Tapping Into (And Out Of) The Resistance To The Resistance With IEP

Resistance

“What you resist persists”
– Carl Jung

The resistance and I go way back.

I have been very creative in finding ways to avoid and delay important work.

I have also been very creative in finding ways to identify and dismantle limiting beliefs and feelings so that I can move past the resistance and get things done.

Recently I noticed that I was avoiding doing some important work, then I noticed that I was avoiding working with the resistance and that got me thinking.

Our culture is full of references to working / fighting / overcoming the resistance to get to our goals. Books like (the excellent) “The War Of Art” by Stephen Pressfield talk about overcoming resistance, pushing through the things that get in our way to reach our goal.

We are encouraged to resist our resistance, to struggle with it and overcome it (even if that feels like wading through treacle).

Unfortunately, I’m rather more lazy than heroic, so my struggles have often been half hearted.

I realised that all the time I spent struggling with my resistance could be better spent doing the thing I was resisting. It dawned on me that struggling with my resistance was a large part of the resistance.

So how do (did) I struggle with my resistance?

Read moreTapping Into (And Out Of) The Resistance To The Resistance With IEP

EFT Cafe – 14th Feb 2018 – WOOPing & WOOTing

PlansIt’s an accepted part of the self-help culture in the West that visualising your success ‘attracts’ that success to you, making it more likely that you will achieve your goals.

Unfortunately that idea doesn’t stand up well to research. Many research studies have shown that people who just visualise their success are less likely to achieve their goes.

In ‘Rethinking Postive Thinking’ Gabrielle Oettingen, who is responsible for a lot of the research on visualisation, shows that a simple change to the visualise your success approach can make a big improvement to your chances of success.

She calls her four step process WOOP:

  • Wish – what do you want to achieve.
  • Outcome – how will it make you feel when you achieve it.
  • Obstacle – what obstacles will get in your way
  • Plan – what plan can you make to deal with those obstacles.

It’s a very simple process (you can find out more on woopmylife.org) that I’ve been experimenting with.

One of the things I’ve noticed is that the Obstacles are often limiting beliefs – these limiting beliefs are amenable to tapping – which leads to WOOT:

  • Wish – what do you want to achieve
  • Outcome – how would fulfilling that wish make you feel when you get it.
  • Obstacle – may be a limiting belief
  • Tapping – resolving the limiting belief

Join Andy Hunt at the EFT Cafe to explore WOOPing and WOOTing on Wednesday 14th February, 7pm – 9pm at St Oswald’s Hospice Education Centre, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne

Tapping: When You Don’t Know The Right Words IKEA Can Help!

IKEAOne of the questions most often asked by people who are new to tapping is “What words do I use?”.

This is an understandable question, but it’s not a very useful one.

Newcomers are often dazzled by the linguistic abilities of their tapping teachers.

It may look like what you say is fundamental to success in EFT, but the words you use might be the least important part of the EFT protocol.

Tapping expert Gene Monterastelli elegantly describes the EFT process as:

Stimulation (tapping) plus Attention leads to Relief.

The words are there to direct you or your client’s attention to what needs to be soothed, it’s the tapping that does the work.

If you are still convinced that you need to find the exact words to get good tapping results I’d like to invite you to try this little experiment.

All you will need is a feeling and an IKEA catalogue or access to their website.

Read moreTapping: When You Don’t Know The Right Words IKEA Can Help!

Changing By Changing Your Feelings About Your Feelings

TangleIf you have been a human being for any length of time you have probably noticed that your emotions are complicated.

Feelings rarely come one at a time, usually we experience a complex cocktail of feelings that make up our emotional life.

If we just had one feeling at a time perhaps life would be simpler, softening emotional distress using EFT would certainly be easier: one distressing feeling, a few rounds of tapping, job done!

But most people don’t just feel one feeling at a time. We usually have a tangled collection of feelings. Each of these distressing feelings needs to be addressed with tapping to be soothed.

This is why most distressing emotions require more than a few rounds of tapping.

Some emotions can be very difficult to shift with tapping (or anything else).

We have our original feelings: sadness, anger, disgust, fear, etc, stirred up in response to a challenging situation, and we often have distressing feelings about the original feeling.

Here’s a thought experiment that explores the difference:

  1. Imagine feeling sad about something – notice what this experience is like.
  2. Shake off that feeling.
  3. Now imagine feeling sad and feeling critical of that sadness – notice what this experience is like.
  4. Shake off those feelings.
  5. Now imagine feeling sad and feeling compassionate towards that sadness – notice what this experience is like.
  6. Shake off those feelings.

Those experiences are all probably very different. I imagine that feeling critical of the sadness was a particularly unpleasant combination.

These ‘meta-feelings’, feelings about feelings, add texture to the original feeling and can even act as a glue which holds the original feelings in place making them difficult to tap out. If you ever had to do a lot of rounds of EFT to soothe a ‘simple’ feeling that you expected would have soothed quickly and easily, it might be helpful to explore the feelings about that ‘simple’ feeling.

Most of the time we just notice how we feel about something, not how we feel about feeling something, but being able to identify and work with feelings about our feelings can make a big difference to our emotional lives.

