How are your S3 “Soft Skills”?
In general, the world values people with what are termed "Hard Skills".
A "hard skill" is a tangible expertise at a particular task or occupation. Writing, math, computer programming; doctors, physicists, engineers. Hard Skills are identified based on an objective evaluation.
A "soft skill" on the other hand, is more subjective, and they are harder to quantify.
Many forward looking companies recognize that while hard skills are important, it's the soft skills that will make more of an impact in the long run, and hire to those skills. We do that here at Get Fit NH. You can fairly easily teach someone to teach someone to squat, but it's not as easy to teach things crucial to our success, like teamwork and time management.
I was reminded recently of the importance of "soft skills" when I received a note from a client challenging me on my communication skills. In my zeal to keep her from being hurt on an exercise, I was very rude in my speech and mannerisms toward her. There was nothing "soft" about the way I treated her, and I deserved to be called out. I apologized, and was very grateful that she demonstrated her superior soft skills of communication and leadership in the situation.
In the context of my profession, the difference between hard skills and soft skills is the difference between being a "trainer" and a "coach".
The first is skilled at program design, movement training, and teaching skills.
The second is an expert at inspiring and motivating others to be the best version of themselves they can be.
One is MUCH harder than the other, and clearly I still have work to do.
Soft Skills and S3
So what does that have to do with S3?
It occurred to me that often when we sign up for a challenge like "Sizzlin' Summer Slimdown" we are focused primarily, if not solely, on the "hard skill" aspect.
The nutrition plan, the calorie counts, how much protein we should eat, MyFitnessPal, MyCoach, the weigh-in and Fit3D, planning, shopping and prepping.
All the tangible things we can measure and count.
All valuable skills, and all worth doing.
And while those are important, I would submit in the long run they are not the most important.
Because even the best laid plans get blown up. Life gets in the way. We forget our lunch at home, one of the kids needs an extra ride, we have (another) hard day at work. You get it. Heck, you live it.
All of a sudden we find ourselves getting frustrated with the process, or tired of the fight, and then we find ourselves with the glass of wine in our hand or chomping down a burger and fries on the way home. You know what? Those things are not tragedies. They are part of life. The tragedy is what happens afterwards, when the guilt comes and we spend the next few hours, days or even longer, beating ourselves up about it.
The "hard skills" don't matter one little bit in that situation.
What we need now is:
Once we get past telling ourselves "I am a failure and this will never work for me", we need to employ our recognition, adaptability and problem-solving "soft skills" to help us learn, grow, and get better.
My challenge to you now and in the future is to start to recognize that no matter how excellent the nutrition plan is or isn't, no matter how many pounds you lose or don't lose, and no matter how many days you check "Yes" in MyCoach; your long term success is going to be determined by the ability to recognize that failure is not permanent, but only a step in the journey.
DO the hard skills. Get great at chopping, mincing, dicing, and slicing. Be the best planner, shopper, and preparer you can be. Use all the tools at your disposal and get better at all those things.
And ALSO work on your "soft skills". For THOSE are the ones that will help you make the real difference in living healthy lives:
Mind, soul, and body.
Thanks for letting me be party of the journey.