Home PT Motivational Foundations The Individuation Process and The Personal Trainers True Self.

The Individuation Process and The Personal Trainers True Self.

“The difference between the “natural” individuation process, which runs its course unconsciously, and the one which is consciously realized, is tremendous. In the first case consciousness nowhere intervenes; the end remains as dark as the beginning. In the second case so much darkness comes to light that the personality is permeated with light, and consciousness necessarily gains in scope and insight.”

-Carl Jung

Personal Trainers want to live up to an ideal, but sadly it’s not theirs.

Becoming a powerful trainer with presence is to have full realisation of the ‘self.’ This not only applies to personal trainers but relates to all people.

Unlocking your true self requires a 3-phase individuation process, in which, fulfillment of any of the 3 steps will boost your level of ‘life’ beyond anything you’ve ever experienced.

In fact, coming to realisation to any parts of the process will pull you away from the non-important things in life, you’ll break free from your negative social circles (and you’ll attract newer, more exciting ones) and if you work within certain corporate environments – you’ll develop a distaste of certain people, manages and the whole environment itself.

You will become your true self. A type of ‘you’ that’s been hidden away… waiting desperately for you to find and release it.

And as you get closer to unearthing it, a new radiance is born.

This new sparkle of your new self is on a different standard. Your energy, thoughts and wisdom will reside on a higher degree of consciousness. You’ll be a more balanced, well-adjusted whole.

Emanating such presence will magnetise your attitude and you’ll feel your unconscious ‘pulling’ you in directions which were previously locked away.

You’ll have clarity in solving challengers. You’ll meet new and exciting people. Clients will convert much easier and deep inside you’ll feel a new direction towards life.

A recent graduate trainer told me she wants to ‘shadow’ other trainers so she can see how PT’s train their clients. She needed to see how other professionals performed their work so she can find who she is and choose her specialty.

I asked… “Sally, don’t you have an idea of the types of clients you want to train?”

She said… “Yeah… I think I like to transform people through bodybuilding and strength training. But I don’t know yet. I want to see other styles and choose what’s right for me.”

“Is the bodybuilding style the way you train yourself now?”

“Yes” she replied. “I’ve been doing it for years and I love it.”

“So, Sally, why do you need to shadow other PT’s? You know the type of training you like, you know the types of clients you want to attract… so why not get started on what you know? Throughout your training and with my guidance – you’ll naturally find your uniqueness in your style. Clients will be attracted to you first… and your training second.”

So, why did Sally feel compelled to explore and utilise other PT’s identities and possibly pollute her training style by shadowing others? Perhaps she was nervous. Maybe she wanted to get ideas or judge how other trainers perform their work so she can compare her current standards. Whatever the reason, you’ll soon find it violates the Individuation process. Can you guess which phase?

The Individuation Process:

Phase 1: Assimilation of the ego.

It’s normal to have and operate different aspects of our psyche through, archetypes, personas and identities. However, if we’re using these aspects to suppress or overcompensate a negative aspect of our mind, then – we are distancing ourselves from alignment. Behaviours such as jealousy, pessimism, misanthropy, saying one thing and doing the opposite, sticking to an outside ideal and constantly ‘attacking’ another person’s ideas and concepts are all negative attitudes of mind.

There’s a duality in every thought we have. The goal here is to bring our dualities as close as possible to form an assimilation of our ego. The purpose is to accept the negative aspects of our psyche and utilise them rather than ignore. What we’re ignoring has a meaning of why it exists. It’s desperately trying to get our attention to reveal its purpose.

When we have chronic negative outbursts, we are ignoring the opposing duality that’s suppressed beneath our mind. However, if we bring the 2 opposing ends closer together, then we have control of our behaviours and remain in a state of blissful wisdom when problems arise. We suddenly have insights and many more angles to look at problems and challengers.

Do you remember a time when someone came to you with a problem and you remained calm, objective and listened carefully to the other person’s needs? Then… soon after giving your boundless advice – a change occurred for the better?

