A Year In Review

The Conflict Between Spotify in South Korea and Kakao M - Kworld Now

We all have experienced thoughts that talked us out of doing a thing that was on our heart… those little perfectionist tendencies, and fears of criticism, that say we should wait until we can do it better.

For me it’s this pixelated, low-res image of myself at the end of my Year In Review video. It’s the pic that I use on everything because I think I look super cute. It’s one of my favorite pics of me. I rarely ever take a selfie, and it’s even rarer for me to like the ones I do take. (I think I’m way cuter in person.) Honestly, I haven’t been photo ready since the pandemic. It’s all pj’s and hats going on over here. 🤣

Anywho… so yesterday, I was ready to post this video and I paused because the last frame is not perfect. I haven’t taken professional photos and I as I watched the video I cringed at the quality of my pic. I really wanted to use it because it is the only photo of me and I wanted to be in my video. I kept hearing the voice of imaginary viewers saying, “Dang. She couldn’t get a professional headshot?” I thought of the many business coaches who I’ve heard say, “If you want people to take your business seriously, you need professional photos.” I paused and nearly scrapped the whole video!

Then, I remembered an epiphany that came to me the day prior. I realized that… and this is super vulnerable… my ultimate goal for most of my life has been to avoid criticism. 😬 Everything that I’ve wanted my entire adult life has been so I could finally feel safe. Until the moment I received that insight, I had no idea that the elusive finish line—I’ve been pursuing since my 20’s—is the day I get to exclaim, “I have all my ducks in a row, and there’s nothing left for anyone to criticize!”

Good luck with that one, Marlene.

The important thing about this discovery is that I realized it’s a hopeless pursuit. Idon’t have control over anyone else’s perception of what I do, or of what they feel I should do differently. I will never be able to please everybody.

So I decided that I’m done trying to please everyone. From now on, I’m going to do my work for me. I will still have standards, but I’ve decided to let my intentions guide me rather than my fears.

I’ve decided to be more committed to my intentions, than I am to avoiding what I fear. So from now on, I’ll “feel the fear (of criticism) and do it anyway. That’s my plan for 2022. I’m leaving the old way in 2021. It didn’t serve me, anyway.

So let me tell you about my video….

This year has been a major deep dive of inner work and personal development. I have been working on me ALL year! One of the greatest decisions I made, was to take you along for the ride.

I decided to show up more by blogging about my journey and my epiphanies along the way. I always add a “call to action” so that you’re not just listening to me drone on pointlessly. I want you to get something out of it, too. So I offer you some ideas of ways you can incorporate my lessons into your own journey.

I am so grateful that you are with me, walking this path and growing in your own way. This year I started blogging several times per month and I create my own memes to go with each blog post. My video is a collection of some of my favorite memes I created this year. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. Thank you for how you evolve and show up in this world because we’re all connected. How we show up matters.

Thank you for your support of me, my work, my posts, my art…. all of it. I am grateful for you being a part of my community—which I decided yesterday morning to call my Empowerment Community. As I empower you, you also empower me. Your uplifting comments, shares, and likes inspire me to keep going and to remember that I am not alone. It is a blessing to have your company on this journey. 🤗

Continue being good to yourself and the people who cross your path. Continue doing good in the world. It all matters. Your ripple is far bigger than you can imagine. You matter. You are amazing! You’re a blessing to me and to our world. I am grateful for you. 💞

Blessings! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

Creator of #Proud2BNaturalMe❤💜💙💚


Tap here to check out my full blog posts!


For community members with visual impairments, I created an audio track just for you. Tap here to listen to the music from the original 2021 Year in Review video, with voice over descriptions of each image. I hope this is helpful. Happy New Year! I have also listed the descriptions below.

My Year in Review video is just images, text, and music. I’ve provided a description of each frame below. Blessings!

  • Frame 1 – Blue screen with white script text states A Year in Review
  • Frame 2 – Image of a purple flower with raindrops on petals, facing downward, stem bent; Text in purple states “All things work together for good.”
  • Frame 3 – Image of desert background with blue sky. Text states “I forgive myself for trusting you more than me.”
  • Frame 4 – Image of a camping site with tent and wood fire. Text states, “Let’s stop building houses where we should be pitching tents.” Inspired by T. D. Jakes.
  • Frame 5 – Image of series of archways in perspective, each one appearing smaller than the one before it. Text states Our thoughts guide our emotions.
  • Frame 6 – Image of a young woman with curly hair holding a cellphone. Text states: “A thought is a suggestion —to keep or discard is our choice.
  • Frame 7 – Image of heaven, bright sky with clouds and streams of light from center. Text states: We are all connected. Follow intuition. Don’t hold back.
  • Frame 8 – Image of a winding road from driver’s perspective. Trees line the sides of the road. Text states: The past is over. What are you going to do with the present?
  • Frame 9 – Image of an orange, black, and white monarch butterfly on a yellow flower. Text states I love myself unconditionally—all I was, al I am, and ALL I am becoming.
  • Frame 10 – Image of a gray brick wall. White text outlined in light blue states Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind — even if your voice shakes. Maggie Kuhn
  • Frame 11 – Image of a winding road with trees on both sides. Text states We will never reach our individual destinations navigating our lives with someone else’s map.
  • Frame 12 – Image of close up child with folded arms staring into the distance. Parents in background arguing. Text states Children believe it’s their fault. It’s our job to teach them it’s not.
  • Frame 13 – Image of a ocean shore line. Turquoise water, foamy waves against a sandy beach shore. Text in dark bluish green states What if our assignment as parents is to get our children to their destiny…. whole?
  • Frame 14 – Image of close up of four plants growing out of soil, each at different growth stages. Green background. Text in green states, “Problems are opportunities we create when we want to grow.” Louise Hay
  • Frame 15 – Image of two children dressed up in silver astronaut costumes. One wearing a helmet. One wearing goggles. Both sitting in a homemade spaceship of tin foil and soda bottles. Text states, Stop asking children what they want to be when they grow up, unless you intend to speak life into their dreams.
  • Frame 16 – Image of person holding and looking over a resume with a stack of more resumes before them. Text states, You are enough. Maybe they were just underqualified.
  • Frame 17 – Image Close up of a sheet of ruled paper and the tip of a pencil. Text states You matter. Your presence matters. What small thing can you do today to make a positive impact?
  • Frame 18 – Photo of Marlene Dillon smiling, natural curly hair, black blouse. Text states Marlene Dillon Empowerment, I’m Proud to Be Natural Me! Author Illustrator, MDillon Designs & Publishing Owner

Want to listen to my blog posts? Check out my Spotify.

More posts are being added. Soon all my blog posts will be available in text and audio. So check back later, or leave me a note in the comments if the post you’re looking for isn’t available in on my Spotify. Blessings!

Published by Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

Marlene Dillon is the CEO of MDillon Designs & Publishing. I teach girls to believe in themselves and choose relationships that support their goals. I teach children that their dreams are possible and that they are lovable. I teach parents to communicate with their children in healthy ways. In short, I.U.S.E. people. Inspire. Uplift. Support. Empower.

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