Now I can't tell you the exact problem and statement as that would give away the person in question but a good analogy would be something like, "Even though I'm a total idiot, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself," with the reminder phrase of, "I'm a total idiot".
Here's the deal.
EFT doesn't cure anything that's not there.
You can't use it to cure a problem THAT YOU DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE.
If you try to do that, OF COURSE absolutely nothing is going to happen! It's like me tapping on a allergy to strawberries that I don't have, and then complaining that I felt nothing and nothing has changed!
So what on Earth was that then?
How did this person get to a point where they thought they were an idiot and that was a problem, and they actually were not and it wasn't?
One explanation that seemed to fit in this case was that they may have, once upon a time, really been an idiot but somewhere along the line, they got cured of it and now they're not an idiot anymore, but didn't notice when that cure occurred.
A simple failure to update the registry, as it were.
A lot of us do a whole lot of personal development, and we do it all the time. Every time you heal something, cure something, tap on something, the ENTIRE SYSTEM changes and there are repercussions into other areas apart from that one area you were working on.
Sometimes things that seem very non-related, actually are and changing one causes changes in this other.
I suspect that this is what happened in this case.
I put this suspicion to the person, namely that they were no longer an idiot, and at first they were shocked, then astonished, and then they fell about laughing because, yeah, right, they hadn't done anything majorly idiotic for a good many years, not since that soul retreat in Hawaii in 1987, in fact ...
They were very delighted with their discovery and thanked me profoundly; I was both amused but at the same time of course I started to think about how common this is, how common it must be for all us personal developers that there's a heap of stuff that needs updating, a lot of problems that are already solved but we don't know it and keep thinking it's still a problem when it isn't.
In a strange reverse kind of way, you could make a list of your favourite negative "I am ...(an idiot etc)" statements and give them a round of EFT each. If you get a heap of classic energy moving symptoms like yawning and electric showers and flashes of insight, cool! You've taken an important step to stop being (... an idiot etc)!
BUT - if nothing happens AT ALL, then you may take it to mean that this statement is not true about you, or no longer true even if once it was, and lay that to rest, once and for all.
Update the registry, refine the self concept.
A valuable and enjoyable application of EFT, to be sure :-)
Silvia Hartmann http://StarFields.org