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EFT for Self-Image: Finding Peace in the Beauty Wars

Dear EFT Community,

Sandy Zeldes, EFT Certified Practitioner Practitioner specialising in weight issues shares her EFT tapping sequences for overcoming a negative body image to help all women who struggle with the perception that somehow their body is “bad,” especially during the holiday season.

-Stephanie M


By Sandy Zeldes, EFT Certified Practitioner

The holidays and the new year bring a lot of opportunities for socializing. This is fun and also terrible for many of my clients and women I know.

There will be a lot of food and a lot of dressing up and sometimes a lot of comparisons and fears about how one looks.

I recently had a painful experience with someone I love who was really upset about having to go to a party and not feeling attractive. The more I tried to “convince” and talk to this person, the uglier she felt. I felt like I was in a trap. I realized there is absolutely nothing and no one who could convince this person that she is beautiful.

NOBODY.

Even a gorgeous man (by her estimation) flirting with her wouldn’t change a thing. She would get temporary relief, but it would never sink in to the bottomless pit of low self-worth she was feeling. (I didn’t tap with her, as it was not something she would do, unfortunately.)

It made me really sad, and then later I felt angry. Because you know what I realized? This woman was just like me and so many of us women.

I chose to work with body image, weight, self-worth, and healing for women for a very good reason.

It is my issue too, of course, or has been to some degree or another over my lifetime. Though I am a relatively confident and happy woman and love my body, I am certainly not perfect, and things come up that trigger me, like this incident. Healing is like peeling back layers of an onion. We heal many things and we are feeling good and then we get triggered by something and know there is more to clear.

Well, that is what happened here with me. I was grateful for the opportunity to go deeper into my own healing with this issue. I hope that we can all feel that way when something painful comes up.

It’s an opportunity for more healing and growth.

I realized too that with every client I work with we work through issues with beauty and body image, so I want to share with you a simple process I use for this issue.

Step 1

Become aware that you are triggered and don’t brush it off. Pay attention to what is bothering you about having to get dressed up and socialize. Is it the clothes and how you fit in them? Is it seeing others and knowing they will say something about the way you look? Is there someone you judge yourself about? Do you wish you were taller, shorter, smaller, bigger (yes, that happens a lot too!), had different features, hair, etc.?

Be honest, and maybe write it out in a journal to tap on when you have time and space to address it fully. In the example I just gave, I was triggered by what my close friend was saying, how ugly and unattractive she felt and that she would never be the “ideal” woman next to all these model-type girlfriends she had. She almost didn’t want to go to the party at all.

My first reaction was to justify, explain away how “wrong” that feeling was. Didn’t she know that nobody is the “ideal” woman and images of the ideal have changed drastically in our society over the years? Just Google actresses from the 1950s and then Google ones today. Sure there were a few very petite female role models in the ’50s too, but they were the exception, not the rule.

Think of different eras in which women were supposed to be voluptuous and downright, well, big, by today’s standards. Think about the Hawaiian culture and how the bigger the better…Of course, true beauty is on the inside too, and who is to say what exactly is beautiful. Beauty is an inside job. None of this intellectual explanation really touched the issue for me, of course.

I realized that I too was feeling I don’t measure up, and that made me feel even worse. I couldn’t pretend that I wasn’t having a reaction in that moment. I too felt bad about myself next to those women–sad but true. I am deeply aware of the cultural norms and standards and how ridiculous they are, it still hurts–ouch. One more layer to peel back in healing. Good to know!

Step 2

Release the beliefs and the pain of them! Please do not skip this step. I think sometimes we get intimidated by our beliefs and emotions, thinking this one is “the big one” I’ll never be able to change. In all my years doing this work [S, SAY WHAT WORK YOU ARE REFERRING TO], I have learned that any belief that isn’t total love and acceptance of yourself is B.S. I say it that way because I’m tired of us women thinking we’re not good enough or beautiful.

