A Complete Revised Worksheet for The Work of Byron Katie (My Byron Katie Detox, Part Thirty)

In a past installment of this serial, I shared my own worksheet for the Work, a longer version of Byron Katie’s. Recently, I decided to add another section. Over and over again, I come to the Work with only an undesirable feeling–no thought, nothing to blame. My need to excavate the feeling further before doing the Work led to my adding a new subset under Step One. I share the entire revised worksheet here.

As I noted previously, this information is not Byron Katie or Byron Katie Foundation approved.

A Complete Revised Worksheet for The Work of Byron Katie

There are three main steps to The Work of Byron Katie. First, find the thought that is causing you pain. Then question the thought as directed. Then turn the thought around–find evidence for it’s opposite and discover what it’s trying to teach you about yourself.

Step One: Find the Painful Thought

Painful thoughts are thoughts that judge a person or a situation unfavorably, causing negative emotion.

First, identify who or what you judge to be your problem.

Is your problem (apparently) an undesirable situation or event, the undesirable behavior of another person, or an undesirable, unexplained feeling? Move to the relevant section below. (Note that if the thought appears to be about yourself, it can and should be reworded to be about a situation instead. For example, “I am lazy” can be “I have a problem with laziness” and “I feel depressed” can be “I am experiencing depression frequently.”)

Thoughts Concerning a Situation or Event

1. What situation or event angers, confuses, saddens, or disappoints you and why?
I feel (emotion) because (situation).

2. How do you want the situation or event to change? What would you prefer instead?
I want (action/change).

3. What is it about this situation or event that you don’t ever want to experience again?
I don’t ever want to experience (emotion and/or action).

4. What does this situation or event say about you? What is the hidden meaning behind it?
This situation shows that I am (descriptor). This situation means that (hidden fear).

5. What difference would it make if you got what you wanted in this situation or event?
If I got what I wanted, I would feel (emotion). If I got what I wanted, I would experience (result).

6. What is the worst thing that could result from this situation or event?
Due to this situation, I could experience (result).

7. If your emotion about this situation or event was a small child, what would it be screaming out?
My (emotion) would be screaming out (unrestrained illogical conclusions).

Choose the thoughts from your list above that deeply resonate and do steps two and three with each.

Thoughts Concerning Another Person

1. Who angers, confuses, saddens, or disappoints you and why?
I feel (emotion) with (person) because (reason).

2. In this situation, how do you want them to change? What do you want them to do?
I want (person) to (action).

3. In this situation, what advice would you offer to them?
(Person) should/shouldn’t (action).

4. In order for you to be happy in this situation, what do you need them to think, say, feel, or do?
I need (person) to (action).

6. What is it about this person’s actions that you don’t ever want to experience again?
I don’t ever want to experience (emotion and/or action).

7. What does this person’s behavior say about you? What is the hidden meaning behind it?
This situation shows that I am (descriptor). This situation means that (hidden fear).

8. What difference would it make if the person acted the way you wanted them to?
If (person) acted as I prefer, I would feel (emotion). If (person) acted as I prefer, I would experience (result).

9. What is the worst thing that could result from this person’s behavior?
(Person) could cause (result).

10. If your emotion about this person was a small child, what would it be screaming out?
My (emotion) would be screaming out (unrestrained illogical judgments and descriptors).

Choose the thoughts from your list above that deeply resonate and do steps two and three with each.

Unexplained Feelings

1. What undesirable feeling are you experiencing?
I am experiencing (emotion).

2. What emotion would you like to feel instead?
I would like to feel (emotion).

3. Why don’t you like the feeling? What aspect of the feeling is undesirable to you?
This feeling is undesirable because (reason).

4. What difference would it make in your life if you never had this feeling again?
If I never had this feeling again, I would experience (result).

5. What is the cause of this emotion?
I feel (emotion) because (cause).

6. What life change could get rid of this emotion?
If (event), I would not feel (emotion).

7. What should you do differently in order to avoid this emotion?
I should always (behavior). I should never (behavior).

8. What do you lack inside yourself right now that might lead to this emotion?
I lack (personal or physical quality).

9. What does having this feeling say about you? What is the hidden meaning behind it?
This situation shows that I am (descriptor). This situation means that (hidden fear).

10. What is the worst thing that could result from your having this feeling?
With an ongoing experience of this emotion, (result).

11. If your emotion were a small child, what would it be screaming out right now?
My (emotion) would be screaming out (unrestrained illogical statements).

12. What are the benefits (seeming or actual) you receive when experiencing this emotion, either from others or from yourself?
When I feel (emotion), I receive the benefit of (benefit).

Choose the thoughts from your list above that deeply resonate and do steps two and three with each.

Step Two: Question the Thought

Slowly, carefully answer the following questions about your painful thought, whatever kind of thought it is.

1: Is it true?

2: Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

3a: How do you react—what happens—when you believe the thought?

3b. Can you find one stress-free reason to keep the thought?

4a: Who would you be without the thought?

4b. Can you find a reason to drop the thought?

Step Three: Turn the Thought Around

Finally, find evidence for the opposite of your statement and discover what your negative beliefs can teach you about yourself.

1. Turn the thought around to the opposite. For example, “Melody is rude” becomes “Melody is not rude.”

2. Turn the thought around to yourself. For example, “I am rude.”

3. Turn the thought around to your thinking. For example, “I am rude in my thinking.”

4. If the thought is about another person, turn it around by switching the names. For example, “Melody is rude to me” becomes “I am rude to Melody.”

5. If the thought is about another person, turn it completely to the self. For example, “I am rude to myself.”

6. If the thought is about another person, turn it completely to the other person. For example, “Melody is rude to herself.”

7. If the thought is about another person’s negative quality, turn it around by finding similar qualities you see in yourself. For example, “I am selfish when I . . .” or “I am impatient when I . . .”

8. If the thought begins with “I don’t ever want to,” turn it around by replacing that phrase with both “I am willing to” and “I look forward to.”

9. For each turnaround that resonates, find three pieces of evidence for the truth of the thought. For example, “Melody is always nice to my children,” “Melody is always nice to her children,” and “Melody was nice to our waitress.”

10. Finally, ask yourself how the experience or situation might be the universe’s way of bringing about your your highest good. If you do nothing else on this worksheet, ask this question.

Bonus Step: Ask yourself again: Is it true?

Read the rest of the series at My Byron Katie Detox: One Year of Questioning My Unhelpful Thoughts.

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