Do you remember the movie Ghost with Patrick Swayze, Whoopi Goldberg, and Demi Moore? Of course, you do.
Picture the scene where Oda Mae is trying to sleep while Sam is incessantly singing “I’m ‘Enery the Eighth, I am, ‘Enery the Eighth, I am, I am…”
My inner critical voice has been singing to me on repeat lately, but her words are not motivating nor endearing. She’s no Patrick Swayze.
She wants attention. She wants to remind me that I bought a terribly uncomfortable mattress a few weeks ago. I was nervous in the store because the salesperson wasn’t wearing a mask. So, I bought a brick covered in foam just to get out of there quickly.
She wants me to remember all the times I said or did the wrong things – whether they occurred 20 minutes or 20 years ago.
She wants me to shut down my business and get a “real job” because my revenues are down this year.
I must change the playlist in my brain. I’m using this post to do so.
To finish 2020 strong, I have completed the first draft of a workbook to help readers calm perfectionism and quiet the critical voice. Obviously, this book was born out of personal need.
When I release the book to you next year, five people may buy it, but my hope is that the six of us will benefit. Ooh, there goes that critical voice again!
One of the exercises in the book is to take inventory of the good things you’ve done. We perfectionists tend to focus on our foibles and snub our successes.
With duct tape over the mouth of my critical voice, here are ten good things I did in 2020:
- I wrote some of my best blogs ever. The intensity and emotion of this year deeply affected me, and that came out in my writing.
- I practiced self-care. With help from wonderful doctors who embraced telemedicine, I took care of my health. I meditated three to five times a week. I availed myself of Dr. Laurie Santos’ free course, The Science of Well-Being. I walked outdoors when weather and motivation collided.
- I helped people. I helped family, friends, clients, and strangers. I coordinated resources and donated expertise. I made a difference in the lives of other people.
- I maximized my investments in technology. I became a Mailchimp power user and published a free webinar on interruptions. I learned about search engine optimization and upgraded my website. I bravely unsubscribed hundreds of nonreaders from my productivity blog distribution list and created a five-month trickle campaign for my new Learn Together distribution list. This is rock star stuff, people.
- I developed my skills as a writer. I joined industry associations, participated in dozens of webinars, joined a critique group, and submitted manuscripts to publishers, agents, and writing contests.
- I called my friends. For years, I have habitually called friends who don’t live near me. This year, I called everyone. Lots. I have not been able to see them face-to-face but hearing their voices and laughter has been wonderful medicine.
- I intensified my education on systemic racism. I recommend the following: go through Rachel Cargle’s free 30-day #DoTheWork course, follow No White Saviors on Instagram, and take one or more of Harvard’s Implicit Assumption tests.
- I pivoted my speaking business into webinars. With support from my wonderful clients at Volkswagen, I developed and delivered several webinars. I loved doing this! Adapting to the Zoom format was no big deal, and I was able to introduce training exercises that you can only do when participants are in front of their computers. It was so, so fun.
- I led the effort to get Captain Corona and the 19 COVID Warriors out to the world. Even if I had done nothing else this year, Captain Corona would have marked 2020 as a success.
- I persevered. In the words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
That’s my inventory. My critical voice is about to pass out from screaming into the duct tape across her mouth. She wants me to make her list of all the things I did poorly. She doesn’t want me to post this blog.
Maybe I’ll put ‘Enery the Eighth on repeat for her.
I encourage you to grab the duct tape, quiet your critical voice, and celebrate your successes this year. 2020 was a doozy, right? But you’ve likely succeeded more than you think.
And if 2020 was one of your best years ever, that’s wonderful! Several of my clients have had record (high) revenues. Feeling guilty about your achievements is your critical voice trying to steal the joy. I applaud you and your success.
I’m going to ask Alexa to play Unchained Melody at volume seven. I’ve got to get rid of this ‘Enery the Eighth earworm.
Are you ready to finally achieve what you set out to do?
Read my eBook Set Goals…even if you’re not convinced you’ll achieve them.
Melissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.