Kathy, a housewife in her middle years, had just booked an overseas trip with a local travel agent, who was a glamorous and briskly efficient young woman.
Kathy had been back to the travel agency once, when she’d found she would have to change her travel dates. Now, new circumstances meant that she would have to make a third visit, to change the dates yet again.
Kathy was feeling embarrassed and fearful at facing that brisk young woman again. The task started to loom huge, so much so that worry had disturbed her sleep the night before our EFT tapping work on the problem. Kathy kept saying, ‘I feel so stupid.’ Her intensity was 9 out of 10.
Her embarrassment was not only about facing the woman, but also about having the problem at all. As Kathy is generally a capable, confident woman, this incident had obviously pressed one of her buttons.
Her concern was out of all proportion to the challenge. This could mean that this difficulty was piggybacking on at least one earlier unresolved issue – that is, another time she had felt stupid, and had not been able to drop the feeling. Or many previous times when she’d felt stupid.
We talked about this situation as an opportunity to release the whole ‘stupid’ disruption from her body and mind.
Words alone won’t fix it
In any group of supportive people, a situation such as this travel agent challenge brings forth comments meant to be helpful, like ‘Of course you’re not stupid’ and ‘You’re the customer, she’s working for you.’ But helpful, logical advice would not reach the core of Kathy’s problem. No matter what anyone said, she still felt stupid.
We tapped a few quick EFT rounds, just about her thoughts on the problem: ‘Even though I think I’m stupid, I accept myself’. Kathy’s conviction soon collapsed. She was able to say with heartfelt emotion, ‘I know I’m not stupid.’
But the next fear to come up was allied, and also rated 9/10 intensity for her It was not that she thought herself stupid, but fear that the young woman would, and might get angry.
However, after a few more tapping rounds, Kathy said, ‘So what, if she does think I’m stupid? What if she does get angry? I need to make this change regardless. Now I feel much better about going to see her.’
Next day she went to the travel agent, and the visit was successful for her. ‘It was so good!’ she said. ‘I was not a bit nervous. I went in well prepared with the information I needed. I calmly explained to her the reason I needed this further change.
‘And she did get cross. But it didn’t matter to me! I stayed calm, said what I wanted, and she did it. I was so calm that later I even managed to compliment her on her bracelet, and her face lit up, and we talked about that.
‘I would never have managed so well without EFT. I hope the next time something like that happens, I’ll manage it as well.’
Permanent change for the better
Other people’s experiences with tapping suggest that Kathy has indeed put her unnecessary ‘I’m stupid’ reactions behind her, because EFT’s stress reductions are typically permanent, on the specific topics addressed.
As an EFT coach I might then be asking her:
• How has the fear that you’ll look stupid affected your decisions in the past?
• What opportunities have you not even gone after because of this fear? How does that make you feel?
• What new liberty would you like to achieve next?
And we would tap away all emotional fallout as well as her fears about future possibilities.
How about you? Do you ever feel stupid, when you know you’re not? Would you rather be kinder to yourself?
‘How can I learn EFT tapping?”
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