Important Lessons January Taught Me

A month that started very strong ended with a trip to A&E, some minor operation and a health scare. January was indeed a very weird month for me. It was a month of promising beginnings, yet it was emotionally and physically demanding. It's okay though, because it was in January when I finally found the place where I belong professionally, and it was when I proved my worth without even trying.

So, despite January being a roller coaster ride, it inspired me to do better and make things happen. And with just a month gone, 2018 has already taught me a number of valuable lessons. This is the reason why I started this blog series, so I can share what I have learned and hopefully inspire other people too. 

1. Confidence is everything.
- I never thought that I could get my confidence back that easy. It only took me a black jumpsuit and a 3-inch heels to stand up tall and say, "Confidence, Darling". Haha. But seriously speaking, life-changing decisions can make or break your confidence. I decided to leave my plain-sailing job of 5 years because of some people who constantly made me question my abilities and doubt myself. Where I am now, I see women everyday who want nothing but have their confidence back and be completely happy again. I am so grateful to be a part of this team who empowers women (and men) to be who they want to be. 

My new found confidence has given me the power to make positive change and motivate other people. It is now my job to protect the fire that's burning inside me, and not let anyone steal my confidence ever again.

2. Use your time wisely.
- This is one lesson I learned ages ago but in January, I felt like everyone wanted a piece of me more than ever before. To be fair, I always try my best to be there for the people I love and care about, be it physically or virtually, but January was out of control. As much as I appreciate that perhaps people sometimes forget that you also have your own life to live, own problems to solve and a body (and soul) to nourish, you don't need people to infuse negativity into your already challenging life, especially when you have implied that you too are going through something.  For once, I decided to step back from those people and devoted more of my time and effort to those who genuinely deserve them. By doing so, I made people who were very deprived of support and attention, feel more valued and appreciated.

3. You can't fake kindness.
- You are either kind or you're not. However, there is also such a thing as opportunistic kindness. I know people who are only kind to those above them because they need their approval and they are afraid of rejection. The same people can also be nice to people below them, only because they believe they have the power and control over them. So, the people in between don't get the same act of kindness because they are basically of no use to them. But they fake kindness regardless because they feel the need to impress. Kindness should be consistent. It shouldn't only be given to people you can benefit from. Kindness should be extended to anyone at any given time. You can fake kindness until you make it, but ultimately, what is not innate will betray you. 

4. Anywhere you go, whatever you do, there is always someone who is not going to like you.
- Generally, people at my new job are kind and helpful. However, there is this one lady from another department that hasn't shown any interest in me at all. Not that I need her approval, but as professionals, I expect her to at least acknowledge me when I say hi to her. But I guess someone has to be that person, otherwise professional life will be less exciting. :)

5. When your instinct tells you it's time to move on, move on. You are on your way to making your dreams come true. 
- It took a painful betrayal, a trip to Venice and a liberating divorce experience for me to finally learn how to listen to my instincts carefully. There are only a few things in this world that are worth fighting for. If you have a single doubt whether someone or something is worth the battle, it's your instinct telling you that perhaps it's time to move on. So listen carefully. 

Last year, just like in the years before that, I let go of a few things, including dear friends and dream jobs, and yet I am definitely happier now than I have ever been in my life in the UK.  I am really happy that I followed my gut feelings and left my previous job in December. And because I moved on,  I am more positive and happier in my new job. Despite the fact that where I am now is very different from the respectable surgeons and the equally reputable hospital that I am used to, I am still very much excited and inspired because this is another dream come true.

6. Difficult situations are the best teachers in life, so treasure them.
- On my first official day at work, I was thrown into a difficult situation where I was forced to showcase my managerial skills in a still unfamiliar place, with people I barely knew. But this was the best thing that happened that day because I effortlessly eased into my role and instantly became a part of the team. I didn't do anything special other than be myself. I am grateful to the cause of the problem because I never had to go through the dreadful anxiety of starting a new job. That day was a learning curve and I haven't stopped since.

7. Hone that skill that nobody taught you.
- I've always known that I have the skill to inspire and empower people in my own little way and I believe nobody taught me this. This is a skill that came so naturally. One day, I found myself empowering someone who was convinced she was a failure. That's how I realised that I don't have to be in the television or in youtube, or even a writer (which was my dream by the way) to motivate other people. I can just be myself and be there for others when they need someone to lift them higher. I am fortunate that I am now in a professional environment where I can surely develop this skill.

Well, January has gone by quickly and we're almost half-way through February. I already have learned a few valuable lessons in the first ten days of February and I am eager to learn more. Life is more exciting when there are lessons to be learned.



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