Inquiry: “She Didn’t Give Me The Job…”

Here’s a dialog from this (hot) summer in Europe:

Participant: I’m angry at ***** because she didn’t give me the job.

Katie: “She didn’t give you the job”—is that true?

Participant: Yes.

Katie: Yes. She either gave you the job, or she didn’t. So the answer’s yes.

Participant: Yes.

Katie: So how do you react when you think that thought—”She didn’t give me the job”? What happens when you believe it? What happens to your body, what happens to your mind?

Participant: The mind begins to think very fast, I should have learned to know her, it’s my fault, I should have seen it from the first beginning, I should not have been so engaged; self-reproach.

Katie: So you re-live the past. That thought is how you keep your life lived in the past with no awareness of this moment now. To believe that thought is how you live in the present – how your body lives in the present, but your mind isn’t here. You’re lost in a very painful dream of a past, with shame and guilt and blame. So, close your eyes, and look at your life, exactly as you live it, only without the thought—“She didn’t give me the job.”

Participant: I enjoy meeting other theatre people and to expand, and to meet people, enjoy…

Katie: Yes, well that’s your job. That’s your job, isn’t that the one you love? The important one?

Participant: Yes…yes. Yes.

Katie: So “She didn’t give me the job”—turn it around?

Participant: I didn’t give myself the job.

Katie: Yes, the job that you love. So give you your job back…to love life, and being in theatre, with people you love to be with, and happy life. And when you see her, thank her. It freed you up to do this job. And the next time there’s an audition, show up! Who knows? Especially if it’s hers.

Participant [laughing]: Yes.

Katie: What else did you write?

Participant: She should have given me the job.

Katie: Is that true?

Participant: No!

Katie: So turn it around?

Participant: She shouldn’t have given me the job.

Katie: So if the universe is friendly, why is it better that you did not, that she did not give you the job? Why is your life better because of it?

Participant: I can look at my fears. They are always underneath, and now they really crop up. It’s not so comfortable, and I feel that it’s on my way now…and that this is my job.

Katie: Yes. It certainly freed you up for that. You might send her a thank you note, and tell her that you loved the audition, you learned more than you could ever thank her for, and next time she’s holding one, to please let you know. This gives you such a close intimate experience with her. It’s wonderful to be close to the people who give us what we really want, whether we know it or not.

Participant: Yes.

Katie: Thank you.

Participant: Thank you.

You can do The Work here.

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  1. Another turn-around that might be useful for an audition/job situation is “I didn’t give her/him the job.” Auditions and interviews are two-way streets–we audition for directors, etc, but at the same time it’s good to remember that they are auditioning for us as well. Auditions and interviews work both ways! I got this from my father once when I was despairing of ever being chosen, and always remembered it.

  2. Dear Byron Katie,
    I suffer for the last five years of my life from my mother in law. I just can`t stand this woman she drives me crazy and whatever I do to try to live in peace around her its impossible . I just can`t. I tried to do the work and it helps but when the moment comes and she is there I just get again very nervous and full of hatered towards her. I realise it is within me and it makes me hate myself and feel guilty even more. Apart from that i try to get pregnant just to please her (how pathetic of me) and although I want to have children one day i am not ready for them yet and still all I want is to please her.

  3. Greetings Ms.Katie.
    I hope you can help me. I am in a dreadful situation. My Mother, whom I am visiting now (82),lives very far from my husband and me. She refuses to move at this point so we can be there for her as she grows older. I came here this time because she had to have her 13-yr old dog put down. This was very hard to do, and it took a huge emotional chunk out of her. We (spouse) moved to another state almost 4 years ago due to my spouses job promotion. I haven’t been the same since. My 23yr old son (type-1 diabetic, but doing ok) is still here going to college, and my Mother. I feel
    pulled in two; knowing my Mom needs me and my son, and my husband. Real or imagined, that’s how I feel. I do not know whom to be responsible to. I don’t feel very comfortable leaving my Mother alone (again) this time. She is getting more frail, and I cannot stand the thought of her loneliness or that something might happen to her while living alone. My son checks in on her and visits now & then, but he has his own life, and a band!
    My Mom has out-lived all of her friends, she is a widow, has no church affiliation
    , don’t get me wrong, she is spiritual, but somewhat of a recluse. My sister lives in another state and is an alcoholic. My older brother calls alot, and would come down here in an emergency, and has offered to fly my Mom up to where he and his wife live. I wanted my Mom to drive back down with me to my home and then fly back to her home. But she absolutely refuses to fly. She is afraid as she hasn’t flown in years. So…
    I am supposed to drive back home this week-end. My spouse wants me home. But I am so reluctant. I have no Peace at all. I am on anti-anxiety medication. I don’t know who I am responsible to, or whos’ well-being is the most important. I am not selfish enough to say mine, because I cannot be happy and fulfilled unless I know everyone I love is, well, that is my Mother basically. I just feel a great responsibility to her and her well-being.
    Any suggestions?
    I did have three life-changing events happen in sequence; in 2003 had a complete hysterectomy, and I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who moved on–alot of hormonal issues. My spouse and I lost his 20-year old son in Iraq in 2004(our boys all grew up together), and in 2005 we made the move frome here to another state due to his job promortion with the goverment. In retrospect, I did tell my spouse never to take me away from my son or my Mother. But this job became open; he applied for it and got it. She away we went. And I have been living in hell on earth for the past 3 years.

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