By Steve Wells
In this article, originally written for EFT Creator Gary Craig's newsletter, I outline how we can dramatically expand our results with tapping by expanding the ways we apply it.
Many people approach tapping techniques like EFT and SET with a limited understanding of their potential, and use them in a limited way - and therefore limit the benefits they can achieve from using them. I'd like to encourage you to expand your vision of the freedom you can achieve using these wonderful techniques.
I believe we should settle for nothing less than complete freedom. I mean this not only in terms of how we progress through each problem we work on but also the number and type of problems we choose to work on AND the goals we set for ourselves in life.
I believe we limit our freedom when:
We don't consider using tapping on every problem we have.
We don't continue until absolutely all of the remaining intensity is completely cleared.
We don't test our changes out in the real world - or ensure that we have tested all possible ways of the problem returning.
We only use tapping in a remedial fashion to eradicate existing problems rather than using them to help us create new futures and achieve our ultimate goals.
Some people assume that because they have seen EFT / SET used to cure fears and phobias that fears and phobias are all it can be applied to. Others gain relief using tapping on one problem but don't realise they could apply them to other problems.
How often do we have other issues in our life to which we could apply EFT / SET but we "just don't think" to do it. Let's do as Gary Craig recommends and "try it on everything." When you do you may be surprised just how much you can achieve. Yes, you will find it doesn't work on everything. But you will also be pleasantly surprised to find that it will work in many areas where you may have thought it would not.
How many problems do we wallow in when we really could be treating them? And how often do we work on a problem for a time and get some success, but then allow the issue to build up again in our lives? Persistence in treating all the aspects in the early days may mean we no longer have to deal with the problem at a later stage. I have witnessed this with numerous clients who have diligently applied the technique to their physical issues over time, gaining progressively more and more relief. Their example now inspires me to continue until I too am completely free.
Test Your Results
When we work on a particular problem let's continue until we are completely free. Let's not assume that just because we can think about it in one way and it doesn't affect us that the treatment is complete. Let's test it in as many ways as we can - and especially, where possible, in the real world.
It is important to test completely - to see if there is any way of thinking about the problem or any manifestation or part of the problem that CAN upset us. If so, there is more to treat.
I first saw the true importance of aspects when I did a public demonstration of EFT tapping soon after learning these techniques. A woman who had a phobia of birds was able to go from a position of absolute fear to thinking about a bird without a shred of fear. For some reason, the image of a flock of birds came into my mind while talking with her so I asked her "What if it was a whole flock of birds?" She instantly jumped back and her fear rose to an even higher level than before. Once we treated this aspect her fear was fully resolved and she was able to go outside looking for birds (she counted 24). I saw her some months later and she informed me she had gone for a walk through the aviary at the zoo without any problems at all.
In our group treatments for phobia sufferers we worked with people who had small animal phobias, and everyone in the group did rounds of EFT tapping in unison whilst focusing on their particular problem. During this process I was astounded by how often the following scene would unfold. We would do a round of EFT and then I would check how intense people felt when they thought about their feared animal. As we went around the group there would be someone who would say for example, "It doesn't affect me at all now. I think I'm cured!" My response was to test this and ask then to search for any aspect of the problem that was still upsetting to them. In a number of instances, however, the person would reply that they weren't able to find anything else, and they were unable to bring up any intensity at all. However, as we continued around the group another person would say something like "I was feeling ok but then I started to think about a spider being on me and now I feel worse!" At this point the previous person would anxiously exclaim "Oh yeah!" as they were put in touch with another aspect of their fear.
We had examples of this with such issues as the spiders' furry legs, the mouse's tail, and the way the mouse moves, darting around rapidly. In each case a person in the group who thought they had either partly or fully resolved their problem was put in touch with another aspect which truly bothered them when these issues were raised by someone else in the group.
I saw the value of group treatment in helping people to have a more complete healing by revealing specific aspects to work on. Since that time I have also conducted more extensive testing of treatments I have done with clients in order to ensure that all aspects of the problem that we can possibly think of together have been treated.
I also like where possible to have proof in the real world that the change will stand up - And even then I'm not fully convinced. When they are in the problem place, I like to get the person to manipulate the situation in as many ways as possible to try to find something that provokes them. If nothing does I am more convinced, however I believe it is always important to realise that additional aspects may come to light. This is not a failure in the technique - just another part of the problem which requires treatment. Treat it and increase the range of your freedom even further.
I have formed the opinion that many of the treatments I conducted in the first few years of using these techniques were perhaps not the complete "cures" that I thought they were. And now I encourage my clients - as I encourage you now - to go for the complete change. Diligently search for things that upset you and treat them all.
Go for complete freedom. Settle for nothing less.
The assumption that bringing an intensity of a problem down to a manageable level is good enough might seem very freeing, especially if an intense problem that we previously experienced at a Level of Intensity of 10 out of 10 drop to a 2. However, a little bondage can be just as troublesome in the long term.
Once you have achieved a low level, do not limit what you can achieve. Settle for nothing less than complete emotional freedom.
