The first time someone said, David, you’re doing the work. I smiled like I knew what they meant, as my mind raced to sort it out. What did it mean, doing the work?
Recently, my client Jim shared his initial confusion upon hearing this phrase years ago when he embarked on his coaching journey. Given Jim's disciplined and hardworking nature, being told, "Hey, you're doing the work," initially seemed like a statement of the obvious, something he believed he was already familiar with.
Jim shared that he understood what the phrase meant to him today, especially how pronounced it had become in the last year coaching with me. He had defined it himself. Today he shares being more at ease with himself than at any time before.
In the realm of personal development, the expression "doing the work" signifies undertaking a deliberate and often demanding journey of self-improvement. This involves actively confronting and addressing various facets of oneself, including behaviors, thought patterns, emotions, and belief systems. The objective is to foster personal growth, cultivate self-awareness, and instigate positive change.
“Doing the Work” may include:
Self-reflection – Taking the time to introspect and understand one’s thoughts, emotions, and motivations.
Addressing Personal Issues – Confronting and resolving unresolved issues or emotional baggage that may hinder or cause friction in your relationships.
Challenging Comfort Zones – Stepping outside of one’s comfort zone to embrace new experiences and overcome fears. The comfort zone is a place to rest, not live.
Now, I grasp the meaning behind those words when someone said, "David, you're doing the work." It wasn't just an acknowledgment; it was an expression of gratitude, signifying their appreciation that I wasn't merely discussing or passively undergoing coaching. Instead, I was actively involved, delving vulnerably inward. I remember feeling proud, it felt like a coaching "high-five".
Would You Like To?
For both me and my clients, "doing the work" encapsulates a continuous, proactive commitment to evolving into the best version of oneself through active engagement in the field of personal development and self-discovery. The key to self-knowledge is readily available; one need only open the door.