You’ve assimilated your ego by utilising their negative aspects and combining positive solutions that blended well and complemented the dualities of thought. In other words… they came to you with a negative assortment of challengers and you utilised your positive range of experiences to form a full range (duality) of understandings and perspectives that diminishes the negative and flourishes the positive.

That’s an example of 2 people assimilating the ego and utilising the negative instead of ignoring and overcompensating for it. If you can perform that task by yourself with your own challengers, then you’re progressing fulfillment with the first phase. Now onto the second.

Phase #2: Confronting Your Masculine and Feminine Deficiencies.

Men have more masculine qualities and women have greater feminine behaviours. If you’re a man, the purpose of this phase is to feel comfortable bringing out some feminine behaviours whilst keeping your masculinity. And if you’re a woman, is to develop some masculine traits whilst keeping your femininity.

The challenge with some people is they have an overcompensation of their masculinity or femininity and this often is a sign of a misaligned psyche and suppressed self.

Have you ever come across an overly shy, timid and submissive woman who is afraid of confrontation and unable to make important decisions on her own? Or…

…how about the guy who’s constantly yelling at people, swearing and angrily expressing his emotional distaste to those around him? Or when you’re trying to have a conversation, he’s always trying to ‘solve’ and correct everything you say using logic, only caring about his dominance over being ‘right.’

You see how overcompensation of any of these behaviours can lead to personal and social misalignment?

What if a person has a much broader range of either their masculine and feminine traits and has more choice when communicating and expressing themselves around people? It doesn’t just apply to communication, but to the choices you make as a whole.

How much more wholesome would that person be?

When a person has broader range of these traits, they tend to be more adaptive to life, to people and communicate better. They also live a more fulfilled development and are in charge of their emotions. They are happier and in control of their lives.

If you’re a man or woman – what traits would you feel inclined to further develop?

Masculine traits:

  • Dominance
  • Independence
  • Direction in life/planning
  • Logic
  • Focus
  • Passion
  • Discipline
  • Confidence
  • Awareness
  • Strength

Feminine traits:

  • Submissive
  • Loving
  • Receptivity
  • Empathy
  • Sensuality
  • Nurturing
  • Affection
  • Tenderness
  • Patience
  • Loving

Our psyche is made up of competing masculine and feminine personas or identities. There’s a conflict or ‘fight’ going on inside our mind – and in many cases it’s happening unconsciously. It affects our decisions, communication and our ability to have a balanced personality.

Remember, the goal here is to add-in, combine and welcome these suppressed behaviours without compromising your primary one. Your purpose is to increase your range, introduce. Not replace.


Personal Trainers charging way too less than the norm (but secretly know they can charge more). This is an example of suppression of the masculine and overcompensation of the feminine.

Male trainers who tend to charge less in this regard have an overarching feminine nature and a suppressed masculine persona. Women who charge less are often overarching (misinterpreting) their submissive, loving and empathetic behaviours and suppressing their logical, confidence and dominant masculine traits.

When asked the reasons why they’re charging less, their answers contain feminine qualities which are defended with subjective rationalised answers. Deep down they would like to charge more but are too afraid to action it.

That’s only one example. But when you’re approached with a challenge in life, you have to step back and ask yourself… “are there any masculine or feminine traits I’m missing here in order to achieve my goal easier?” If so, get to work and discover what’s needed to fulfil your development.

Once you begin working on the first 2 stages and are seeing some progress, then naturally the 3rd phase begins working in the background (and will continue for a long time).

The 3rd phase: The Wise Old Man (or Woman).

The Wise old man is the ‘meta’ piece or part of the psyche which unlocks wisdom and possesses the ability to see things on a lateral scale (in a much broader view) – to fulfil the potential of giving advice and guidance that drastically changes people.

The level of attainment is compared to a philosopher; being a person seeking wisdom. Once the philosopher has attained wisdom, the wise old man archetype emerges and evolves into what the philosopher has been seeking his whole life to become. Wise.

