By Poornima Vijayashanker
Earlier this week I met up with some friends for drinks to spend some time together before we go our separate ways for the holidays.
As I spoke to each friend individually, I noticed that they each spoke about how they felt really behind.
They were behind on finishing up projects at work, starting their next startup, buying presents, or getting back to someone whom they owed a favor to.
The overall vibe in the room was: “ZOMG I am so far behind, how will I catch up in time for 2016?!”
One friend was even concerned that the gifts she had sent to her clients weren’t “good enough”.
Now I know my friends pretty well to know they are not procrastinators or couch potatoes.
They are type A people, who push themselves to the limit and are hard on themselves because they feel like they’re not doing enough.
Some think it’s a necessarily edge to getting and staying ahead, when in reality it’s actually holding them back from enjoying their life and accomplishing bigger goals they have for themselves.
What they don’t realize is that when they don’t take the time to recognize what they have accomplished, nothing will ever be good enough. They will always feel dissatisfied with themselves. While they might think that their dissatisfaction will act as a fire and fuel them to accomplish more, it actually leads to high levels of anxiety and depression.
I am no exception.
I learned the hard way that constantly pushing and being hard on myself doesn’t actually help. It actually backfired on me pretty badly, and led me to having really high levels of anxiety. I eventually learned how to handle my anxiety and balance it with my ambition.
Now I know that it’s uncomfortable to speak about your accomplishments proudly, because people will think you’re being proud or pompous.
But when you do, you create a positive emotion that leads to increased levels of resiliency and get this, you actually live longer!
So just for a minute, let’s forget about others. Let’s open up a new Google doc or grab a piece of paper, and take a moment to list out what we accomplished this year and even last year. Both big and small. Professional and personal. And just because other people contributed, doesn’t discount that together you made it happen!
If you’re stuck get a close friend to do it for you and then return the favor.
Here’s my list of accomplishments and contributions from this year that I am proud of (and only the 7th bullet was one that I did all on my own):
- Launching FemgineerTV
- Launching Present! A Techie’s Guide to Public Speaking
- Launching Confident Communicator Course
- Backing 7+ crowdfunding campaigns that went towards funding businesses, helping people go back to school, and paying medical bills
- Spending 4 weeks brushing up on my Spanish in Chile and Barcelona
- Learning to make chocolate pot de creme
- Reading nonfiction and fiction books like: Thanks for the Feedback, Headstrong, Rising Strongly, Big Magic, The Art of Asking, The Product Hunt Manual The Lost Girls, More Tales of the City, and Claire Dewitt and the Bohemian Highway
What are you proudest accomplishments from 2015 or before? Let me know in the comments below!