A reality check...

The next Innovator Academy is in Sweden and the closing date for applications is September 6th. You can get more information here.

This week I returned to work, and on Monday morning I was hit with the reality of trying to juggle my innovator project alongside my many other responsibilities. 

As well as my innovator project, I am also starting a master's degree and have just taken on additional work at a local University.  Every day this week I have received requests for Google Training and support and I still have my normal teaching hours and responsibilities to fulfil, not to mention spending quality time with my wonderful wife and two young boys!

Initially, I felt like the innovator bubble surrounding me had been burst. Overwhelmed by the thoughts spinning around in my head, I could feel the stress and frustration increasing within me and to be honest, they are yet to fully subside. However, it is now Friday and taking the time to write this blog has allowed me to truly reflect on what the coming year has to offer. We can sometimes focus too much on the negatives of taking on new projects and overloading ourselves with work when really we should be looking forward to the positive experiences we can have when making the most of the opportunities presented to us.

This is exactly what my time at the innovator academy, and indeed the weeks since have taught me. Ask any of my friends or colleagues whether I would be suited to, or even enjoy spending 3 days with 35+ people I have never met, and they would probably laugh at you. However, I can honestly say that the Innovator experience has been one of the most exciting, eye-opening and meaningful things I have ever been involved in. To be surrounded by so many dedicated, inspirational and like-minded people is a rarity and something which has given me a different perspective on work and life in general.

The Innovator academy taught me that imposter syndrome is a real thing and at some point I am sure that most of us questioned whether or not we were “good enough” to be part of such an exceptional group of people, but this was not a bad thing, in fact, self-doubt is sometimes an important emotion, which allows us to truly evaluate our position and the value of people around us. I have realised that collaboration is important. Understanding what each person brings to the table, and how we can support each other, is the key to success. 

Since the academy, I have been enthused by the continued correspondence between us all, whether it be through hangouts, Facebook or video chat, and this is certainly something which has helped with the come down from the 3-day academy.  My coach and team members have helped me pivot in my ideation and prevent me from ringing the bell. I have now met with my mentor, who despite being on the other side of the world, has already made me feel like we have made a  valuable connection. I have realised that I am not alone... I have a network of colleagues, innovators, coaches and mentors, all of whom are willing and ready to support me in overcoming the hurdles awaiting me. I have a new group of friends who I am looking forward to helping where I can, whilst watching their projects grow from the fantastic ideas they are into the transformational projects I know they will be.

So, in reality, things are not as bad as they seemed. Yes I am going to have a busy year and it's not all going to be plain sailing, but if I remember that I am not on my own, what's the worst that can happen?

Martin Hoskin, Havant and South Downs College, Waterlooville, UK

You can follow Martin on Twitter @martin_hoskin


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