Ten Ways To Fail Miserably Doing The Work of Byron Katie

The Work of Byron Katie is a way to question what hurts in your life, and relax.

It may not end difficult events and experiences….

….but it will end your suffering and misery….

….if you do it.

When I first encountered The Work, I made darn sure I failed miserably by NOT really doing it.

You can make sure it does nothing for you, either, and give up in disgust or despair.

Here’s how:

1) Never write anything down. Ever. Just do The Work in your head on the fly by asking yourself the questions, if you can remember them.

2) When someone irritates you, feel the rage or angst, or fear and then immediately start berating yourself for being such a dumb ass to get so upset and uptight about them. Do The Work to fix yourself, ASAP, from being the type of person who gets upset.

3) Do The Work on yourself only. Notice that you have zero judgments of anyone in your life, ever. You’re over that. Keep saying “but it’s all about me and how wrong, unworthy, insufficient or stupid I am!”

4) Think of one-liners only….don’t write out a whole worksheet. One-liners are simple beliefs that seem to cause conflict or pain, like “he’s being a jerk!” These just pop in your head in the heat of the moment. Then see #1 above.

5) Only ask the first question when doing The Work….Is it true? Flippantly say “no, nothing is ever true” and move on without spending more time exploring the question.

6) When you answer the second question in The Work: is it ABSOLUTELY true? Start explaining why it is or is not true, in your professional opinion. Say things like “well, it’s true because….” and tell a big long story with lots of footnotes.

7) When you get to the third question in The Work (which is “how do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?”) launch into a novel about how that person did you wrong not only in this recent upsetting situation, but also last year, the year before that, and basically the whole time you’ve known them. Give lots of examples of that person being a total freak or an asshole. Make sure you tell about how you’re the victim here.

8) If you get to question four doing The Work (wow, you made it this far?) then get super puzzled. Who would you be without that belief? Throw your hands in the air and say “I have no f*&$ing idea!” Say you have a terrible imagination and you really can’t think of what it would be like. Or better yet, say it would be dangerous not to have that thought.

9) When you think of a stressful belief, just go straight to the turnarounds. So if you think the thought “I’m afraid of my boss” just flip it right away and say “I’m NOT afraid of my boss” and then fist pump the sky. Yeah! That’s right!

10) Anything you ever think that’s mean or sad about someone, turn it around to yourself and use this as an excuse not to ever talk with that person, tell the truth, connect, or actually change anything. “He abandoned me” flip to “I abandoned myself”. Feel worse about yourself than ever, you judgmental loser.

OK….I hope you’re laughing now.

Really, The Work is not easy.

Simple perhaps, but NOT easy.

If you need help along the way….take a class, call the Help Line, come to a retreat, come to Breitenbush in late June, sign up for Summer Camp For The Mind for short bursts of practice next July, or if you really want to go for it, join Year of Inquiry the next time I open registration.

There are lots of ways to sink into The Work.

Once you get a true taste of how amazing it is to question the stressful mind, you won’t ever stop.

You’ll start to wake up.

What could be better than that?

Love, Grace

22 Replies to “Ten Ways To Fail Miserably Doing The Work of Byron Katie”

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes. I see me and my fellow Work travelers in every single one of these. Thank you!

  2. How about writing down the turnarounds saying “Oh wow yeah!” to yourself and then don’t live them.

  3. Laughing my head off!!!! Thanks! :-) PS ! Came to think of another one. Tell your self at any point that The Work is not for you… maybe for other people, forthem it might work and that is god, but defenetly not for you…and cry a little about how hard and misserable life is and how, fed upp, helpless!and alone you are it all. Tell everyone around you that it would be better yio where dead …and get the comfort also on telling you and others that, any way, now there aren’t many years left you would have to put on with this torture and misery!

    Ohhhhmy God I am just hearing my grandmother!!!! …and others before her! Wow that would be me deep down underneath unseeing! Thanks, here it ends! Rest in peace! A good JYNW is waiting! ;-) Thank You! <3 <3 <3

  4. Love what I’ve read about ACT therapy. Some great similarities between it and The Work including powerful questions. I’ve heard Byron Katie say not to ever try to change your thinking–this is actually counter-productive because the effort at being against your thoughts creates opposition (and resistance!) I love simply questioning rather than trying to change…and letting whatever happens with the questions unfold. Thanks for writing, I appreciate it!–Grace

  5. What do you think of Act therapy
    Some psychologists think Katie try’s to change the individuals thinking .
    Brian peck a act social worker in Idaho would love you to contact him ..
    Facebook .

  6. Love to see truths expressed in a spirit of warmth and humor! Thank you for expressing so well, what I’ve experienced and witnessed others experiencing too. Liked this so much I shared it on my Facebook professional and personal pages. Blessings all over you!

  7. Sounds wonderful Jean-Marie! I have classes starting regularly (or if you’re interested in Parenting and The Work, you can join us and listen to week #1 recording :) A teleclass on Relationships is coming soon in March–that’s a fun one! Any relationship you have trouble with will do. Look at the teleclasses page on my website for the complete list. When you click on the tabs for each teleclass, the dates should be on the page for that class, if one is coming soon!

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