by Steve Wells
“Eating ice cream is easy. Making something that matters is hard.” – Seth Godin
Over 70 years ago Albert E. N. Gray wrote an essay called The Common Denominator of Success. From his research on what led some people to become successful while others did not he concluded:
“The common denominator of success — the secret of success of every(one) who has ever been successful — lies in the fact that (they) formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”
In analysing the biggest producers in his own field of life insurance, Gray asked:
“Perhaps you have wondered why it is that our biggest producers seem to like to do the things that you don’t like to do. They don’t!”
It is common in the tapping world to find people who encourage you to work on changing your “vibration” in order to be successful. We are all supposed to get ourselves to feel good then we can change. But as Gray discovered, many, in fact most, people who are successful don’t wait until they feel good before they take action, they manage to get themselves to take action despite their uncomfortable feelings. And that is why they succeed.
Gray found that successful people manage to get themselves to do the things that people who are not successful don’t do and won’t do, not because they like doing those things (the popular myth), but because they have found a meaningful purpose which makes taking those actions worthwhile. They are able to consistently get themselves to do things which others don’t like to do and they don’t necessarily like doing either because their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.
What does that mean?
They have found some deeply meaningful reasons which are emotionally stronger to do than the emotional reasons not to do the things they need to do to become successful. And then they make taking those actions a habit.
Gray uses the term purpose but when you dig deeper he is really talking about values, which are your strongest emotional drivers. He says you need to identify a purpose which is a sentimental or emotional, one which is rooted in your strongest wants and desires.
So essentially, unless your goals relate to your highest values, your strongest underlying emotional reasons why you want to do this or have this or become this they will never drive your actions too far. If you haven’t found those reasons, that is the place to start.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is most important to me?
- Will achieving this be really good for me, good for others and good for the planet?
You might as well know right now that you are not going to be truly successful unless you can get yourself to do some things that are currently uncomfortable for you to do.
Your success is on the other side of your current comfort zone.
Now here’s the thing: Tapping can help you. Tapping can help you to overcome the emotional blocks to doing the things you need to do to become successful. Tapping can help you to make the discomfort of taking disliked actions less uncomfortable…
However, without the strong energy and powerful inspiration provided by that link to your highest values and desires, no amount of tapping will get you there. So check in emotionally with your goal. If it doesn’t really inspire you, dig deeper until you find what does.
As Seth Godin writes in Lynchpin:
“When you set down the path to create art, whatever sort of art it is, understand that the path is neither short nor easy. That means you must determine if the route is worth the effort. If it’s not, dream bigger.”
(If you are unclear about your values, my Values Intensive Live Workshop DVD set can help you get clear on what is really important to you and help iron out the internal conflicts.)
Here’s something else: as long as you believe that taking action towards your goal, at least in the beginning, should be easy, that you should like taking those actions then you will continue to be held back.
There are some actions that you just do not like doing right now which you will need to do if you are to be successful and achieve your goals. And waiting for all conditions to be perfect will mean you may never do anything at all. Waiting until tapping makes you feel great about taking action may be also be a distraction from action which keeps you stuck.
So your best first use of tapping is this: Tapping to help you to bear with the uncomfortable feelings of going outside your comfort zone towards a valued goal even as you get into action to go there. Tapping as you go.
Every significant move forward is going to require you to move outside your current comfort zone, which means that some discomfort comes with the territory. That even applies when your desired goal is something you really want.
The discomfort of taking steps towards a valued goal is not a bad thing, it is a good form of stress, like stretching a tight muscle is good for the muscle and ultimately good for you. If you continue to see those sensations as bad then you doom yourself to remain in contraction.
Some effort is required for the chick to break free of the egg or the butterfly to come out of the cocoon.
Can’t I just tap away my bad feelings until I feel good and then take action?
Good luck. For when you try tap away those feelings you risk setting up a secondary condition: You may be seeking to avoid something you need to go through. And now you are left with the feeling that you can’t handle those negative feelings, even those that might be good for you! And you remain rooted in inaction, waiting for everything to be perfect and to “feel right” before you will move.
If you keep trying to remove your negative feelings and to “not” feel them then they actually tend to scream more loudly. What you resist tends to persist. On the other hand, once you fully accept and allow those feelings to move you then they will tend to move through you. What you accept and allow no longer has power to control you.
So tap to connect with your end goal, vision, dream, or purpose, and to allow yourself to feel how it will really feel when you have achieved it. Regularly accessing those feelings will really help you to sustain through the difficult times.
Then tap on being willing to experience the feelings you currently see as negative which you will experience when you take steps to move outside your comfort zone.
Tap to get yourself to take action and continue on taking action despite those feelings and any associated negative thoughts being there. Tap for being able to handle the feelings, not to try to tap them away.
Use tapping to allow you to move into what seems like discomfort but is in reality an energy-giving, life-expanding stretch for you.
That, I guarantee you, will be a lot more productive than staying at home and tapping until you get your “vibration” right.
What do you think? I would love to read your comments on this article…