Like I said in my previous blog post, affirmations give me a LOT of heartache. The idea of repeating positive, uplifting phrases in order to bring about change seems so simple and fun, right? I’ve watched movies like The Secret so many times and it never fails to leave me feeling excited and ready to change my life…until I get in my own way.
With good intentions I go out and buy a colorful pack of index cards and bright gel pens. I then write my list of affirmative statements and start flashing away two to three times a day. Everything is great at first: I feel happy, excited and completely optimistic for the first couple of days. Then, like clockwork, my inner critic starts coming into the picture. “You will never achieve this.” Or “No way THAT’S going to happen for you.” Or “Don’t even get your hopes up, it’s no use!”
This is when the feelings of defeat set in and almost before I even started I lose momentum and begin to procrastinate and avoid using the affirmations. So now what?! Well there are two methods I’ve learned to propel me past the “I give up” stage. They are super easy but they do require dedication! I’ll tell you about the first one in this post; the next one will follow in a brand new post (Yay!).
Technique 1: Emotional Freedom Techniques
Blast Through That Dead End of Yours!
EFT is like baking soda of self-help, as in it can be used for almost anything, anywhere and at anytime (if you’re creative enough in your technique!). Here we are in yet another situation where EFT is used to enhance an already well-known tool: affirmations.
Why does it work?
EFT works because you are essentially taking your own personal trigger (or dead end, if you will) that normally halts you in your tracks and stops your progress and actively activating a calming effect on your nervous system. This is achieved by tapping on the body’s meridian points. In turn it causes you to move past your usual stopping point(s). You are basically reprogramming your mind-body system and sending a new message that this is no longer a problem. You are teaching yourself to have a NEW reaction and to feel calm relief in the exact place you used to feel blocked anxiety. Kind of neat, eh?
The key is to find the true root of the reason behind your roadblocks or triggers. I think that is the most demanding part; it’s not hard it just takes dedication. With enough persistence and the help of an objective eye (an EFT coach, coworker or friend), you will achieve this.
Here are a few tips to get you started. I’ll explain them in more detail below.
- Ask “Why?”
- Try this: Sit down in a quiet space and say your positive affirmation out loud. Now sit still for a second and just notice: What is the self-talk that comes up? Write it all down then ask the question “Why?” (Asking why helps you go deeper and brings you closer to the root of the belief). I want you to channel a typical 2 year old who relentlessly asks “But why?” at the end of every single answer you give them.
- The answers to these “Why?” questions will most likely be your roadblocks and the very reasons why you can’t have what your affirmation states. This is the gold nugget
- Tap a few rounds on the answers to your “why” questions, measure your progress, then ask “why” again and repeat the process until you get to the bottom of it all. Continue asking why until nothing comes up when you ask “why”. Then it’s fun to say your affirmation out loud again and see if it resonates with you. Chances are the affirmation will seem more achievable!
- Act like a victim.
- That’s right! Here is your chance to whine and complain “poor me” then actually grow from the experience. What you want to do is over exaggerate your roadblocks or triggers and use these as your tapping phrases. So let’s say your affirmation is “I am a happy, fun-loving person!” Then your mind comes in and says, “No way! You’re unhappy just like your father was.” Now you take the negative phrase above and OVER exaggerate it while you tap (don’t forget to tap it is the most important part!). So play around with it like this: “Even though I’m the MOST unhappy person IN THE WORLD, I accept myself anyhow.” “Even though I am a HORRIBLY negative person and it’s ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE for me to be happy, I accept myself anyway.” “Even though I will NEVER be any happier than I am now, I accept myself.” The concept: Take your negative aspects and make them worse than they actually are as you tap.
- Be a major stick in the mud.
- Of course you don’t want to practice this technique when you’re NOT tapping because you don’t want to train yourself to be this way. On the other hand using it while you are tapping is a great way to bust through your blocks. What you want to do is focus purely on the negative “yeah, but” phrases for a long time BEFORE you even think about tapping the positive affirmations in. Be relentless with it until the negative phrases no longer resonate with you. The concept: Clean out all of the weeds before planting the seedlings.
