The Soft Skills
Interesting that when we talk about the soft skills in coaching, it basically refers to anything that is psychological, in most coaching courses we barely touch on the soft skills.
Likewise most people barely consider the soft skills, save for a few weeks of concentrating on mental skills towards an important test. But realistically the realm in which both athlete, coach, employer and employee work is governed by soft skills.
Bottom line, there is nothing soft about the soft skills!
It’s not a softening of sport I’m referring to here. It’s the strengthening of it.
Performance is a simple melding of application, process and presence, driven by passion, enthusiasm, will and compassion. Yes, compassion!
If you think compassion, empathy and benevolence have no place in that order, then you cannot perform to your most authentic potential.
These realms are essential in both coach and athlete. Happiness and positivity are born and bred in these realms.
To be at your true potential you need to understand, know and value yourself. There has to be a move made towards the self, not away from it.
If you can’t have compassion for yourself, then you can’t have any for anyone else, or by extension, for the world.
Coaches and the people theory work with often both suffer from the same disease which is a lack of the self.
The process you are anchored to is arising in the world, and that world is arising inside you. Benevolence and compassion bring you them as a byproduct of your own existential place here in this world.
If we want to feed our goals, we have to understand the requirements of its natural diet which keeps it in homeostasis, healthy and developing.
Projection, self judgment, comparison, negativity, cynicism, doubt and fear is the junk food that we often tend to gorge on to try to satiate the veracious, unconscious appetite of our goals and dreams.
Those foods are a quick hit, they have intensity but they have no supporting ground, they have no substance because they are fed to our goals by our mind.
An illusionary mind creates illusionary food and in that realm the goal is not sustainable, it’s malnourished and starving for real food. If we do not wake up to this, we look further and further afield for an answer that is right under our own nose.
You can’t feed a goal thoughts, belief and philosophy. It wants to be fed something tangible.
So what is tangible? Well lets look and enquire into that question.
Here is a simple question, is it thought or felt? If it’s felt it’s real food. If its thought, it’s likely junk food and high in trans fatty acid.
Self worth, self respect, self love, purpose, enthusiasm, motivation, desire, will, heart and guts all come together to create a food that is nourishing and profoundly powerful, replenishing, refreshing, and it fuels life itself. The food is deeply felt, sensed, perceived, breathed and lived; that food is called consciousness.
The plate this food comes on is called awareness. It takes awareness to be “aware” that this is the real food.
The energy that it creates makes all your dreams and goals possible, that energy directly creates resilience. That’s right, that often misdiagnosed and misunderstood term “mental toughness”.
The mind does not know resilience. One moment it tells you that you’ve got what it takes, a minute later it comes up with an argument against its own dialogue.
The only real authentic power we have is to not react to the minds scripts, dialogues and monologues and to track it and realise that is the truth of it. To give up on feeding the goal junk food and to get healthy.
Everything else is surplus or illusion.
The greatest problem is that we try to bring order and control to that which will not be ordered or controlled. We try to bring order to the mind to try to bring order to the world.
If life on this planet teaches us anything, it’s that it is impossible to bring order to the world.
Once we bring awareness to our own life, we begin to bring awareness to the outer world.
We become more sensitive to the worlds subtle movements, and as an extension we begin to bring attention to our own subtle body.
The upshot of all this is that we begin to understand that the outer world is a reflection of our own inner state.
The reality in the world is based on your perception of it and nothing else.
Whats the skinny? It’s all so called soft skills!
If we are running our reality through a filter based on thought and belief, how can we ever know it’s deeper truth?
Ultimately your potential to realise your goals and dreams are all about what you feed them. The one thing that you actually do have control over, that is your responsibility and your choice.
I’ve actually heard coaches say they are not interested in the soft skills. That is paramount to saying I am not interested in coaching or living.
None of us can escape the irrefutable fact that every single thing occurs within our awareness. The body itself is nothing more than a physical vehicle that can only arise within awareness; no awareness, no body.
We’d love to put it all on the body wouldn’t we? Wow, how athletes and coaches try to do that. But we know intuitively that the body can only be present within awareness.
We go to sleep at night and the awareness goes on a journey of sleep and dreaming, while the body drops completely from awareness. How hard we fight this fact, so addicted to the physical are we that we don’t trust our own direct experience.
The body can only be known by awareness. The physical body arises within awareness as soon as it leaves the realm of sleep and dreams.
If you really want to know the definition of a dream, it is to believe that awareness arises in the body in the morning.
Why is this important? What are you without awareness? What are you without the so called soft skills?
Where is your body without them?