I was beginning a session with my client Vikki (name changed) when I asked her what she would like to tap on today. She said that this was a very familiar feeling. “It always seems like a great idea to have an event and then the closer it gets to the time of the event, the more anxiety (“dread and fear”) creeps in.” The chatter in her head kept getting louder, “What if no one signs up? What if no one shows up? What if the speakers arrive and there’s no one else there? What if I’m embarrassed?”
“This is a very familiar feeling,” she repeated. “Sometimes it gets so intense that I cancel the event.”
As she talked about it, the anxiety in her chest became pretty intense, about an 8 or a 9 (on a scale of 0 being no intensity and 10 being a very high intensity). The emotion was fear of embarrassment, and a “there I go again!” feeling. She continued, “Committing to do things before I’ve thought them through completely is not such a smart thing.”
However, she’d very definitely thought this through. She and her team had done a similar event several years in a row and she was still filled with anxiety.
(Note: This is just high lights of the hour – long tapping session)
Even though I feel this embarrassment anxiety in my chest. I deeply and completely love and value myself and accept how I feel.
Even though I commit to do things before I’ve thought them through…. I deeply and completely love and value myself and accept how I feel.
Even though it’s not such a smart thing… deeply and completely love and value myself and accept how I feel.
The intensity of the anxiety in her chest went down from an 8 or 9 to a 5-6. She was then able to feel like part of her has done some really amazing things and that the other part of her still felt “bad” and like a “screw up.”
We continued to tap: Even though “part of me has done some really amazing things and the other part of me has done things where I felt bad and that I’m a real screw up.” I deeply and completely love and value myself and accept how I feel.
Even though I feel this embarrassment anxiety…. I deeply and completely love and value myself and accept how I feel.
Even though I have this anxiety in my chest…. I deeply and completely love and value myself and accept how I feel.
I asked her what was popping up for her and she seemed a bit confused. Then she told me that her parent’s 25th wedding anniversary party popped into her mind. She couldn’t understand why she was thinking of that.
I reminded her, like I do all of my clients, to trust the first thing that pops into her mind, regardless if it makes any sense right now or not, it could be attached to something that does in some way.
Right before the anniversary party she and her family had moved to a new town. Her father was a minister and they were at a new church that was bigger than their old church. There were a lot of people there. She was only about 10 or 11 years old. She remembered feeling an “unsettled, really crazy, odd” feeling in her chest. It went from a 5-6 up to a 7-8 in intensity as she talked about it and focused more attention on it.
“My mother was really uncomfortable being the center of attention,” she remembered.
We continued to tap some more: Even though there was an “unsettled, really crazy, odd” feeling and that “my mother was really uncomfortable.”
She told me that she “kind of liked it,” but wasn’t totally comfortable with the situation.
When we stopped tapping and checked in again, she realized that the anxiety and fear of embarrassment energy was coming from her mom, it wasn’t hers originally at all! It was a “questioning her own judgment” type of feeling and she could now feel it via tension in her head. The tension in her head was about a 3-4 in intensity. “I had to be perfect,” she said. Tears…
We continued tapping about being perfect and another memory popped up about being 6 years old. She was expected to be perfect for up to 3 hours at a time in church 3 days a week. She remembered a specific time when she was playing with a beaded necklace in church…and right in the middle of her father’s sermon, the beads broke. They tumbled all over the pews and the hard wood floors and made quite a noisy commotion.
Instantly she could feel her mom’s embarrassment, anxiety and her need to be perfect as if it were happening in present time, as her mom grabbed her arm, pulled her to the back of the church — while everyone was watching — under some stairs and “beat the shit out of me!”
Her thought from her 6-year-old little girl perspective was, “if you play the way you want to play the beads might break!” and subconsciously she made a vow in her little 6-year-old mind that she can never “screw up again”, that’s “bad” …I’m “bad” and she felt like she had to be perfect from that point on!
We tapped on that:
Even though I have to be perfect…
Even though if I screw up that means I’m bad…
Even though I have to be perfect….
I choose to release it and let it go. That happened when I was only 6. It’s not serving me at all anymore.
When I asked how she felt she gave it a, “0” intensity. “Good collapsed energy!”
As the intensity came down, the clearer she was able to get about why she felt the anxiety and fear about hosting events. She got the message as a 6-year-old, that she needed to be perfect or else she was “bad.” She didn’t even realize, subconsciously, that she had any other choice. She hung up excited to get back to working on her event!
Are you struggling with an issue that feels vaguely familiar, however, you can’t figure out where it could be coming from or how to stop it? EFT Tapping is a brilliant tool for uncovering the real reasons behind your self-sabotaging behaviors and removing the emotional “sting” as you go.
No need to slosh through all the gory details of the traumatizing memories. The things that are keeping you from moving forward and doing what you want to do with your personal and or professional life as an adult could be YOUR inner child fears, much like Vikki’s, taking over and it may be taken care of as easily and calmly as hers was.
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.
You Might Also Like...
Trauma is not what happens to you, it’s what happens inside of you as a result of what happens to you. Gabor Mate, MD, The Wisdom of Trauma As I was watching the Gabor Mate The Wisdom of Trauma movie, and series of interviews, he shared something very powerful that I’ve heard him say before…
Does EFT Tapping really work? You’re not the only one asking if EFT tapping actually works. Google says it’s one of the most common search queries connected with the technique. Most people who hear about EFT have a hard time rolling with the idea that it’s a reputable self-help technique. There’s no shortage of articles…
I’m a huge fan of Dr. Gabor Mate, the books he’s written and the interviews he’s done via YouTube. He is a Hungarian born Canadian physician and author. He has a background in family practice and a special interest in childhood development and trauma, and their potential lifelong impacts on physical and mental health, including…