Working With Feelings About The Feelings

  1. Pick a problematic situation. Important: if this situation involves bottomless grief, overwhelming shame or great fear it’s better to choose a less difficult situation.
  2. Make a list of the feelings that situation brings to mind.
  3. Give each feeling a SUDs rating from 0-10.
  4. Choose the feeling with the strongest SUDs scale
  5. Ask yourself: “How do you feel about [that feeling]?”
    1. Write down the feeling, then ask “What else do you feel about [that feeling]?”. Make sure to record each feeling that comes to mind, the important ones will be sorted out later.
    2. Continue to ask “What else do you feel about [that feeling]”? and record the feelings until no more feelings are available.
  6. Go through the list of feelings about [that feeling] giving each a SUDs score of its own.
  7. Tap out the highest scoring feeling about [that feeling]. “Even though I feel [this feeling] about feeling [that feeling]” etc.
  8. Review the list of feelings about [that feeling].
    1. Tap out the next most intense feeling about [that feeling].
    2. Repeat this process until all the feelings about [that feeling] have been neutralised.
  9. How strong is the SUDs rating of the original feeling now? If any strength is left in that feeling reduce it by tapping it out.
  10. Review the list of feelings about the situation, if there is a strong emotional charge on any other of those feelings, repeat the process until the feelings about the feelings have been neutralised.
  11. How do you feel about the original problem now?

An example:

Let’s say I’m struggling to get some work done.

When I pay attention to how I feel about that situation, I am aware that I feel unmotivated, dull, and sleepy.

When I work out the strength of those feelings (SUDs) unmotivated is 8 out of 10, dull is 6 out of 10 and sleepy is 3 out of ten.

Obviously feeling unmotivated is the strongest so I ask myself “How do I feel about feeling unmotivated?”. I get the following list:

  • apathetic
  • angry
  • guilty
  • hopeless
  • ashamed
  • resentful

Going through the list assessing the SUDs of each of the feelings about feeling unmotivated I get the following scores:

  • apathetic 1/10
  • angry 8/10
  • guilty 1/10
  • hopeless 0/10
  • ashamed 6/10
  • resentful 1/10

Obviously feeling ‘angry about feeling unmotivated’ and feeling ‘ashamed about feeling unmotivated’ are the meta-feelings with biggest charge.

I tap on those meta-feelings

Using “Even though I feel angry about feeling unmotivated, I deeply and completely accept myself” as the setup phrase and “I feel angry about feeling unmotivated” I tap out the anger.

And, using “Even though I feel ashamed about feeling unmotivated, I deeply and completely accept myself” as the setup phrase and “I feel ashamed about feeling unmotivated” I tap out the shame.

Even though I haven’t tapped on it, I find that the unmotivated feeling has dropped to a 4 and easily yields to a few rounds of ‘standard’ EFT.

Please try out this process and I’d love to hear about your experiences using it.

You don’t need to use this formal process to work with the feelings about your feelings, you can easily ask yourself (or someone you are working with): “How do you feel about that feeling?” to find more ways to work with distressing feelings.

15 Reasons To Avoid Tapping Scripts

Tapping scriptsIf you search for ” EFT / Tapping + ‘your problem’ ” on the Internet it won’t take you long to find some tapping scripts.

On the face of it tapping scripts are a bargain.

Just find a script that fits ‘your problem’, tap along and ‘your problem’ will be solved.

A tapping script is a list of phrases created by someone who is trying to cover all the possible aspects that they can think of with their idea of ‘your problem’.

All you have to do is tap along with the script / audio / video.

It’s easy, the author takes you where they think you need to go, all you have to do is follow along.

Unfortunately it’s not so simple (or useful).

Read more15 Reasons To Avoid Tapping Scripts

Tapping In The 3rd Person For Better Self-Help

In the 3rd person
Image courtesy of Andrea

Tapping/EFT is an excellent self-help tool. It’s a simple way to soothe emotional stress and remove personal difficulties.

All you need to do is notice what is going on in your thoughts and feelings, then direct your tapping to soothe those troublesome memories, emotions or beliefs.

Using EFT on memories, emotions or beliefs can be quite straightforward, especially if you know what to tap on.

But sometimes it can be difficult to use tapping for self-help, because it can be hard to tap for ourselves, while we are in the middle of what we are tapping on.

Working on your own stuff can be difficult because:

  • When you are on the inside of the problem you are affected by the feelings and emotions of that problem. If the problem is upsetting or scary you will be upset or scared. It’s difficult to do good work if you are feeling strong emotions.
  • When you are inside the problem you see the problem through the perspective of the problem, it is as if you are wearing ‘problem goggles’. For example: if the problem is that you think there is nothing you can do to help yourself, that belief will get in the way of working on that belief because you will think there is nothing you can do to help yourself.
  • When you are inside a problem it’s hard to see what’s going on – it’s easier to read the label when you are outside the jar. Being a human is complicated. We are full of contradictory thoughts, feelings and responses, in so much confusion it can be difficult to see what is important. To people on the outside it might be obvious, but when you are on the inside it’s not so clear.

This is why working with another person who can see what you can’t see and guide your tapping accordingly can be so helpful.

A skilled EFT practitioner won’t be feeling what you are feeling, they won’t be wearing your ‘problem goggles’ and from the outside they can sometimes see what is going on in us more clearly.

But, there is never another tapper around when you need one!

What if you could more easily see what needs to be done and more easily work with it?

3rd Person tapping helps you be both on the inside and outside of the problem.

By asking surprisingly simple questions we can work with our stuff as if we were someone else and gain a little extra distance and perspective to help our tapping do the work it needs to do.

So what are these simple questions?

Read moreTapping In The 3rd Person For Better Self-Help

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