What About Bob? Baby Steps and Tapping!

Written by: Nick Ortner

You might remember the movie, “What About Bob?” starring Bill Murray. It’s a great movie, and I end up watching it anytime I see it’s on TV – one of those that you can laugh at again and again. If you’ve seen it, you might remember the idea of “Baby Steps” from it. It’s one of the central comedic themes of the movie, but there’s actually a lot of truth and wisdom behind the concept.

In the movie, the concept of “baby steps” is made fun of quite a bit, and guess what, it is funny! 🙂 Watching Bill Murray, a highly manipulative obsessive-compulsive, drive his psychiatrist nuts makes for a funny movie. (And as serious as these issues are in real life, it’s so important to keep our sense of humor about them!) Beyond the humor, there’s actually a tremendous amount of wisdom and truth behind what “Dr. Leo Marvin” (Richard Dreyfuss) is teaching.

The concept of ‘baby steps’ actually makes a tremendous amount of sense, especially as we apply it to our journey of personal growth and healing. One of the things that first drew me to EFT Tapping was its speed and effectiveness. I had just never experienced something so profound, where I could see results, sometimes in a matter of minutes.

But as amazing as that is, it also makes it easy to get caught up in the notion that by doing tapping for 15 minutes, everything in your life will be “fixed”. Have I seen incredible things happen in 15 minutes? Absolutely. But have I seen even more incredible things from people (myself included) who made a commitment to taking ‘baby steps’ towards their personal development, spiritual growth, and healing? There’s no doubt about it.

The reality is that a sustained practice of using Tapping to simply address what’s right in front of us, and taking those consistent baby steps, is when the most incredible results happen.

So how exactly can you implement this concept?

The first step is to set yourself up to win. Oftentimes we make these grand pronouncements in our lives: “I’m never eating sugar again!” “I’m exercising every day for the next four decades!” “I’m going to get every item on my to-do list done in the next 24 hours!” “I’m going to overcome this life-long challenge in the next fifteen minutes!”

And, of course, that’s the opposite of setting ourselves up to win; we set ourselves up to fail. Because who can really meet these grand expectations? Inevitably, we “fail” or we break our word to ourselves. Stack these disappointments on top of each other for years or decades and you get to the point where you don’t even try anymore, or you have these limiting beliefs about yourself that say, “I’m not good enough,” “I never do what I say I’m doing to do,” “I can’t change,” and so forth.

How do we change this? Well, I certainly recommend tapping on the beliefs and on the previous disappointments as deeply as possible, but for the sake of this discussion, we’re going to start with ‘baby steps’! That means, address something that is in your way right now, some little thing that will move you in the right direction. Want to overcome a sugar craving? Spend 5-10 minutes tapping on your desire to eat sugar. Even taking a sugar craving down from an “8” (in intensity), to a “5” is a huge victory and a new place and perspective to act from.

Want to start exercising? Spend 5-10 minutes tapping on, “Even though I don’t want to exercise” Overwhelmed by your to-do list? Spend 5-10 minutes bringing yourself back to a place of peace.

Identify whatever is in front of you right now that is SPECIFIC and MANAGEABLE. If you want to overcome procrastination, pick something small you’ve been procrastinating on, think about doing it, and tap while you do so. Keep tapping on, “Even though I don’t want to do this…” until things shift for you.

Stop right now, take a deep breath, and just identify ONE small thing that you can tap on and clear out of the way. Take a baby step right now! Make it silly, make it fun, make progress!

“Even though I don’t feel like taking out the garbage and I’m annoyed that I always have to do it…”

“Even though I’m having a hard time thinking because there’s too much going on…”

“Even though I have this tension in my shoulders…”

Pick something, be specific, give it a number on the 0-10 scale and then tap until you see relief! Do it now (if you’re at work, just do it silently in your head while tapping. If people can see you, go to the bathroom for 5 minutes!)

I’m going to follow up this post with some more ideas around ‘baby steps’, rewarding yourself for a job well done, and patience, so look out for that soon!

P.S. We’re doing this tapping because we want to experience FREEDOM. Freedom from the limiting beliefs, the old patterns, the junk that’s holding us back. We want to fly free..we want to sail with the wind at our backs WITHOUT being tied down.

Watch another short clip from “What About Bob?” to see exactly what I mean! Yes, Bob is sailing, but is he really free? (He is taking a step in the right direction, though! If only he had EFT to help him! 🙂

Share your results below. What did you tap on? What do you think of taking ‘baby steps’? What do you think of ‘What About Bob?’ 🙂

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59 Comments on this post


    Hadn’t seen the movie but loved “baby steps” and realized perfection stands in the way as one “should” be able to make a giant leap.

  2. Hana says:

    I do Reflexology and to include Tapping just makes so much sense to me that I would like to learn more about it not just for myself but for clients in my practice as well. I am very impressed with all your information and I like the movie What About Bob.

  3. rhonda mcgivney says:

    loved it.

  4. Mary says:

    Beneath the humor, surely was a lot of depth , and the concept of “baby steps” really helped me.

  5. Violet says:

    Thank you, yes, these emails are helpful. My first comment disappeared. So here I go again. As a novice your innovative ideas of using tapping are great and helpful. What a wonderful tool to help you in every phase of your life. Thank you for sharing your studies.

  6. Violet says:

    Every aspect of incorporating Tapping in one’s life is good information. As a novice new angles are always good. Your ideas and messaging are great.
    Thank you.

  7. george goetschel says:

    great movie. The concept of baby steps can be apppolied to all facets of our lives.

  8. bob says:

    At the very beginning of the movie Bob doesn’t tap but massages his temples and repeats “I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful”

  9. Katy says:

    Thanks Nick, for the “What About Bob?” clips; absolutely hysterical! Now I need to see the movie again. Speaking about “baby steps” reminds me of the saying that “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard, it’s very hard.” And don’t forget, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one (baby) step.” At least, it should read that way! Those steps may be small, but they’re significant, and they keep you moving toward your goal. Again, thanks, Nick for propelling us gently forward.

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Over 17 Million Tapping Meditations Played in Our App!
Get Instant Access to our "Releasing Anxiety" and "Sleep Support: Quiet The Racing Mind" Tapping meditations.
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