Trial Day 11 – Know When To Settle

You want it all. So do I. We want to be successful, whatever that means to us. We want our families to be successful. We want more money, more love, more fun and more applause. We want what we want, when we want it. All of this wanting is great if it drives you forward, makes you curious, and lights your fire. But you have to know when to settle. I learned this lesson in the courtroom.

Courtroom trials are enormously stressful. Studies show that anxiety, depression and PTSD often plague those who sue. In fact, they call it “litigation response syndrome.” And it’s not just those who sue. I’ve seen many of my clients, the defendants, suffer the stress of trial. Worst of all, I watched my mentor and my uncle have a heart attack in the courtroom, an event that changed my approach forever and one I go into more deeply in my upcoming book. Bottom line–sometimes the best thing you can do is settle.

This is a conversation I often have to have with my clients. I represent doctors, men and women who have spent their adult lives studying, training and working to learn the skills to save lives. When they’re accused of hurting people, it’s devastating. They want to fight to the end. And yet, they also want to be healthy, to help other patients, to control their own destiny. There’s a reason lawyers are also called counselors, and why my psychology degree is often more useful than my law degree. Because together my client and I have to determine what she really wants, and the best way to get it.

You may have to settle too. TODAY’S CHALLENGE–TRY TO SETTLE. No one has it all. I once heard someone say that balance is impossible. He gave the example of a ballerina on pointe–she may look perfectly balanced, but in truth her feet are constantly moving back and forth, making little corrections. That’s what settling is all about. Push, then pull. Fight, then rest. Give up, to get. Put down the weapons, then open your arms for an embrace. Settling often looks like surrender, but letting go just might leave your hands free for exactly what you need.

Where will you settle today? Remember, we need YOUR ideas so that we can all learn from each other And please share this challenge if it resonates with you. We’re trying to grow a community here, and to do that we need your help. See you tomorrow.

Heather Hansen

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