It's time to do the work to know yourself better.

Photo by  Bekah Russom  on  Unsplash

Photo by Bekah Russom on Unsplash

Before I got heavily immersed in the world of personal development, I had no idea what it meant to "do the work." 

As it turns out, it stems from step work (for example, from Alcoholics Anonymous, Codependents Anonymous, etc), which is a 12 step program that takes you through the entire spiritual process of surrender all the way to service. 

We have this funny relationship to addiction. We think it's synonymous with our lives being in complete shambles, and associate it with substance abuse. 

But the truth is, we're all addicted to something. Love, sex, drugs, alcohol, enabling, work, being perfect, being broke, our phones, facebook, food, being busy, even traveling (*cough* escape *cough*)... And we all need to do the work in order to get free from those addictions, whether or not our lives are visibly, or just spiritually, in shambles. 

What step work is, truly, is a frame for practice. Doing the work is fancy personal growth lingo for showing up to practice. 

Professional athletes - the kind who win all the medals and championships - don't just show up for the game/meet/competition. 

They practice. Sometimes for hours a day. They eat and sleep and live in a way that supports their craft, day in and day out. 

I'm guessing it's not lost on most that if you want to be a professional anything, you have to work for it. 

But what about being a professional *YOU*? 

Yep. That requires practice, too. 

I'm in the business of being a professional Antesa above all the other things in my life (yes, literally all of them). It's a tough job, but there is literally no one else who will do it besides me. TALK ABOUT PRESSURE. And! Talk about a unique opportunity!

The good news? There is literally no greater reward in the entire world than the practice of getting to know myself. 

Sometimes I find out shit I REALLY DID NOT WANT TO KNOW. Like when I heard myself think "no one cares" a month ago and I couldn't believe my own ears. Or like the time I heard me tell myself I wasn't lean enough to be lovable. That breaks my heart into a million pieces. Every goddamn time. 

Sometimes I do these things that are just totally outrageous. Like I'll say yes to a thing that I LITERALLY JUST SAID NO TO IN MY HEAD SECONDS BEFORE. And then I'm like yo ANTESA why'd you do that?! 

Sometimes I do these really incredible and remarkably groundbreaking things, like travel to places I'm legally not allowed to go to without getting into trouble (Cuba), or become fluent in foreign languages as an adult (French and Danish), or launch a business that will disrupt an entire industry (Adventure Awake) or stand on the forefront of thoughts that may someday change the world (like our relationship to the freeze defense mechanism, and what it means to have full agency, and what coaching actually is).  

It's unbelievably fascinating. It's literally the most fascinating and appalling and mind-blowing and nourishing relationship I've ever been in. I'm like a whole circus inside one body! It's amazing! 

And here's the truth: SO ARE YOU. 

You may not know it yet, because no one has ever told you. And no one needs to. All you have to do is believe it, and then you'll find all the evidence you need to forge onward, uncovering all the fascinating and remarkable and groundbreaking and heartbreaking things about you, too. 

But in order to do that, you MUST do the work. You must practice the art of getting to know *you* and work to become a professional you, every single day, not just on on game day. 

Like learning to play a sport, or an instrument, or learning a language, every day of learning to be you is a new day. SOME DAYS WILL REALLY SUCK. And some days will be AMAZING. 

Learning to love yourself under all those conditions, and being willing to continue to get to know yourself and be an even more professional *you* no matter what is HARD. 

It's not something you resolve to do one day a year, or even one week a year, or just on weekends or only during workshops and retreats. This is an Every Day For The Rest of Your Life sort of gig. 

So if you're going to resolve to do something this year, resolve to do the work to know and be yourself.