I was standing in the checkout queue in Fenwicks department store in what turned out to be a lengthy wait as a little old lady entered into an elaborate refund negotiation with the cashier. I decided to hang in there and just be patient as all the other queues looked equally crowded. I stood there and meditated on impatience, I noticed a smaller queue to my left and I debated moving sideways. In the time it took me to think about it, other people with the same idea stepped into the gap and I thought ‘Damn, I missed my chance!‘ and then I thought ‘I always miss my chance‘.
Missing your chance in a supermarket queue is not so bad, having the idea that ‘I always miss my chance’ could be quite limiting. There are lots of chances in life for all sorts of things I don’t want to go around believing that I always miss them. Our beliefs tend to have a compulsive quality so that we’ll behave in ways that prove them right (self-fulfilling prophecies are an example of this). I decided that always believing I’d miss my chance was something that might be worth changing.
In EFT we use a simple scale called the Validity Of Cognition (VOC) scale to estimate how true something feels (sometimes things that are patently illogical feel completely true). The scale runs between 0 (completely false) and 10 (completely true), all you have to do is say the ‘suspect phrase’ out loud and notice how true it sounds. So I said ‘I always miss my chance’ (sotto voce of course) and it sounded pretty convincing to me (7 out of 10).
Your might like to try it out for yourself. Repeat the following phrases and estimate the level of truth on a scale of 0 (false) to 10 (true).
- My name is Andy (this is a 10 for me, probably not for you)
- My name is your name
- I love my cat/dog/horse
- I love cockroaches
- I always miss my chance (or something you suspect is true about yourself)
Of course this is an approximation, and you may need a bit of practice to get skilled, but I’ve found it very useful for sorting the wheat from the chaff. I’ve lost count of the number of things that I thought were silly ideas that I didn’t believe in, only to find that when I tried this method found out that they had quite an stong feeling of being true.
When I got home I was able to do some EFT on the belief (a few rounds of EFT in a checkout queue will get you noticed and probably shorten the queue).
I used the setup statement: “Even though I always miss my chance, I deeply and completely accept myself”. After a few rounds I brought it down to zero.
Of course, I don’t know if I’ll never miss my chance again, but I do think it’s more likely that I’ll spot and go for the opportunities that present themselves, in checkout queues and elsewhere.
P.S. This is one of the incidents that got me thinking about everyday situations throwing up junk to work on. I suppose I should thank the little old lady at the front of the queue for the idea behind the flotsam and jetsam articles.
P.P.S If you like you could try tapping on of your less than useful beliefs and see what happens. Remember you may need a bit of persistence.