Inspiration

The Top 5 Mistakes People Make with EFT Tapping

Written by: Nick Ortner

I often give radio interviews talking about “The Tapping Solution” documentary film and EFT in general, and one of the ideas I share is how Tapping takes 5 minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. (This principle can be applied to most things in life!)

Tapping is surprisingly simple to learn. Even kids can pick it up quickly. But to get the best results, to be able to use it effectively for yourself and the ones you love, you have to keep studying, exploring, and using it.

That being said, here are the top 5 mistakes I see people make regarding Tapping.

Mistake #1 – Not Using It!

Ok, ok, I know this seems a little obvious… haha. But it’s a serious issue and one I’m sure you’ve faced. How often have you looked back on an event, or a day, or a physical problem you had for a while and thought, “Why didn’t I tap on that?”

I know I’ve spent half a day with a sore neck from sleeping wrong before I thought, “Duh! Tap on it!” And I’m supposed to be The Tapping Guy – how could I forget? 🙂

If you are unsure about what Tapping can help with, here’s a short list.

The reality is that this Tapping thing is relatively new for all of us. I’ve been using it, studying it, teaching about it for the past 10 years or so. But for the previous 25 years, I didn’t know about it, didn’t use it, had no experience of it. That’s A LOT of years of conditioning without having this tool, especially in the most formative years of childhood.

We simply haven’t had it as part of our lives, so we’ve developed habits that don’t include it. If you were taught how to tap as a child, and were instructed that it was just as important (or more!) as brushing your teeth, you’d have a different experience now.

So the most basic reason most of us don’t use it is that we simply forget. Now, there can also be deeper issues for not using it, such as self-sabotage, reversals, fear of change, and so forth. I’ll be covering those separately in future posts. But for now, it’s important to just recognize that when you don’t use it, it’s often simply because you don’t think of it – and to gently, and kindly remind yourself to USE IT! 🙂

Here’s a little Tapping script to clear some of that resistance and those old habits. Try it now and see how it affects your week.

Karate Chop: Even though I haven’t been using Tapping as much as I could, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Karate Chop: Even though I could have made my life easier by using Tapping on (fill in the blank of a recent time when you might have used it), I choose to relax and forgive myself now.
Karate Chop: Even though I’m not used to turning to Tapping to solve my problems, I choose to start using it. I choose to become more resourceful, and to remember to use this powerful tool!

Eyebrow: I haven’t been tapping
Side of the Eye: Why not?
Under the Eye: Am I sabotaging myself?
Under the Nose: Maybe…
Under the Mouth: Or maybe I just forgot
Collarbone: Maybe I’m just not used to doing this
Under the Arm: But I can start using it now
Top of the Head: I’m tapping now!

Eyebrow: And that’s great
Side of the Eye: I choose to remember
Under the Eye: To tap!
Under the Nose: I choose to develop this positive habit
Under the Mouth: That can help me so much
Collarbone: It will make my life easier
Under the Arm: And that’s a choice I want to make
Top of the Head: I choose to tap when I most need it

Take a deep breath…

And let it go… Repeat a few times, or focus in on anything that came up while doing those short rounds.

Ok, now on to…

Mistake #2 – Not Being Specific Enough

I always encourage people to start with global statements because it’s usually the easiest language to start with, and it can get things going in the right direction. What do I mean by a global statement? Something general like:

“Even though I’m not happy right now… I deeply and completely accept myself.”

That statement is global because it’s broad, and doesn’t focus on specifics.

From there, though, after a round or two of the global statement, it’s important to hone in on the specifics.

So in this case, you might go from, “Even though I’m not happy right now…” as the first statement, to “Even though I’m not happy right now because my boss was such a jerk today…”

Now you’ve focused on a specific event, which will get you better results. The more specific you can get, the better. Which leads us to Mistake #3…

Mistake #3 – Not Addressing All “Aspects” of the Problem

Gary Craig, the founder of EFT, was a genius at identifying the importance of “aspects” to getting great results. What’s meant by aspects? An aspect is a specific “part” of the issue.

So in the case above, “Not being happy” – we go from the general, to the specific, “I’m not happy because my boss was such a jerk”, to even more specific “aspects”.

