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By Steve Wells

One of my clients once disclosed to me that she was spending up to 4 ½ hours tapping each day. I told her it was time to go out and take some action, rather than waiting until everything was perfect before she moved. She started taking “baby steps” (whilst tapping) and now her life is a whole lot better.

As wonderful as tapping can be for reducing the emotional intensity of many issues, I have found that it can also be used as a distraction or to defer taking action in areas that are important to us. This is because we fear having to cope with the inevitable feelings that will arise in new situations, and we know that even with tapping those feelings may arise. It is the discomfort of those feelings that we really fear.

I used to counsel clients to tap until they were at a “zero” intensity on their emotional issues and then to go out into the situation. Now, I certainly encourage them to spend some dedicated time tapping on the issue and their fears, but then I encourage them to go forward and “tap as you go” without worrying that emotions will arise. A little bit of discomfort, a little bit of stress, can be good for us. We change and grow in response to challenge. The key is that the challenge needs to be non-overwhelming.

In the research on psychological methods that work, exposure therapy, where you basically face your fear and go ahead and do the feared thing anyway, is “top of the pops”. The challenge with this approach however is that sometimes the fear is overwhelming, and there can be a great deal of suffering involved in getting there. This is where tapping comes in, and especially the innovative finger tapping of SET which is very portable and can be done anywhere quite discreetly. By reducing the intensity of fear or stress to a manageable level, SET allows you to move forward now rather than waiting until everything is perfect before you ever take a step.

I’m afraid films like “The Secret” have also contributed to the tendency for some people to expect results without doing anything about it. The message here is that if you work on your “vibration” then everything you want will come to you.

Actually, I DO believe that “vibration” or “energy state” is important, however I also know that action is the basis of all results in the world. Action and energy go together. As Einstein said, nothing happens until something moves! And not much will happen for you unless YOU move!!!

A woman rang me once and exasperatedly stated that she’d been working on her manifestation and that it “wasn’t working”. I enquired as to what she meant, and she disclosed that she was wanting to find a life partner and had been working on tapping and “raising her vibration” every day. I asked her what she’d actually DONE about going out and getting in the area where men were likely to be so that she could give herself a chance of meeting one of them… And she admitted that she had done nothing.

After we’d spoken for a while this lady said, “I realise now talking with you that I’ve basically been waiting for someone to break down outside my house!” This was in fact one of the only ways that the love of her life could come into contact with her.

And then something unbelievable happened (sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction!)…

While we were talking she suddenly said in an excited voice, “Hang on, I think someone has broken down outside!” She left the phone and I mused over how strange the universe can be in terms of how things manifest.

When she came back to the phone, her voice was despondent. It was an elderly gentleman, and not a very attractive one at that. My caring response was along the following lines: “That’s what you get if you don’t go out and take action; you have to settle for what you get rather than getting what you really want.”

I haven’t heard back from this lady however when we finished the conversation she sounded real clear about the difference between basically wishing and hoping versus taking action to achieve your dreams.

I’ve mentioned Jim Rohn before and he says it so well: “Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.”

Have you been deluding yourself? Do you have something that you want but you haven’t been taking the necessary actions to make it happen? No amount of wishing will bring it to you, and nor will tapping alone change your life.

Do some tapping on your fear. Do some tapping on your fear of the fear. Then take action, tapping as you go. Small steps, even baby steps, with tapping as you go, will take you where you want to go more surely than any amount of tapping on its own.

What do you think?

We would love to read your comments.

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6 Replies to “Is your tapping a distraction from action?”

Another great post, Steve! I love the Jim Rohn quote, and I absolutely agree that affirmations without action most likely won’t work, even if you are tapping on the tail enders! I like the idea of baby steps too – that’s why many people fail, by making the goal or the process of accomplishing the goal too big.

Sandra Trahan

I have also found what Steve and Einstien said to be true – inertia is a powerful force to over come, but once you’re up and moving it’s easier to keep moving. Also, motivation follows action (although I still have times where I sit and wait for the opposite to be true!). For me, tapping gradually helps clear up the worst of my fears so I have hope of thinking clearly enough to have some success when I do over come the inertia thing. It helps too, when I keep in mind what Carol just said – it’s great to have a big goal in mind, but we also need to focus on the ‘one step at a time’ that it takes to get there.

