What Do We Mean by Inner Work?

Interview by
Dr. Chad Prevost
Dr. Shelley Prevost
Published on

In this episode

To say our culture prizes the “outer” (whether it’s outer work or the apparent “outer reality”) is an understatement.

And by contrast, you hear a lot of leaders and coaches and people who have learned through trial and tribulation that you have to do the “inner work” first.

But what is inner work, and how is it different from what we do at work every day?

Many people already have commendable achievements in the ‘outer work’ aspect of their life. By this, I mean growing in their careers, managing a business, or having meaningful relationships. But ‘outer work’ is a small part of who we are as people.

As a society, we’re fixated on outer work. We count the number of followers we have on social media or use the money in our life or the degrees that we have ALL as representative of who we are.

These elements have little to do with our inner worlds. In fact, we may not even know what our inner world looks like at all. Maybe it’s barren and empty. Maybe it’s cluttered and full of infinite distractions.

So, for all the power and depth and breadth of the inner work, why do we tend to avoid it? Why does it not seem to have a seat at the table in many corporations and organizations?

We share our definitions of what "inner work" means, and discuss the dimensions it entails for our cognition, the language that we use, our emotions, and our bodies.

Our Discussion

1:46--What we're discussing today

3:32--We tend to overemphasize the results (the outer)

6:55--Messy to try and come up with how you measure inner work, but one way is to measure it by the way it leads to outer results

11:20--Three inner work definitions. Which one is the best? You decide.

12:38--Chad's personal experience and definition with what he calls spiritual

13:44--Shelley's similar experiences

18:18--The incredible insights that listening to your language brings

22:50--What's that about? a good operating question

26:10--Emotional and mental work are similar

30:55--The body center

33:46--The body is the portal

Guest Speakers

Shelley and Chad

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