Even though this article focuses on EFT these blocks apply to whatever self-help modality you are using
In my September Newsletter I sent out a survey asking my readers for some of the questions and queries they had about using EFT for themselves. I got some great responses which I hope to answer in a series of articles.
The first question I want to tackle was asked by a few readers and could be summarised as: “Why don’t I use EFT on a regular basis?”
As an EFT Trainer I have noticed that a lot of people learn the basics with enthusiasm at a training and then fail to use the skills they have learned on a regular basis.
It’s a puzzle, why go to all the trouble to learn a simple, robust, self-help technique and then not use it?
Here are eight reasons you might not use EFT on a regular basis for yourself.
1. You don’t want to change
At one level you really want to change. Of course you do, why else would you spend time and money learning the techniques to do that.
At another level the part of you that has learned to live in your current situation might prefer to keep the more familiar status quo even if it is not very agreeable.
Most people like stability, they like a predictable life, even if they don’t like that life at least they know what to expect and be prepared for it.
Years ago, when I was a participant on a counselling course one of the trainers, Professor Charles (Chuck) M Devonshire told us something that struck me as being a very astute observation of people. He said:
“In my opinion, for most people it’s better the security of misery than the misery of insecurity”
I think he was right. For most people the desire for predictability weighs heavily against the desire to change and the unfamiliarity that brings and their unconscious mind makes sure that they don’t take the necessary steps to change.
2. You don’t know what to do
Maybe you have been on a course, read a book or watched a video where a presenter/guru made it look so easy.
Everything seemed so straightforward, the expert tells the client what to do, the ‘client’ taps a few rounds of EFT and voila! The problem is solved and they all live happily ever after.
But now, here you are on your own and you are faced with an issue and you don’t have a clue about where to start or what to do.
There is no easy fix for this, if you want to learn how to use EFT for yourself you will have to ‘fly solo’ and see what happens.
This can be quite a challenge. Your best chance of success is by starting small and learning from your experiences (see 7 reasons to start small with EFT for more).
By taking small steps and trying stuff out it gets easier to develop your skills and confidence and the question “How do I work with this issue” becomes “How many different ways can I work with this issue”.
3. Your limiting beliefs get in the way
We all have beliefs, some of them are enabling and some of them are limiting. Whatever our beliefs they limit our perceptions and give or deny us permission to act.
As an EFT user you may have some limiting beliefs about what is possible for you, what you are capable of and what you deserve. Any of these kinds of limiting beliefs may stop you from using EFT before you even start.
If you have the belief that change isn’t possible, why would you bother even trying?
If you think that you are incapable then you won’t be able to make the change even if it is possible.
If you don’t think you deserve the change then you won’t do it even if it is possible and you are capable of it.
The trick here is to catch these beliefs in action and use tapping on them to neutralise the belief. That’s easier said than done, which is why I wrote the book Getting Out Of Your Own Way as a way of identifying some of the common limiting beliefs for yourself.
Remember, just because you think something doesn’t make it true.
4. You are afraid
Fear is a great inhibitor.
When we are aware that we are afraid, when faced with an angry dog or a challenging conversation, that fear is very obvious and its inhibiting effects are also very obvious.
But some of our fears can be buried underneath layers of coping strategies and only triggered under certain circumstances. This can lead to the situation where fear operates to stop us from doing something but we are not consciously aware of these fears or even that there is any fear operating.
Here are some common fears about using EFT:
- Fear of getting in too deeply. EFT is a powerful tool and can quickly lead you to some deep places. This is great when you are with a skilled practitioner who can keep you safe as you work through difficult memories and emotions. But if you are on your own, the fear of ending up in unmanageable distress may well keep you from doing any tapping.
- Fear of changing your identity. If you successfully change old unhelpful patterns of behaviour then you might not know who to be. If I’ve been a smoker for 30 years and have all the habits of a smoker, what am I going to do when I have stopped smoking? How am I going to handle the change? How can I be with all the other smokers I used to know? Who will I be? It might be safer just to carry on being me.
- Fear of failure. What if this tapping doesn’t work? All the other things I have tried haven’t worked what if this doesn’t work either? It might be better not to use EFT than to have it fail.
5. You don’t seem to be getting anywhere
Perhaps you have been tapping for a short while hoping for a miracle cure and one hasn’t happened yet.
Maybe it’s even worse than that. As you’ve been tapping you have uncovered deeper roots of all your difficulties and now it seems like things are worse and you have more to work with than you started.
You might be forgiven for thinking: “Perhaps the tapping doesn’t work and I had better leave it alone and look for a more effective miracle cure.”
Let’s be realistic about this. For every miracle cure there are thousands of people who had to work at their healing, gradually finding their way through all the accumulated mental and emotional junk of their lives.
What you are working on may not take you years to sort out, but it’s unlikely to be resolved with just a few rounds of tapping.
6. You can’t replace old habits with new ones
You have got this far in your life by relying on some well rehearsed habits. You already have ways of dealing with the distress and discomfort in your life. You’ve had to learn how to handle life’s difficulties as you have gone along. Your current self-help habits may not have worked very well for you but they have been in place for a while.
Now you have EFT to help deal with life’s challenges, but it’s difficult to swap an old set of habits for a new one, even if the new one has a lot of advantages.
Like a super tanker these old habits have an inertia all of their own, they keep on going even when we want them to stop and it can take a long time to make them turn.
To replace old habits might take some time, as Mark Twain said:
‘A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.’
7. You want to be loyal to your suffering
Perhaps you haven’t tapped because at some level you feel that to let go of your suffering will ‘dishonour’ what you have been through. If you have suffered a lot of pain or distress and that is firmly bound up in your identity then relieving that pain may feel like a betrayal of what you went through. It’s as if the suffering has become a badge of merit.
I’d like to suggest that you are not your suffering. What you went through was exactly that. Something you went through. If you went through it, why are you carrying it around? What better way to acknowledge what you went through than to let it go.
These are just some of the reasons you might have for not making the changes you need to make. Each one of these reasons is amenable to tapping (or your change method of choice). Before trying to change things you might like to invest some time in working on the very things that stop you from changing.
8. Other people don’t want you to change
However independent you feel you are still part of a web of relationships and mutual expectations.
You may not tap because you feel under pressure from your family and friends who don’t want you to change. Perhaps they have a vested interest in keeping you just the way you are, because that benefits them in some way.
If you change then they might have to change as well and (for whatever reasons: conscious or otherwise) they don’t want to. To maintain their status quo they may exert pressure on you to stay just the way you are.
These “reasons” only seem like reasons
On the face of it that’s a lot of “reasons” to stay just the way you are.
But if you want things to be different in your life you will have to be different your life.
Fortunately you can use EFT to work on all those “reasons” and make the process of change much easier.
If any of these “reasons” to stay the same spoke to you, then you might like to you take that as your starting point and get to work.