Request a demo
Back to Blog

Expert tips for practicing Inner Work® for maximum impact

February 4, 2022 - 8 min read

dr-jacinta-jimenez-and-shawn-meredith-share-screen-maximize-impact-of-inner-work-practice

Jump to section

3 expert tips on designing your own Inner Work® practice

Start maximizing your Inner Work® practice

It’s your journey — we’re just here to guide you.

Really, that’s what Inner Work® is all about: the adventure of finding and getting to know yourself on the path toward realizing more of your potential — personally and professionally. For our first annual Inner Work® Day, psychologist Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez, BCC, BetterUp’s VP, Coach Innovation, sat down with Shawn Meredith, leadership expert and business coach, to uncover how to build your own practice of Inner Work® to get the most out of your journey.

As the individual, you’re doing your own inner landscaping. You’re looking inward to find the bits and pieces of yourself you haven’t yet met. Your values, your motivations, and your aspirations. Your purpose. Your full potential.

The problem is that we can’t always see ourselves very clearly. How do we know we’re on the right path? How do we maximize our growth?

With the help of a coach, like Shawn or Jacinta, you have your own experienced inner world tour guide to help navigate the rough patches. Here’s how.

subscribe-betterup-blog

3 expert tips on designing your own Inner Work® practice

Inner Work® looks different for everyone because we’re all unique. We each assemble our own set of practices that may change over time. Our practices shape our journey. In his own work with Members, Shawn says Inner Work® practices tend to span four categories:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual 
  • Social 

One day, you might need Inner Work® in the form of a hike or time spent in contemplation in nature. Another day, you might need to practice gratitude — or spend time with family or friends to reconnect with core values. 

Shawn offers a three-tiered assessment to design an Inner Work® practice that works for you and moves you along the path toward greater clarity, purpose, and passion.

1. Identify if you're in thriving or surviving mode

Inner Work® only works when you’re in a thriving space. We all have to survive. We have that bill to pay, or that family issue, or a medical emergency.

But surviving is not the space for Inner Work®.

A coach is there to help get people out of survival mode to be able to thrive. We want to be in a space of thriving — with security, psychological safety — to reap the benefits of Inner Work®. But here’s the surprising part.

“In a thriving space, there’s usually low clarity and low motivation. In the thriving space, we often get a little lost.”

Shawn Meredith, BetterUp Fellow Coach

You’re only getting that sense of adventure if you’re a little lost along the way — and that’s OK. If you have the space to wander, imagine, and feel a little uncomfortable, you’re in a place where Inner Work® will benefit you.

Surviving and thriving will ebb and flow throughout our lives — sometimes, even throughout the day. Have compassion for yourself, and don't expect too much from your Inner Work® practice if you’re not in a thriving space. 

2. Create your values compass

Inevitably, Inner Work® involves some values work. Identify 3-5 values that really resonate with you — often through a process of listing words and ranking and refining the list — and use them as the points of your own values compass. In thriving moments (or even micro-moments), use your values compass to guide your explorations.

Identifying your core values requires looking inward and a sense of self-awareness. What matters most to you? What shows up for you in your daily life? Objective insight from a coach or assessment can help you create your own values compass.

3. Build scaffolding

Once you’re in a space of thriving — and know your value system well — it’s time to create structure. Developing and sustaining your Inner Work® practice can be difficult. But with the right resources and consideration of your unique intrinsic motivations, you can design a practice that works for you and the accountability mechanisms to keep going.

For example, Jacinta is a fan of habit stacking. Every morning when brushing her teeth, she thinks of something she’s grateful for. But it’s more than just performing an act in a routine. It requires mindfulness and being present.


“You want to kind of hang out there. You want to feel comfortable more and more with being with yourself and knowing yourself. Just like a good friend, you gotta spend time to get to know that friend. You need to spend time getting to know yourself, too.”  

