By Steve Wells[This article was originally written for Gary Craig’s newsletter]
Many people think they are suffering fear of failure when what they really have is fear of success. In fact, I think most are suffering from fear of success masquerading as fear of failure.
On what basis do I say this?
If I ask my clients or workshop participants to think about being successful and having achieved their goal, then ask them to step into the picture and feel how it will feel, they do not typically report feeling good; most say instead that they feel uncomfortable! They are often hit by massive feelings of anxiety and overwhelm, and tend to report all sorts of negative thoughts coming up such as, “I don’t deserve this;” “I’m not good enough;” and so on.
This is because they (we) have all sorts of negative associations to being successful. And this is what we want to treat using tapping. Ultimately, unless success–however we define it–makes us feel good, unless we are attracted toward it, why would we want to manifest it in our lives?
A Positive Mixed With a Negative
Many people, when I question them about their goals, do not really have a totally positive goal at all. What they have is a positive mixed with a negative. The negative is what they believe will come along with the success or that would be required in order for success to happen for them–and in their mind both the positive and the negative are linked together so you can’t have one without the other.
For example, I recently spoke with a gentleman who said that if he were to become successful he would lose his marriage! Well, if that were truly the case why on earth would he choose to become successful?
I counseled him to look at creating a new version of success where he stayed in his marriage (since he really wanted to), as his current version of success was really failure. Like many people he had trouble seeing a new possibility because in his mind the choice was represented as an “either-or” conflict where one side had to win and the other therefore must lose; rather than a “yes, and … ” where both sides can win.
Ultimately, if you have not achieved your goals, then at some level you probably have similarly confused emotional and energetic connections. Seeking to create alignment so that all parts of us are pulling in the same direction has been a major part of my work with tapping in the area of peak performance.
I’d like to outline here for you some ways of going about treating these blocks and barriers so that you can ultimately go for your goals without feeling blocked or feeling like part of you is holding back.
Treating Blocks with Tapping
One way to begin when treating blocks like this with tapping is to think about what would be the inevitable consequences of being successful for you–both positive and negative–and then to treat yourself using tapping for both sides of this conflict.
It’s not trendy to acknowledge the negatives that might eventuate from success. We’re supposed to assume that all change will be positive. But unless we can prepare ourselves for a realistic picture of success we will push it away from ourselves. Unless we can be comfortable with success we will sabotage it or be unable to handle it. Witness the many people who win the lottery or inherit money only to squander their new-found wealth, and the many athletes who get to the Olympics then get overawed by the hype and aren’t able to perform.
Actually unless your body-mind can handle success and everything it would bring you will fear it and have part of you acting against allowing it to manifest in your life.
For me, increased levels of success meant more opportunities to travel and the inevitable conflict with the needs of my family and my desires to be with them. This conflict needed to be resolved; otherwise I would always feel divided and guilty whenever I was pursuing one and not the other. I could see myself being very successful on the world stage but miserable without my family.
How to treat such binds? Begin by asking yourself: What do I want? What would success look like to me?
Now consider what positive and negative things you associate to being successful. For example, I have personally had to treat all of the following associations to being successful:
- If I became financially successful I might not be spiritual.
- If I became successful I might lose my family
- If I became successful I might have a lot more pressure on me to perform, as well as a lot more pressure on my time and I might not have time to do what I want to do.
Treating Yourself With Tapping
Set about treating yourself for your own negative associations and blocking thoughts related to your own version of success.
One way to treat these is by simply whilst focusing on the belief as you tap on each point. For example, “If I become financially successful I will not be spiritual.”
The next step is to ask yourself where you learned these beliefs. You can then do tapping on those specific events, working through each event in turn and applying tapping to any emotionally intense parts. Do this for all the major experiences you can identify where you had an emotional experience that “taught” you those beliefs. Typically after doing this the negative beliefs will loosen their hold.
A very powerful way to treat beliefs where there is conflict between two apparently opposite sides–such as being successful versus being there for the family, or being spiritual versus being financially successful–is to do alternate tapping on each side of the conflict.
