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Articles & Ideas

Using EFT

How to Handle Self Sabotage by Using EFT

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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,

Affirmations are an often used means for personal change but sometimes they appear not to work. Why? Because of the "yes-buts" that can subtly follow the affirmation. We call these "tail enders" and they play an important role in how our lives unfold. EFT Master Pat Carrington brings this vital concept to our attention in this two part series.

Hugs, Gary

Part 1 of 2: Using EFT to deal with negative "Tail Enders"
Part 2 of 2: How to Create Antidotes to Your Negative “Tail Enders” Right Within Your EFT Statement

By Patricia Carrington PhD, EFT Master

Part 1 of 2: Using EFT to deal with negative "Tail Enders"

Unconscious sabotaging of your own conscious wishes and desires is an almost universal phenomenon that is always baffling when it occurs.  Gary Craig's concept of "Tail Enders" explains this process more clearly than almost any formulation I have come across.

"Tail Enders" is a term coined by Gary to describe the hidden objections (yes-buts) that so often show up at the tail end of, and thus counteract, our best-worded positive affirmations.  Tail Enders can make our affirmations seem ineffective when in fact the affirmations may actually be doing their job by creating exactly the negative outcome which the tail ender calls for!  Gary describes this process as follows in his Palace of Possibilities

"(Often) affirmations seem to be ineffective only because there is a missing piece to the affirmation process that has gone mostly unrecognized.  It has to do with what is actually affirmed.  This is often not the affirmation that is stated.  In fact, it is frequently the opposite.” 

“Our affirmations are impressive in their ability to shape our lives.  If we simply listen to our own self talk we will hear glowing evidence of this.  Our self talk contains constant affirmations regarding our existing beliefs and attitudes.  So does our every day conversation.  These affirmations have brought us to our current status in our lives and confined us.  To truly harness the power of affirmations, we must make sure that the actual affirmations that are taking effect are the ones we want.  Therein lies our major challenge and an indispensable use for EFT." 

Gary suggests that we use EFT to counteract the Tail Enders that may prevent EFT from being effective in helping us achieve our goals.  Identifying and dealing with Tail Enders when we use EFT can be crucial in helping us manifest what we desire in life.

Interestingly, EFT itself can be used to deal with Tail Enders in a highly effective fashion.  Here is an example of how that works:

"Brad" was a sophomore in college when he consulted me because he had a strong wish to graduate with honors but was presently getting only passing grades.  He had learned EFT from Gary's website some months before and had created for himself the following EFT statement on which he had been tapping almost daily:

"Even though my grades are terrible right now and I want to graduate with honors, I deeply and completely accept myself."  He had no positive results from this statement however.  His grades remained barely good enough to pass.  When he came to see me he doubted that EFT would ever work for him.

I immediately suspected that there was a tail ender concealed in his use of EFT, and asked him, “Can you think of any possible downsides to your graduating with honors?”

His answers were revealing.  He told me that his older brother, “Stan”, had been his hero and role model throughout childhood. Stan hadn't done well academically however, although he had excelled in athletics.  If Brad were to graduate from college with honors he would clearly surpass Stan and in his opinion he would humiliate Stan by doing this and might lose his brother's love and friendship.

We had identified an unspoken Tail Ender that had clearly been hampering Brad’s use of EFT for the issue of his grades.

Tail enders usually take the form of mental "Yes but”s, and it turned out that every time Brad had tapped on his EFT statement he had been been adding another phrase at the end of it in his mind which went something like, "Yes, but if I graduate with honors, this will just ‘kill’ Stan.”

This unrecognized Tail Ender had stopped him in his tracks.  As it turned out it involved many aspects of his relationship with his brother –– his need for Stan’s approval, the fact that he had been type-cast in his family as the “second-best” of the two boys (Stan was a football hero throughout high school), and other similar problems from Brad’s past.

We then used EFT to systematically deal with all these Tail Enders, the "Yes but”s that had been negating his openly expressed positive intentions.  By doing this, Brad finally reached a point where tapping on the issue of his wish to excel academically felt “congruent” to him -- it was now free of inner contradictions and “Yes, but”s.  Brad now wholeheartedly wanted to graduate with honors, and because of this his tapping on this issue was now productive.  He was able to use his original EFT statement effectively for the first time. And his grades began to improve steadily.  By the end of the next semester he was on the honor role, a dramatic change that could only have been possible after he had overcome the Tail Enders.

There is also another way in which EFT can be used very effectively to handle tail enders.  This involves a special use of the EFT Choices Method which I will talk about in part two of this series.

Pat Carrington PhD, EFT Master

Part 2 of 2: How to Create Antidotes to Your Negative “Tail Enders” Right Within Your EFT Statement

In my first article in this series I talked about using Gary Craig’s concept of "tail enders", in my opinion one of the most important ideas Gary ever presented to us.

In case you don't remember what a "tail ender" is, it is a term coined by Gary to describe the hidden objections (yes-buts) that so often show up at the tail end of, and thus counteract, our best-worded positive affirmations.  Tail Enders can make our affirmations seem ineffective when in fact the affirmations may actually be doing their job by creating exactly the negative outcome which the tail ender calls for!