So please give yourself a chance and use any and all techniques, especially tapping, of course, to begin to address your beliefs around attractiveness and beauty. Here is how I have seen it go in various directions over the years with many of my clients and myself.

Tapping for feeling beautiful:

Start with how you really feel about the way you look. Say whatever you need to, get it all out. Write it down if need be and tap on each feeling, piece by piece.

Examples: Tap on the side of the hand and repeat three times whatever the predominant feelings are:

  • Even though I feel unattractive right now, I love and accept myself.
  • Even though I feel awful when I compare myself to others, I choose to love, accept, and forgive myself now.
  • Even though I still feel unattractive deep down and like I’m not pretty enough, I should look like ____(insert whoever you compare yourself to), I choose to fully and completely love, accept, and forgive myself.

Through the points on the body:

  • I’m not pretty enough.
  • I’ll never look like those women [insert whoever it is that you judge yourself against).
  • I’m not _____ enough” (tall enough, short enough, thin enough, you name it).
  • I feel awful when my friend talks like that about herself; it makes me feel ugly too.
  • I’ll never be the right size or shape.

Repeat all of the things that you find yourself feeling about the way you look. Be specific with it. I recommend doing several rounds of tapping through the points until you feel some release or it brings up a specific incident for you in which you felt unattractive when you were much younger. That is what you want to tap on next.

While I was tapping, I recalled a locker room incident that ruined sports for me when I was younger. I developed early and was the only person I knew with dark skin. I felt like I looked so different and, of course, weirder than anyone else. Kids. We judge ourselves against our peers, and we often retain the wounds of those beliefs into adulthood even though our adult minds know better. Our hearts and subconscious minds don’t.

That is why all the intellectual reasons we give ourselves about why we should “know better” don’t work. We have to pull out those thorns that still make us hurt deep down.

Tapping on the memory of feeling unattractive:

On the side of the hand:

  • Even though I remember feeling like a freak in the locker room in eighth grade, being so much more developed than the other girls and looking so different from them anyway and being sensitive about that already, I deeply and completely love, accept, and forgive myself for taking on this hatred and shame.

Through the points I simply tapped on all of the different parts of the memory:

  • I felt so freakish.
  • I developed early and felt so embarrassed.
  • I was a freak.
  • I had dark skin and totally different features to begin with.
  • I hated being different.
  • I hated being so much bigger than them.
  • I was like an adult and had to hide that.
  • I hated it. I was so ashamed.
  • Why did I have to stand out so much?
  • Why wasn’t I like them?

Once I could feel myself getting emotional distance from it, I tapped in some positive beliefs: 

  • I love and accept myself as I am.
  • I’m just right, right now.
  • I love myself, I’m a child of the divine.
  • I am beautiful just as I am.
  • I love my skin.
  • I love my voluptuous body.
  • I am special and unique.
  • I love being my beautiful and unique self.
  • I’m blessed and lucky to be me.
  • There will never be another me, ever in all of creation.

For good measure, I tapped on all the things I love about myself. I recommend doing that as well. Go crazy. Are you a good cook? Do your friends love to talk to you and say you are kind and loving? Do you love your hands? Your eyes? This one cleared pretty quickly for me and left me truly believing what my intellect was saying again about beauty.

I have done this same process with so many of my clients now that it is truly amazing. I wonder sometimes if any of us escaped our childhood and teen years feeling acceptable. We often look at a seemingly “beautiful” woman and say, “Oh, well, she can’t be thinking the stuff I think. She’s got it made. She’s beautiful.”

My friends, I can tell you right now, it just ain’t so!

Models, for example, are the most insecure people on the planet; as are many actresses. It’s not real, this whole beauty thing. It truly is in our heads and hearts. Let’s let compassion begin with ourselves.

The Dalai Lama says: “The world will be saved by the Western woman.”

I believe that we save the world truly when we save ourselves.

Let the war with our bodies end now and let’s get on with spreading the love and compassion that we are all meant to share.