Dear EFT Community,
EFT Master Ann Ross here gives us many insights into using EFT to develop a stronger self-identity and overcome the tail-enders that keep us from being who we really are.
By Ann Ross
Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be. -Patanjali, Indian Philosopher
We are so identified in our stories, that we get “stuck” in judgment and criticism of ourselves. Then we get stuck in “acting out” from the identity which has been created for us from the “writing on our walls.”
EFT is a powerful tool for transformation and can shift us from “who we are not” to an identity where just about anything can become possible for us.
Using EFT we can move gracefully and with ease into the “Palace of Possibilities.” This does not mean to say that there will be no discomfort. As change happens, we are stepping right out of our comfort zones into a new way of Being in the World. The good thing about that is we know we are changing when we feel uncomfortable. Very often there comes chaos before peace.
Learning within your discomfort
If we can see the whole experience of change within us as a learning experience, rather than a trauma, the process can be more easily understood and released. EFT is far gentler than any other technique I have come across. If we can ask questions in a spirit of inquiry rather than judgment, it can be a golden opportunity for deep clearing.
How we gain our identity
Our identity is mostly learned from childhood, parents, teachers, siblings. In our adult lives, our identity is colored by TV, magazines and the media telling us in glorious Technicolor and surround sound that in order to be loved and acceptable we have to be a particular size, smoke a particular brand of cigar, or wear designer labels. Our identity becomes invested in how much we earn, whether we are successful (or not), how many holidays we have, or how many cars there are in the garage.
If all of this were to fall away, who would you be?
- I am a person who has to be perfect.
- I am a person who is a therapist
- I am a person who is afraid of failing
It is from identifying ourselves in this way that we get trapped and we “act out” life from the perspective of who we are not. We are lost in the identity of who we are not.
We can change our identity through tapping away what we do not like and cannot accept about ourselves (and others). When this happens we give ourselves permission to act out our new identity, which is more authentic and real. It is natural to be who we really are when we are being true to ourselves. It is coming home to love. Life becomes easier and starts to flow…
Make a list
Think of the things you dislike/hate the most about other people. For example:
- I hate it when people tell lies
- I hate it when people let me down
- I hate it when people judge or criticize me
- I hate it when people hurt me
These internal thoughts can create the very thing you hate the most! These thoughts can become self-fulfilling prophecies, and we give ourselves evidence, vehemently and eloquently. “You see? This shows you how I try, but nothing works.”
Different writing on our walls
When we look at others and find them lacking in some way, we are simply looking at the differences in the “writing on our walls.” We are all so different. Each individual has unique writing on their walls, which is peculiar to them and nobody else. There will be similarities, but there will always be differences which is why Borrowing Benefits works so well!
We tend to complain when life does not go our way and may even insist that the blame is definitely “outside” of us. We make the problem “outside” of us. We blame the husband, the wife, the boss, and the politicians and in the UK we even blame the weather!
But the problem is inside. When we judge and criticize others, we are doing it from a place inside of ourselves–a place that we do not like about ourselves. This is called projection. We think we know what other people are thinking and when we judge and criticize them, it makes us feel better, for in those moments someone else is worse or less than we are.
In my courses, I often give the example of the boardroom table and the directors sitting around a beautiful bowl of flowers. There may be 10 or 20 people sitting around the table all looking at the same flowers. One person will see a rose, the other a daffodil, the next a piece of fern or ribbon. They may argue and get upset and hotly defend their point of view. However, they are all arguing about the same bunch of flowers! Each will be experiencing and seeing something totally different – it will be a different angle, a different perspective.
And they are all getting it right! What if we are all getting it right and we just have a different perspective of life? What if we could respect our differences? What if we could find common ground without being stuck in judgment?
First discover who you are NOW
Instead of being tied up in the identity of who somebody else thinks we should be, or we ought to be, or we learned to be, how much more healthy to choose who we want to be in the world and begin to act that out! Fill a sheet of paper with statements starting:
- I am a person who…
- I am a person who…
- I am a person who…
- I am a person who feels guilty when I don’t call my mother
- I am a person who cannot be true to myself because..
- I am a person who cannot say “no” because….
- Where did you learn this belief?
- Who taught you that?
- How do you know that about yourself?
- What specific events occurred in your life to have you believe it? For instance, the time my father slapped me when I told him no. My mother screaming at me to “do as you’re told.” The time my neighbor threatened me. The bully in my classroom taking my lunch money.
You may be surprised that you may end up with a list of information about yourself that displeases you.
Who you think you are versus who you really are
- On another piece of paper draw a line down the center of the page.
- On the left-hand side, write down the statements that most upset you or give you the most emotional discomfort out of the ones that you have written.
- Notice your feelings about the statement and write your feelings underneath your statement.
- In the right-hand column, write down the complete opposite. You are clear now about your beliefs about yourself. You have a starting point. The right-hand column is how you want to BE in the world.
Who I Think I Am Who I Really Am
I am a person who cannot say no I can say yes to ME
Trapped, frightened, sad, pressurized Strong, self-empowered
The idea is to clarify how you feel when you identify yourself in this way. It is going on in your mind anyway and it might be helpful to bring it to the surface so it no longer remains hidden from you (for whatever reason).
Using EFT to gain emotional freedom
I have devised some EFT statements for you to try on, just like a new shirt or a new dress. These should give you ideas to create your own setup phrases.
- Even though I am a person who cannot say no, I love and accept that part of me anyway.
- Even though I am a person who cannot say no because I might not be loved or liked if I say no, I love and accept all those parts of me no matter what!
- Even though it is hard for me to say no, I choose to say yes to ME and honor myself.
It is really hard to say no. Not acceptable to say no. They will reject me. I can’t do it. It is too scary.
- Even though I can’t say no because they will not love/like me anymore, I choose to say YES to me, maybe I could love myself enough to say no.
- Even though I’m not important enough to say yes to, I choose to say yes to me anyway because I am worth it!
- Even though they won’t love me anymore, I choose to know that maybe I can love ME even more!
They won’t love me anymore. Definitely not. I can’t do it. I’ll be letting them down. This is too scary. Maybe, maybe not. What if I could?
- Even though saying yes to me is selfish, I choose to know that unselfishness breeds resentment and I don’t want to be resentful.
- Even though I can’t say no–what will people think?–I choose to know that they might respect me a lot more.
- Even though it’s really hard to say no, I choose to know I can say it from a loving strength inside of me.
I love the feeling of being strong enough to say no. I feel good. Strong. Free. Loved. I love ME. Saying no feels good.
Become creative and tap as much as you need to until you are in alignment with your right-hand column! Tap away any tail-enders to being who you really are despite what others think!
And remember those SPECIFIC events in your life that gave rise to these feelings and beliefs. It is important to clear them as they come up for you. Tap for each one.
When we change ourselves at identity level, the whole world begins to change around us, and people, events, and circumstances are perceived differently. We can live a life of fulfilment and happiness, loving and accepting ourselves and others, no matter what!