Can Advice Really Help When You’re Hitting the Wall?

If you follow certain people or certain topics it’s very common to hear that you should be ‘in your body’.

But if I say to you right now, “What is your body saying to you?” you’ll snort and say “It wants some damn rest.”

There are limits, and then there are limits

There is an interesting dynamic between mind and body which is never clearer than in endurance competitions.

Marathon runners speak of the Wall, where the body says “That’s it, we’re done! We can do no more.” And of course any endurance athlete learns to ignore that notification. Because it’s more like Scotty in Star Trek– the dire warnings come well in advance of real problems. Scotty has a mechanic’s desire not to see harm come to the machine and it colors his perception a bit. Your body has a similar vested interest.

[Tweet “How do you go beyond your physical limits? Or should you? How do you know?”]


The problem is that it’s very unclear, especially when giving advice, when you should listen to your body and when you should ignore it. In individuals, this is a hard-won skill, developed through painful trial and error. Trying to make that decision for someone else? Maybe you want to play it safe.

How much damage will you take to accomplish your goals?

If solopreneurship isn’t an endurance competition I don’t know what is.
It’s also mission-focused. Sure, Scotty would prefer not to push the reactors past 80%, but Kirk knows they have to clear the quadrant tout de suite. 9 times out of 10, Kirk wins. Not because he’s any righter, but because the mission trumps minor damage to the vessel. Sometimes it even trumps major damage.

What’s your body saying to you? Is it, “Let me have some rest”?

I’m not sure why this isn’t more widely acknowledged. When it’s mentioned, people always say it in a self-deprecating tone, like “I know, I know” . Few people will put their foot down and say without apology, “It had to happen, and therefore it had to happen that way.” I think when you have people under your command, you’re more comfortable saying “We did the best we could under the circumstances” but when it’s just you, modesty forces you to say that there was probably something you should have done differently.CAN ADVICE EVER HELP

Even if that something was just “anticipate better”. Which arguably is a commander’s role. So perhaps that’s neither here nor there.

I guess it’s a matter of: Do solopreneurs understand their limits? Do they understand the Wall? Have they mastered the situational awareness to be able to balance the needs of the mission against the limits imposed by reality?

And is this something any amount of advice would help with?