again. Wouldn't that be nice? How shifting your mindset can shift everything. If you haven't gone and seen our, I was going to say brand new website, but it's been up now for almost a year, so, lame if you haven't seen it yet. But it's sariswears.com. It's beautiful, it's gorgeous. My hair is now red instead of silver. No, I wasn't sprouting the gray hairs. My family never goes gray. So, seriously, my mom is 80 years old, not a gray hair on her head. It must be the Scandinavian thing, a hundred percent Fin thing. But when you go there, you'll see the gray hair. And the reason why I did that is I turned 50. I knew I would never have gray hair. I love gray hair. I wish my hair turned gray, so I wanted it to be kind of cool in that platinum, blonde, gray thing.
So go and check it out. But now I have red hair, which I think suits my personality a bit better. See what you think. But at the website we talk about, well, that's the tagline, never worry about winning again. So obviously we're going to show you the things. You can buy the Fun-damentals course there. You can join the H2H crew, the Playground, and we're going to show you the things to do at trial so that you never have to worry about winning again. But what I want to talk about today is the second kind of point of that. Never worry about winning again because I think that is even a more important point. I know a little bit about worrying. As many of you know, if not most of you, I am a cancer survivor. I am currently NED, which means no evidence of disease.
In breast cancer, they don't say in remission. They say, NED, no evidence of disease. Frankly, neither one of those are very, they keep making me worried. Let me just put it that way. They're not very reassuring is the word that I was looking for. I mean, in remission, sounds like in retirement. And if you know anyone in retirement, they're often very active. And so that's what I'm worried about is that cancer is retired, yet still active. But even NED, no evidence of disease, it sounds like the criminal standard, right? We're not saying that you're innocent, you're just not guilty. So all that to say, I know a lot about worrying. I mean, when I was diagnosed, I was off the bat, stage three. Stage four is incurable cancer. You live with it hopefully for a long time, and they're doing so many great things, but it's incurable. You can't get rid of it. So one notch up from that.
When they found my lump, it was four centimeters. I don't know how I didn't find it. My doctor found it. And when I was in the chemo chair three weeks later, it had grown to 10 centimeters. So it had gone from a size of a walnut to the size of a grapefruit. I had to have a PET scan, which was super fun. And by that I mean terrifying as fuck, just to see if it had spread. If I had the metastasis. I didn't. But then they found thyroid cancer, which was completely unrelated. So I had cancer with a side of cancer. That's basically how that worked. So I've been worrying. Now, I survived it at many throughout that whole thing, throughout 2021, I actually did not know that I would survive. I had hoped that I would survive, but even though I have survived, that doesn't mean the worry is gone.
Every lump, every bump sends me right back to the doctor to check out, to see if the cancer has come back, because the type of a very aggressive breast cancer that I had tends to come back within the first two to five years, first five years. But two, you're a little bit out of the woods. I'm right at two. Five is even better. So there's still a lot of worrying going on. Now, when we're talking about worry, you and I have a lot in common. I'm worried about death and you're worried about winning. Mine is worse, but winning is the holy grail of trial lawyerdom. I mean, it's how you measure your worth. If you win at trial, you're a good trial attorney, but if you lose at trial, then you suck. And the bigger the better. Everything is a verdict measuring contest. If you have a big one, verdict, get your minds out of the gutter, you're asked to speak at CLEs and on all the webinars, but if you don't, you're embarrassed and you think that everybody else has it figured out except for you.
This obsession with winning causes you to do all kinds of crazy things, right? You're buying all the books, you're going to all the CLEs, you're buying all the DVDs. Does anyone watch DVDs? My husband watches the DVDs. They're back apparently. But you're constantly on the search for the new formula or the technique, something that will get you out of this mess, right? It'll tell you how to finally win trial. But even after all that, when you still lose, you blame yourself. And more importantly, you lose yourself. Now, I'm not saying that buying books and going to CLEs and all those things are wrong. Obviously you need to be learning as a trial attorney. It's essential, in fact.
What I am saying is that if you're doing those to chase the win, you are going to come up empty. What you have to do if you really want to never worry about winning again is you have to let go of winning. What? Let go of winning? Yep. Yep. And I know you're thinking, well, that's easy for you to say, you're not a trial lawyer. Winning is the entire point of our job. Yeah, except it's not. Not your job is to fight, not to win, as you've heard me say many times. I mean, how do we determine who wins at trial? It's not you, it's the jurors. Therefore, you have very little control over the outcome, the outcome that you are using to beat yourself up. I mean, I used the example recently about hiring a guide to help scale Mount Everest. If you don't make it to the top, you don't blame the guide.
And you might be thinking, well, yeah, but I'm not only the guide, I'm also the climber, right? Well, yeah, but you're not the only climber. I mean, how many of you ever thought you had it in the bag at trial only to have your client totally fuck it up, or a witness take a shit on the stand? I mean, when I first learned about my cancer, I stopped drinking, I ate lots of vegetables, I avoided red meat and sugar, and I was miserable. Not because those things make you miserable. They do, but because of why I was doing them, I was afraid of dying. Guess what? My job is not to not die because everybody dies. My job while I'm here is to live. And your job is to not win, it is to fight.
