Change Your Mindset and Thought with 'The Work'


How to change your mindset and thought when you need to? Becoming mindful of your mindset and thoughts is a good first step. But what then? What techniques or methods can you use to change your thoughts at the root? A negative mindset based on negative core beliefs can run deep.

How do you stop a 'train of thought' that's barreling down the tracks? How do you derail this train and recover your freedom of thought? This article outlines a powerful method that takes you step-by-step towards the freedom you seek.

Are Your Beliefs True?

The magic of belief is strong. Its power comes from its relationship with truth. What you believe in becomes your truth. What you believe in is taken as true.

In order to change your mindset and thought you need to change what you believe (is true). But this can't happen without proof. You need to prove to yourself that what you're currently believing is, in fact, false.

That's when you become free. When you begin to consider the possibility that what you currently believe - just ain't so - that's when you open up to the possibility of discovering that something else, may in fact be true.

You become primed for a complete change of mindset and thought.

But how do you stop believing in something that you're currently convinced is true? What's the process of changing a self-defeating mindset or a harmful belief? By submitting your mindset and thinking to a short series of deep thought provoking questions, you begin to release the death-grip you currently have on what you regard as fact or true.

These four self-discovery questions are known as 'The Work' ...

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'The Work' of Byron Katie

'The Work' begins as a set of four powerful questions designed to pry open your grip on negative thoughts and self-defeating beliefs. After all, what do you have to lose? Loosening your grip ... even opening your hand entirely ... your current thoughts, beliefs and mindset are still there.

You can choose to clench your fist around them once again, if the process of questioning you're about to undergo proves your current thought and mindset as truth after all. But then, you will have picked up your thoughts and mindset consciously this time. It'll be a real choice.

This method for changing your mindset and thoughts was devised by Byron Katie, a woman with a fascinating life story who has experienced a profound awakening and is now on a mission to bring this awakening to others through 'The Work.'

It's brilliant and definitely worth your time putting it to the test.

Here's an example of how 'The Work' works ....

An Example of How 'The Work' Works

Let's say that the mindset and thought you want changed is, "He/She betrayed me" just as an example. You submit this thought and mindset to the following series of four questions ...

1) Is it true?

[Your train of thought, and answer, may go something like this...]

"Yes, I believe it is. If I didn't believe it was true I probably wouldn't be experiencing all of this anger and pain."

2) Can I absolutely know that it's true?

"Well ... I do believe it's true. But I guess I can't really know with 100% certainty that it is. There may be some doubt, however slight."

3) How do you react when you believe that thought?

"I get angry. My feelings fluctuate wildly between denial and hate. I want to hurt somebody. I suffer."

4) Who would you be without that thought?

"Without that thought I'd be free! I wouldn't be locked into a reactive cycle of painful thinking and suffering that's draining me and keeping me from living proactively, as I wish. Without this thought I could forgive, or better yet, I could realize that forgiveness isn't necessary."

Now that you've submitted your specific belief to these thought provoking questions it's time to actually change your mindset and thought. You're ready to turn it around. This is where a deeper truth and understanding is to be encountered ...

Change Your Mindset and Thought with the 'Turnaround'

One finger at a time, the self-questioning process outlined above has released the grip of your mindset and thought, even if for a short while. Now with an open hand (and mind), you're primed for a profound change of mindset and thought. After all, what better way to change your thoughts than to turn them around? 

You can turn your thoughts and mindset around in one of the following four ways. You can turn it around ...

  • Towards self
  • Towards other
  • Towards the opposite
  • Or towards 'my thinking' (in situations where this feels most appropriate)

So how do you change your mindset and thought, "He/She betrayed me" using the four pathways above? Here's how to make your 180 degree turn ...

Ready to Surprise Yourself?!

So long as you were holding on to one thought as truth, you weren't able to discover any other thoughts that may be equally or even more true for you. Now that you've asked yourself the four questions and opened up some room in the mind, you're ready to examine alternative truths - the turnarounds...

Turnaround towards Self

Changing your mindset and thought by turning it around toward self would look something like this ...

  • "He/She betrayed me" becomes "I betrayed myself."

Then you proceed by asking yourself whether this new thought feels 'as true' or 'truer' for you than the original thought. Ask yourself, "In what ways may I have actually betrayed myself in this situation?" A profound twist to consider!

Turnaround towards Other

Changing your mindset and thoughts by turning them around towards other would look something like this ...

  • "He/She betrayed me" becomes "I betrayed him/her."

"Is this thought or mindset 'as true' or 'truer' for me than my original mindset or thought? In what ways may I have actually been the betrayer?" Another profound twist to consider!

Turnaround towards the Opposite

Changing your thoughts and mindset by turning them around towards the opposite would look something like this ...

  • "He/She betrayed me" becomes "He/She didn't betray me."

"How could this thought actually be 'as true' or 'truer' than my original thought or mindset? How could it be true that he or she didn't actually betray me? Perhaps they betrayed themselves in some way? Is it possible they were in fact trying to protect me?"

Many possibilities to consider in the fresh light of awareness and freedom from previous thinking.

Turnaround towards 'My Thinking'

And finally, changing your thoughts and mindset around to my thinking would look something like this ...

  • "He/She betrayed me" becomes "My thinking betrayed me."

"How is this new thought and mindset 'as true' or 'truer' than what I've originally come to believe? Is it possible that my very own thinking has been the real betrayer? In what way might this be the deeper truth of what's really going on?"

Free to Think!

Freedom of thought is nothing more than a nice slogan without freedom from thought. If we aren't free to let go of our current thinking, if we aren't free to let other thoughts vie for the truth even if for a short while, then how much free thinking is actually going on? Are you truly a free thinker if you can't change your mindset and thought?

Following the process outlined in this article helps you change your mindset and thought. It helps you become a free thinker in deed. 

To read more about 'The Work' of Byron Katie visit her self-development website.

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