The main key to this technique is to come up with the two opposite beliefs then do alternative rounds of tapping on each belief.
For example, if you held the belief that financial success might lead to your becoming less spiritual, you might do a round or two of tapping on “If I become financially successful I will be less spiritual.” While tapping on this belief statement, focus on all the “reasons” you can think of from your background and experience–and the events which taught you this–to prove how this could be true. Then do some rounds of tapping on the opposite belief: “If I become financially successful I will be more spiritual,” again thinking of reasons why this might be true while tapping on each point.
After you have completed separate rounds of tapping on each belief, you can then do some rounds of tapping where you tap on the opposite statements on each alternate tapping point. For example:
- Eyebrow point: “Financial success would make me less spiritual.”
- Side of eye: “If I were financially successful I could contribute more to worthy causes.”
- Under eye: “If I were financially successful I might become greedy.”
- Under nose: “Actually I’d be less greedy because I wouldn’t be worried about money.”
And so on …
The idea is not for either side to “win” over the other, it is to bring both sides (the conflicting ideas, or opposite points of view) into the light of your awareness, allowing each to provide its message.
As we do the tapping on the emotionally attached material on both sides of the continuum, the emotion attached to those ideas is enabled to move through us, and we reprocess the information through our body-mind. As this happens we tend to gain new perspectives regarding the meaning of those ideas and the past events where we learned them. Ultimately we tend to rise up to a new level of understanding and ultimately, and we are empowered to see or create a new, more empowering definition of success.
Most people who do this simple process of tapping on opposites find–after the initial period of disorientation or confusion–that they are able to come up with a new alternative, which is far more empowering than either side of the conflict would provide on its own. Instead of having to resolve the double bind, they are able to break out of it by rising above it.
My experience was to realize that I do need to be there for my family and that I do need to make a difference in the world to be true to my purpose (although ultimately my family comes first).
I also realized that being successful with my family supports me in making a bigger difference in the world, and being successful in the world outside my family enhances the me that I bring to my family. Thus, whilst I still travel, there are boundaries around how much travel I will do; I seek to leverage the opportunities I have when I do travel, I am starting to identify ways I can make a difference without having to leave home so often, and sometimes I arrange to take my family with me!
Focusing on Manifestation
Once you have done some tapping on your conflicts and blocking beliefs associated with being successful, it’s time to focus on manifestation. Manifestation is where you direct your intention to bring your dreams and goals into reality.
I teach my clients a process for manifestation using tapping which I call “Connecting with Success.” This is a simple process of holding your goal in mind whilst tapping on the energy points, stepping into your success picture in your mind and seeking to access the feelings of success whilst you tap.
Feel how it’s going to feel when you are successful. Hold in your mind the intention of connecting with the success feelings and tap as you do so. Doing the tapping whilst holding the positive intention tends to settle down the tension we feel when thinking ourselves into a situation that is outside our current comfort zone.
Most people when first using the “Connecting with Success” technique have trouble connecting with the feelings and images during their first couple of attempts, but progressively they are more easily able to access the success feelings and images.
Usually after just a few attempts their imagery becomes quite realistic and they start to feel the feelings as very real. They then start to get very excited–suddenly they realize that there is a chance they can make their goal real. The goal has moved out of the realms of the impossible, to the realms of the probable. And, over time, it becomes more likely, even inevitable.
I believe that in the moment you connect with success, in that moment you are successful. I call that feeling of being totally connected to your goal without any blocking thoughts and feelings “100% YES!” ®
This is when all parts of you are saying, “yes” to moving forward, and no parts of you are holding back. All of your energy flows towards success and you become a totally attractive force.
I’ve found that in terms of real results even a sliver of the success feeling, even a slight glimpse of what it would really be like to be there “in the picture” can free up incredible amounts of energy and allow you to make huge strides towards realizing your goals. This can be worth more to you than hundreds of meaningless repetitions of affirmations or sessions of visualization, which did not include tapping.
Tapping, whilst intending, is the difference that really makes a difference.