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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

See the human not the highlight

One of the highlights of last week was attending a 2022 Business Book Awards event and receiving the personal development book of the year award for The Success Trap: Why Good People Stay in Jobs They Don't Like and How to Break Free.

I hesitated to post about it because there’s always a little guilt at posting happy moments when there’s so much suffering in the world.

I almost didn’t go to receive the award in the first place and had a few things on my mind including:

- an anxious feeling in my heart (probably related to travelling after 2 years of pandemic isolation)

- wondering what I could do about the new war

- sadness over a breakdown in an old relationship

- will I slip back into my "overachiever" persona or is my mindfulness strong enough

- fear of losing focus on a project I’m working on

- concern that I’d lost my social skills and wouldn’t know how to have a conversation!

Thankfully, my family encouraged me to go. I also remembered the times I’ve had one big reason to do something and 100 reasons not to including: writing the book, my PhD viva, going to South Sudan to work with MSF and taking a career leap which I was so grateful to have done afterwards.

As it turned out, there was an industrial strike on the awards day, and I missed my train which definitely escalated my anxiety!

But it turned out to be a fantastic occasion of reconnecting with the outside world. I even decided it was going to serve someone else and took one of my clients who is writing a book along to the party.

I met great people including fellow authors Eleanor Tweddell and Chet Morjaria who were also recognised for their books (we are holding each other’s book in the photos). Even the train ride (the second one I booked…) was serendipitous as I met two lovely women, an entrepreneur and a HR Director, who livened the trip and took it upon themselves to advertise my book to the whole carriage!

Why do I share this?

Well, as a reminder that life is made up of a variety of experiences and they’re not all good or bad. The photos on our social media feeds represent a highlight. Instead of using it for comparison, you can connect with the human in the highlight.

At any one time, I guarantee there’ll be a multitude of things going on for a human no matter how it looks on the outside.

With thanks to @businessbookawards, my publisher Kogan Page and ThinkFest (Corporate Events & Networking). #bba2022


p.s. I’ll be holding a free workshop on how to harness difficult emotions of grief, anger and sadness while continuing to make a positive difference on the 24th. Join me. Registration here:

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