All of the above techniques focus on the same concept: tap on the negative self-talk before focusing on the positive affirmations. So no matter how you choose to unearth the negative you must tap on that part first.
When does it work?
It works anytime you have a belief you can’t quite release. You know that concrete belief that steps in your way and refuses to budge? That’s the one (or many) that EFT will work to loosen.
You can be methodical about it and write down your list of “I cannots” and tap on one or two a day or you can use your affirmations as a sort of shovel (if you will) used to unearth your blocks. To do this, simply list out the affirmations you like, repeat them daily as prescribed and when you feel the inevitable tug of skepticism take that as your clue to tap. Be relentless with your tapping. It’s the kind of thing that only works when you use it. Want it bad. Want it real bad.
First, say your affirmation out loud. Then ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1= not true at all and 10=this could happen for me right now!) how true does this affirmation feel? Write your number down for later.
KC: Even though I will never achieve (INSERT YOUR AFFIRMATION HERE), I accept myself anyway.
KC: Even though I will never have (INSERT YOUR AFFIRMATION HERE), I accept myself anyway.
KC: Even though I will never ever be successful with (INSERT YOUR AFFIRMATION HERE), I accept myself anyway.
EB: I can’t do this.
SE: It just won’t work.
UE: I’ve never been successful here before.
CB: Why would it be different now?
EB: This affirmation thing won’t work for me.
SE: I never get what I want.
UE: Poor, poor pitiful me!
CB: Oh no! I sound like a country song!
EB: I’d like to be open to the idea of letting this go.
SE: I’d like a new option instead of this dead end.
UE: I’d rather break through my roadblocks!
CB: I’d like a new reality.
Stop tapping and take a deep breath. Repeat your affirmation and ask again how true does this affirmation feel? Write your new number down. Compare it to your original number. Did it go up, down or stay the same? Regardless of how it changed the point is to keep tapping until your belief of the affirmation rates at 10 on the truth scale.
In that spirit, write down your new number and continue tapping with me. I will skip the setup phrases on the Karate Chop this time and go straight to the tapping points.
EB: Here I am again with this silly affirmation.
SE: Why do I even bother with it?
UE: It will never work anyway.
CB: I get the same result every time: disappointment.
EB: What if this time is different?
SE: What if it ACTUALLY work this time?
UE: Then what will I complain about?
CB: What will my friends think?
EB: Will they be jealous?
SE: Will they disown me because of my success?
UE: I’d rather be successful than not!
CB: I’d rather be happy and I’d like to bring this new idea into my life now.
EB: What is left holding me back?
SE: (Continue tapping and allow the answer on what’s holding you back to pop into your head. Tap on it by inserting in below.)
UE: (INSERT YOUR ANSWER HERE) is still holding me back.
CB: (INSERT YOUR ANSWER HERE) is standing in my way.
EB: I’d like to let these go because they don’t serve me anymore.
Stop again and it’s a good idea to take a deep breath here. As before, repeat your affirmation and ask how true does it feel inside? Write your new number down. Compare it to your previous number. Did it go up, down or stay the same? Continue tapping on this last round with me.
EB: Here I am, still tapping on this affirmation.
SE: I really want my life to change.
UE: I’m open to the possibility I can do it.
CB: I’m open to the possibility that I’m closer now
EB: Than I’ve ever been.
SE: It’s within my grasp.
UE: I can taste it!
CB: I can see it!
EB: I can feel it!
SE: The question is: Can I BE it?
UE: I’d like to be open to the possibility that I can.
CB: I’m choosing this for my life.
EB: I’m ready for my hard work
SE: To finally pay off.
UE: I’m ready to taste success.
CB: I deserve this.
EB: I choose my own success now.
Take a deep breath, repeat your affirmation, and reassess how true the affirmation feels. Write your final number down. If your number still doesn’t measure at a 9 or 10 this means you will want to repeat the above tapping rounds again or make your own phrases up…just keep tapping until your truth rating is high on the chart.
If you have any questions, tweet or email me!
Look for my blog post wrapping up the second affirmation enhancing technique coming next week. It’s so effortless and quick it’ll blow your mind!
Over and out, T