A view on a Hyper Island journey from anxious eyes

When I first applied for the business developer course on Hyper Island, I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t even sure that I’d get in. But what if I were to be accepted? What would that mean? It had been years since I opened a book (not that you do in Hyper Island). I would have to quit my job!

I have been an anxious person my whole life. I was always that worried child that could never be left alone. It’s safe to say that I’ve never been able to handle new, unknown challenges very well. And interestingly, it was never the challenges themself that were the issue, rather the mental preparation and disastrous anxt for these challenges.

When I found out that I had been accepted I was almost shocked. I called my boss immediately to tell her that I would no longer be working there. My god, what have I done?

When it was time for our first meetup, or so called Way Week, in Karlskrona I was incredibly nervous. I had already accepted the fact that I might drop out later just to give myself a way out.

So why am I telling you this?

In Hyper Island you will hear the saying “trust the process”. To an anxious person, that is hard to do. But I told myself not to expect anything and so I jumped into the deep end of the pool, not knowing if I could swim.

Hyper Island, thanks to their fail fast- and learning by doing-approach, taught me that it is okay to do something I’m not good at. To try something new and draw learnings from those experiences so that I can do it better the next time. When I’m suddenly being thrown into a client case without a clue on how to solve it I have no other option but to accept the situation and do my best. And sceptical as I was initially, this has been revolutionary in how I will do things moving forward, both in my career and in my daily life. I’ve come to understand that you can never foresee everything that will happen to you, so it’s better to relearn how to approach new things going into it.

If you look at it simply, the things you do can only turn out successful, unsuccessful or anywhere in between. And so what if it didn’t go my way this time? That gives me an opportunity to analyze, reflect and figure out what I can do better next time around.

One example is when me and my team worked on a client brief. We thought that we had made a good and thorough assessment of what their needs and wants were, so we started working on a solution. Problem was, everytime we came back to check in with them they told us that they had already tried this solution and that they were expecting more from us.

Being that this was a quite complicated brief and we were very limited by time, we ended up wrapping up the collaboration without really achieving anything.

Now this could be seen as a failure. And for some people, especially me, it was. I had failed. But wait! Let’s try to apply the Hyper Island mindset here. Let’s reflect a bit on this experience and try to draw learnings from it using the well of knowledge.

  1. What happened?

We didn’t achieve the result we wanted nor did we produce anything useful for our client.

2. How did it make me feel?

It made me feel dumb and a bit worthless. I had been a disappointment to the client.

3. What insights do I get?

We weren’t on the same page as the client even though we thought we were. This tells me that I need to know I’m sure, and not think I’m sure.

4. How can I apply this insight to do better in the future?

I can not always rush things just because I think I am short of time. Next time, I will spend more time outlining what the desired outcome is, write it down, and have the client agree to it.

There! Now we have made this uncomfortable experience into a learning experience using reflections.

In Hyper Island, and throughout all the modules, you’ll gain tools and methods to do great work. But mostly, you’ll learn that it’s so much more than totally nailing a project. It’s about learning for the rest of your life. To relearn how to learn, if you will.

This is how I relearned to view the situations in front of me.

So with this said, I want to wrap up this article by stating that Hyper Island didn’t only make me a competent business developer. They gave me the competence to continue learning for life. But what does this mean for an anxious man like me? Well, having gone through these experiences over and over again has given me the confidence to take on new challenges, but it has also given me the competence to learn from them.

Finally I want to say that there is a big difference between failing and quitting. And in my eyes you only fail if you quit. Failing, or not achieving a certain goal, could and should rather be seen as a learning experience.

//Felix Nordling

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Felix Nordling

Felix Nordling

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