So here are some potential aspects in this example:

“I’m not happy because my boss yelled at me.” (This is an “audible” aspect of the event)

“I don’t like the way he looked at me.” (This is an aspect of the experience, the “visual cue”)

“I felt his words hit me in the pit of my stomach.” (Here’s a “body sensation” to address)

“I’m worried he’s going to fire me.” (A “future fear” to address)

“It reminds me of the way my father used to talk to me.” (A “childhood trauma” to address)

“I never have good relationships with my bosses.” (A “limiting belief/past experience” to address)

And we could go on and on!

Now, sometimes issues can be handled with global tapping, but the great thing about working through aspects is that you’ll likely uncover so much more stuff that’s going on in your life. And clearing this particular experience with your boss can have massive repercussions on a bunch of other things!

For example, you start with the experience with your boss. But then you tap on how your father used to talk to you, and you heal that relationship problem and have a better (and less reactive) experience with your boss.

If you take the time to do it right, it can have profound effects that last a lifetime.

Which leads perfectly into Mistake #4…

Mistake #4 – Not Tapping for Long Enough

This is a mistake I see A LOT of people make. They’ll say, “Yeah, I tried tapping on that, didn’t work.” And when I ask them how long they tapped on the issue, they say a couple of minutes, or a round or two! That’s rarely enough.

I see this in particular with physical pain. “Oh, my neck hurt so I tapped on it but it didn’t go away…”

“How long did you tap?”

“Two or three minutes.”

🙂

The 1-minute miracles DO happen, but more often than not, it takes some more sustained tapping.

I’m not saying that you have to spend hours doing it, but you really want to give it at least 15 minutes of sustained tapping to work through an issue properly.

My trick when I go to tap on something, is to set a timer or some sort of alarm, and I promise myself I won’t stop until the 15 minutes are up. This prevents me from giving up quickly, being distracted, and so forth. And finally…

Mistake #5 – Not Writing Down What You’re Working On

If you’re working by yourself, I find it really helpful to have a pen and paper (or the computer) handy to take notes on what you want to work on, or to write down your progress on the 1-10 scale, or to record other things that come up while tapping.

The last item might be the most important – writing down other things that come up.

So here’s what this might look like. You write down:

“I’m frustrated with all the bills I got in the mail today. It’s a 7 on the 0-10 scale.”

You start tapping, the frustration goes down. But all of a sudden, some anger comes up. You write that down.

“I’m angry at myself for not working harder this month. It’s an 8.”

You tap on that. That eases, and turns to sadness.

“I’m sad that this keeps happening. It’s a 5.”

You tap on that.

You check back in on the frustration you wrote about above. That’s a 1, you barely feel it.

The anger moved to a 4. There’s still something there, you tap on that further.

While doing that tapping, you think of two events from your childhood.

“That time that my father said I’d never amount to anything.”

“My mother crying because we didn’t have enough money.”

You write down both events, because you know that you want to address each separately.

And so forth…

It is truly like peeling an onion. And while it might seem complicated at first, once you get the hang of it, it’s easy. And it becomes even easier when you write stuff down and stay on track.

The other nice thing about writing things down is that if you’re not ready to tackle something right then, or don’t have the time to, you have it written down to go back to later.

Well, there you have it! The top 5 mistakes I see people make with EFT – and how to solve them!

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick


What mistakes were you making? Share your results in the comment section below. I’d love to read them!



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356 Comments on this post

  1. Sue Fredendall says:

    I have been using tapping in my classroom with much success. Thank you. Is there a class coming up soon in southern California. Thanks again.

  2. Grace says:

    Thank you so much Nick. I have been following you for over a year now and I must admit I was getting results.
    After reading the five mistakes people make I knew I could get more and better results.
    I have been tapping my resentment whenever my husband give me feedback on how he finds mistakes with staff I am supervising in his office.
    Today,because I went longer,I uncovered more issues I need to tap on that some are unrelated to Him and I.Thank you. This was helpful.

  3. Anastasiya says:

    Thank you Nick! The information that you give is very important! It helped me to rediscover EFT. I was introduced to it 10 years ago, then I went for search for other healing modalities. And now I am back. I have a question: how should I work with a memory of a painful event if I don`t have emotions now? I have a feeling that my emotions are supressed in this case.

