The entrepreneur’s guide to doing “inner work”: A step-by-step process
The only way we can grow personally and in our businesses is by reframing the limiting beliefs that keep us stuck from the pursuit of our natural states of flow.
If you want to grow, evolve, and become a more conscious, high-achieving entrepreneur, you must be willing to take a good look in the mirror at your beliefs. Only when we can witness our limiting beliefs in action and begin the humble work or reframing and unlearning can we begin to experience the change we most desire. This is what it means to do inner work.
Doing the inner work forces us to dive deep into our subconscious and unconscious minds to uncover and recover what has been holding us back. It is getting to the root of our beliefs, so we have a chance to change them. Therefore, we approach inner work by going outside of our zones of comfort and getting to our growth’s edge.
Our growth’s edge is where we start to upgrade our own operating systems by breaking down the assumptions, beliefs, and behaviors that have kept us stuck. This is taking a much deeper approach to inner work because we are essentially following a framework that pushes us beyond old ways of being, dives us into the unknown, and invites us to suspend our fear of change.
During our growth intensives, we follow four steps for doing the inner work that are unique and help high achieving entrepreneurs go to their growth’s edge in order to solve their biggest obstacle in three months. Each step gives new insights to entrepreneurs to explore different parts of themselves in a unique way to incrementally build on the work that they have done; so that the work is sustainable long after working with us.
Step 1: Gaining clarity
We start by getting crystal clear on what you want to change. We don’t focus on lofty, vague goals, such as “I want to be happier” or “I want to make more time for myself.” We want to get more specific. Often times there is something deeper that you feel has been a stubborn obstacle, something that you’ve tried to improve before, but it continues to be an ongoing challenge.
Most coaching tackles lofty goals without considering the issue at the core. Your beliefs are interconnected. We access the root, what you may be hiding from yourself; because that is what is truly holding you back from being your best self.
In this step, we require you to feel and be honest with yourself. These are the two keywords that are important in doing the inner work. You tend to know you are hitting the root belief when you start to notice changes in sensations within the body. For example, when uncovering the root belief, you may start to grind your teeth or get a queasy feeling in your stomach. Continuing to tap into those feelings will help guide you in your choice of a goal to work on so we can make real progress.
Step 2: Sleuthing
Our next step is literally like we are spying on our unconscious minds in the most creative and kind ways. This step requires us to start uncovering our triggers, hidden assumptions, beliefs, and cycles that have kept us trapped in these behaviors for so long. You are uncovering your unhealthy attachments and relationships with people that may still be very present in your life.
Sleuthing requires you to take a magnifying glass to your “behavior blockers.” You are essentially asking yourself the question: What am I doing (or not doing) to actively work against my goal? This is a difficult part of the inner work because you have to choose courageous authenticity in each moment a belief, person, or trigger arises that may be keeping you from your goal.
Courageous authenticity is both telling yourself the truth and standing up for yourself. When you approach these triggers, it is important that you have compassion for yourself. You hold beliefs whether you are conscious of them or not. But it is not your fault that you held onto this belief, nor do you need to feel guilt or shame; because, at one point, this belief was serving you. Plus, you are choosing this time to confront them and try to release them. The goal here is just to observe them with unfiltered honesty and shine a light on all of them.
Step 3: Investigation
Once you’ve uncovered your sabotaging behavioral patterns from the Sleuthing stage, it becomes important to understand their purpose. In this step, it is important to investigate the root of the belief. This step may bring up a lot of worry and anxiety because once we start doing the work of this step, it can become a constant internal struggle.
Understanding our beliefs can leave us feeling defensive and frustrated that we created a belief that does not allow us to be our best selves. But we do not need to approach our beliefs from that angle; instead, it is best to examine and investigate the root cause of the belief from a place of compassion.
The beliefs we have are neutral; they are simply rooted in past traumas, experiences, or memories. But when we start to bring up these heavy emotions, beating ourselves and others up for our beliefs, the beliefs become stronger and more rooted. For example: If you learned that the root of your imposter syndrome is that “you are not worthy,” which was created from a need to please your demanding parents, it doesn’t serve you to become angry at yourself or your parents. Your anger will likely just make the situation worse.
The only way to overcome this step is by being compassionate with yourself and readily aware of your emotions. According to Karla McLaren’s, The Language of Emotions, emotions can help you respond to things appropriately. When we honor our emotions, we welcome in flow and change into our lives. Emotions give us important information in the present moment, helping us to find tangible ways of moving in new directions toward our personal growth.
Step 4: Weaving
The last step allows you to connect the dots and bring new awareness to the area of your life where you have been acting out the limiting belief. This step allows you to discover new choices and practices and relieves you of beliefs that no longer seem relevant to your life.
In our growth intensives, we spend six weeks focusing on integrating new tools, resources, and practices that help you grow and break free from anything stopping you from being the best version of yourself.
In this step, you learn new practices and habits that allow you to listen to yourself and move in a direction that feels secure for you rather than continuing to move along the path that pleases everyone else around you.
The integration process is key because it often becomes a period of tests where you are walking this new path, and you may be confronted with old ways of being. It is up to you to weave in the new practices so that you respond differently to old stimuli.
Doing the inner work is not one for the faint of heart. It is a continuous process that helps high-achieving entrepreneurs move forward on their goals with zest and zeal. Our suggestion is not to wait to do this work. We spend a lot of time avoiding the inner work; but somehow, the need to embark on doing the inner work always finds us and usually after something catastrophic happens in our lives. Preempt the catastrophic and address your internal barriers towards self-improvement; so that you can live a life in flow.