Because here's the truth, I can not drink. I can only eat vegan, I can do eight hours of exercise a day, and that does not guarantee the cancer won't come back. Just like you can do everything perfectly. You can't, but you can think you can and still lose because you know this already. You know this. You've had cases that you should have lost that you ended up winning, or cases that you knew you were going to win and then you end up losing. It is a crap crapshoot, my friends. I know a lot of consultants will be out of jobs if you believe that, but it is true. Contrary to popular belief, there is no formula for winning trials. I mean, just because big deal trial lawyer gets bazillions of dollars in verdicts doesn't mean that his way or her way is the way to do it. It just doesn't exist. Now, if that's true, then why read books or 10 CLEs or do any other things?
I see three reasons. First, your job is, as I said, to fight not to win. It's to help people navigate the legal system. I've often called trial lawyering the healing profession, a healing profession. And that's because the people who come to you have often been to everyone else. You are literally the last resource. Nobody wants to have to bring a lawsuit, and you listen and you heal and you make their voices heard. That means something. You help people navigate the legal system, but you also hold bad actors responsible. I know you're thinking, well, not if I don't win. Oh bullshit. Listen, you can have settlements and yeah, it hurts people in the pocketbook, but they get to hide that shit. When you force them to trial, they have to account for their actions. That also means something.
And finally, it's fucking fun to be a trial lawyer. That's a big reason to do it. Even if you're going to lose more than you win, which statistics show us that you probably will. Go back and listen to that podcast that I did a couple months ago. It's dam fun being a trial lawyer. So how do you never worry about winning again? Well, there's three major mindsets, mindset shifts you have to make. The first one is to change your mind about jurors. I've been going on and on about that over the years of this podcast. They are not your enemy. They are hostages. And once you change your mind about them, trial not only becomes more fun, you start winning a lot more cases because again, reminder, they're the ones that help you win. They're the ones that make that decision. Let's start working with them instead of against them.
Second, I've also harped on this quite a bit, is you got to manage your brain. I once had a trial attorney ask me on a podcast, what is your number one advice for new lawyers? Number one, I said my number one advice, piece of advice, manage your brain. Learn how to manage your brain because your brain is wired for fear. It is wired to keep you alive. Therefore, anything risky, anything scary, it's going to tell you not to try, not to do, to back away, when your whole job is running into fire. Your whole job is risk. Your whole job is fear. If you do not know how to manage your brain, you will consistently worry about trial. But when you start recognizing that your job is to fight not to win, you release that win, and you start looking at the jurors as the people who are going to help you, and you start telling your brain, look, brain, I know you're trying to help me keep me alive.
I'm going to survive, win or lose, I'll be fine. And you start working to rewire your brain. That's going to go a long way in never worrying about winning again. The third thing you have to do, third mindset shift is you have to own your greatness. You've heard me talk about the be do have model before, but I'll say it again. We tend to have that backwards. We tend to think, I've got to have the big verdicts to do the cool trial lawyer shit, and then I will be a great trial lawyer. The opposite is true. You have to decide right now that you are a terrific trial lawyer because once you firmly believe that and start wiring your brain to believe that you will start doing the things great trial lawyers do, and then you will have the results that they're getting.
But y'all are waiting. You're waiting for somebody else to come tell you that you are amazing. Well, here it is. I'm telling you, you are amazing, right now, verdict or no verdict, you are amazing. But until, and unless you start believing that you're amazing, you ain't ever going to get the results you want and you're for certain not going to stop worrying about trial.
Now, is there anything wrong with wanting to win? No. Wanting to win is awesome. It's natural. It's like saying, I shouldn't hope the cancer doesn't come back. Of course, I hope it doesn't come back. I want you to win. But what I want more for you is to never worry about winning again. I love you. Talk soon.
Simon says, stop working so damn hard. Simon says, book yourself a vacation. Simon says, listen to Sari. I am thrilled to once again invite y'all to join us in the H2H Playground. Come and be a part of the only online working group where plaintiff attorneys learn and practice proven trial skills in a safe place while having fun. Simon says, become the lawyer you were born to be. Visit sariswears.com/play and join the waitlist. Ready, set, go. Wait, I didn't say Simon says. Just checking to see if you're paying attention. But for real, go to sariswears.com/play now.
3 pOWERFUL STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU READ A JUROR'S MIND
Let the Jury Solve Your Problems in 3 Easy Steps
Join me for a free training to understand what the jury is thinking so you have the confidence to trust them - and yourself - in the courtroom.
Use the H2H Funnel Method so that jurors tell YOU the principles of the case instead of you telling THEM.
Subscribe to the Podcast
Tune in weekly as Sari shares tips that will help you up your game at trial, connect with jurors, and build confidence in your abilities so that you’ll never worry about winning again.
Sign up for trial tips, mindset shifts, and whatever else is on Sari’s brilliant fucking mind.