Q: I am worried that if I say negative phrases I will bring negative things into my life. How can I use EFT without having to use negative phrases?
I receive this question a lot. To answer it we need to look at what is happening when we are tapping and how the words we say impact our success while tapping.
It is important to remember that what we are saying is much less important than what we are feeling when we tap.
The words we say while tapping are not magic.
What is important is where our focus and attention is when we are tapping. If we say, “this pain in my knee…this pain in my knee…” over and over again when we tap but we are thinking about everything that needs to be done once we finish tapping, then the knee isn’t going to feel better.
It is not the words but the focus.
This plays itself out in some interesting ways when we say both positive and negative phrases. To understand this let’s look at a weight release example. Let’s say the client wants to lose 40 pounds but is stuck because of the fact he has failed before and is worried that he will lose the weight only to gain it back again.
Positive v Negative Phrases
There are two ways to approach tapping on this issue.
First, we could address the fear of losing weight only to gain it back again head on. We would tap saying something like:
I have failed before at losing weight…and I’m worried that I will fail again…every time I lose the weight it creeps back…this time will be different…not only do I have a plan to lose the weight…but I have a support system in place…to help me keep it off.
Second, we could decide that we are only going to tap on the positive:
I am going to lose weight…I am going keep the weight off…I am going to look awesome…I am going to feel so much better.
All of these statements are great things to be tapping on, but what is being said is not all that is going on. Every time one of those phrases is said out loud if there is any part of the system that doesn’t believe the phrase to be true, the critical voice will speak up to voice its objections. It might go something like this:
What is said out loud: I am going to lose weight.
What the internal critical voice says in response: And then gain it right back.
Out loud: I am going keep the weight off.
Critical voice: No you aren’t. You failed before and you will fail again.
Out loud: I am going to look awesome.
Critical voice: Only for a short period of time.
Out loud: I am going to feel so much better.
Critical voice: And then the weight will come back and you will feel like crap.
You can see that when we only focus only on the positive and there is a part of us that doesn’t believe the positive statement, the negative will show up.
The good news about this that it doesn’t matter if we use positive or negative phrases because either way we will find our way to tapping on the issues needing attention.
Which Should I Tap On?
The question becomes “Should I use positive or negative phrases while tapping?” For me, the answer is both.
If I recognize a specific limiting belief or block, like the fear of gaining the weight back, my tapping will be most effective if I go right at that issue.
At the same time when I state the goal I want to achieve in the positive I will find my way to self talk and limiting beliefs that I didn’t know existed.
I recommend when tapping to alternate between both positive and negative phrases so that you get both of these benefits.