I've had the same job for five and a half years. And every in the year I have a review. I don't think this is uncommon. For those keeping track, this would be the fifth time I was reviewed in this job.
I may not be a great employe, but I am good. Above average in some areas, about average in others. So my reviews are good or better than good. And every year, I have gotten myself so freaked out and ended up in tears. Not because I was yelled at, disciplined or nearly fired. All the criticisms are fair, and there are a number of compliments. Because I got so tense or worried that I just bawled. The big ugly cry with the snot and the red face and then 20 minutes to pull myself together.
But not today! Today was my review, and it was fine and I was fine. Kept myself in check the whole time. I'm not sure what was different. I've been intentionally not overthinking it, so that probably helped. And this year we are in a raise pause, so really the consequences were not a factor (and I do realize a raise is not what a review is about).
Whatever the reason, I am proud of myself. It's a small thing, but it matters to me. And it probably made my boss more comfortable.