Rachel G.

Tapping for “raising one’s vibration”, in my experience, has been particularly unhelpful. One reason for this is because according to some LOA experts, each person is all vibrations simultaneously. Perhaps what this means is that one experiences what one focuses on.

Another reason raising one’s vibration is unhelpful is because a person, IMO, is not made to stay at a certain high vibe. We go up and down pretty often. Life seems amazing, horrific, nice, awful, one after the other. That’s normal. Trying to raise the vibes means one’s only wanting the positive experiences. Well, that may mean trying to deny half or three quaters of one’s life! That’s painful! Perhaps even more painful than facing unpleasant things! It’s another way of saying that one is in denial. if you need to deny, you’re also reinforcing in the same breath.

I think, it’s important to have a balanced approach. You can tap for 4.5 hours, but not all for the same thing. It’s unrealistic. If one hasn’t attracted a nice man, there may be lots of areas in which you’re unattractive hem hem. You may want to think about this. Your mood is important. Your beliefs. Your thoughts, your goals, your past, what stresses you and how you stress, etc. Your finances. Your tastes. Your mannerisms. It’s not really only about looks, and vibes. All these things, and more, add up to define who you do or don’t attract. And all of these take a good deal of time to explore and change. And in that time – what if it takes two years? – you’ll want to have some fun, won’t you? Not just tapping!

If it were all about vibes, life would become very two dimensional. eg “i’m a 78 on an emotioanl vibration scale, where are you?” “I’m only a 23, but believe me, I’m on the way up!” “only 23! hah! Well that’s why I get all the good stuff and you don’t yet! heh heh!”

Sometimes it is hard to tell where the results will manifest.

A number of years I was trying to sell my car. I put ads in the newspaper, notices up at local grocery stores and whatever else I could think of including a For Sale sign on the car itself. I was at the point of wondering if the car would sell at all.

I wound up selling the car to a visiting young Australian tourist who just happened to see the car parked on the street when I was present. He liked the “box” (gear shift, tranny and the way it worked).

He paid me with Travelers Checks and we were both happy. Now he could be a tourist and continue with his travels.

So it is hard to tell if the guy will actually break down in front of our house after some effort has been put into getting what is desired.

Thank you for this fantastic article! I so totally agree with your message, and it’s a complete relief to read something so useful, constructive and down to earth. It’s really needed after the “damage” done by The Secret ( I also enjoyed it intially, don’t get me wrong…:) But there’s nothing like good ol’ action! And you say it so well; just get going and tap as you go – a little discomfort and stress is good for you and helps you grow and change. I also loved your article on the little effect of positive affirmations. I find this very important, and have talked a lot about this with my clients since many of them have been repeating affirmations for years – with negative or no effect.

So thanks again – I love your approach on tapping and energy psychology 😀 I’ll be subscribing to your very sensible “weird ideas” from now, and will be sharing some links on facebook, hope you don’t mind:)

Dear Steve and David,

Do come and give a workshop in California or Washington state, or NY, Conn, Mass. (all places I travel to)!!! Ive been studying EFT via “Gary” and hoped to take his exam but I understand it is now too late. Ive taught a very successful workshop etc. yet work on myself is more challenging. Ive established several protective barriers that no therapy has penetrated. Yesterday, borrowing benefits, I tapped on my major resistance and to my astonishment (and a bit of horror) my voice and physical state became that of a terrified 7 year old. I kept right on tapping (your suggestion) and speaking reminder phrases, as I pulled out stacks of papers and files and actually worked thru parts of it. Now that I tell you this I realize that once I got working on practicalities the adult woman took over.

Since learning to do EFT I’ve gone thru astonishing abreactions, however they were about the past and after the first time rolling on the floor and weeping and even screaming, I followed your ideas about keeping right on tapping. A more fruitful course.

At other times, working with a client, I automatically surge ahead without a new set-up phrase as the “onion” begins to peel. I do a lot of “going fishing” (having the client just say what pops into MY head) and the aspects come tumbling out.

Because I am a Sidda Yoga student and a Professional RScP prayer (with the clients permission) comes into the work.

Thank you for your generous newsletter.

Peace and Blessings, and yes, Love,

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