Stuck in Shanghai


A is for Acknowledge


The best thing

Some of the unpleasant times in our lives turn out to have done us a huge favour. Being stuck in a sweaty minibus in Shanghai in 1998 showed me good and proper that I was in the wrong place!


The writing on the wall

There were a few clues before the moment on the bus.

Like going into a job based on a subject I knew nothing about. But then, that’s a great way to get out of your comfort zone and learn, isn’t it?
Or like being told not to talk to customers about my same-sex partner. Hmm.
Or feeling like I spoke a different ’emotional language’ to almost everyone I worked with. Double hmm.
And having virtually no creative input to the work I presented.

The wrong bus

The moment on that minibus, full of Chinese salesmen, was a moment waiting to happen.

I knew deep in my bones that some thing had to change. There were too many things about me that just didn’t fit in that job.
And way too many things about the job that just didn’t fit with me.

Your bus

The A of my CARE Model is for Acknowledgement. An important aspect of this is acknowledging who you are and what you’re good at.

If you get into the habit of noticing those things every day, you’ll be clear about where you’re best suited.
Not only does acknowledging WWW each day (What Went Well) boost your confidence, wellbeing and resilience, it also gives you a criteria with which to measure how well you fit into whatever role, job or situation you might be considering. Or even a relationship for that matter.

Acknowledging You

So what might that criteria look like?

If it’s about a job or new work role, your criteria might include the level of creativity, autonomy or variety. It might be about flexible working, the kind of people you’ll be working with and how much or little team-working there’ll be.
If you notice what you achieve each day and what aspects of that gave you the most satisfaction, then, if a new choice comes along, you’ll already have a sense whether it fits for you.

Two years ‘on the wrong bus’

It took me two years full time and a couple of years dipping in and out of that role before I realised how many things didn’t fit for me. The time I spent in that job taught me a lot about highly professional presentations, sales skills and I enjoyed some great times. But in the end, it didn’t make me happy.

I hope you notice a little sooner. Two years+ is way too long to be on the wrong bus!

Matching the criteria

This week I’ll be preparing for some wellbeing workshops that I’ll be delivering over the next few weeks around various parts of the country. I’ll also be MC-ing another Alzheimer’s therapeutic dance party, visiting my Dad, working on my business ‘words’ and going to a hen-do that’s a little alternative and so is called a hen-don’t!

All these things match my criteria for ‘things that suit me’ and I’m looking forward to every moment of the week. It’s been a few years in the making, but I now have a life and work that never make me feel a sense of dread. Even on challenging or sad days, I know I’m on the right bus.
If you ever get that feeling of dread, check in with yourself; are you on the wrong bus?

Have a great week and enjoy as much of it as you can, after all, life’s too short to sit moaning at the back of a sweaty bus 😉

All my love,
Pam x

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