For a lot of us, when it comes to writing our end of year reviews, it would be easier if we were asked to write our colleague's, cousins, aunt's or even mum's than our own.
You open the form, stare at the questions and self-doubt creeps in. What have I really done this year it asks… and the silences feels deafening. Then fear starts to speak up, and you start looping through all the things that went wrong, one after another, after another!
And there it is, the overthinking downward spiral in which you are firmly trapped, while staring at a blank page on the computer screen. Then if you are anything like me and many of my clients, you close down the document and focus on something else that feels within your control, never fully prioritising yourself and the amazing things you have done this year.
So I want to give you another way, 3 steps that you can try in order to feel confident and proud when you hit send on your review this year.
Step 1: Connect with your emotions
90 seconds is all it takes to feel an emotion and let it pass through you, as long as your overthinking mind doesn’t creep in and start creating stories, then we hold onto the emotion by recreating it over and over in our minds. So let’s stop the overthinking mind and release the emotions:
· Label each emotion with an “I am feeling…” statement.
· Take 3 deep breaths and examine where the emotion sits in your body, feel it releasing with each breath.
· Thank the emotion, particularly fear, for supporting you and say goodbye.
If it doesn’t want to move on, grab a pen and paper and allow yourself to write, unedited for no more than 3 minutes so the emotion feels heard, then throw away/burn the paper.
Step 2: Reset your baseline
Our tendency to overthink means we have such a critical – what we like to call realistic – view of ourselves. We quickly squash anything good and move on to the next project, learning, or a conversation we could have done better. Yet all the time I am willing to bet you are doing some amazing things and awareness of them is the real realsitci view and the baseline we need when it comes to writing about ourselves. So pick one, two or all of these to help you boost your baseline:
· Ask family or friends for 3 things they know you have done well this year.
· Write a list of 20 - 50 things that make you proud of yourself.
· Write down one thing you want to improve and follow it up with 3 ways you are amazing.
Capture at least 4 times in the past where you have been set a challenge and succeeded.
Step 3: Get practical
Finally, you want to make time for your review when you are feeling at your very best. So, decide to block out an hour in your diary when you can focus, maybe block out a few options in case the unexpected happens, which we know it can.
Now only you know when is best, so take time to look at your diary and pick a time that works best for you. Perhaps you need to avoid before or after difficult meetings, lean into your morning lark or night owl ways or ensure it's after a filling meal.
Then when the time arrives, get your tea or coffee, be disciplined with turning off your email and instant messenger and get writing.
I hope these tips support you in your everyday life and in your year end review.
Go show your team and more importantly yourself how you have done amazing things during a very tough year.
And of course if you are still struggling on how to format and capture your year end review, reach out to me and we can break it down together in just one session.
P.S Look no further if you want a way to complete your own personal end of year review!