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

Updated July 14, 2020

The following is a description of a self-help technique that takes on average thirty-minutes to complete. Developed by an American author Byron Katie, this method should help you gain clarity over any mental frustrations you may have, however strong or weak the frustration or however significant or trivial the topic. 


Even though this self-discovery process takes about anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour to do, with no personal assistance it can be challenging to do for the first time.  So if you are a first-timer, write down your feelings first about an ordinary and mundane annoyance versus a more complicated annoyance. For example, “I am annoyed that the driver drove recklessly,” Then have someone familiar with Byron Katie’s work check your answers. As beginners usually skip over questions, it is best to have someone who has done this self-help process many times 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 to happen to satisfy your desires. Then, you turn the request around towards yourself or to your neighbor, called “the turnaround.” If done correctly, a self-discovery 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.  In other words, you may find that many times you are “wrong,” and then there are times you are “right.”


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

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 author of “Fast Trains: America’s High Speed Future,” and is the former Director of Public Outreach for the US High Speed Rail Association, which is based in Washington DC. Ms. Louie was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Hawaii and received a degree in Architecture from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She once hosted “The Emy Louie Show” where she produced content and interviewed the movers and shakers of the Western Feng Shui and Green Building movement. She is currently working on conservation, environmental and design projects in Hawaii and Central America.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s