Why do I have to tap on the “negative” with EFT?
Why tap on the negative?

Liesel Teversham

Liesel helps HSP introverts to embrace their sensitivity as a superpower, and overcome obstacles so they can thrive. She also works with clients to solve their health issues, and has authored 2 books. More here.

Published on 2020/03/13

An EFT Tapping Question

Why tap on the negative?I get this question very often from clients or readers who have not attended an EFT training course. And I can understand it so well.

Everywhere we turn, we hear these thoughts:

  • Watch what you think about because that’s what you’ll get
  • What you focus on, you’ll get more of
  • Where you place your attention, is where you place your energy
  • Focus only on good thoughts
  • You attract what you think about
  • Be grateful
  • Find the silver lining
  • To attract what you want, focus on what you want (positive),  not what you don’t want

I can truly understand people who subscribe to the above, have resistance to using EFT. When we tap, we specifically focus on our problem for a little while.

Here’s why it’s important

The main points are:

  • The time we already focus on our problems
  • We tend to attract what’s in the subconscious (not the conscious!)
  • The function of the words we use when we tap

(In case you’re wondering, I’ve been a practitioner for 14 years (certified via EFT International). I was an EFT Trainer for a number of them and speak from a knowledgeable place.)

The time we already focus on our problem

When we have ‘a problem’, we often walk around with it for days, months, weeks or years. Our feelings about it are present most of the time – at least whenever we think of the problem, which is usually often!

Even though we may not consciously be thinking about it, our mind is usually trying to find a solution for most of the day and night, depending on the severity of it. Much of our attention and energy goes to solving it.

When we’re in pain (emotional, physical, financial, you name it), our brains are designed to figure it out, so we can survive. When we can’t, it often switches to worry (going round and round in circles).

Bottom line is…. We’re busy thinking or feeling about our problem so much of the time anyway!

We attract what’s in the subconscious

We’re led to believe (mostly through Law of Attraction) that thinking about what we want instead of what we don’t want, will attract our desired outcome to us. They strongly advise that we focus ONLY on the desired goal/outcome as much as possible, in order to attract or manifest it.

Yes, that sounds so positive, right?

Well, good luck with that. Read point 1 again and then return here.

Do you realise how much of the time you’re focused on the positive outcome compared to thinking or perspiring about your problem? And have you given thought to the sheer power of the conscious, versus the subconscious mind?

You may be saying your affirmations or looking at your vision board for (let’s be generous) and hour a day. The other 23 hours of the day, you’re more than likely (unconsciously) focused on the problem, what it feels like, what might happen if it doesn’t get resolved, the impact it’s already having, sadness, regret, shame, guilt, fear, anxiety, loss….. and so on.

The research tells us that the subconscious mind (where your beliefs are ‘written’) has around 95% of the power, and the conscious mind (which you’re using to say your affirmation and look at the vision board) around 5% (give or take a few, because there are different sources).

No matter how hard we try with our conscious mind to ‘choose’ something new – if the thoughts, feelings, beliefs in the subconscious mind is contrary to what you say or affirm with your conscious mind, it’s not going to work.

The ‘real’ affirmations are what’s kept in the subconscious

For instance:

Say you want to be more visible for your business, but it scares the living daylights out of you.

Your affirmation might be: “It’s easy for me to show up and put myself out there”.

As you say the words, your energy system has a little ‘haha’ and inside your head it goes “Yeah right. Who are you kidding? You know you hate the spotlight!”

You can say “Its easier and easier…. “ all you want with your conscious mind… It’s the stuff that gets stirred up in the subconscious that is actually what you’re going to attract or behave from.

The function of the words when we tap

When we tap, we briefly and accurately tune in to the issue that is causing our distress, and then use the tapping points to send calming signals to the limbic brain. The limbic brain is the seat of the subconscious – where our beliefs are stored.

When we recreate the feelings that are uncomfortable (by thinking about them or thinking about our problem) and use tapping at the same time, it calms those feelings, and de-stresses us from that problem. It helps us to not be so emotionally tied to it, and can even delete the limiting thought (“I hate the spotlight”) with expert tapping.

The point is… we need to be tuned in to the problem that is preventing us from moving forward for tapping to work. The words we use merely to help us ‘tune in’ to the correct station in our energy system/subconscious, so that the tapping can perform its magic.

The words don’t have anything to do with the healing. It’s the tapping that does the clearing/calming and helping the subconscious to change its point of view.

We use EFT for a few short minutes, (or in the case of a private session, perhaps 45 out of the 60 minutes). Then – our problem and the feelings about it can simply be a thing of the past. And we can move forward with the actions we want to take.

We don’t have to try and shout affirmations over the noisy subconscious chatter anymore!


Using EFT for a few minutes to really clear out the difficult feelings about an issue or problem, is far more effective than trying to say affirmations 100 times a day, while the limiting thoughts are still very much alive and well inside our subconscious mind.

We focus on the feelings briefly, and then we can let them go – because we naturally don’t feel they’re true anymore.

No struggle, no effort.
The tapping does the work, not the words.

Any questions about this? Does it make sense? Feel free to ask in a comment or message.

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay


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