The Stories You Tell 

Written by: Nick Ortner

typewriterToday I’d like to share with you a short excerpt from my NY Times bestselling book, “The Tapping Solution…”

“Lauren, a mother of two from Colorado, was struggling with some issues around her marriage, her weight, and generally feeling overwhelmed and depressed. She began our session together by telling me what was going on in her life.

For 20 minutes straight, with barely a pause to catch a breath, she told me her story, focusing on a big, dramatic situation around work. I tried to interrupt her a few times to ask her how she felt, but I could barely get a word in.

Eventually, I put my hand up like a stop sign. That got a pause, and I lovingly but firmly said, “Lauren, no more stories. This is all one big, dramatic story, and it’s not you.”

She instantly got it. She stopped, took a deep breath, and said, “Oh, my God . . . all I do is tell these stories.”

The issue wasn’t what she was sharing with me; it was that she was so invested in her story. She had told it again and again—had thought about it over and over—and was replaying the same scenarios each time. She was not connecting with her feelings about the situation, and she was telling the story not from a place of analyzing it or looking for a solution, but rather for the sake of the story itself.

We all get caught up in our own personal soap operas, with their characters, drama, and rights and wrongs. We tell stories where other people have “done things” to us. Where the world is treating us harshly and no justice seems to be served. We tell stories that are full of anger, heartache, jealousy, fear, and every other negative emotion. We tell these stories to validate what we’ve done and what other people have done to us.

But after we’ve told these stories, what do we have? What have we gained?

Things have to change…

Lauren’s life wasn’t going to change unless she stopped telling those same stories again and again. Now that she recognized that, we went on to tap on her habit of telling stories—rather than the issue about work, which is what she’d originally come to me about. We used these statements:

Even though I keep telling these stories, and I’m all caught up in the drama, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I keep running the same patterns again and again, I deeply and completely accept myself.

We then focused the tapping on her emotions about the story. It’s not about ignoring the story altogether, it’s about processing it in a positive direction. So when I asked Lauren how she felt about what was going on, she was able to slow down, connect with her heart, and say, “I feel like all this drama is about other people, the things I do for them. I feel resentful. I never put myself first.”

This was a big life issue for Lauren, and we explored other places in her life where she wasn’t taking care of herself, where she was putting others first and both parties were suffering for it. You know how when on a plane, you’re told to put on your own oxygen mask before helping someone else? It was true in Lauren’s life. She recognized she needed to prioritize herself before giving to others. But would she actually do it?

Putting other people first

One of the exciting things about EFT is its flexibility. It can be very successfully combined with other systems and processes, including guided visualization. I decided to try a combination with Lauren.

I told her that it sounded like she was running a computer program called Putting Other People First, and asked her if she would like to install a new program called Putting Lauren First. She instantly connected to the analogy and agreed she was running the wrong program and was ready to try something new.

Through a guided, closed-eye visualization, where she continued to tap through all the points, I took her through “uninstalling” her old program and “installing” the new program. The mind works in mysterious ways; I don’t know why, but again and again, I’ve seen great results from walking a client through such a process. Step by step, Lauren removed all the old files—her old habits—and installed new, healthier ones.

Did it work? We had met on a Friday, and here’s a portion of the e-mail I got from her on Monday:

It was a great weekend. . . . The coaching session helped catapult me into a new place! I have a new perspective on myself and others around me. It’s like what I know in my mind “meshed with” what I feel in my heart. Some kind of true aligning. Before, I knew a lot in my mind, and I knew what I wanted to feel in my heart, but had a hard time bringing the two together. Now . . . there is no gap between what I know is right for me and feel it is right for me. The emotion aligns with the decisions in my head!

Looks like Lauren is telling a different story!

Ask Questions About Your Story

What are the stories you’re telling that you want to let go of?

What’s the new story you want to tell about yourself and your life?

What are the old programs you’re running that you want to delete?

What are the new programs you want to install?”

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

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39 Comments on this post

  1. Marjorie says:

    I need to get tapping .

  2. Choymae Huie says:

    This thing has gotten me so confused, I don’t know what to do. I thought going into the truth is important to release the issue. If the person is tapping and telling the story, wouldn’t just the action of tapping on the acupuncture points release the negatives? I’ve often found that when I do that, the anger, sadness, grief disappears. If I’m just retelling the story over and over without taking away the flight or fight response then I would think that it starts to reinforce the trauma.

    I have another issue that I really need some clarification on. I’ve been tapping for over 10 years and I don’t need to read a script for ideas to help me get to the different layers anymore. When something is bothering me, my subconscious sends me signals all the time. Like for instance I’ve been irritated with my roommate/landlord and just can’t figure out why. yes, the house is extremely cluttered with old furniture that we don’t need and he doesn’t throw away. He fixes everything, even window blinds and the refrigerator door with scotch tape. As I trip over thins and hit my head on the kitchen fan, I’m getting feelings that I hate him. When I look at it rationally, I can’t understand why I’m so upset, so I start to tap. All of a sudden I’m brought back to a time 47 years ago when I was about 21 year old and rented another apartment. For some unexplained reason, I wanted to repaint the bedroom. i did not asked the landlady for permission and just bought some paint, started painting and never finished it. I then fell in love with a man and moved out leaving the bedroom 1/2 done. The landlady obviously was upset and sued me for ruining the bedroom paint job. When I went to court, the judge ruled on my side and I didn’t have to pay anything. I don’t know how it all came to that, because looking back, I can see that it was totally my fault.

