Answer Four Questions and End Work Stress Permanently

Did the title say “permanently?” Yep. This process really works when it comes to ending stressful thinking. Just follow the directions in the worksheet below and watch your stress disappear.

This process is an adaptation based on a larger work by Byron Katie called “The Work.” To learn about this miraculous program, go to "The Work."

Complete the Following Sentence:

“I am stressed because……

and this means that……”

(The example in smaller type is from an actual worksheet used by a workshop participant. When you aren’t sure how to proceed, refer to the smaller type for assistance):

“I am stressed because my coworker is incompetent and lazy and this means that I have to do more than my fair share of the workload.”

Your stressful thought/statement here:

I feel stressed because ................. and this means that..................

Now answer the following four questions with the statement you wrote above in mind.

First Question:

Do you know that your thought about this situation is completely true? Is it at all possible that you only have partial information about this situation?

(If “yes” then move to the Second Question)

YES: I may not know about a medical condition, a processing problem, a learning disability or some direction from our boss that limits her ability.

If “no” then:

Can you prove your thought about this situation is true in the way one can prove the Law of Gravity? Can you prove it with math?

Possible ‘No’ Response: She is purposely not doing her part because she is lazy and knows I will do it for her. I cannot prove this like the Law of Gravity that she is absolutely 100% lazy or know 100% for sure that she is thinking I will take up the slack for her (but what else could it be??).

Your Answer:

Second Question:

Pretend you are standing before a firing squad. This squad will hear the statement that you wrote above. If even one of the executioners can prove that you don’t know everything there is to know about this situation then you will be shot.

Are you willing to state your thought before the firing squad?

NO: I could be a little bit wrong about this and if there is any reason why she acts this way that isn’t laziness…then I am not willing to risk being shot.

YES Response: My thought would stand up to the test of a firing squad.

Your Answer:

Third Question:

See yourself interacting with your thought/statement in your mind. Visualize how you feel and behave when you think it.
What is the benefit to you for keeping this thought active?

Drama. Gossip content for the lunchroom. (But these aren’t really benefits to me……) Kinda makes me feel like the better worker in the office. Probably nothing of benefit to me in the big picture sense.

Your Answer to the Question: "How do you act with this thought? What is the benefit to you?":

Fourth Question:

You have experienced some kind of brain trauma, and are unable to have this thought ever again. Visualize yourself interacting without being able to think your original statement.

What would you act like/feel like when you must deal with the situation in the future?

I would probably be polite. And if she wasn’t doing what I expect her to, and I couldn’t have the thought that she is lazy, then I would probably ask her “What’s up? Is there something happening that isn’t allowing you to complete this part?”

Your Answer:


Mirror, Mirror!

Turn you original statement around in at least two ways.

1. Give two examples of when your thought about the situation is/has been/was not true.

(Help: Find at least two examples of where your coworker WASN’T lazy or even actually helped someone.)


2. Provide two examples of when your thought has been true OF YOU or where you have experienced a similar trait in yourself.

(HELP: Where are two examples of when you have “phoned it in” or didn’t give 100% to a task?)

Adaptation of “The Four Questions and the Turnaround” from the original work of Byron Katie. To see her original worksheets, articles, blogs, and videos, visit

Get more information on "The Work" is in this introductory video of Byron Katie:

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