Personal Reflection: What I'm Proud of Accomplishing in 2021

Here are a few things Bree's proud of accomplishing in 2021.

Two people standing on top of a mountain with fists raised in triumph.

December certainly has established a reputation for itself as a month for reflection. That's not terribly surprising—it is the final month before the new year, after all. What better way to celebrate the season than to stick to the theme and make the second blog post of December one all about reflection? So, read on for a few things I'm personally proud of accomplishing this past year. (Stay tuned for next week’s reflective post on Chalk and Tablet’s accomplishments as a company!)


1. Collaboration

I have some of the best coworkers in the business (it's not empty flattery if it's true!) and I'm particularly proud of the collaborative work I've accomplished with them. 2021 was the year of discovering how good collaboration—sharing thoughts and ideas and perspectives with colleagues that you respect and trust—can fuel self-growth and improvement exponentially. As it turns out, a strong, collaborative spirit between coworkers is a key ingredient in the secret recipe of (my) success.


My collaborative efforts with my team helped me tremendously in two ways: in improving my work and my skills, and in recognizing how I can help improve others and the collective as a whole.


Self:

Collaboration makes you better, and having Kara's keen eye, for example, on my work never failed to help take it to the next level. Being given the gift of someone else's perspective helped broaden my own, and gave me the chance to challenge, and ultimately better, myself—something I'm very proud of. It's called constructive criticism for a reason, and the best collaboration focuses on the "constructive" part the most—working on the Chalk and Tablet team has really made that apparent!


Collaboration didn’t just improve my own work—it also helped sharpen and refine my editing skills (which I’ll admit—it’s far more fun to edit another’s work than my own!). It was extremely gratifying to strengthen skills through the caring help of others.


Other:

Besides the positive effects all this good collaborative spirit had on me, I was also able to see how my own contributions helped transform our final products. Nothing filled me with more pride than seeing a final piece that showcased the talents of a team working in co-harmony. And I’m proud that any of our final products would never have been as good as they are had they been produced alone (yes, this is something to be proud of!). It means that I’m part of a well-functioning team—and it’s incredibly satisfying to play an important role amongst other talented people!


2. Openness


Working for a small (but mighty!) business requires a certain ability to wear multiple hats. The difficult part, of course, occurs when those hats aren't necessarily our style—aka, aren't in our wheelhouse. Taking a dip into the unknown is daunting, and if being a belly-flop into the pool instead of a hesitant toe-checker type of person was already a solid characteristic of mine, I wouldn't be so proud of this particular accomplishment! But that classic aphorism isn't entirely played out—with risk does come reward.


Dare I say this one's a little open-ended? I do, if only for the sake of some silly wordplay. But really, being open to new and varied challenges and opportunities is long a trait I've admired in others, and one I'm proud of cultivating in myself this year.


Risking being bad at something by being open to trying it ended up being far less important than the actual act of being open itself. It turns out that when you're receptive to new ideas, things, experiences, and, yes, projects and work, you end up learning far more than you would have otherwise, stuck in your "lane". And what better shape for a person than well-rounded?


Conclusion

While there are plenty of other small things I'm proud of accomplishing this past year, collaborating so well with my team and pushing myself to be open have to be the two biggest ones I'm proudest of.


It's important to reflect on the things we've accomplished that we're proud of so that we can better see all the ways we've improved. Once we see where we’ve improved, we can also see how far we still need to go and prepare ourselves to reach even greater heights in the new year. So, please, I'd love to know: what are you most proud of accomplishing this year?