You may have noticed that life is full of challenges.
If you are reading this you will already have experienced and survived many difficult situations.
It’s more than likely that life will continue to provide us all with more challenges.
Some challenges are completely unexpected and we have to deal with them as best we can.
Sometimes we know about situations in advance, so we have lots of time to imagine how difficult they will be, and how badly we will handle them.
There are lots of things we might not look forward to including:
- medical & dental appointments
- social events
- public speaking
It’s easy to use EFT to take the charge out of these difficult events after they have happened. But how do you use tapping to make future challenges like this much more bearable, or even, enjoyable?
This approach is one way to defuse upcoming events and prepare to be at our best.
It is a two stage process:
- Soothing the future: Use tapping to relieve the stress and distress associated with the upcoming event.
- Preparing for the future: Now that the stress and distress have been relieved and you are in a calmer state of being, you can ‘tap in’ different, more resourceful, ways of being at that event.
1. Soothing The Future
Of course we can’t soothe the future itself because it hasn’t happened yet.
But being stuck in the present moment doesn’t stop our minds going into the future to imagine what it would be like if we were there. If we don’t like what it is we are imagining then that process won’t be enjoyable.
That is the essence of worry. We project ourselves into the future and feel bad about things that may, or may not, happen.
The first half of this process helps us defuse our stress and distress reactions to this imagined event using the “I will …” process.
Note: This technique is described in more detail in How To Use EFT To Resolve Distress About Things That Haven’t Happened Yet process.
You will need paper and pen to do this part of the process.
Think of the event you would like to prepare for: holiday, interview, exam, appointment, etc.
Give it a stress/distress score on a zero to 10 scale, where zero is no stress or distress and 10 being as bad as it can be.
Now we can unpack your apprehensions about this event by exploring these perspectives:
- It will … – your thoughts, feelings and reactions about the event itself.
- He/She/They will … – your thoughts, feelings and reactions to the other people who will be present at this event.
- I will … – your thoughts, feelings and reactions to how you will be at this event.
Divide your paper into three columns labled: It will …, He / She / They will …, I will
For each category of experience complete the sentence with whatever comes to mind without censoring it. Repeat this process until your mind runs out of ideas or you start repeating yourself.
If you had to give a presentation to your co-workers you might complete the questions like this:
|It will …||He / She / They will …||I will …|
|be a disaster||be uninterested||struggle|
|be a waste of time||be bored||seem pathetic|
|be hard work||be critical||not be listened to|
|be like banging your head on a wall||be apathetic||ignored|
|be hostile||be apathetic||be shy|
|scare me||laugh at me||hold myself back|
When you have completed each of your lists. Systematically review each list. Give each of the statements you have collected an intensity score between zero and 10.
Pick the statement with the strongest emotional charge. Use that as your first tapping target. Use the phrase itself for the setup and the tapping statement. e.g. “Even though they will laugh at me, I accept myself and how I feel” as the setup phrase, followed by “They will laugh at me” as the reminder phrase.
When you have tapped out this aspect, review the list and tap out the next most intense aspect.
Repeat this process reducing the stress and distress responses about the event.
Now that your system is calm we can move on to prepare for the future with a calm body-mind. It’s much easier to be at your best if you are not stressed or distressed.
Stage 2. Preparing For The Future
In this relaxed stage we call on our unconscious minds to help us prepare to be at our best in this situation. This part of the process is a variation of my Paradoxical Tapping process.
Think about the future event for a few moments.
Now answer the question: “How would I like to be in [this situation]?”
Notice the question is about how you want to be, not what you want to do. This gives your unconscious mind the freedom to come up with lots of different ways to behave in that situation. You don’t need to figure out what to do, your unconscious mind will do that for you.
So, how would you like to be in this situation?
Make a list of your answers.
Returning to the presentation example:
How do you want to be in the presentation?
Use each of these qualities as the basis of a round of tapping using the following form of words:
“When I am [situation], in how many different ways could I be more [quality]”
There is no set-up statement, just alternate each part of the tapping statement as you tap a round.
For example if you wanted to be calm in the presentation you would tap the following round:
- EB: “When I am in the presentation”
- SE: “in how many different ways could I be more calm?”
- UE: “When I am in the presentation”
- UN: “in how many different ways could I be more calm?”
- CH: “When I am in the presentation”
- CB: “in how many different ways could I be more calm?”
- UA: “When I am in the presentation”
- TH: “in how many different ways could I be more calm?”
Note: Don’t worry too much about the logical answers to the question as you are tapping. This is another invitation to your unconscious mind to come up with the answers. Your conscious mind might not know what they are.
When you have completed a tapping round, imagine the future event.
How does that seem now?
Repeat the process for each of the qualities, noticing changes after each one.
When you have ‘tapped-in’ all the qualities take a few moments to imagine how that event will be when it happens.
If there is any stress or distress tap it away, or if you notice some other quality that would be helpful to you tap that in.
By now you will have prepared your system to be much more resourceful when you are in that event.
This won’t guarantee that the event goes exactly the way you want it to, but it does make it much more likely that you will be at your best for whatever happens.
I would love to hear how you get on with this process, so please leave some comments below this post.