I'm looking forward to … doing my taxes!

I’m sometimes prone to procrastination. Give me an unpleasant or tedious task and I can sit on it for weeks, or months, or …. you get the picture! There are lots of EFT and NLP approaches to procrastination some I’ve tried, some I’m still waiting to get around to.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been playing with a little tapping idea that seems to help.There are all sorts of things I look forward to: holidays, walks in the hills, good company, working with people. It’s easy to get on with these tasks, because they hardly seem like tasks at all.

There’s a little technique in EFT, sometimes called VOC or Validity Of Cognition, all you do is make a statement and assess the validity or truth of it. For example when I say “The sun rises in the east” I get a sense that it’s pretty much true, as far as I know it’s risen in the east every time. On as scale of 0 (false) to 10 (true) it’s a 10.

For some reason, probably too much coffee, I put together the phrase “I’m looking forward to … “, with something I wasn’t looking forward to at all, preparing my tax returns.

“I’m looking forward to doing my tax returns”

Trying out a VOC test on this I scored 1, the merest twitch on the enthusiasm meter, so no surprises there! There are people out there, I’ve met them, that actually enjoy doing tax returns. If you asked them: “Are you looking forward to doing your tax returns?”, they might respond with a confident and smiling “Yes, of course!”. These sentiments don’t apply to me!

As a little experiment I thought I would use the phrase ‘I’m looking forward to’ as the start of an EFT affirmations. As you may know, the EFT setup phrase is usually couched as a negative, setting up the problem to knock it down. Perhaps something like: “Even though I not looking forward to preparing my taxes, I’m alright, I’m OK!”

This is the obvious way to formulate the setup statement, and tapping using this statement may help, but it doesn’t flush out the underlying problems. So I used the ridiculous, “I am looking forward to ..”, assertion to shake out all the reasons why it isn’t true, the real beliefs and feelings that get in the way of this, so that they can be tapped on specifically. As Anne Adams says “For results that are terrific you have to be specific”.

So I started with the following setup: “Even though I’m looking forward to doing my taxes, I’m alright I’m OK.”

A few rounds of tapping I went from a 1 (almost completely false) through 3, 6 to 10 (true). Each round of tapping bringing up a different set of objections.

  • The forms are overwhelming
  • What if I make a mistake
  • I hate the ‘small print’
  • etc, etc

Now when I say “I’m looking forward to doing my tax returns”, there’s a sense of it’s OK, no big deal, rather than a shrinking away from the idea. This isn’t to say I’ve suddenly become a Born Again Accountant, I’m just a lot more relaxed about the whole idea.

I’ve tried the same approach on several upcoming tasks that I’ve not been particularly keen about and it’s had the same effect of flushing out the tail-enders* for neutralisation.

Perhaps you might like to try it for yourself:

  1. Think about something you ‘have’ to do, but don’t particularly want to: “X”
  2. Create a setup phrase “Even though I’m looking forward to X, I’m alright, I’m OK!”
  3. Start tapping and notice the layers of resistence that arise.
  4. Neutralise each one as it arises
  5. Rinse and repeat until you can say the phrase “I’m looking forward to X” and feel quite positive about it.

This is quite a new approach for me, I’ve only been using it a couple of weeks so I’d be very interested to hear how you get on with it. In fact, I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

* A tail-ender is a subliminal belief, or feeling, that influences your behaviour. For example if you were attempting to be calm and confident before an interview by telling yourself “Go on, you can do it!”, but a voice inside was telling you “Who are you kidding!” and “You’re not good enough for this job!”. Those thoughts would be the tail-enders, normally they’re at work below the surface, if you can flush them out, you can tap on them like any other issue. Once you’ve removed the tail-enders the phrase “Go on, you can do it!” will be much more compelling and supportive.

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