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Hi Anastasiya! Sometimes the subconscious will suppress emotions as a means to make us feel safe. But what you’d want to ask yourself is, is the painful memory causing any disruption in your everyday life? Tapping doesn’t take away memories of past events, but it does smooth out the disruptive emotions and patterns associated with them.

  4. Dot dugan says:

    Q.
    I have lost my sense of smell and taste through a virus. 3 mos. trying everything…..
    Can EFT have a positive effect on this loss?
    I am very open to alternative health care as I am a massage therapist. Have had little information or knowledge on tapping.
    Thank you!
    Dot

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Hi Dot! I always like to say, “try it on everything!” As a massage therapist, I’m sure you’re very familiar with how stress and emotion affect the body. My suggestion would be to go back to when you contracted to virus and identify what was going on in your life at that time. If there was anything that was causing an emotional response, it may have gotten trapped in your body and affected your senses. Or maybe tap around the emotions you feel about getting sick to help release any retained energy or emotions. 🙂

  5. Linda Carter says:

    Does tapping go against believing in God to heal you?

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Great question, Linda! Tapping is simply a tool that allows your body to heal itself, just like it was designed to. The same way that your body is designed to heal itself from physical wounds and injuries through a cascade of natural biochemical processes, Tapping does the same for your emotions. The human body is a miracle. 🙂

  6. Raj says:

    Hi I am not as regular as I’d like to be in using tapping however I’m now trying to use it a lot more than I have done. I know it works because I genuinely feel the difference when I’ve used it however feel I have to be a good place to do it. My question is how many times a day can I tap and should I focus on one area or can I tap on more than one thing at a time? For example can I focus’s on relationships and finances or should I do one the one day and the other the following day or should I leave a longer gap and can I do it more than once a day?
    Thank you.

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Raj, you can tap as often as you like, though I’d suggest setting a limit of time per day so you don’t burn out. Consistency over time is important. And you should focus on whatever feels most pressing to you at the time. If relationships are weighing more heavily on your mind than finances, then that’s where your focus should be. And while I recommend focusing on that most pressing issue when you begin tapping, as you follow your emotions you may find yourself tapping on a different issue, so don’t feel as though you need to restrict yourself to focusing on just one thing at a time. Above all, tapping is a very flexible and forgiving process and you really can’t get it wrong. 😉 Good luck!

  7. Alicia says:

    I am having a problem with the script. I can get the set up statement, but have difficulty coming up with what to say as I tap on the points. Do you have sample scripts for various issues?

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Hi Alicia! We do have some scripts throughout the blogs, but you don’t necessary need them. I always recommend just saying out loud what you’re feeling, or say the thoughts you’re thinking in your head as you tap through the points. If something is bothering you, there’s already a dialogue about it going on in your head. Just tune in and say that dialogue aloud as you tap. The words aren’t really that important to get “right”. They are simply used to connect to the emotions you are feeling. 🙂

  8. annalise says:

    Thank you so much Nick, I just can’t believe you are taking the time to answers us, thank you so much, I will work on the issues you mentioned. Annalise

  9. Sandy says:

    Sometimes I begin tapping on the points without a clear idea of what to address. Then I tap on not knowing what to say, i.e. “even though I’m not sure what I need, I still love, honor, and respect myself.” There is an accceptance that kicks in and I can relax which helps me listen to and identify what I need.
    Nick I so appreciate you and your team for all you do for all of us. Many thanks.

  10. Beverley says:

    Thanks Nick 4 the reminder of 5 errors we commit in regards 2 Tapping. Guilty, but I love, forgive, & respect myself! Missed the summit. Couldn’t connect. My bad. Not yet proficient in this world of technology. Thanks for being there, & your sister. When I have done it correctly, it has worked very well. Bev

  11. Dörte says:

    Hello,
    just read your words about the mistakes. In fact I believe that you really need to be open and not already negative and of course take some time for yourself, focus on yourself and simply do something for yourself. I am doing the “long version” you recommend with my daughter when we starts to fear the next fit (epilepsia), we take it as a start without naming specific purposes and afterwards we usually sing and watching funny films so that she laughs and then we have got it.
    I also use it in the mornings when I feel in tears and depressive…. so far it has worked for me right from the beginning, but I am hypersensitive so I feel the success earlier and clearlier than others.
    I have also done the “fast tapping” recommended by an English man and it ha worked as well just for in between…
    So encourage the folks to simply do it and take some time and keep the hope that it is going to work.
    Have a good week.
    best regards
    dörte

  12. Sabine says:

    Thank you Nick.This is really helpful and I appreciate your fresh, clear, no-nonsense approach.
    Here is also an answer to Valerie Kells: the buddy idea works good to my experience. I would also gladly be there to do it for tapping. Is there any possibility to get into contact? I dont do facebook.

