I was just watching a video by Tad Hargrave, from Marketing For Hipppies (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPKZtbl0Dso) , talking about two of the reasons why people sometimes get stuck. The first reason, he said, is that sometimes we don’t actually know what to do or how to do it. This is quite frequent when we have to do something that involves some kind of technology we are not very familiar with, if we don’t know how to do it, it can sometimes stop us dead in our tracks.
The second reason is that sometimes we actually know what to do and how to do it, but we don’t really want to do it. Or, we could say, there’s a part of us that doesn’t want us to do it. Sometimes of course both reasons can be at play. So, how could we apply EFT to help us deal with these reasons?
Let’s take the first reason: we don’t know what to do and/or how to do it. What could be a small action that might get you closer to having more clarity about what to do and/or how to do it? Maybe there’s someone you know you can ask for some guidance or advice? Maybe you can do some search online? Or even ask ChatGTP (the new Artificial Intelligence software many people are using)? As you think about taking any of these steps, do you notice any uncomfortable emotions, feelings or sensations coming up? If so, that’s where you can start focusing your tapping on.
An example of a setup statement could be: “When I think about reaching out to Mary, asking her if she could help me set up this new account, I feel embarrassed thinking I might be bothering her, and I notice this embarrassment in my chest. And this is what I’m noticing right now”. The reminder phrases in this case might be: “this embarrassment in my chest”, “if I ask Mary to help me with this I might be bothering her”.
Notice in this example how we’ve come up with something specific to focus on (in this case, our feeling of embarrassment when thinking about the “future event” of asking someone for help with something that we don’t know how to do). As usual, after that round of tapping, stop to reassess what is your mind focusing on now, and what feelings come up about that, so that you can tap on that next.
Now, let’s take the second reason: “I know what to do and how to do it, but a part of me doesn’t want me to do it”. A very useful question to ask yourself is: “What reasons might this part of me have for not wanting me to do it (whatever “it” is)?” Don’t be quick to dismiss those reasons, they deserve to be heard.
Like Internal Family Systems creator, Richard Schwartz, says: “There are no bad parts”. The part of you that might be keeping you stuck in some way is probably trying to look out for you in some way.
These parts of us are not bad, and they are not crazy either. But sometimes they lack information because they are stuck in the past and/or don’t have a completely accurate perception of our current circumstances. Still, it’s very important that we listen to their concerns.
And in that spirit, thinking about what they don’t want you to do that is keeping you stuck, is there maybe a simpler or more enjoyable way to do it? Maybe the action that this part of you doesn’t want you to take is actually not meant for you. Perhaps you can find an alternative way of doing things that meets the needs of every part of you.
Using the example above, perhaps your friend Mary is not the best person to reach out to for help because she tends to be a bit condescending, but your other friend, Kim, tends to be kinder and more supportive with your requests. So by reaching out to Kim you can still benefit from receiving someone else’s help, while at the same time meeting the need of not being talked down to, that this part of you was concerned about.
Other times though you might notice that a part of you might benefit from diminishing or releasing some of the unpleasant emotional charge about the past or the future. If so, what are some of the specific mental images or events that come to mind? And what feeling, emotion or sensation do you notice coming up for you in response to those specific mental images or events? That would be another possible starting point to begin applying EFT on.
An example of a setup statement might be something like: “When I think about writing this article, a part of me is worried other people might think that what I wrote is too boring, and when I imagine them thinking that, I feel this tightness in my chest, and this is what I’m noticing right now”. The reminder phrases in this case could be: “This tightness in my chest”, “imagining other people thinking that what I wrote is too boring”.
Again, notice how we were able to come up with something specific to focus on (your feelings/sensations about the possible “future event” of other people thinking that what you wrote was too boring). As usual, after that round of tapping, stop to reassess what is your mind focusing on now, and what feelings come up about that, so that you can tap on that next.
Lastly, as I usually say, if you suspect that a memory might be too emotionally intense and/or traumatic to work on your own, feel free to enlist the aid of a certified practitioner with a mental health background, such as myself, to help you with that. The same applies if you feel like it might be too hard to keep track of all the different memories and aspects at play. Feel free to get in touch with me, even if only to ask me for some free advice or guidance on how to tap on something by yourself.