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How to handle the Stress of a Criminal Charge pending against you in Massachusetts

As a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer, I have spoke to and helped countless people facing a criminal charge.  One of the more difficult things to deal with is the stress and anxiety during the case.  Criminal cases take time so it is important to be in a good mental framework, to move forward with your life, family and career even while the charge is working its way through the Court Process.

For years, we have sent clients the book called the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. This is a great book and worth reading as well.  Recently, I have started sending a different book.  Change your Thinking Change your Life by Brian Tracy.  This book is incredible and has a very positive message.

Your thoughts Control your realty

The central message of the book is what we think controls who we are; are thoughts become our realty.  Tracy talks about how our outer world is a mirror of our inner world.

I agree with this.  When you believe you can accomplish something in life, and set a goal to accomplish it, I find that in most cases you will obtain that goal.   I received this incredibly positive message about life from my father at a young age. My father is a plumber and took me on many jobs when I was young.  After the initial, aggravation of the day, going to the plumbing supply stores, dealing with the inevitable problems of the job, he would be more relaxed in the afternoon with the completion of the job insight.  We often would be in someone’s basement and I would be the receipt of a lot of wisdom.  He would tell me if you work hard you can accomplish anything you want in life. It became a guiding belief throughout my life.  Now I read great thinkers like Brian Tracy to remind myself about this view of the world that my father taught me so long time ago and I have come to internalize.

Tracy states that all changes in life begin with a change in your self concept.  That is a change in the way you think about yourself.

Tracy states that the starting point in unlocking your potential is to change your self-limiting beliefs. He talks a lot about controlling your inner dialogue with positive phrases, such as:  “I like myself”, “I love myself” when you wake up say this will be a great day; this will be a great day.”

Many who have been charged with a crime regardless of the outcome, feel like their life is over, they have made a mistake, messed up.  This book is a chance to change you thinking and change your life.  I encourage anyone to read it.  Do not wait to improve your life until after a criminal charge is over.  Start now.  Do not use the fact that the case is pending as a reason why you cannot do something. This is a mistake I have seen many clients make.

Difference between making a mistake and being convicted of a criminal charge:  You can be not guilty at the same time feel as though you made a mistake in your decision making 

There is a major difference between making a mistake and being convicted of a criminal charge.  Most people charged with a criminal offense agree they have made a mistake.  You can learn from your mistake, admit you were wrong, learn from it, improve as a person, but at the same time require the Government to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and avoid a criminal conviction.

FORGIVE OTHER PEOPLE bring control to your life

Many people I have helped with a criminal case have strong feeling of resentment toward other people.  This may involve parents, former spouse, or co-worker.  Tracy say the root cause of negative emotion is the inability to forgive another person.  When you are angry with another person, you give them control over your life and your feelings.  By not forgiving you give your power to the other person.  You allow someone else to control you and your emotional life, exactly as if that person were there and the situation was occurring again.

Tracy’s teachings ring true.  Negative feelings  serve no purpose.  It may take some help with a counselor or other professional to help with serious negative emotions, but it is important to recognize the destruction impact of these feelings.  Growing up, my mother took me to church every week; and one of the core beliefs was to forgive others.  I feel as though when you are a positive person, set backs are relatively minor and you quickly move on because you have a sense of control.  Tracy says that for everything that happens in your life, respond by saying “I am responsible.”  When you do this, you liberate yourself from blaming others and take control of your own thoughts and inevitably, your life.  It is our control over our inner world that impacts how we are as people.  Taking responsibility is a way to take control over our mind and thoughts and not let others influence how we perceive the world or ourselves.

Relationship with your Parents

Many who face criminal charges have not been raised in the best family situation.  Tracy discusses how to resolve issues of blame or resentment toward your parents.  He talks about forgiving your parents.  It is common for people to have negative feelings toward their parents.  But when you forgive them, you release the control it has over you and your set yourself free.  Have you seen that in your life or someone you are close to?

Write out your goals

Tracy like many success writers says to write out your goals.  It is important to have your goals in front of you and in the front of your mind at all times.  I try to have my goals top of mind all the time.  As a lawyer I have goals for three areas of my career, improving my office, always improving my trial skills and maintaining a great client experience.  These goals are always top of mind and make me excited to get up each day because there is always more to accomplish.  You need to find what excites you and motives you and work toward it with a positiver mind set.  Read Tracy’s book and others like it and you will improve you earning capacity, be able to deal with anytime of set back and have control over your thoughts and your life.

One of the great quotes from Tracy’s book is that you become a leader to the degree you force yourself to face the danger, turn toward what scares you.

I encourage anyone to read Changing your Thinking Change your Life.  It is a great book to read, reread, reference and implement what Tracy says, as it will improve your life and ability to accomplish your goals.

To keep in contact with Attorney DelSignore learn what he reads, updates on Criminal Law follow him on Facebook at DelSignore Law.  



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