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- We naturally focus on what can cause us pain
- Story: A perfectionist and the weather
- Notice small, incremental signs of improvement
- Find someone who can see your positive changes and reflect those back to you.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to focus on what’s wrong? Our senses and our minds are geared toward noticing first those things which can cause us pain. Or death. If there is anything present that we fear, that fear blocks our awareness of the good things that are also present. This is one of the reasons why, when we live in a state of constant fear or stress, it is almost impossible to feel really good about anything. What is good is drowned out by the loud, incessant noise of fear.
As we start using EFT on that which we fear most, we should find that our anxiety is reduced. But that doesn’t mean that we’re going to automatically start noticing the little positive signs of healing and health.
In my experience, when we have spent long periods of time feeling afraid, angry, guilty, or alone, our mind is tuned into those frequencies. It’s a bit like walking into a party in a depressed mood and being oblivious to all the people around you laughing, smiling, dancing, and having a good time. If you feel down or disconnected, you will notice other people who are not be having a good time. You will notice pains in your body. You will think about all the work you have to do and all the errands that you need to run. You will think about all the negative things… Later when you recall the party, the joyful noises you won’t remember at all. It will be as if they did not occur.
This isn’t your fault. It’s the way the primitive brain works when it is feeling unsafe and emotionally disrupted. And we can see this effect is at work within entire organizations, too. The TV news media are so attuned to the negative that the positive doesn’t even register.
What I encourage you to do is to make a conscious effort to notice the little, positive things. Notice and be thankful for every single smile that you receive, and notice and be grateful for every single smile that you give. Notice if the sun breaks out, literally or figuratively, in the midst of the dark day for you. Even if it is bright for just a second.
This can be a real challenge, I know. I’m a perfectionist by nature, and perfectionists have a way of noticing the little things that are wrong. ALL the little things that are “wrong.” And by God, if there isn’t anything wrong, we’ll make something up!
I have personal experience with being in the midst of one of the most lovely days… with the sun shining, snow sparkling, dogs playing… and thinking that the sun is a bit too bright, the wind a bit too cold, and the dogs are not bringing the stick back to me quite the way they SHOULD. Does that sound familiar?
I’ve had to train myself to be aware of the positive. And I’ve had to clear out the negative self-talk as well, using EFT. Here is how I do it:
First, I notice something that could be enjoyable, but I’m not enjoying it… such as the weather not being perfect… and I tap.
“Even though the sun is too bright and the wind too cold, I choose to enjoy it anyway.”
And I’ll become snide and play up perceived imperfections, too, as I tap.
“Even though this day is FAR from perfect, it’s WAY TOO sunny and WAY TOO windy and those dogs are WAY TOO happy on a day this imperfect… I forgive myself for being such a sour puss, and I’ve decided to change my mind and find it SURPRISINGLY easy to enjoy this day fully!”
EFT is working if we can notice even the smallest, positive signs of improvement. Yeah, yeah…. We will be hard ourselves. Even if we go from being angry or depressed all the time to being angry or depressed just once a week, we will still be upset with ourselves… until the day comes when the energy system is healed, and we forgive ourselves and restore our balance so easily that the negative self-talk falls silent. I can’t say how long that healing will take for you. Perhaps a week. Maybe… a lifetime. So along the way, get used to noticing “God’s blessings in the little things.” It will make the journey a lot more enjoyable.
If this isn’t easy for you, I encourage you to work with a coach, therapist, or positive friend. My coaching clients find it invaluable when I can mirror these positive changes back to them. I start noticing the positive tone of their voice, the lighter phrases they use in emails, and the calmer and more confident way they hold their bodies often long before they do. Unfortunately, most humans are still geared towards noticing the negative, so it’s often difficult even amongst good friends and loving family to find people who easily notice subtle, positive shifts. What I strive to do is notice and remind my clients of the good things that are happening—the small changes that are making an impact on their quality of life—and I continue to do that until they develop a new habit that is a natural aspect of being emotionally free… a habit of noticing the little, positive things that are all around us, all the time.