Dr. Jacinta Jiménez, BetterUp VP, Coach Innovation


Think of small, Inner Work® practices that you can build into your daily life that align with your values. It could be gratitude, meditation, a daily walk, or simply just taking a minute to breathe. They won't always be your practice, you'll change with time and need — but they will get you started.

Start maximizing your Inner Work® practice

A Pittsburgh native, Shawn leans on a quote from another favorite Pittsburghian, Mr. Rogers. 

“If you can mention it, you can manage it.”

 "Mister" Fred Rogers

Spend time getting to know yourself — and name what you feel. Name your values, your desires, your aspirations. Get to know your own threshold for growth and discomfort. If you’re feeling a little outside of your comfort zone, it’s likely that you’re growing — and learning.  

Consider enlisting the help of a professional tour guide for your Inner Work® journey: a coach. With personalized coaching support, you can build your own map and waypoints for the adventure of your life. But you’ll also have a knowledgeable and objective guide to help navigate those twists, turns, and detours along the way.

“You are assaulted by inspiration daily. You are assaulted by inspiration every minute.”

 Shawn Meredith 

What are you going to do with all that inspiration you’ve gathered? We’re excited to see what you conquer next. 

inner-work-day-logo-plus-link-to-post-event-site-to-access-recordings

Published February 4, 2022

Madeline Miles

Madeline is a writer, communicator, and storyteller who is passionate about using words to help drive positive change. She holds a bachelor's in English Creative Writing and Communication Studies and lives in Denver, Colorado. In her spare time, she's usually somewhere outside (preferably in the mountains) — and enjoys poetry and fiction.

Read Next

Coaching
6 min read | July 21, 2020

Supporting healthcare workers and educators with 1:1 coaching

With the help of corporate donors, our coaches and community, we have provided free access to the BetterUp platform to thousands of healthcare workers and educators since... Read More
Company Announcements
6 min read | February 16, 2021

BetterUp partners with Josh Bersin Academy on Coaching at Scale

The Josh Bersin Academy delivers future-focused learning to prepare HR leaders to meet 21st century workplace challenges. In partnership with BetterUp, the academy launched... Read More
Diversity & Inclusion
8 min read | April 6, 2021

Defining the gender gap in coaching: what it is and how to fix it

BetterUp Labs set out to understand how access to personalized support and leadership development through coaching may be relevant to the broader gender gap. Equal access to... Read More
Mental Fitness
12 min read | August 27, 2021

BetterUp’s first Chief Medical Officer on public health, behavior change, and mental fitness for all

In this Q&A, BetterUp's first Chief Medical Officer Thomas Van Gilder, MD, JD, MPH talks about his work in population health and whole-person care and his growing recognition... Read More
Research & Insights
13 min read | September 9, 2021

BetterUp completes 1 million coaching sessions: Lessons learned on how people grow, develop and reach peak performance

This week the BetterUp community reached a milestone, 1M coaching sessions completed! We share insights on personal growth and professional development that we've learned... Read More
Company Announcements
6 min read | September 17, 2021

BetterUp scales human impact with acquisition of Motive and Impraise

The inventor of virtual coaching acquires advanced technology companies, Motive and Impraise, harnessing the combination of tech and human insight to help people maximize... Read More
Research & Insights
16 min read | February 9, 2022

Inner Work® at work: 4 companies leading the way in unlocking the potential of their employees

When workplaces commit to supporting Inner Work®, powerful transformations occur for individuals and organizations. In today’s rapidly shifting economy, companies that do... Read More
Coaching
7 min read | February 9, 2022

A coach's perspective on Inner Work®

BetterUp Coach Shereen Thor and VP of Coach Innovation, Dr. Jacinta Jimenez, talk about how coaches practice Inner Work® and use it to help Members grow. Read More
Coaching
20 min read | June 24, 2022

Coaching leadership style: Examples and skills to get started

These coaching leadership style examples highlight this collaborative approach to guiding a team. Use this guide to get started. Read More

Stay connected with BetterUp

Get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research.