“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
― C.G. Jung
From the first day of your fitness course to the beginning of your career, your PT business has begun a silent destruction.
Before I get into the psychology of ‘why’ you must ask yourself this question:
Are you truly aware of who you are?
Think carefully because your answer determines the success of your personal training career.
After reading this article, you’ll know how the fitness industry begins extinguishing key areas of your psychology early on – and continues putting out the internal fire until your burning desire is gone.
The key area of your psychology affected is called your self-concept.
Self-Concept: How someone thinks, evaluates or perceives themselves. I call it the ‘Power of Self’ – because the power you have in your life and business is correlated to how truly you think, evaluate and perceive yourself and readying your psychology of what lies ahead. To understand the reality of what you’re getting into.
When there’s an error in analyses of your ‘self’ – destruction happens; the beginning of a dwindling life and career outside your awareness.
Your success as a personal trainer begins with true consciousness of who you are. The self-concept is divided into 3 areas:
- Self-Image (how you see yourself)
- Self-Worth (how much we value ourselves)
- Ideal-Self (what you’d like to be)
The above 3 points work as a system and must be in alignment. If any become distorted or misaligned with each other, destruction happens.
Self-Image refers to how you see yourself. Any action you take, the reason why you do things and how you shape your future starts with the way you view yourself.
Think back when doing your fitness course. The great things lecturers said about the industry: how easy it is to make money. The joy and freedoms of running your own business. How many clients are eager, hungry and ready to throw money at you because you’re a ‘certified’ PT. How many job opportunities are available for you and the dozens of fitness centres excited in taking you on because you’re now a ‘qualified’ fitness professional, right?
During this phase, your self-image is artificially pumped-up – giving you enough fuel to accelerate yourself and dream of meeting those employers who’ve had sleepless nights thinking of you. The fantasy of building and chasing the dream of getting paid what you love doing. To meet clients ready to shower you with $100 bills. To fulfill your life-long ambition of becoming a highly paid personal trainer…
…oh, the ease of life.
But upon waking up – reality slams you in the face: You realise you’re not only indoctrinated with useless non-practical fitness theory, you’re also artificially lead to believe the industry was made for you, it needs you and you’re the missing sun-shining golden nugget to end world darkness.
Fitness schools have one goal: that is to artificially inflate and pump-up your self-image so you see yourself as something you’re not. Their impractical theories and ‘image’ of the fitness industry sets you up for failure. Your self-image has just let in a Trojan horse and the malignancy has begun.
Whatever ‘image’ you’ve attached to yourself to the fitness industry when you graduated – or have been told, you quickly realise IT’s NOT what you thought – and that’s the first blow to your self-image.
You quickly realise:
- The fitness exercise theories don’t work.
- Nutrition advice is useless.
- Business and sales skills are outdated, sloppy, awkward and don’t work.
Suddenly what you prepared yourself for – what you saw yourself doing isn’t as clear as it was. You’re left with murky, smudged visions fogging your path. To clear the pathway, you must unlearn what you’ve been taught and discover through your own experience the clarity you seek.
This first blow to the self-concept is enough to throw off the unprepared trainer – and damage their faith of success in the industry.
Did you ever wonder why there’s a 50% drop-out rate within the first 12 months and why many PT’s are doing so poorly? It’s because their artificial self-image is attacked and destroyed as soon as they enter the workforce.
Remember: The self-concept requires all 3 points (self-image, self-worth and ideal-self) to work as a system and to be in alignment with each other in order for a person to be happy, congruent and successful. From day 1 of your fitness course to the first day of your career, the deterioration has begun. Your self-image is corroding and has already affected the power of self. You’ll soon see how it leaks into the other 2 areas of the self-concept. Next being Self-Worth.
Self-worth refers to the extent we like ourselves or approve ourselves or how much we value ourselves. High self-worth leads to optimism, confidence in your abilities and not worrying what others think.
On the other hand, low self-worth leads to pessimism, wanting to be like someone else and worrying what others think.
When graduating from your fitness course, you’re filled with optimism, hope and ease of achievement; that you’re going to be successful.
I’ve seen highly optimistic, intelligent motivated graduate’s turn into bitter pessimists within 8 weeks working in major chain fitness centers. Many change careers soon after due to the negative mismatched experiences and environments they prepared for. Reason: They weren’t told the ‘truth’ about the industry and their minds weren’t prepared to battle the difficulties awaiting them.
The ‘fake’ self-worth that was pumped into them through their indoctrination period (courses) is put to the test and every smidgen of real self-worth they had is wiped clean, beyond recovery.
When a person’s stuck, not knowing what to do; unprepared – there’s a sharp blow to their self-worth. And when you compound that with an already corroding self-image – the power of their ‘self’ or self-concept crumbles beneath their eyes. But, there’s more. The final piece of the self-concept is the Ideal-Self.
Ideal-Self refers to how you like to be. If there’s a mismatch between your self-image (how you see yourself) and your ideal-self (how you’d like to be) – then expect a sharp decline in how you value yourself.
When a trainer’s ideal-self is not consistent with what happens in life’s experiences, incongruence – or misalignment happens. In other words, when your visions don’t match your reality, a destruction of emotions shock through your body and you’re immediately put inside a stuck state of pessimism and unhappiness. Motivation is stripped from you and you become comfortably trapped inside your self-created mental confinements.
Since most trainers enter the industry with an artificially optimistic self-image and self-worth, they create ideal-selves and see themselves with visions which are incompatible with reality.
In the brief period of graduation (in this state of polished ego) – your self-concept (self-image, self-worth and ideal-self) is in fragile alignment and congruency. BUT, as soon as it’s put head-on and tested by the realities of life, expect emotional, physical and mental shock waves resulting in the destruction of self.
Most trainers are pumped and filled with false ego before entering the industry. They are NOT taught how the industry truly works. They are NOT taught by people who truly understand the industry. They are not given practical, real-world working environments. They are NOT taught real-world business skills. And are definitely NOT given objective advice on what their options are.
Instead, they’re taught outdated, useless training advice. Clumsy nutrition advice. Absolute awkward business advice. Wildly useless sales training – and the list goes on.
Fitness schools across Australia are enrolling between 7000 – 10 000 trainers per year. Where are they? Well, estimates show up to 40% drop out before course completion. And those who do find work, 50% drop out within the first 12 months.
And majority of those who do stay, earn an income equivalent to poverty standards. These people fall into 3 categories: #1 They’ve set low standards for themselves and are becoming ignorant by the day. #2 They realise they’re lost and need guidance. #3 They realise their poor position and are taking actions to correct it.
Then, you have the rare instance of those earning a good income who have discovered a successful port of doing things their way or… have coaches assisting them. It’s these people who are truly aware of themselves and understand their positions in life.
Never expect to earn a decent living from ‘common’ education. And definitely do not expect results from what you’ve been taught in standardised courses. You have a self-concept to protect. The realities of working as a PT starts with aligning your self-concept and answering the question: Are you truly aware of who you are?