Or: Accept Yourself in 2011 - The Super-Resolution That Will Help EVERY Goal
If your New Year Resolutions are starting to look a bit wobbly already, don't despair. It's NOT all over for another year. Instead it's time to start work on the single piece of self-improvement that will help every other goal you ever have now and in the future.
And that resolution is "To accept myself".
If you've used EFT before you'll probably be going "Yeah, yeah, I know about that". That's because "accepting myself" is embedded into the standard EFT setup statement - and Gary Craig has always really emphasised how important self-acceptance is in the healing process.
But have you ever DIRECTLY addressed the degree to which you actually accept yourself?
I know from practical experience from working with clients, that a lack of self-acceptance is frequently a major block to creating the life they want.
This lack of self-acceptance come in many disguises though - here are my top 6:
I don't deserve it / I am bad or guilty - A person who accepts themselves has forgiven themselves of any perceived wrongdoing and is ready to move forward in life with a clean slate.
I'm not good enough - A person who accepts themselves stops comparing themselves to other people and judging themselves as falling short. They will also feel much more able to give new things a try regardless of any doubts they may have about their ability.
Others will judge me / reject me - A person who accepts themselves won't be concerned about getting the good opinion of other people. Their benchmark for acceptability comes from within, not from external sources.
I'm afraid of failing - A person who accepts themselves also accepts their own failures as an inevitable hazard, but not a reason for not trying or a reason to feel bad about themselves.
I won't know who I am / I'll lose my identity - A person who is generally self-accepting will feel far more secure in their own identity and far less threatened by the idea of changing their behaviour or beliefs in order to achieve their goals.
I need <something> to be happy - A person who accepts themselves is generally more at peace with themselves and their place in the world, and tends to need less external "stuff" to make themselves feel better about themselves. They go after goals for the enjoyment and fulfilment they bring, not to make up for a sense of incompleteness in themselves.
If any of these resonate with you, it's a good idea to try and improve your level of self-acceptance.
The first thing to do is benchmark your current level of self-acceptance:
Say to yourself: "I deeply and completely accept myself"
Say this out loud to yourself a few times in order to really focus on the idea and tune in, and pay close attention to what thoughts or feelings come up. Rate how strongly you agree with the statement, on a 0-10 scale, where 0 means you donít believe it at all, and 10 means you believe it completely.
If you get less than a 5, then it would be a good idea to address this sooner rather than later. If you got a 6 or 7, you would still benefit from working on this but it probably doesn't feel quite so urgent. If you got an 8 or 9, you are doing pretty well compared to a lot of people. Even people with good self-esteem will usually be able to find some aspect of themselves they donít feel totally positive about Ė but you would still be doing yourself a favour by getting yourself to a 10.
If you got a 10, congratulations! Whenever Iíve tried this exercise in trainings, noone yet has given themselves an initial rating of 10.
The next step is to start work on improving your rating towards a 10. There are two routes to self-acceptance - the easy way and the hard way.
The hard way is to work your way through your list of perceived faults, mistakes and imperfections and forgive yourself for them all, one by one. That's quite possible using EFT and would take the same type of format as the Personal Peace Procedure. This could take weeks, months or years depending on your starting point and how long your list is.
The easy way is to realise that accepting yourself is not dependent on any of the things on your list!
The sort of self-acceptance we are talking about is UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.
What we're focusing on here isn't any external thing about you - how you look, your personal wealth, how talented or educated you are or things you've done. It's about your fundamental worth as a human being.
Your were completely acceptable and deserving as a newborn baby, before you'd had a chance to make any mistakes or fail at anything. That acceptability is still there, underneath all your self-judgement.
For me, just looking at it this way was like a light-bulb going on - and hopefully it may be for you too.
It spells instant freedom from feeling constantly unworthy and focusing on "what's not right with me". And it stops the issue of non acceptability being a barrier to self-improvement and working on your goals.
It doesn't mean you don't still have things ABOUT yourself or your life that you'd like to change. (Somebody who truly accepts themselves will naturally seek to replace activities and habits that are harmful or unfulfilling with activities and habits which are nurturing and fulfilling.) But it does mean that you can start seeing that those things you want to change are not really YOU - they are not your true essence.
Does this seem "too easy"? Or even like a cop-out?
If you are still thinking "Yes, but..." here's some EFT to help clear your blocks to self-acceptance, based on some of the most common objections I've heard from clients.
You'll notice that I've altered the acceptance part of the setup statement in a variety of ways, rather than use the standard "I deeply and completely accept myself" phrase, since it is this very phrase which is part of the problem. Feel free to leave out any suggestions which don't feel applicable to you.
For the Reminder Phrase, use whatever words from the setup statement that feels natural and relevant.
As you work through these, tuning into the ideas in each statement, you may notice other thoughts or objections to the idea of accepting yourself which are not mentioned here but are specific to you. Write these thoughts down and turn them into setup statements and add them to your "Acceptance Workout".
Do one sequence of EFT per suggestion, and aim to repeat daily for at least a week - it should take around 15 minutes per day. Don' t take ratings for the individual statements - instead take a new rating for your overall level of self-acceptance using the same scale as above.
If your rating is less than a 10, continue for additional days or weeks - this is definitely an area where persistence is likely to pay off.
If after some persistence (daily tapping for at least 3 weeks) your level is still a 5 or below, or if it simply hasn't moved at all, you should consider seeing a practitioner to explore more specific reasons for not accepting yourself. In fact this is quite a useful benchmark for deciding whether to focus on using EFT for therapeutic reasons (to clear issues rooted in the past) or whether to use EFT to help you work on your coaching goals.
If you've got any questions about the article or exercises here, don't forget you can use the Question and Answer facility or email me directly.
I've been an admirer of Carol Look for quite some time and she has to be simply one of the most experienced and masterful EFT practitioners on the planet today.
I first came across her when I studied Gary Craig's training videos, back in 2001. In the first Specialty Series she gives a great presentation on how to apply EFT for Weight Loss. I was impressed at how she had drawn out the general problems of people with weight issues based on working with many many individuals and groups, and put together a simple to follow program covering a lot of ground. This is an approach that inspired me to write both The EFT Coach and The EFT Coach Workbook for Complete Beginners.
Since then she has gone on to address a number of other topics such as Eyesight, PTSD and Addiction. But most of her recent work has been focused on combining EFT with the Law of Attraction. I bought her book Attracting Abundance with EFT a few years ago and loved the simple layout and "pick up and tap" format - with every single word you need to say right there. This was a MAJOR influence on me when I wrote the exercises for The EFT Coach Workbook for Complete Beginners.
But Carol has taken the work a step further, creating a set of DVD and MP3 products to make it even easier to work through your abundance issues with EFT. I'm so impressed with them that I have decided to become one of Carol's affiliates. The key products are:
As an extra bonus, if you buy any of these four packages through the link below I will give you one of my own ebooks, completely free of charge.
To claim your free ebook (find out more about my ebooks here), just go to Carol's website through the link below, purchase the set(s) you want and then email me a copy of your receipt (send it to email@example.com) and let me know which ebook you would like to have - I'll send it to you as soon as I see your email.
(If you already have both of my ebooks,or you have one and don't want the other, I will instead offer you a free 1 hour phone or Skype EFT coaching session on a topic of your choice.)
© The Future Starts Now 2011