    Now my question is, “How do I rectify something that happened so long ago and honestly, I’m not even sure I can find the apartment and whether the person who was my landlady is even alive now. I’m 69, she was probably over 20 years older than me and would be around 90 or over now.

    How do you love, accept and forgive yourself for something you can’t fix?

  3. Juanita Kogel says:

    Thank you Nick. I now know what to work on. My tapes in my head is different, but can relate to the story. Thank you for your in put all the time gives me courage to tap. Juanita

  4. Audel says:

    That’s a genuinely imsirpseve answer.

  5. Chery says:

    I tell the Victim story. When in reality I agreed to (fill in the blank) ______________. He or She finds fault with my music the same way my mother and family did, not accept me for who I am and try to mold me to their image. No matter what i do, or music I play, I get embaressed in front of the audience, by way of the other individual in charge, who plays music over the top of me to shut me up!
    I just want to stand up for myself in the moment, or at least be able to discern if performing for a particular group of individuals is a good ida, or be able to tell them, This is what I’ll be playing if it’s not what you are looking for, I won’t be playing here.

  6. Valerie Bird says:

    Just what I needed to read today. I find your blogs useful and I find tapping an excellent way to cut through to the source of suffering, experience feelings as they come up and find my way back to my Self and Peace. Thanks for sharing, Nick.

  7. ines says:

    Dear Nick, Thank you sooooo much! And one question: how can I myself “uninstall and new program install”?
    Thank you

  8. susan says:

    I am following all of your stories with great interest and doing the tapping to and it really does help!

  9. laila says:

    thank you nick

  10. Denise says:

    Above all, my father whom I lost at the tender age of 51 years, would say to me as a child, “do not let your hips grow wide, and your mind grow narrow”. He would say that he hated the shoes he wore, until he met a man with no feet.
    I have spent too many years telling the same stories of medical mishaps, being a victim of chronic pain, not knowing who I am now and I keep going back to the same story of how I now am living in chronic pain, unable to work, finances and friends being low for too long. I was always the one to help others, I have missed being me for so long, and so angry and isolated since my 5 year injury…………..I grew up with knowing holistic ways of healing, the way to eat, etc. and now have found myself on a conventional spinning wheel without the money to get what I do need to help heal my body. I have found myself in this “story”, that is not the chapter in my book, though it seems it is the only one I talk about. I came upon tapping from a friend whose husband is an alcoholic, and after tapping for myself, and seeing the results in those I have introduced tapping to, I know it works! I know that I do not want to be one of those persons that continues to tell the same story of woe. I am and have been a person of solutions, I am not religious though I am a child of God and saved by the blood of Christ, healed by His stripes. I want to change my story, and in doing so I can help others change theirs. So much more to say and I will say THANK YOU! I have found other persons such as myself, and though I have had a huge set back recently due to a car wreck, on top of the 5 year injury……my prayer, dream, hope, belief is that I will be a Tapping instructor, along with the solution to get what I need and deserve to be whole and strong again. This is part of it, and I thank you! Love and Light your way Nick and family

  11. theresa says:

    If a troubled person just won’t try tapping is it best to just let them go?

  12. Idalina Barajas says:

    Dear Nick Ortner
    I love very much to watch you small videos on the Tapping, it sure looks very good without medications or hospitalizations of persons with big problems.
    Everything is so natural and works so well, it transforms peoples lives, incredible.
    I love very much

  13. Cherie says:

    I too am so stuck and so tired of the soap opera story I’ve been living
    A guided tape of the install/delete program would help so much.

  14. Dawn says:

    So many great helpful suggestions. Love them – keep them coming. I use them all in my hypnosis practice!!! Have been tapping for years (thanks Gary). You amaze me with your generosity!

  15. Suzanne says:

    wow! this hits home big time….can’t believe I never saw the ‘script’ before!

  16. L.A. says:

    I so-o-o wish I had a coach—in person—to help me draw out what’s really under the surface.

  17. Mariann says:

    I didn’t realize I was telling stories until I read your excerpt from your new book. The yarns I have been telling could make me a sweater. Thank you for once again opening my eyes.

  18. Stacie says:

    This is such a perfect post for where I am right now. I had grown so used to arguing with family and friends about the “different from the norm” decisions I make for myself, that I have that story running in head almost every time I make a choice. I have actually imagined arguments that I expected to have, and prepared witty comebacks (and a few well-timed insults) ALL IN MY HEAD. I already have the new story I want to plant, but couldn’t seem to uproot the old one – until now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  19. Diane says:

    Thank you for your generous sharing of this mighty gift,how simply my righteousness falls away,and what a relief not to have to justify those feelings.Bless you for your Genius and get ready to be inundated with remarkable gifts for your willingness to be good and kind and helpful. Bless you Nick.

