The term inner work has become very popular recently, and everyone wants to know what it is and how to go about it.

Before getting right into it, first I want to be clear about what exactly I mean by “inner work”.

What is inner work?

Inner work is a way of improving yourself, of detaching from your personality and connecting with your soul to understand why you’re here and what your purpose is.

You could say this is inner work from a ‘spiritual perspective’ rather than a psychological one, as this approach takes into account the realm of the subjective, which is more experience-based.

This is part of a shift that’s happening right now with humanity on earth; now scientists are becoming less attached to our physical experience and exploring more of the subtle energies and forces that lie behind the framework of our reality.

Since a greater perspective is considered with our approach to inner work, it makes sense to separate the whole process into stages – this makes it easier to understand and identify where you are in this journey, while also creating themes to work with.

Sarah inner work quiz 4

But before getting into the stages, you may be wondering if this is something you should consider.

Who should do the inner work?

It may seem obvious, but you should only keep reading if you’re feeling called to do this type of work.

Here are some of the things you can accomplish by following this process:

  • Reprogramming limiting beliefs
  • More feelings of peace, love, joy & fulfillment
  • Understanding why you’re here in this lifetime
  • Knowing what your life purpose is
  • Being able to love more unconditionally (yourself and others)
  • Physical & psychological healing
  • Complete release of fear, judgment, anxiety, guilt & shame

After seeing this list you may not fully believe these things are possible. 

This is totally fine, however, you must believe you can at least achieve some of these things otherwise you should not proceed in learning or doing this work right now.

You must believe in your ability to change your reality, or none of this can happen. If it helps to hear it, I believe in you and I know if you are reading this and need help, the benefits are as much available to you as they are for me or anyone else.

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How long does this process of inner work take?

This is a well intended question, but I would encourage you to detach from the timeline of expected results.

By following these stages outlined you will see a noticeable difference in your life in the next few months, maybe sooner.

But honestly, for you and me, the inner work will probably continue through our whole life, and then into following lifetimes as well – until a certain level of mastery has been attained.

A big motivation to do this type of work is to feel better; it’s an internal goal.

When you shift your focus inwards, you will find that there is something for you to work on and experience for a very long time (although it’s not always easy to grasp, time only exists in physical reality).

With this work it’s much more about the journey rather than getting to a destination. 🚀

Here are the 4 stages

Note – you may experience yourself moving up the stages and then find yourself back at a previous one. This is totally normal, being a human and dealing with lots of emotions within and around you causes this to happen. The more you do this work the more calm and consistent your thoughts & emotions will be.

Stage 1 – Acceptance

This first step is all about being okay with where you’re at in life. When you can fully accept where you are, you can then prepare to move forward.

quiz stage 1 - acceptance

In this stage the emotions are the most intense, causing you to feel upset, sad, depressed, angry or fearful. Emotions are in control of your life, and the only way to take back your power is to be neutral to them. 

Your life is not doomed, you are not broken. Find a way to make peace with it all – and remember, you create your own meaning.

Having a spiritual perspective on life is helpful here, because you can start to understand and make sense of life events, as well as see a glimpse of your path ahead.

Stage 2 – Love

You are worthy of love, we all are. Any thoughts of not deserving love are 100% false, and a limiting belief that can be turned around very quickly.

Sometimes this belief forms during childhood, or later in life.

Sometimes it feels like you’re the victim, or that it’s someone else’s fault.

This is a time for forgiveness. Allow yourself to be free from blame and receive all of the love that is available to you.

inner work quiz love

A powerful thing you can do is call in more love; from your soul, the universe, god, or source. When you do this make sure to really sense it coming into your heart chakra.

This is one stage where you’ll technically always be in, because there is always more room for even greater and more unconditional love.

Love is a great healing force. Every day ask for love, and then share it with those who need it most.

Other helpful tools at this phase are affirmations, energy work, and chakra balancing.

Stage 3 – Integration

This phase of inner work is also known as personality integration, where you are essentially upgrading your personality to a more evolved version.

Working through this stage can take months or years, depending on how much you have to integrate and how determined you are to progress.

quiz stage 3 - integration

Many of us like our personalities, and we all have traits and characteristics that we are proud of and admire. However, there are also those parts that hold us back in the form of limiting thoughts and beliefs – which is exactly what this stage is all about.

Examples of personality integration

  • Limiting thoughts (any thoughts that hold you back or limit you)
  • Limiting beliefs (limiting thoughts that you identify as true)
  • Judgment, criticism, jealousy
  • Self righteousness
  • Stubbornness, control
  • Fear, anxiety
  • False stories

*All of these apply to both your perception of yourself as well as others.

One thing to know is that our personality is something that has been developed and cultivated in this lifetime, so when we die, our personality will also cease to exist – unlike our soul, which will continue to the next incarnation, where a new personality will be formed based on the circumstances of that life. ☀️ 🌎

I mention this last part for context, as the personality is something that we find ourselves really attached to; as it is essentially our sense of self. But there is more to you than your physical body and outward expression – which is where the soul enters the conversation, and sets us up for the final stage.

Stage 4 – Service

After doing the first three stages of inner work, you’re now in a place where you can find clarity around your life and your purpose.

Why are you here? Now that you have stepped into your power, are loving yourself and others, and have stepped into your higher self, what is next for you?

inner work quiz service

At this point you will continue to work on stages 2 & 3 when opportunities arise, but you will be spending more time connecting with your higher self and following your heart and intuition with your service – which will also evolve as you grow. If you are here I recommend watching our Discover Your Life Purpose training for more help with this.

There is more inner work beyond stage 4, the path of human evolution & consciousness goes on and on, but for now this will serve as the goal for this post.


The inner work journey is both challenging and rewarding, and at this point I hope you have a better sense of whether or not it’s something you’re feeling called to do.

We have many resources and programs available for all things inner work, healing, manifestation and more.

If you’re curious where you are in the inner work journey I suggest taking our Inner Work Quiz. In less than 1 minute you can learn which stage you’re currently in along with next steps.


Peter Hagstrom
Peter Hagstrom

Co-Founder of The Inner Flow Co.