There’s one thing commonly at the core of our hesitations. It’s why we don’t take that step forward, try that new yoga class, launch a new product or service or look for a new job.
That one thing? Fear.
Fear is a natural response to the world around us. After all, our brains use fear to keep us safe. Think about it: when you’re about to get on a roller coaster or give a presentation to a new audience, you start to feel the physical symptoms of fear, like fast heartbeat, sweaty palms and butterflies in your stomach.
That’s normal. But, we run into trouble when we’re held back by our perceived fears. The fears that we worry about and agonize over that aren’t really things we need to be afraid of.
Things like public speaking, interviewing for a new job, asking someone on a date. Those are perceived fears. We fear the end result – something that hasn’t even happened!
The bad news is that those fears can cripple us, cause anxiety, depression and keep us in our comfort zones.
The good news: fear is only as powerful as we make it.
We can release the fears that hold us back with one powerful tool:
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as “tapping,” is a psychological acupressure technique that supports your emotional and physical health. It combines the cognitive benefits of therapy with the physical benefits of acupuncture to restore your energy and heal your emotions. Tapping very easy. You just stimulate certain meridian points on the body by tapping on them with your fingertips while repeating mantras.
Each of the acupressure points corresponds with a meridian. Meridians correspond with different organs throughout the body and have an emotional impact relating to the physical function of the organ. The points we’ll use in EFT include:
- Karate Chop (KC): Small Intestine Meridian. The small intestine controls the more basic emotions we feel, including sadness and worry. It is said that stimulating this karate chop point helps to calm the spirit, which is why it is the first point you’ll tap during your EFT practice.
- Eyebrow (EB): Bladder Meridian. The bladder meridian controls the functions and balance of the autonomous nervous system. It also controls lack of energy and being inflexible and fearful. When in balance, you can experience hope and looking forward to the future.
- Side Eye (SE): Gallbladder Meridian. The gallbladder meridian governs daring and decisiveness. We can stimulate this point when we’re struggling to make a decision or take action toward our goals. When balanced, it helps provide courage and initiative.
- Under Eye (UE): Stomach Meridian. The stomach meridian is all about nourishing our physical and emotional health. The stomach acts like a second brain; we experience calmness and contentedness when this meridian is balanced.
- Under Nose (UN): Governing Vessel. The governing vessel is one of two major meridians in the body and the center of qigong practice. It is a continuous circuit of energy (yang) that regulates mood, including anxiety and depression.
- Chin (CH): Conception Vessel. This is the second major meridian and a continuous circuit of (yin) energy. The conception vessel in Chinese means, “direction, responsibility.” This meridian is responsible for directing and regulating energy throughout the body.
- Collar Bone (CB): Kidney Meridian. The kidney meridian is known as the seat of courage and willpower. The kidneys improve immune function and remove waste from the body. When in balance, the kidney meridian provides wisdom, rationality, clear perception, gentleness and self-understanding.
- Under Arm (UA): Spleen Meridian: The spleen meridian is considered True Human Energy. It regulates temperamental moodiness, concentration, addiction, thought processes, jealousy, self-esteem and body image. When in balance, it provides fairness, openness, and positive self esteem.
- Top of Head (TH): Governing Vessel. This is another point on the Governing Vessel meridian.
How to practice EFT
To practice EFT, begin by sitting in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Think about what fears are keeping you stuck and preventing you from living a happier life. Notice the feelings that come up for you. Sit with those feelings and really feel them.
Using your free EFT Workbook, fill in the blank: “Even though I am afraid of ___, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
This first sentence is extremely important. It sets the tone of your practice and allows you to experience the emotion of fear without judging yourself for it. This sentence is paired with the karate chop point, which helps to calm the spirit. When you come from a place of non-judgment, your spirit is free to feel and heal.
Next, write down a few sentences about how you feel. Dig deep into those feelings and write from the heart. You can repeat the same sentences or create a different sentence for each acupressure point.
Here’s an example of what this might look like:
- KC x3: “Even though I am afraid of failure, I deeply and completely love myself.”
- EB: “I’m afraid of failure.”
- SE: “Failure is my biggest fear.”
- UE: “I’m afraid people will laugh at me.”
- UN: “I’ll be so embarrassed.”
- CH: “I’m afraid I can’t do this.”
- CB: “I don’t know enough.”
- UA: “I’ll be so ashamed.”
- TH: “I’m afraid of failure.”
Repeat this cycle of tapping until your fearful feelings begin to subside. The exact words you use are not important. What is important is that you start to feel relief from your fears by addressing them head on.
Once you start to feel better, you can think about the positive mantras and sentences you want to feel. Here’s another example:
- EB: “I don’t want to be afraid.”
- SE: “This feeling sucks.”
- UE: “I want to feel better.”
- UN: “I want to take risks.”
- CH: “I want to put myself out there.”
- CB: “I have everything I need already.”
- UA: “I am an expert.”
- TH: “I can do this.”
Repeat this cycle until you release all feelings of fear and feel hopeful and calm.
EFT is a powerful tool to help you release feelings of fear, anxiety and other unwanted emotions. It acts in much the same way as a virus in a computer program by permanently interrupting the “program” or sequence of events that occur in the brain between the initial sighting of the thing you are afraid of and the physical response you experience.
Have you tried EFT to overcome your fears? Share you experience in the comments!