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The Work: Byron Katie’s 4 Questions

We all have thoughts and we all can suffer when we believe the ones that argue reality. Teaching as an author and speaker, Byron Katie founded what she calls “The Work” which is a process of self-reflection and thought inquiry. These 4 questions that make up the work can free us from unnecessary suffering. Let’s look at them.

Find Katie Byron’s Top 10 Best Quotes Here.

What Is The Work?

She discovered the process of the work after an epiphany one morning. Byron Katie had spent many years stuck deep in depression and self-loathing. She had not found a way out and continued to dig herself deeper into darkness until her epiphany.

This one morning when self-deprecating thoughts began to swirl she noticed she only suffered when she believed them. She began to realize she had the power to question or belief her thoughts. This then began to form the 4 questions that create the thought inquiry “The Work”

The work is a four-step question process Katie teaches more deeply within her books. She typically guides people to perform thought inquiry through writing as it’s easier to investigate thoughts on paper.

She says this is because “it is the mind’s job to be right” and when investigating thoughts within the head it can justify itself immediately. Sometimes even without us noticing.

To reap the most benefit out of the work. It is important to be completely authentic with yourself and take time in order for your inner wisdom to come through.

Similar to this process is Shadow work which is unraveling the layers of your unconscious side. To learn the basics of shadow work click here.

Questions of The Work:

On her judge your neighbor worksheet, which you can find here, you will write down your statement and then put it to work. Through The Work’s four questions you can unravel the underlying truth within your thoughts.

1. Is It True?

Starting off by the foundational level of questioning your thoughts. This answer needs to be a clear yes or no. We need to remain objective while investigating this question. Take notice if you are trying to convince yourself that it is true.

2. Can You Absolutely Know It’s True?

If your answer to the second question is yes, it is time to keep digging. Byron Katie guides you to keep looking at this instance and see what it will reveal to you if you remain objective.

3. How Do You React When You Believe That Thought?

This question in itself is extremely potent. Think about the way you feel when you believe this thought? How does your inner perspective change? How does your approach to others shift when you believe this thought? Is there any chain reaction that happens when you believe this thought such as addictions or cravings?

4. Who Would You Be Without The Thought?

As if you were able to go back in time take a moment to reflect on this situation again. Relating to question number 3 visualize who you would be without this thought. You need to come to a fully objective and neutral viewpoint to gain the most from this.

How would you treat the other person? How do you feel about yourself?


After going through all of the questions it is time to dissect even more out of your statement through turnarounds. The thing about disappointments is that it is 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. This is where turnarounds come in.

Anything you see within others is a reflection of what is already going on within you. A turnaround is when you turn your perception from the external situation inwards. To learn more in-depth how-to perform turnarounds click here.

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