Finding Your Passion - And Your People - Is The Way Through Darkness

Clare Anderson
18th June 2021
 < 1 min read

Extroverts out there won’t need any explanation as to what living under strict lockdown conditions does to your state of mind! I’m an outgoing, people-person who needs other human beings to interact with on a daily basis. What do you do to hold on to your sanity when this is just not possible?! 


Find your go-to passion - and make sure you nurture it every single day - in any way you can! Mine is cycling - but it can be anything - and its importance can’t be emphasized enough. It’s also super-important to make sure you have the right people around you (even virtually) to give you the support you need.

My biggest challenge during this pandemic has been learning how to coach and mentor people successfully online - when it’s just SO much easier to do face-to-face in the office! I know there are many benefits to working from home (less time commuting being a big one!) but when you have serious family and personal responsibilities, it can be daunting trying to balance these in the same environment as your work one. I’ve really missed being in the office where I can get the people-fix I need every day - and - importantly - focus only on my work. It really isn’t so easy to demonstrate and clearly explain complex concepts (like geospatial or coding tools) when you’re interacting with a computer, rather than an actual person. I’ve found it frustrating trying to support my mentees in the best possible way. Prior experience showed me that people ‘get it’ so much more quickly and easily when you’re sat beside them and they can easily take in the shortcuts and tips you’re giving them. Plus you don’t have to handle potential pitfalls like intermittent or bad internet connections!

I’ve had to dig deep for patience - it takes time for newbies to fully grasp convoluted and involved tasks - and be able to replicate what I’ve shown them with grace and ease. I’ve learned that boiling complex concepts down into the most basic and short steps possible is going to accelerate the learning process. I take time to prepare and think through my coaching sessions in the simplest terms possible. One of my biggest learning takeaways has been the realization that my fellow mentors are an invaluable and very helpful resource. They’re full of good advice on how to be the most effective and readily share their best practices. They’ve been a big part of keeping me going during my hardest times. As I said, you need good people around you to really succeed in life - be it with an online teaching challenge like mine - or anything else. My mentees are the proof in the pudding - they’re learning so much more quickly and easily now - and I’m proud of this! I am blessed to be part of a business that encourages both independence and collaboration and actively builds leaders to realise their full potential. 

What’s truly been my saving grace over the last year and a bit of this pandemic though?  Like I said - finding - and nurturing - my passion - no matter what the external circumstances. Cycling teaches me to push myself to my limits - and makes me appreciate the journey rather than the destination. I hit the road with my bike whenever I can - it fills me up like I can’t really describe. And when I can’t get out and cycle due to super-strict lockdown restrictions? I adapt and teach myself basic bike maintenance and servicing via YouTube videos! I’ll never need to go to a bike repair shop again - I've got whatever problem it might throw my way! Lockdowns come and go and none of us is ever really sure what we’re going to wake up to each new day. My advice - find your passion - and surround yourself with the most supportive people you can - it’ll be the best thing you ever did for your mental health.




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