    Love
    Sabine

  13. liz schick says:

    Ifound your 5 mistakes made most helpfull. Will work on them. Am retired and frustrated with Doctors. Although they can’t find anything wrong with me. I still feel crummy and have poor balance and find even simple tasks imposible to do.I hope tapping can help.

    Liz

  14. Andrea Torres, LCSW says:

    Dear Nick (and any clinicians out there for whom this is relevant): Is it possible/recommended to use EFT along with EMDR with clients? If so, how (e.g., both in the same session, in different sessions?)? I’m interested in ANY thoughts on this question! Thank you!

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Hi Andrea! Cerainly, EFT can be combined with any healing modality or established practice. How and when it should be incorporated into a session is completely up to the therapist/practitioner. With that said, it may not be best to use a “shotgun” approach with many different techniques in one session because you wouldn’t necessary be able to identify which was most effective with the client. Trying one technique per session might offer better feedback. 🙂

  15. Vina says:

    I so often find myself noticing friends or family who would be helped by tapping and either introduce them to it or tap as a surrogate which theve responded well to. BUT at those times I sometimes realise I’m doing that to dodge working on my own issues.
    Thanks so much for the advice you give.Your words are like diamonds.Lots of growth.
    Thanks so much.
    Vina

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Great insight, Vina! The biggest work is always done on ourselves. It’s also amazing to see how much others around us seem to change when we work on our own personal growth. 🙂

  16. liz schick says:

    Ifound your latest remarks most helpfull.Hopefully I can be helped. Iam retired and competed frustrated with Doctors who tell me Iam healthy although I feel bad and have poor balance and tremours which stop me from preforming the simplist of tasks.

    • Penni says:

      I am a great advocate of chiropractic. Tapping I am sure will be an invaluable tool I just recently started using. but NOTHING will take the place of being in alignment physically. Find a good chiro & get back in alignment, if you have been out for a very long time, getting & staying in alignment might take awhile,but it will be worth it for the years remaining to you. PLUS, since the function of tapping is to put you into ‘whole brain harmony’ it will be much easier for you to maintain that harmony if your body is in that state already. Each will help the other become stronger faster.

  17. Elena Brown says:

    Dear Nick, I have tried tapping couple of times. It was short and felt it wasn’t working and stoped. Now decided to try again for more than I did which was couple of minutes. Also for shoulder aches do I tap on the shoulder? Didn’t quite understand. Thank you.

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Hi Elena! There are many approaches to tapping and many techniques that can be applied. The goal is to connect with the emotions behind what is bothering you, even if it’s physical pain. You may wish to check out our Tapping 101 page to get some more tips. 🙂

  18. Martha says:

    15 MINUTES! Wow. I should be grateful I’ve gotten any results at all! That also explains why the Summit was so powerful for me. Thanks so much. This is the best advice ever.

  19. Ana says:

    Amazing meditation, I felt so much energy and overwhelming love and peace! I did it thinking of my son who lives in another country, and has been experiencing difficulties and bad situations, especially in the last six months.He is very resilient and resourceful, but I always worry about him.The tapping was a great help because now I have more faith in him,I know that good things will come out of this negative times,and he will be fine! Thanks for this gift, I am very new to tapping but it’s already changing my life!

  20. Ellen Trichter says:

    Nick,
    I laughed while I tapped the first part with you. I felt joyous and instantly connected, which caught my attention so that I could focus on the 5 mistakes of tapping. I appreciate your sharing as I am just getting into tappying and finding great results. It’s pretty intense usually, as I am releasing old patterns and emotions that have been buried for a long time. As we continue this journey just know I appreciate your willingness to connect and offer guidance towards the healing. Much gratitude, Ellen

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