Gary Craig and many other practitioners use the phrase “I love and accept myself” in their set-up phrases, sometimes adding “deeply and completely.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve come across many people who have a real aversion to this statement. It seems to me that if we really loved and accepted ourselves, most of our ‘problems’ would not exist in the first place. Do we need to use this phrase while using Emotional Freedom Techniques(EFT)/tapping?
photo by Shena Pamela
This is a great question and one that I am asked a lot. Here are four things to consider when choosing tapping phrases.
1) The Words We Use While Doing EFT Aren’t Magic
This is the piece of advice I give most often to tapping beginners. When most of us learn EFT we are taught to tap on a point while saying a phrase. This can lead us to believe that to get relief what we need to do is say a phrase and tap.
In reality the way we find relief while tapping is by focusing on an issue and tapping on the points. One effective way to do this is to say words out loud about the problem BUT it is not the only way to focus on an issue.
Your focus is most important, the words are not.
Sometimes a specific word, phrase, or reframe will help us to focus intensely, while at other times no words are needed at all. The great thing about tapping is that it is really quick and there are few consequences for trying something new.
My advice is to try lots of different phrases and find the ones that work best for you. If something is not ringing true, try something else, it will only cost you a few seconds. So if the phrase “I love and accept myself” isn’t useful then look for something else that is.
[For more information on the types of information that we get from each round of tapping and what to try next check out Feedback: What We Can Learn From Each Round Of Tapping]
2) Even If We Don’t Believe The Words We Say While Doing EFT They Can Still Be Helpful
This builds on the principle of our focus being more important than the words we say. Often saying words we don’t believe helps us to focus on the area where we want to do work.
Let’s take weight release as an example.
Imagine that we want to release 35 lb but there is a part of us that doesn’t think it is possible. We could tap on the phrase “there is a part of me that doesn’t believe I can release this weight,” which is an easy way to tune into the part of us that feels hopeless about releasing weight.
I could also say the exact opposite and achieve the same result. I could say “I know that I am going to release 35 lb!” and the little voice inside my head will respond “No, you are not! There is no way you will release this weight. It’s hopeless!” Here my focus is not on the words I have said, but my feelings of hopelessness around the situation.
In both cases I am tapping on the same issue even though the phrases I said have opposite meanings.
The same can be true for the phrase “I love and accept myself.” When I say this phrase out loud and focus on the emotions that follow I will be tapping on the issue that needs to be addressed.
This is especially true when I don’t believe the phrase because my critical voice will pipe up and tell me so.
3) There Might Be A Reason That You Don’t Like The “Love And Accept Myself” Phrase While Doing EFT
I find it interesting when people have a very visceral emotional reaction to something because it tells me that we have struck a nerve.
For example, you could call me too obsessive about sports. I may disagree with you on this, but you won’t get an emotional response from me because it’s not something I worry about in my own life.
On the other hand, if you were to call me self-absorbed you would get an emotional response from me. I would feel attacked, hurt, and offended. Not because this is not true, but because I struggle with this worry personally. I would feel attacked because there is a wound around this area of my life and you just bumped into that wound.
I believe one of the main reasons people don’t like saying “I love and accept myself” is because it hits so close to home as something a part of them can’t believe. We don’t like saying these words because they remind us of our own failings.
By saying something we don’t believe it gives us a chance emotionally to tune into the part of our personality that doesn’t believe the phrase. If there is a strong “I don’t like saying I love and accept myself” reaction then this is a great area to explore when we are tapping on our own or with a practitioner.
4) Other Phrases To Try While Doing EFT
Occasionally some issues can be so emotionally charged that it is not useful or safe for us to tune into them. One of the reasons I love Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is because it allows us to creep up on a problem slowly without having to dive right into the most painful part of it.
If the phrase “I completely love and accept myself” is too emotionally charged to be useful to you, try these alternatives instead:
- I give myself permission to love and accept myself
- I might not believe that I love and accept myself, but someday I know it will be possible to love and accept myself
- I am worthy of loving and accepting myself if it don’t right now
- I give myself permission to one day love and accept myself
- I give myself permission to believe that is it is possible to love and accept myself
- It is safe for me to love and accept myself
- There is a part of me that fully loves and accepts myself even if I don’t have access to that part at this moment
- Even if I don’t love and accept myself, God does love and accept me
- Even though I am not perfect I am open to the possibility of loving and accepting myself anyway
- This work is helping me to work towards loving and accepting myself
If you are looking for more creative set-up phrases you should check out the set-up phrase generator. Each time you refresh the page it will give you 10 new set-up phrases to try.
Do you have to say, “I love and accept myself” for tapping to work? Of course not. But if you are having a hard time saying it or you feel uncomfortable when you think about it, then it is more than likely that you have hit a nerve around an issue that needs some extra attention. As Mastin Kipp of “The Daily Love” says, “Without self-acceptance self help won’t work.”