Practicing “The Work” at Work | Omega

Byron Katie’s technique, called The Work, can help you take a commonly held belief about your job and transform it.

“My boss just doesn't appreciate me,” is a common complaint heard in many offices across the country.

Recent research from Gallup has found that less than one in three Americans receive praise from their work supervisor, and employees who say they have not been recognized at work are more likely to quit in the next year.

But before you confront your boss or quit your job, you might want to try this exercise and see if anything changes.

Since 1986 Byron Katie has been teaching a process called The Work to millions of people, helping them to end their own suffering. The Work helps people identify and question stressful thoughts so they can be free of the stress that those thoughts generate.

"The Work is a way to step in between thinking a thought and believing the thought. You do The Work on the stressful thought, and amazingly enough, you may see that it’s just not true. You’ve been tying yourself in knots...over a false belief," says Katie.

According to Katie, people who engage with The Work as an ongoing practice commonly report lower levels of stress and depression, improved relationships, and increased mental clarity.

So what does The Work look like with the thought, "My boss just doesn't appreciate me?" Begin by answering these four questions in writing.

1. Is it true that your boss doesn’t appreciate you? (Answer yes or no only; no ifs, ands, or buts.)

2. Can you absolutely know that he or she doesn't appreciate you? (Answer yes or no only; again, no qualifiers.)

3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe this thought?

4. Who would you be without the thought “my boss doesn't appreciate me"?

Once you have answered the questions, turn the thought around in as many ways as you can. For example, “My boss does appreciate me.” Could that statement be true or even truer than the original thought?

Or try, “I don’t appreciate my boss,” or, “I don't appreciate me.” Try answering the four questions again with each of these thoughts and see if you can uncover more insights about your work life.

When you're done, do you have some doubt about the original statement, "My boss just doesn't appreciate me"? Do you feel a little less stressed by the thought?

© 2014 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies