X writes: My therapist has taught me EFT and I've been trying to use it when anxious. My problem is the starting phrase - "I totally and completely love and accept myself". I can't say that, I get stuck and can't go on. Can you help me?
You are not alone!
Lots and lots and lots of people, and probably even your therapist, although they might have forgotten this by now, baulk at the set up phrase "I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself."
Because they don't and they know they don't. And they don't want to do self help based on a lie. Totally understandable!
Here are 5 alternative approaches to choose from.
1. Argue with the client and make them say it anyway whether they like it or not.
Not one of my favourites, as I rather not argue with clients; it's true though that some people just got over themselves, said it through gritted teeth the first few times and then it was ok, often within minutes.
2. Say the opening statement with the problem only and forget about loving and accepting yourself (for now).
If you tap often and on many things, the day comes when not only can you say "I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself" but you even feel that you WANT to say it.
When this choice is taken, not saying the loving and accepting part, you might want to repeat the opening statement/setup phrase three times to make up for lost tapping time, i.e.
I have a headache
I have a headache
I have a headache
Even though I have a headache, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.
3. You can ask the person (yourself in this case) why you don't deeply and profoundly love and accept yourself.
I had more than one occasion where a person came in with a random problem, that question was asked, and it so happened that whatever the answer was that was tapped on, (for example, "I don't profoundly love and accept myself because I'm such a freak") ALSO changed the original problem they came with.
Intellectually I'm sure you can see it makes sense to do that at some point if you want to, find out why you don't accept and love yourself and tap on it. It can only be for the best, regardless of problems or outcome.
4. Alternate Phrasing, Same Idea
Often, an alternate phrasing can be found for the same idea, or something similar, or at least partway there, for example:
Even though I have this problem ...
... I'm a cool cat.
... I'm a strong survivor.
... I'm a good kid.
... I am a decent person.
... I always try my best.
... I admire my persistence.
5. Alternate Phrasing, Other Forms
You can choose to say what you like, you're completely free to do so.
Especially in EFT self help and in the moment, often words come to you that are so powerful and moving, they're just right, and just right for you.
I've heard people say things like,
(Even though) I have this problem (and) ...
... Jesus still loves me
... God forgives me
... I want to learn to forgive myself
... I'm at my wits end!
... I can't take it anymore!
... I command it to be gone!
... I want to stop
... I need help
... I hold love in my heart
... I want to get better for the sake of my kids
It's endless really and depends on the person and their problem.
So there are lots and lots of different things you can say, or not say.
Simple is mostly best.
The important thing is to get tapping as soon as you feel symptoms, and to practice tapping a lot so you get good at it, understand it, understand yourself and how it works better.
It's worth doing. EFT is very useful for so many other occasions, not just the one thing you originally learned it on.
Thanks for your question, it is asked a lot, and I've taken the opportunity to make an article out of it so hopefully other people can benefit as well.
Wishing you all the best,
Dr Silvia Hartmann