I haven’t been a big fan of Byron Katie’s The Work. I have watched her facilitate for others and have seen it work for them. However, when I’ve tried it myself it has fallen flat. I recently heard my friend Roma Zanders facilitate The Work with my friend Jeannette Maw and I felt myself walking through it with Jeannette and not only experiencing big shifts about my beliefs around “being independent,” but also ah-has about the usefulness and application of The Work.
If you’re not familiar, you can visit Byron Katie’s website here and Roma’s website here to learn more about it. My friend, Susan Cohen is also great at facilitating it for others, if you’re looking for facilitators. Basically, The Work walks you through challenging limiting core beliefs you carry on any topic you choose and helps you turn them around and see where you are buying into something that is not serving you. It also can help you begin to play with what it might be like to view things in a more positive light.
With a little help from Roma, I facilitated for myself on some beliefs I’ve been carrying around about the corporate world and myself in juxtaposition with it. The one I most wanted to bring to the blog for the benefit of my clients has to do with a belief I have been carrying around and banging my drum about. Here’s the belief:
· Corporate America treats women unfairly and poorly.
Now, I’m going to share with you the process I went through to facilitate my own turn-around on this belief. I will share with you the questions that The Work asks and my unedited, written answers.
1. Is this true?
2. Can you know it to be true?
3. Who are you being while you hold on to this belief?
Defensive, on guard, defeated, repressed, the kind of woman I think will best navigate the boys club unharmed, a quitter, deterred, untapped, quiet, polite, a good girl, a bitch, skeptical, untrusting, ready to attack, a victim, blaming, angry, judgmental, afraid, a little girl afraid to show that she’s grown up, bullied, complaining, living a sell fulfilling prophecy.
4. Who would you be without this thought/belief?
On fire, on the playground with the other kids, present, confident, adding value, dedicated, steadfast, proactive, empowered, inspired, a woman making a valuable contribution, myself, able to be the love that I am, on a mission, unwavering, fun, in the zone, expanding, credible, the kind of woman I want to be, heard, a positive example and inspiration, an innovator.
5. Now turn the statement around. (How can it be turned around to help you see the limit to the belief and the other ways in which you could think about it?)
Corporate America treats women well and treats them fairly.
Women treat Corporate America unfairly and poorly.
Women treat Corporate America fairly and well.
I treat Corporate America poorly and unfairly.
I treat Corporate America well and fairly.
As you can see, it can be a powerful exercise in defining where your core beliefs about a topic can be holding you back or limiting your world view and your engagement with the world. Where I found the power was in defining who I am being in holding fast to that belief. Ouch, but an eye-opening and necessary exploration. In defining who I would be without that belief I see permission to be truer to myself than ever and open to engaging 100% of the working world, because I really do enjoy men as much as I enjoy women, and the converse must also be true.