I’m having trouble getting started with EFT. It’s almost like I have a fear that I will do it wrong. Any suggestions?
This questions was written in response to the article Fear of fear, where I talked about clients who have a hard time starting because they are afraid of the emotions they may stir up by thinking about them in detail.
Along with fear of stirring up too many emotions, a very common worry about doing Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is the fear of doing wrong. I hear this often from my clients.
At the end of every session I give my clients homework. This enables them to make progress until our next session. One of the reasons
I love EFT is it empowers the client to do self care. They don’t have to be dependent on a practitioner to make progress.
To begin the next session, I check to see how much homework they did. Often, when they haven’t done much work on their own, it’s because they’re worried they can’t do it right.
When I am confronted with this circumstance I do two things.
First, I explain there are no known side-effects to doing EFT . It only takes 10 minutes to try. The worst thing that can happen is you waste a little time. If you do EFT in a private place no one will ever know you didn’t do it well.
All of this is true, but I know that even when I have the facts before me, if there is an emotional root explaining why it still might not work out, I won’t try.
Therefore, the second thing I do is ask why they are worried about doing it wrong. Some common responses are:
- If it doesn’t work, it means EFT isn’t real, and I’m afraid to give up hope of getting over the things I’m struggling with
- You do it so easily; I’m afraid to fail at something that is so simple
- If it doesn’t work now, it means all the progress we’ve already made isn’t real
- It’s been a long time since I learned something new, and I don’t like the feeling of uncertainty.
- I don’t understand why it works, so there is no way I can do it right
- If I get better, how am I going to explain the progress to my loved ones? They will think I lost my mind when I tell them it was from tapping.
So what we do is tap on these issues of worry. I encourage all my clients who struggle just to get started to begin each session they do on their with something like this until they are more comfortable
I’m having a hard time tapping on my own…I don’t know if it really works…I have failed when I tried in the past…I don’t know if I am going to do it right…Gene makes it seem so easy…But, I don’t know what to say. It is really hard to come up with all those words…It has been so long since I have tried something new. I don’t like feeling like a novice…But I understand the only way I can get better is if I try…There is nothing in my life I learned to do perfectly on the first try. …Today I take driving for granted, but it took time to learn…I walk without even thinking about it, and that took months to learn…I give myself permission to be okay with not being very good at this…Each time I do EFT I will do better…I know there are people out there who have experience, and I can ask them for help…They were novices at one point too…For the next 30 minutes I give myself permission to be really bad at this…I give myself permission to make lots of mistakes…Because I know it is in the mistakes that I am going to learn and get better…And because I can’t hurt myself by trying…Assuming I don’t poke out my own eye…The only thing I might do is waste 30 minutes…There are lots of times in my life where I have wasted 30 minutes on a TV program…I can try this for 30 minutes…I know it is best for me just to give it a try…I am doing this work in private, so no one will know I’m doing this…If I do it wrong, no one will know I didn’t do it right…I know there is a possibility that EFT might not work on this issue this time…But that doesn’t mean EFT doesn’t work…It doesn’t mean that EFT doesn’t work for me…It only means that it is not working for me this time…EFT has worked in the past for lots of people…EFT will continue to work…If it doesn’t work now for me I have learned what not to do…I have an experience I can explain to someone who is more experienced…This feedback will help them to help me…I know there are lots of people I can ask for help…That’s one of the great things about people who do EFT — they want to help others…If all else fails, I can email EFT Q & A for help…I am not alone in doing this…And I am allowed to try again and again with EFT. [How to use these tapping phrases]
One final note: Yes, it is ironic that people who are afraid to tap on their own are willing to tap on not being able to tap. I wish I could explain it. I just know people are willing to try, and it works.