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How To Drop Expectation: Using Byron Katie’s The Work

Expectations are what cause disappointment and suffering. This can be explained within one of Katie’s quotes.“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.”

Click here to find Byron Katie’s 10 best quotes.

Who Is Byron Katie?

Byron Katie is a speaker and author that guides people on how to get in form thought inquiry and use discomfort as a guide into what our internal world needs. She causes people who do “The Work” to fall in love with reality by getting honest with themselves. Click here to read what we think Byron Katie’s best teachings are.

After a long time suffering from her thoughts, Byron Katie discovered the work through an epiphanic moment one morning. She had fully dropped expectations and could see her thoughts with the utmost clarity.

Your Happiness Is Your Responsibility

Take responsibility for your thoughts and begin believing them selectively. The feelings of suffering or happiness both come from your thoughts.

We have the power to either love or hate reality. It reminds us that expectations are what form disappointment. Every time we argue with reality and what is currently happening we lose.

To keep an expectation that is not what happened within reality is damaging. Byron Katie teaches that it is solely your responsibility to make yourself happy.

“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.”

Katie Byron

Thought Inquiry

We are either believing our thoughts or questioning them. When we begin forming thought inquiry habitually, expectations are less likely to take root because we can sort through them before they even begin to sprout.

Thought inquiry empowers us to no longer be a victim to our thoughts. It also makes it easier to question the thoughts we have at the time we notice discomfort arises.

Celebrate Discomfort

Katie explains that negative emotions can actually be celebrated. This is a powerful way to begin dropping expectations. They no longer can control you if you aren’t ruled by discomfort.

This celebration comes because anytime they arise they are little alarms letting you know you have strayed off your path. They work to lead you back to your truth.

You can dive into these negative emotions through shadow work. Shadow work guides you to the root of your negative emotions so that you can process and accept them in order to free yourself.


Turnarounds are looking into how true the exact opposite of a thought is. This work because disappointments are always created from you, not the other person. To understand this more you need to understand that your external environment is a reflection of you.

The practice is to take a statement and to turn it around to the opposite, toward yourself, and to the other. Not all judgments will have three turnarounds that’s okay. Then you try to prove how these turnarounds can be right. Click here to find a more in-depth guide to turnarounds.

Continue Learning

Your thoughts are powerful and the more consciously you can work with them the more they can support you. Click here to learn ways to change your thoughts from negative to positive.

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