Affirmations and Goal Visualizations with Tapping
I was listening to a new tapping script for alleviating anxiety on the Internet and then read the comments. Most people were very positive, but there were several who said while it reduced their anxiety, it didn’t get them to a calm state, and one even said it increased their anxiety levels considerably. I got to thinking about it and wanted to investigate the causes. In so doing, I came to think about the differences between tapping, affirmations, goal visualization, and meditation as means to reduce stress in our lives.
All four of these modalities play a tremendous part in our spiritual and emotional healing, but they don’t necessarily work well when you try to package them together. In fact, I assert that including affirmations in your tapping can weaken the overall effects so dramatically as to make them almost unnoticeable.
Affirmations and Goal Visualizations
In the title, I deliberately grouped affirmations with goal visualization. They are the left and right hand of making things happen with your thoughts.
Many years ago, when my husband and daughter and I were about to embark on a new adventure following my husband’s college graduation, we were facing the difficult task of finding an apartment with affordable rent. After exhausting all possibilities I was about to despair when I came to the amazing discovery that it was actually possible to buy a home at lower cost than any rental, and that we could actually afford to do it. We put a deposit on a very tiny condo on a busy street in Hartford, Connecticut near my husband’s first engineering position after graduating as an electrical engineer from the University of Connecticut.
The condo was right on the street with huge trucks going by at all hours right past our living room window but at least it would be ours! The trouble was that we couldn’t close on the condo right away and we had to be out of our apartment about 2 weeks early. What were we going to do? I was big and pregnant with our son and we had no place to go. We had to figure out something. So I arranged for my husband to cat sit for some friends who were going away for a couple of weeks and I would take our daughter to my parent’s house several hours away. It was the only way - or so I thought.
Our friends, George and Martha had recently purchased their townhome which had been converted from apartments to condos in the previous few months. They gave me the name of the overseer of the property who told me that, sadly, all the apartments had been converted and sold. But then he said he knew of an investor who might be interested in making a quick profit, if I were willing to pay a bit more. I jumped at the opportunity.
I had recently read a book called The Magic of Believing by Claude M. Bristol which I was anxious to put to the test. My husband did not believe it could happen, he was completely against trying. I decided I had to shut out all doubt and I started saying to myself over and over, “it is meant to be”, and “we are living in our new home in Storrs” and seeing an image of us sitting together as a family at the dining room table. Richard, the overseer, got back in touch with me and told me that the investor would sell (for $11,000 more than he had paid just months before). Again, I jumped on it. It was a 1200 square foot, 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom townhouse on a quiet and pretty street near the university. It would be a safe place to raise our daughter and our new baby.
But we had put a deposit that we could not afford to lose on the condo in Hartford. If we lost that money we could never afford to buy the townhome which was also about $10,000 more than the condo on the busy street. But I continued my mantra, “it was meant to be” and picturing us having breakfast at the townhome while looking out the 12 foot slider window to woods in the backyard.
I found out from our realtor that the buyers have 72 hours from the receipt of the condo association rules and financials papers to get out of the deal without losing their deposit. Even though a couple of weeks had passed since accepting our offer, the sellers of the downtown condo never got us those papers and we we able to exercise that right and get all our money back. We put that deposit down on the new townhome and very happily moved in and started our new life together.
This was my first, but not my last, evidence of the magic of believing. I used visualization and affirmations to help steer my future. It was amazing and I recommend the book if you want to learn more about it.
But why bring this up regarding the script for reducing anxiety? Here’s the thing, I was not calm during these couple of months when we were figuring out where we were going to go when we had to vacate our apartment! The affirmations and visualizations made a huge difference to the outcome but they did not reduce anxiety. Goal setting can help us reach seemingly impossible goals, but anxiety reduction is not necessarily one of them.
Reducing anxiety takes something different
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a relatively young technique of tapping on meridian points while focusing on emotional triggers. It is so effective that I often think of it as miraculous. And there are papers out there that attempt to nail down what’s happening in our bodies when we tap but you don’t need to know any of that to make your own miracle.
In my practice of EFT I have found that tapping on affirmations do not accomplish the affirmation. There is one way in which tapping on affirmations might produce positive results. If you start out saying something positive and on the inside you hear your inner voice saying “that’s not true!” You will actually be tapping on the feeling of “that’s not true!” and it can help to make it so. For example, we often begin by saying “Even though [this problem], I deeply and completely accept myself. You may be saying inside “no I don’t!” but the more you say it while tapping, the less you will doubt it. So in that sense, it can help.
But when you are tapping over and over on an affirmation that you believe may come to pass, you’re not blasting a roadblock, or lessening the imprint of a trauma. So here’s what I recommend. Tap on the source of the angst, on the individual incidents that caused you pain in the first place, and on the source of your cravings. Tap on the stuff you want to release. Leave the positive affirmations for goal setting and visualization to be done outside your tapping sessions.
I was working with a client recently who was working on fear of a parent. We tapped on the fear and specific incidents and every once in a while they popped in an affirmation, saying that they could let in the light, allow the good feelings to come in. When we stopped I asked them how they felt and their anxiety was still high. I told them not to add in the positives. This is what so many therapists had been telling them to do for so long, so many books were saying, and so many good-intentioned friends had said, that they didn’t believe the they could just let themselves wallow in the negative feelings without being swallowed up in them and floating away forever.
I finally convinced the client to trust the process and just focus on the negative emotions and tap them out. The results were amazing. They finally started to lighten up and see things from a different perspective. They finally saw the parent as a flawed human being who had clearly been brought up in an abusive situation and had no means of correcting it. Now forgiveness is possible. And with forgiveness comes peace.
Tapping can help you speak in front of groups of people, perform better on the playing field or the stage, and more. It can help you give up bad habits by reducing or eliminating cravings. What it cannot do it make you practice the piano or study for an exam. It does not create positive accomplishments on its own. Those things still have to come from your determination, and that’s where goal setting and visualizations and affirmations come in. They are powerful instruments for positive change.
What tapping can do for you is break down the emotional roadblocks that have stood in your way. It can help to quell the voices in your head that feed you messages of doubt and self-criticism. It can help you forgive not just others but yourself, allowing you to start living in this moment. And in doing these things, it helps you to stop attracting the negative situations that have been dogging you year after year.
And the best part is that tapping results happen right away. You can feel the difference pretty much immediately and if you are able to get down to a “zero” the triggers will no longer carry a charge for you. This is not to say that in an hour you can tap away a lifetime of worry, guilt, and fear. You are a complex emotional being. In the beginning, each time you tap down an emotional charge, you will feel a bit lighter. But it may take a bit of time to reveal and tap out all the hurdles that have developed over all of the years of your life.
With the help of a practitioner, you can face your inner demons and knock them out of control of the course of your life In most cases this can be done in weeks or months. And the practitioner will help you to learn to use tapping on your own for stressful situations so that you can accelerate the process even more.
The use of tapping to alleviate emotional roadblocks can feel miraculous to a person who has been suffering for years with depression and other debilitating emotional states brought on by childhood trauma. The tapper will feel immediate relief when they can tap a trigger to a “zero” on a scale of 0 to 10. But please keep in mind that we are complex beings and that you may need to tap with a professional over the course of weeks or months to clear all your emotional hurdles.
The use of goal visualization and affirmations can also be used to tremendous effect to accomplish even seemingly impossible levels of achievement. But using affirmations when tapping is counterproductive and can weaken the effects of the work. So tap yourself clear, then set some goals!
I wish you every possible happiness!