Choosing Effective EFT Tapping Phrases
Written by Stefan Gonick
The EFT Set-Up Phrase
When first learning EFT, one of the most common questions is “What words do I use for the EFT tapping phrases”? I know that this was confusing for me when I was first learning. There are a number of elements to coming up with good tapping phrases, but I would like to share a key principle with you that will help make selecting good tapping phrases much easier.
The first thing that we hear about when picking phrases is to be as specific as possible. This is very true, but as specific as possible about what? The most common mistake that I find that people make is to pick a phrase that describes their problem as a concept rather than their direct experience of the problem.
Remember: “The cause of all negative emotions is a disturbance in our body’s energy system.”
We need to get clearly in touch with our experience of the problem to make our phrases most effective.
For instance, let’s say that your problem is that you procrastinate. New tappers might be tempted to say:
“Even though I procrastinate, I deeply and profoundly accept myself.”
The problem with the phrase “I procrastinate” is that it is a mental concept; it is not your actual experience of your procrastination problem.
So, what is your experience of procrastinating?
The easiest way to get in touch with this is to think about some task about which you are procrastinating. You will probably feel some kind of aversion to doing that task with an accompanying sensation in your body. The body sensation may be something like a tightness in your stomach or chest.
Your aversion and bodily sensations are your initial experience of the problem.
Now, let’s get more specific.
What is your experience of the aversion specifically about?
You tune into your aversion and bodily sensations and wait to see what comes up for you. Eventually, you get in touch with feeling afraid that you might not do the task perfectly, so you are having an aversion to getting started.
A possible tapping phrase could now be: “Even though I am afraid to start because I might not do it perfectly…”
Do you see how this is very different from “Even though I procrastinate….”? The original phrase describes your problem as a mental concept. The new phrase describes your actual experience of the problem.
Descriptions of your experience of a problem will tend to include bodily sensations, emotions and thoughts/beliefs related to the emotions, as in our example above. If you use this principle when describing your experience of the problem rather than the concept of it, you’ll find that you will come up with much more effective tapping phrases.
In the procrastination example, you may want to delve deeper.
Why is doing something imperfectly a painful prospect? What early experiences led to this feeling?
Ideally, you will want to tap on those painful memories to really heal this issue.
Hugs to all,
Expert EFT Practitioner, Trainer, and Love Coach
Note: Procrastination can actually be a complex issue. We just looked at one common potential source of procrastination for this example. There can be many others as well.