To achieve this level of realisation takes years and could even be a lifetime. But the journey in getting there is a fulfilling motivation in itself. Many people ‘try’ to reach this level by calling themselves ‘wise’ – but as Socrates once said… “people who think they are wise are senseless people”.

The power here is to be self-aware that you’re not wise – but you’re in the active pursuit of it.

Have you ever noticed the more you learn about something, the further you realise how little you know?

That’s having a self-awareness of all the knowledge you lack. But since you’ve gained so much knowledge throughout life and tried to understand the principles of how things work, you’re able to help those seeking improvement in the areas you’ve already experienced. You become a ‘mentor’ of life and pass your knowledge to those ready to possess it.

This phase is the last because it’s a lifelong journey. Throughout this adventure it would not only help you as a business person, but as a wholesome being with the ability to express your true self.

You won’t just see things as ‘negative’ or ‘positive’. You have the ability to merge the 2 whilst distinguishing the appropriateness in every situation.

Understanding these 3 phases and knowing it’s a process in life – just experiencing any aspect of the progression results in more powerful insights in your personal life (including relationships) and your work.

How does the individuation process relate to corporate environments?

In a lot of corporate environments (including schools), the process of induction, training and knowledge given to employees or students is structured to condition the mind for obedience within the bounds of the corporate culture.

Bounded structures are the result of narrow-mindedness – which in turn creates a one-sided ego. When a person has ‘convinced’ themselves of knowing something, they naturally become ignorant to other possibilities or outside knowledge. Such a mind makes excellent ‘loyalists.’ These people follow orders without question. It’s not a ‘bad’ thing. It’s useful in developing the appropriate order to achieve certain corporate objectives.

However, have you ever heard what happens to an employee whom starts asking questions and becomes curious in such an environment? They’re immediately put back in their corporate ‘box’. And if they continue… they’re fired and replaced by a loyal subordinate.

When a person is experiencing the flow of individuation, they tend to become curious, they start thinking outside of their corporate culture and inquisitive questions start to arise.

Not all corporations have employees like this. Many entities exist which encourage employees to become creative, are taught to train themselves and solve problems without much oversight. These companies tend to have higher retention rates and happier workers. This in turn results in loyal customers and an increase in shareholder stock.

In fulfilling your true self and wanting to venture through the individuation process, having a less than fulfilling character is not helpful. Through narrow mindedness blossoms a negative overcompensating ego. And with such an ego, open mindedness, expanded possibilities and the expression of self are damaged.

The first 2 phases of the individuation process can be experienced almost immediately and a very noticeable change can be noticed within a few months. Then, as you live your life and nurture your psyche with self-awareness, then these first 2 phases flourish by themselves and your unconscious makes the appropriate changes.

The 3rd phase (wise old man) is the result of how well you’re nourishing the first 2 phases. The 3rd phase starts simultaneously and you’ll notice the power of your wisdom as you live through life – in which it strengthens as time goes on. It’s a life-long journey worth living for.

-John (PT Power Club).

P.S. Have you guessed which phase of the individuation process Sally would have violated?


  1. Another great article John!
    I will definitely start using more of phase two in my business

  2. This post is not for the average trainer. Very deep and clearly written as always. Trainers and all business owners need to read this.

  3. I read it to the end and haven’t forgotten a thing. I need to work more on phase 2. As a trainer I do phase 1 automatically.

  4. This is probably the only motivation I need. Clear step-by-step process. Sometimes I feel I’m in phase 3!

  5. Another top article. This is the only blog site where I print out your articles and read them in between my sessions. It’s a good pick-me-up.

  6. Thanks John. Finally someone who knows how to write and keep this interesting. Motivation at it finest. This won’t apply to personal trainers directly, but I can see how people will buy from who if you’re unique. Nearly every article is so cool to read.

  7. This is probably your best article talking about something deeper I haven’t seen anyone else mentioning. But how would I incorporate phase 3. Is that something that comes from doing the other 2? I’ll ponder for at least a day or two about this…

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