Reality Check on Thoughts and Feelings: A Self-Help Technique

Updated May 25, 2020

The following is a description of a thirty-minute self-help technique which was developed by an American author Byron Katie that will help you gain clarity over any frustrations you may have. Try this technique whenever you have the same recurring annoyance or grievance, however strong the feeling, over something significant or very trivial. 

On average, this self-discovery process takes about 20 minutes to one hour, but it can be challenging to do this for the first time with no personal assistance. 

So if you are a first-timer, write down your feelings about an ordinary and mundane annoyance, such as, “I am annoyed that the driver drove recklessly,” and have someone check your answers. As beginners usually skip over questions; it is best to have someone that has done this self-help process many times successfully before, to check if you have answered the questions in the most effective manner. 

Here is how the general process works. You write down your feelings, and you also write down what you want in order to satisfy your desires. Then, you turn the request around towards yourself or to your neighbor, which is called “the turnaround.” Then, if done correctly, the magic should start to happen. You will find that some assumptions that have been made cannot be verified, or you quickly realize that the grievances you wrote down contradict or confirm the reality that you have created.  

Do not do the technique only in your mind. You must write it down. 


Here is the worksheet to do this self-help process:

Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet

Therefore, when you start doing this self-help process successfully enough, you will be able to make better decisions that reflect the reality of how you feel.



Emy Louie is the author of “Fast Trains: America’s High Speed Future.” In 1991, Ms. Louie received a degree in Architecture from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.  In 2007 and 2008, she hosted “The Emy Louie Show” and interviewed the movers and shakers of the Conscious Design Movement. She is currently working on environmental projects in Hawaii and Central America.

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