When Doing is not Enough: When You Need to Know


It wasn’t what I needed to do. It was what I needed to know.

I’ve always done what I was advised to, or what I understood I should do to get the results I needed. Do this, get that. Do this, fix that. Do this, improve that. The usual kind of thing.

Sometimes, doing is not enough

But in one very important area, doing was not enough. The results just weren’t forthcoming. That was my health.

No matter what regular and committed measures I tried – nothing worked. From supplements to eating regimes, then exercise, massage, chiropractic treatment, integrative medicine, blood tests, cleansers, X-rays…  you name it, I tried it. I even gave up alcohol three years ago. Yet I continued to develop worse and worse arthritis. I was exhausted, in pain and continuing to gain weight, even while diligently doing whatever set of practices I had committed to.

So what was I to do? What was I doing wrong?

An alternative to doing

Fortunately, my chiropractor was just as frustrated with my lack of progress as I was. She had a hunch that there was an issue in my nervous system and prescribed more fish oil to nourish the lipid membranes on the neurons. She also referred me to a naturopath.

The first thing the naturopath did was take a detailed case history. She then recommended a battery of blood tests – for things that don’t normally get tested. Finding a GP who would actually order those tests for me was a little project in itself! After several attempts, I found a wonderful, open-minded doctor who was not only willing to order them, but also fascinated by my naturopath’s approach. She is now part of my trusted advisory team!

This naturopath also dug deeper, took more case history.

  • She was surprised to find that I was still taking bioidentical hormones 15 years post hysterectomy. She explained how that was a bit crazy because there was no need. It was time to come off those hormones, to give the liver a chance to recuperate.
  • Together, we discovered that I didn’t actually have rheumatoid arthritis, a big relief as some of my family members do.
  • On the other hand, I have a genetic mutation which affects the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B and hence has an impact on nervous system muscles and metabolism.
  • And the biggest surprise of all was that I had very low vitamin D levels.

I’m now one month into a new, simpler regime. I’m eating a normal balanced diet, including all the food groups. I am back in my body again like I haven’t felt in years.

No more overdosing on the wrong type of supplements. No more unnecessary hormones in my systems.

The whole process needed legwork to find the right practitioners, my team. I needed to be persistent in my inquiry. But fundamentally, the resolution to my problem was due to knowledge, not doing. I had reached a point where I couldn’t do anything else to make myself better. I needed to know something. The way my practitioners helped me change was by helping me know something more fundamentally about my condition.

Can the ‘knowing vs doing’ approach help you?

I’m sharing this story for any of you who are suffering from a chronic pain or problem. It doesn’t matter whether it’s health or wealth, business or life, sometimes doing is not enough to fix it. If that happens to you, don’t just keep doing and getting disappointed with yourself. Remember, sometimes doing is not enough.

It’s time to do your legwork and go for the deeper enquiry. Find your own trusted advisory team and discover what you need to know in order to change and grow.

Stay in the Loop

Claim your monthly update and Lighten Up issue

Related Articles

3 ingredients to catalysing change Career

3 Ingredients to Catalyse Change

How many times have you set goals and developed plans, only to find that things falter, fall over or fall ...
Read More
internal echo chamber feature image Wisdom

Getting Out of Your Echo Chamber

Today I’m going to talk about the notion of the echo chamber. Wikipedia defines the echo chamber as ‘a situation ...
Read More
can-you-see-your-toes-feature-image-girl-raising-her-feet-up-high Business

Business Wellbeing: Can You See Your TOES?

‘Can you see your toes?’ You might think it’s a question about personal wellbeing, but in fact it’s just as ...
Read More

High impact conversations that transform people and companies. Sue loves working with leaders on a mission, to untap their full potential. Her specialties include entrepreneurship, leadership, integration, transformation, and growth.


Phone: (02) 8860 6540
Level 5, 4 Columbia Court,
Baulkham Hills 2153 Sydney, Australia