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Articles & Ideas


When self acceptance becomes a problem...

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

John Freedom gives us a very useful means to ease resistant clients into the "I deeply and completely accept myself" portion of the EFT Setup phrasing.

Hugs, Gary

By John Freedom

We are all familiar with the standard EFT Set-Up Phrase, Even though I have this (Problem), I deeply and completely love and accept myself.  It is an all-occasion, one-size-fits-all magic formula that names and counters objections, antidotes Psychological Reversal, and sets the stage for EFT to work.  And, amazingly enough, it does work - most of the time.

But there are times when the solution itself is problematic.  If self-acceptance is the solution, it is also (for some people) the problem.  Some people balk at self-acceptance, saying that they can’t or don’t (or won’t!) accept and love themselves as they are.  Many of us hold the idea that we ‘could’ and ‘should’ be ‘better’, more beautiful, more accomplished, more…

Some of us hold on to self-judgment and self-criticism, believing that self-acceptance leads to complacency, and that the whip is a more powerful motivator than the carrot.  Yet, as Carl Rogers has noted, self-condemnation can keep us stuck; while paradoxically, when we truly accept ourselves, as we are, we begin to change.  When we can we accept ourselves as we are, with all our faults and flaws, with all our warts and wrinkles, we begin to change and grow and heal.

Some people believe that they are ‘unworthy,’ and ‘undeserving’ of Love and Acceptance.  One way out of the quagmire of unworthiness and self-hatred is to build a RAMP UP! to Self-Acceptance.  It begins by recognizing that Even though I may not accept and love myself as I am just yet … this is the direction I wish to move in.  

Building a semantic RAMP UP to the level of genuine Self-Acceptance can help us begin moving in this direction, and can help us begin experiencing what was previously forbidden territory for us.

We can build Ramps to Self-Acceptance with these phrases:

Even though I have (Problem), I am WILLING to love and accept myself.

Even though I have(Problem), I am WILLING TO LEARN  to love and accept myself.

Even though I have (Problem), I am WILLING TO BEGIN TO LEARN to love and accept myself.

As you can see, WILLINGNESS IS THE RAMP moving us UP, to the level of greater Love and Acceptance and Worthiness.

100%, full-hearted Commitment is a powerful thing.  But very often people (especially our clients!) lack 100% commitment.  More often, we are beset by fears and doubts, confusion and indecision. As Shakespeare said, “Our doubts are traitors that betray the Good we would accomplish.” Although we may desire and crave certainty and commitment, very often we are lacking in both.

This is where WILLINGNESS comes in.  Fortunately, complete certainty and commitment are not necessary.  All that is needed, is a little bit of Willingness.  When we are WILLING to go somewhere, and experience something, we automatically begin moving in that direction; and that is enough.

Some people have great resistance to loving and accepting themselves.  They may believe that they are ‘sinners,’ that they ‘deserve to be punished,’ or that they are ‘unlovable’.  If they are spiritually oriented, and if they believe that God is a loving God, they will usually be open to the idea that God loves them.  Alternative setups can be phrased as follows:

Even though I have (Problem), I’m WILLING to remember that God loves and accepts me as I am.

Even though I have (Problem), I’m WILLING to BEGIN to remember that God loves and accepts me as I am.

Even though I have (Problem), I’m WILLING to OPEN UP to the possibility of God loving and accepting me as I am.

I find that using these setups gets people over the hump, out of the stuck-ness of self-condemnation and unworthiness, and begins to move them in the direction of self-love and self-acceptance.  And that, for some of us, can be a huge step.

John Freedom


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.