EFT – Why Focus On The Negative?

Do you shy away from stating the negative with EFT? Afraid you’re reinforcing the problem? That’s what happened with a client last week. We started tapping and her anxiety level went up instead of down. Turned out she was afraid she would make her worries permanent by saying them out loud.

And she’s not the only one. Many people who are used to working with affirmations, New Thought spiritual teachings and/or the Law of Attraction have this concern with EFT. They’re afraid they could actually make things worse – maybe even create more of the problem – by talking about the negative aspects of their challenge.

In fact, the opposite is true. It’s actually beneficial to focus first on those unwanted things. It’s true that what you focus on expands, but this focus is very temporary. Here are two reasons why that focus is a good thing:

  1. You need to start from precisely where you are. That’s the spot on the map that you’re taking off from. The EFT process works like any other where you want to get from Point A to Point B. You need to identify Point A, and if that’s a negative spot, then that’s just the fact of where you are.
    Think of it like traveling. Say you’re headed for New York from here. Well, where’s “here?” If you just say “somewhere on the west coast,” you could add a lot of extra time and mileage getting to New York. All you know is the general direction you want to head in. But if you get specific, you can pick the fastest route there. You can make a plan. You can name spots along the way that can let you know you’re headed in the right direction. You can get those same benefits from clearly stating your starting point with EFT – and it likely has some negative aspects to it. That’s OK.
    So clearly state your unwanted feelings and thoughts and beliefs at the start of your EFT sessions. An unexpected bonus: You may be surprised at the relief you’ll feel simply from stating them out loud.
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  3. Another reason to address the negative is because there’s a part of you that has a good reason (even if it’s a hidden reason) for feeling that way. It’s important to give a voice to that part of you – let it speak up at the start of your tapping sessions.
    You can try to ignore it, close the door on it, and go straight for addressing the positive with EFT. But you’ll likely make more work for yourself that way. If you don’t let the negative part of you be heard, it doesn’t just go away. In fact, sometimes it just gets stronger in its conflict with the positive. This can even create more resistance to releasing the issue.

What’s The Answer?

Don’t be afraid to shine the light on the negative side of the issue so you can clearly see what you’re dealing with. As you tap, name the crummy details and ugly specifics so you know exactly what you want to let go of, what you want to heal.

As you tap and the emotional charge decreases on your issue, start to shift your focus. Move to the positive side and focus on what you want as you tap. EFT Master Pat Carrington’s Choices Method is a great way to do that.

What’s your experience? Leave us a comment below.

  • Rod Sherwin

    When I give presentations and talks on EFT, I often explain that stating the negative when we are tapping is about being authentic with our feelings. We can try and tap or affirm stuff over the top of what we are truly feeling but that won’t get to the bottom of the issue and clear it out permanently. Focusing on the way we really feel, giving that a voice, and validating ourselves will give us the emotional freedom we desire.

  • What a great way to explain it, Rod. “Validating ourselves” is exactly what we’re doing when we address the negative. Thanks for your insights and clarity.

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