Gary suggests handling tail enders by tapping on the issues they raise until these issues are neutralized by EFT.  This is an excellent way to proceed which I describe in Part 1 of this series.  However, with the advent of the EFT Choices Method, we have an additional option.  This is to build the antidote to the tail ender right into the Choices phrase we use. 

Here’s an Here’s an example of how that works.

My client "Kaye" wanted to move into a "beautiful home in the country".  However she had not been able to get herself to do the things required to bring about such a change in her life.  Clearly some hidden issues were stopping her from doing this.

When Kaye thought about the phrase, "Even though I'm afraid I'll never find a beautiful home in the country", her thoughts turned to her older sister.  She told me that her sister was already unhappy because she (the sister) lived in an inadequate and dreary apartment and that she felt her sister would be both hurt and jealous if Kaye moved into her own dream home.  As Kaye told me about this she revealed that her sister had been jealous of her all of her life.  Kaye had been prettier and more popular from day one, but had always tried to please this idealized older sister whom she had looked up to a greatly as a child.

As she tapped on this issue, Kaye realized that her need for her sister’s love was an important factor that had been preventing her from going all out to obtain the beautiful new country home she wanted.  We now turned to working on this aspect of our problem (her tail ender) and she decided to build an antidote to her fear of losing her sister’s love into her Choices statement.

To help her with this I asked her what she would, ideally, like to have happen in this situation.  She said, "I'd like to have (her sister's name) be happy for me when I move into this house.  I want her to love me just as much as she does now when I'm in my new home.”

I didn't suggest to her that she say “I choose to have my sister love me …." although that might seem the obvious phase to use, because we cannot choose for another person how they should feel or act -- we can only choose this for ourselves.  I did suggest, however, that Kaye make a Choice that she would have a subjective feeling of being loved when living in her dream home.  We can choose any feeling that we want.

The several Choices statements she then made simultaneously addressed her wish for a beautiful country home and her tail enders at the same time.  Some of these statements were:

“Even though (her sister's name) will be jealous of me if I own a lovely country home, I choose to feel wonderfully loved in my new home."

"Even though she (her sister) won't love me if I have a beautiful home, I choose to deal with that easily and comfortably."

“Even though she'll be mad at me if I have a beautiful home, I choose to be okay with that and know that I'm a good sister to her.”

When her EFT session came to an end, we formulated a Choice for Kaye to take home and work on on her own.  Since the need for a family member’s love is likely to have many aspects to it, some of which Kaye and I had not yet handled in her therapy sessions, I wanted to increase her ability to deal with this issue outside of therapy and suggested that she build a more general antidote to her tail enders into an EFT Choices phrase and use it at home.  The wording she settled on for this was:

“I choose to feel exceptionally loved while living in a beautiful spacious country home.”

This choice simultaneously addressed her wish for a lovely home and her tail ender at the same time.  While we had to do further tapping on other aspects of this issue in her next therapy session, by then Kaye had already begun to actively look for houses that would fit her ideal one by that time and was getting the word out among friends about this.  Within two months of starting work on her tail enders she had found a "beautiful country home –– my ideal" and she and her family were soon able to move into it with great excitement.

Of course, some people find a choice such as "feeling loved" very difficult.  If so, then we can use EFT directly to deal with that problem by addressing its historical origins in the person’s life.  After removing some of the blocks to feeling loved, we can then help the person (or ourselves) formulate all-encompassing Choices such as: "I choose to feel lovable," or "I choose to feel loved," or address these issues through a more Choice.

If you’d like to try out this method, antidotes to tail enders can be derived by first uncovering the hidden objections (contradictions) within yourself to the Choice being created, then converting those objections (i.e. fears, doubts, etc.) into their opposite.  Here are some examples:

Original Choice: "I choose to be successful in my business."

Tail ender: "But if I'm successful my father/mother (others) will ridicule me the way he (she, they) always did when I succeeded at anything."

Antidote to tail ender: To feel respected even when I’m successful.

Amended Choice that incorporates antidote to the tail ender:"I choose to feel respected even if I'm successful in my business."

Original Choice: "I choose to lose weight successfully."

Tail ender: "But the last time I lost weight it was because I was sick, so it can be dangerous to loose weight."

Antidote to tail ender: To remain healthy while losing your desired amount of weight.

Amended Choice that incorporates antidote to the tail ender: "I choose to lose weight successfully and be wonderfully healthy at the same time." 

Original Choice: "I choose to keep my apartment really in order."

Tail ender: "But that means I will be a slave to cleaning it all the time!"

Antidote to tail ender: To freely enjoy keeping your apartment (house etc.) in order.

Amended Choice that incorporates antidote to tail ender: "I choose to thoroughly enjoy keeping my apartment beautifully in order.”

There are, of course, many different ways that the antidote to a tail ender can be incorporated within a Choice, and seeking to identify the right one for a specific problem is a skill in itself.  However, it’s a habit well worth cultivating because of it saves much time and effort.

The answer to tail enders can therefore be (1) to handle them directly by using EFT to eliminate the problem involved (see Part 1 of this series), or (2) by inserting an antidote to the tail ender into an EFT Choices statement.  Both of these approaches are highly effective and I often combine the two of them with impressive results.  Dealing with tail enders allows you to use EFT in an extremely effective fashion. 

Regards, Pat Carrington


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