A friend of mine is currently undergoing some counselling to address a number of issues that were raised during his coaching. Last week I asked him how the sessions were going and he replied that he was finding it incredibly hard. I tried to help by using the analogy of the gym and saying that it was clear he was not afraid of hard work as he pushed himself relentlessly in that arena. He responded with the following ‘I appreciate the analogy, however, I have always seen things in a hierarchy of labour in which, for me, physical, mental, and emotional work are respectively harder than the one before them.’
I have been reflecting a lot on that thought and realise that perhaps we all have a hierarchy of labour. I am very aware that my order is mental, emotional then physical. I find it easy to work hard and not to be defeated by something that I find mentally challenging, in fact if anything, it makes me perform at levels I did not know I was capable of. I am reasonably good at being willing and able to face and explore emotional issues with myself and others although it is definitely secondary to my mental labour. And well, physically, ………………… even the thought of running a marathon brings me out in a cold sweat. I would love the planning and the idea of entering one, but I have a horrible feeling that my ‘wall’ wouldn’t come at 20 miles but at half a mile!! I find pushing myself through physical work disproportionately difficult.
I don’t think this is about capability I think it truly is about our perception of the difficulty and our inner beliefs.
The questions it has left me with are:
Do I concentrate on the areas that I find easy and ignore the harder to do?
As a coach do I relate more easily to people that have a similar hierarchy to me?