  20. Eve says:

    I want to rid myself of ‘lack’ thoughts….Think and focus more on abundance…In all areas of my life…Mainly finance…for a comfortable living!

  21. Marlene Baulk says:

    I have had such a “sad” story playing in my head for sooo many years that I believed it was who I am…I know know that doesn’t have to be….I’m looking fprward to releasing this old program and experiencing the freedom when I learn how to FLY… Thank you Nick.

  22. Viv says:

    Thank you Nick I could really relate to this.I now see my story being, ” My life is so dull boring and uninteresting”. And that is what I am getting

  23. Name (required) says:

    This spoke loudly to me Nick. Just yesterday I realised through day 6 of Jessica’s tapping meditation that I had to let go of my 41 yr old daughter. This goes against all my maternal instincts but her relationship with me is toxic and abusive. I have been caught up in this story now for too long and my health is suffering let alone my heart breaking emotional pain. I have your book I will read it and keep tapping. I feel I would love an interview with you in person.

    Thank you for all you are doing through the means available now via the internet.

  24. Name (required) says:

    I’m with kavee on this one. Really would benefit from a guided visualization, pleeeeese!!

  25. Carina Knutas says:

    This was great! Thank you for sharing. I am definitely going to use the computer visualization to delete all my limiting beliefs programs and replace them with new programs. Thank you so much for that idea. Have a great weekend!

    Lots of love and light to you!

    Carina Knutas

  26. linda says:

    This makes a lot of sense. That is something I need to work on. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  27. Rasheed says:

    Awesome stuff. Gonna rap about it.

  28. Marietta Archer says:

    PING! Thank you for sharing. As the others said, this one hit home. Thank you Lauren for being so BRAVE to share your vulnerability with those of us who are stuck and didn’t see the TRUTH (forest and trees story).I was wondering if Nick would be able to follow – up this story with ideas of the visualization that could help with installing the new pattern of beliefs.

  29. Judith Mills says:

    Beneath the words, is the real pain. Thank you for sharing this. I appreciated how you continued with the visualisation. Hope to learn more to help myself and others.

  30. Cate says:

    boy! Does this hit home! My sister lied about what happened to Mom’s pearls after Mom’s death. It has been eating me ever since. The deception she has pulled off hurts more than the “missing” pearls. I have gone over this so many times. I need to move on. I will try the tapping solution. Wish me luck!

  31. Diana Colson says:

    Nick, I discovered you watching a PBS television show. I checked out your book from the library and realized I needed a copy for myself, so ordered your book and signed up for your newsletters. This has been a wonderful journey and I want to thank you for sharing this crazy little gift of tapping.

  32. Liz Custer says:

    I am stuck in 3 stories and i want OUT!
    I am going to order book!

  33. Wenke says:

    Thank you for sharing the story about Laureen!! Or was it about me? It is really the way I live and repeat my story. I will stop it from today, now! Thank you!!

  34. Jane says:

    This post hit home in a big way. There are a lot of ugly stories in my head lately and now I can try to DELETE and INSTALL the newer, happier ones. After all, they are just in my head. Thank you so much for all you do.

  35. Art says:

    Very helpful and insightful for us readers. It’s time for the “new program” in my life as I write my memoir and the purpose of it. It will be telling the stories with purpose. Thank you so much.

  36. Ruth says:

    Ha sido una lección maravillosa! Empezaré hoy mismo a cambiar mis historias mentales. Nick, tu punto de vista es tan fabuloso! Gracias por compartir. Ya siento de hecho que empiezo a sanar con los ejercicios de tapping en cada punto.

  37. Shadi says:

    How much of my life I have wasted replaying the same unhappy stories. Of how I was wronged. And the most recent one: how my compassionate heart was betrayed by people whom were in my absolute trust since childhood. When you become chronicaly ill so many masks drop all around you. And to escape the vicious circle of stories attached to one word “abandoned”, is no simple task. Then EFT comes into your ‘reality’ like a miracle and along with it come some wonderful practitioners like Nick Ortner. Life’s getting a real and attainable chance to feel free of hurtful thoughts. My deepest gratitude for sharing your wisdom Nick.

  38. Sally-ann says:

    This is me down to a tee. I am definitely changing my story by
    tapping it out of my system and sort out my crippled emotions.
    Thanks so for sharing.

  39. Kayvee says:

    Hi Nick

    You have given us so much already

    But is there an mp3 of the guided visualization
    you did for Lauren, where you replaced her old
    mind program with a new one?

    I would love to listen to it if such an audio exists



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Get Instant Access to our "Releasing Anxiety" and "Sleep Support: Quiet The Racing Mind" Tapping meditations.
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