| | Battling Your Own Bullshit: You Better Recognize

Author / James Coutts

In part one of Battling Your Own Bullshit I swallowed the red pill and perhaps after reading you decided to speed dial Morpheus and punch a one way ticket to self-awareness land with me. But what now? What happens after you decide to take that leap of faith, pull out your darkness and tackle it head on? Well before you can go to battle with your ‘demons’, you must first recognize them.

‘There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.’ – Carl G Jung


In PowerAthlete land we define a limiting factor as something an athlete cannot yet do, and after identifying it, we attack it head on. But why can’t we adopt the same approach when it comes to attacking the limiting ‘beliefs’ that may have stemmed from our upbringings? Self awareness fundamentally is about recognizing what you cannot at present ‘consciously’ comprehend.

Once I had embraced my ‘moment’ and turned down the path towards real self improvement, I realized that it all started with my thought patterns and to make positive change, I had to start asking myself better questions. Not just once, but constantly. I recognized that my ‘unhealthy’ thoughts ultimately led me to self destructive behavior in various forms. Not only did this come to ‘define’ me as a person, but it also impacted how I had ‘experienced’ life up until this point. I had, and still have to constantly challenge and question myself. When I am triggered, I have to ask why? When I feel my emotions are overwhelming me I have to ask what it is that is truly affecting me? This is key because what you may or may not know is that the brain has a myriad of ways to protect you from your ‘darkness’. We say a coach needs a coach and yes while the help of professionals absolutely will help you on your journey, it is ultimately on you to make the connections so that you can take that next leap forward.


Lao Tzu said ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step’, however when it comes to ‘enlightening’ oneself, the first step can be the hardest one to take. You may be aware of the internal conflict going on within you but the question becomes, do you have the strength of character to seize upon it? These moments do not come often in life, and if not acted upon, will vanish as quickly as they present themselves. What I’m saying is that it is all too easy to kick the ‘can’ down the proverbial road.

Now, If I were to divulge to you the inner details of my experience thus far, I am afraid to say that you wouldn’t understand. That isn’t meant to sound condescending, far from it. You may acknowledge, and to some degree ‘understand’, the trials and tribulations that I have worked through, especially if you have been through something similar yourself. But fundamentally, the journey to a higher self is deeply personal. It is in fact whether we like it or not a solo endeavor, that not all of us will or want to have the fortune of experiencing. I may have entered the ‘fray’ but I do so alone because only I can make sense of it. This is my journey, a ‘hero’s’ journey if you will. The connections I have made and will continue to make during this process are profoundly personal. The light bulb moments are bright but equally incomprehensible.

Recognizing is only half the battle. It’s one thing to recognize, but once you swallow the ‘red pill, your whole world view shifts and as I found out there is no going back. The hardest part of becoming more self-aware and tackling your inner demons is the process that happens subsequently as a result. As coaches, and in this field specifically we understand the significance of this single word. While we may understand the grind and the inevitable setbacks of training so as to unlock our physical potential it is in fact the same when it comes to attaining a higher sense of self. Trust the process.


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James Coutts

A sportsman throughout his youth and adult life, James has always had a vested interest in everything 'athlete'. His personal athletic endeavors took him most predominantly to rugby where he represented his state on a national level. After leaving the sport in 2009, he found CrossFit, and the start off his coaches journey. In 2011 James came across the original CrossFit Football website and used the training to empower his own performance. After following CF football for several years with much success, he attended one of the few UK seminars, which sent him on a path towards Power Athlete. Then In 2017 James journeyed across the pond to Texas, to test his coaching abilities and became the UK’s first Block One Power Athlete Coach. He now uses the Power Athlete Methodology to empower individuals and athletes from all backgrounds.

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