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I was talking to participants of my six week EFT group yesterday about how we all perceive the same event differently. I gave the example of how, if we all left the building together and something dramatic happened, let’s say a minor car accident, each one of us would be affected by it in a different way from the next. And what dictates our reaction is not about how we were wired when we were born, or even how we are feeling on the day, but about all the beliefs and ‘truths’ that we’ve come to believe from our time on this planet.

If you were in a car accident when you were a child and someone was seriously injured, the chances are that seeing a similar event, even though you are not directly involved, will trigger the trauma you experienced when you were young. You may experience nightmares, and sleeplessness and high anxiety (depending on what you made that original accident mean in your childhood). It could be that you become reluctant to get into a car again for a while.

Imagine the accident we witness is fairly minor and one of the drivers becomes very angry with the other. She gets out of her car and begins shouting at the other driver. If you have experienced anger and violence in your life, especially when you were young, seeing this behaviour in others, even though you are not involved, is likely to send you straight back to being a child again and all those carefully buried emotions and beliefs whizz straight up to the surface. Over the next few days you may find yourself looking for, and expecting to see, anger and shouting in your nearest and dearest. You may even create situations where those close to you do become angry. This might sound a bit crazy, but when we have deeply ingrained beliefs we will look out for and even create situations that confirm those beliefs.

A third person witnessing this incident, who has the belief that everything that goes wrong is their fault, may begin apologising or feeling culpable for the accident which had nothing whatsoever to do with them. This type of person is typically one who apologises when someone knocks into them in a crowded pub causing their drink to go all over them. Anyone else can see that it’s not their fault, but the belief is so ingrained, that they will feel guilty and responsible anyway.

So we can see that three people will each have a totally different reaction to a minor car accident, and their reaction is dictated by the beliefs that they hold based upon experiences that happened to them early in their lives. At next week’s meeting they all discuss the incident and what it meant for them, and each is likely to be amazed at the reaction of the others, because it is so far from what it meant for them.

Can we change our beliefs? Well the good news is that we can. The first step to making a change is realising what these beliefs are and an excellent way to discover that is with Emotional Freedom Technique.

When I did my first EFT training course, I was the case study for one of the exercises, a technique known as The Movie Technique. During this exercise you work on a past memory, scene by scene, using EFT to tap out any negative emotions you recall from that scene. My memory was a visit to my mum in hospital when I was five. She was extremely ill, had lost a lot of weight, was yellow from jaundice and had tubes coming from everywhere. I hadn’t seen her for some while because she was so ill and was shocked at her fragile appearance, so different from how I remembered her looking. We worked through each scene, tapping out the emotion, even down to the smell of the hospital and the colour of my mum. I could clearly ‘see’ the very bed she was occupying in the ward. After we had tapped through the whole event and run through it once again to ensure any negative emotions had cleared, the trainer asked me what I came to believe about the world that day. My response was immediate and came out with no prior thought: “Uteruses are bad news and doctors are dangerous” (my mum had gone in for a hysterectomy which had gone badly wrong).

Wow! That was a moment of clarity for me; it made sense of so many things over the subsequent years of my life; my relationship with my own reproductive organs; my later diagnosis of cervical cancer; my total aversion to all type of medical procedures … the list goes on.

And having REALISED that belief, I could then begin to look at it from an adult perspective. Are uteruses really bad news? Are doctors really dangerous? And then I could allow the belief to shift to one which is more appropriate for me now.

EFT is a powerful tool and its true power is in allowing us to realise and change the beliefs that are limiting our potential and opportunities in life. And I’m delighted to say that no cars were harmed in the writing of this blog.

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