I once worked with an agoraphobic client who could not go into grocery stores. We worked in the office to bring her fear down to a zero and then went to a shopping center. Along the way I kept checking how she felt and she kept telling me that she felt fine. In the shopping center parking lot I asked her this question one more time.
Again, she said she felt fine. Being cautious I challenged her. She reported that the fear was only about a level 2 or 3 on a 10-point scale. She felt this was fine -- a very manageable level.
I said to her, "If your fear is at a level 2 or 3 when you enter the shops and, if something happens in there which brings up your fear by say 5 points, you will then be at a level 7 or 8-which is quite unmanageable. If, on the other hand, you are at a level zero when you enter the shops and something comes up, it is unlikely your fear will rise to the same level ... and if it did rise 5 points then this is still a much more manageable level from which to make decisions than a level 7 or 8."
We sat in the car and continued to work on all aspects until her fear came down to a level zero. She was then able to go into the store on her own. In fact, she spent so long in there that I became concerned and went searching for her, only to find that she was enjoying being completely free of her fear.
There can be a tendency to assume that we need to retain some of our intense feelings for a variety of reasons. Typical examples are guilt feelings, safety fears, and feelings of non-deserving, among others.
Many people believe that they need to keep some of their fear in order to stay safe -- that without it they will lose their ability to be cautious. This is a false belief that can leave you with unnecessary suffering. Others have an underlying belief that they do not deserve to get over their problem completely, or that to do so would be bad for them in some way.
The simplest way to treat blocks such as these is to first identify any beliefs you have that cause you to feel like you need (or deserve) to keep part of your problem. Then simply focus on the belief while tapping for a few minutes, then return to the problem you were working on and see if you can progress further.
" I think I need to keep some of this problem in order to stay safe."
"I don't deserve to get over this problem."
There are many more examples of blocking beliefs which can be responsible for our failure to achieve a more complete result. Many authors (including myself and Dr David Lake in our books, Enjoy
Emotional Freedom and New Energy Therapies, and Fred Gallo in his book, Energy Psychology) provide examples of the typical blocking beliefs for you to work on.
However, the easiest way forward is to ask yourself what are the reasons why you can't get over your problem completely, or why it may not be good to do so? The answers to these questions will usually reveal your underlying beliefs and you can then apply tapping to these. Having done so, you may find that your continued tapping on the "problem" now bears more fruit.
I believe that you need to consider what you are ultimately aiming to produce in your life and then look at how you can use emotional freedom techniques to facilitate bringing yourself into more positive ways of being.
I am interested in the concept of generative change rather than remedial change. This is about creating small changes that build on each other exponentially until your whole life is turned around.
I believe when you consider questions such as the following, you tap into a whole new direction for using these techniques:
• What would be good to create in my life?
• What would be worthwhile to do with the rest of my life?
• What would I like to do? What would be fun to do?
• What sort of person would I like to become ultimately?
The moment you ask these questions, there will be blocks. This is good. If you use tapping to resolve some problems, but have not extended your treatment until you feel some resistance, then I believe that you are not tapping into the full power of these techniques. Tapping in this sense, can become a tool for personal evolution by getting you in touch with your blocks and clearing the pathway to becoming completely free.
What is one method of doing this?
Once, in a corporate group, I worked with a lady who said she did not really have any goals. She said she was quite happy with her life being the way she was. I am always on the lookout to find a person who, when they say this, I can truly believe. That person I am sure will have achieved true victory over self. Until I see total congruency in the person making these statements, I tend to see their words as a cover for fear and a limiting way of thinking about oneself.
We looked at the first statement she came up with, "I'm just an ordinary person," as a current belief. Without objecting to this or passing judgment, I then had her consider the opposite belief of "I'm an extraordinary person."
I had her say this alternative belief aloud, which to her felt totally untrue--not even desirable. Then I had her do three rounds of EFT tapping. The first round she focused on the current belief:
"Even though I'm just an ordinary person, I deeply and completely accept myself."
The second round she focused on the alternative belief:
"Even though I am an extraordinary person, I deeply and completely accept myself."
And the third round she focused on each belief interchangeably:
"Even though I'm an ordinary person/I'm an extraordinary person, I deeply and completely accept myself."
After the three rounds she brightened considerably. (Previously when she described herself as an ordinary person her jaw was set and her face was dark). She excitedly stated,"I guess I really AM an extraordinary person." Not only that, her previous way of thinking about herself and her life no longer had any appeal. It was dull and unattractive to her now. It didn't feel true at all. And her goals had changed. She was now able to look in directions that she was previously unable to consider and she felt optimistic towards changing her life.
If you want to really change your life, consider how you define yourself to yourself. Think of how you would like to be. And then apply tapping to the internal objections which arise to the idea of being that NOW. Continue until you get a real feeling of congruency ('thou art that'). What usually follows is a real feeling of excitement and unleashing of personal power and positive potential.
This is only one of the many ways we can use tapping to achieve greater success!