The answer to that often asked question is —————— there are no right words! Or, better yet, whatever words you come up with are perfectly OK. People tend to get hung up on thinking there’s a right or correct way to do tapping – correct order of tapping points and perfect words. Wrong, wrong, wrong. EFT is a very forgiving method and you can’t get it wrong as long as you learn the basics and do it. Most failure is due to not tuning in to the feelings ( If you’ve spent a lifetime trying to ignore them – this can initially be a challenge),not being specific enough in focusing on events and their aspects, and then failure to persevere with the actual tapping.
The reason for tapping in a certain order is just to make it automatic so that you don’t have to think about it. It doesn’t matter which point you start with or end on – just learn a routine so you can do it without thinking about it.
What’s important is tuning into feelings, locating them in your body, if possible, and then using your own unique, true-to-you description. I remember reading about a person who was working on terror in the dentist’s chair and the sensation she felt was “that pink, gunky feeling”! Perfect. No one can say it better than you. What’s important is that you resonate with the words. If you do – then that’s what you say.
How about the set-up? The affirmation part? The default statement proposed by Gary Craig the founder of EFT, is “I deeply and completely accept myself”. This works fine if you have a basic acceptance of yourself and can honestly say “Yeh, I’m not perfect. But I’m doing the best I can right now. And I hope to do/feel even better”. If that feels true – then look no further – you have an affirmation that works.
If, however, a little voice deep inside is whispering “That’s not true. I can’t accept myself with this problem” and a lot of other negative thoughts on its coattails – then you need to find another statement. Gary calls these negatives “tail-enders” – the yes-buts to our attempts to say something nice about ourselves.
Since the purpose of saying anything at all is to keep your focus on the problematic feelings or pain and at the same time balance it with a feeling of well-being and acceptance – it obviously doesn’t work to state the negative and then on a feeling level remind yourself that you really don’t accept yourself. A double negative!
Here are some alternatives:
I’m OK (short and sweet)
I choose to accept myself, deeply and completely
I want to accept myself, deeply and completely
I choose/want to feel better
I choose to let it go
I choose to feel better
I forgive myself and anyone else who has contributed to this problem
That’s just how I feel right now and I’m open to feeling better.
Sometimes, I’ll throw in “No one’s perfect” or “I’m a work in progress” or “I’m doing the best I can and that’s good enough. For now.” Be creative. There are thousands of ways of reassuring yourself that you’re basically a good person (even if you’ve had help over the years in doubting that) and deserve to feel better. You are talking to yourself – your conscious and (most importantly) your subconscious self.
Picture a really messy house that hasn’t had a good cleaning in years (your life). You (conscious tapper) are the head of the cleaning crew knocking on the door and presenting your identification card stating your qualifications and good intentions. The person/s behind the door (your subconscious) are not going to open it if they don’t trust that you value and will take good care of the house. In other words, the set-up statement is the “Knock, knock – can I come in?”
I hope I’ve convinced you that if you just start tapping – it will work. In fact, Dr David Lake, a long-time EFT professional, encourages people to just start tapping while they talk – forgoing the set-up entirely. There are so many ways to do it and they all work.
Lastly – if all this reassurance doesn’t seem to work – it may be the problem under the problem. An example might be someone who was scolded/ridiculed for “not saying it correctly”. Maybe there’s an actual incident or incidents around that issue. Fantastic! You’ve discovered an issue to work on! ” Even though my older brother made fun of the way I talked, embarrassing me in front of my girlfriend in 7th grade —- I accept myself, wrong words and all!” And if you mispronounce the words – Yay! So much the better!
If the problem is total self hatred and you can’t say anything positive without feeling like a liar – you state that complete and total hatred and then balance it with some words like these:
- No one is born hating themselves – I must have had a lot of help learning how to do it.
- I’m not the worst person in the world. Am I?!!!
- Even though I can’t love myself — I imagine God does. Who am I to second guess God?
- Maybe once in my life I did did something good. 🙂
All of these serve to lighten the heaviness of negativity, to let some fresh perspective in. In fact one of the general benefits of regular tapping on any number of issues is that self esteem seems to rise. If every time you have a problem but you tell yourself you love and accept yourself anyway – the message gradually sinks in.
Are you reassured? If you are – good. If you aren’t – you will be eventually. Just start tapping.