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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply EFT for performance issues?

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

How do I apply EFT for performance issues? (sports, music, academics, art, writing, acting, speaking, sales, business and more)

Hi Everyone,

Using EFT for performance issues is one of my favorite topics. Not only is it highly effective but it is also fun and rewarding. Further, the results are often easy to recognize.

AND,,,,for those with easily excited greed glands, there's a big financial potential when you apply EFT for business and sports performance. Businesses and professional sports teams pay big money for an effective edge and they know that edge is often in the mental/emotional arena.

While the principles in this article are applicable to ALL types of performance (sports, music, academics, art, writing, acting, speaking, sales, business and more), I am going to emphasize mostly the sports area as a launching pad for these ideas (although I will touch on other areas along the way). Serious students should be able to make the transition to other types of performance.

I have played with and against hundreds of quality athletes and every one of them, regardless of how high they have risen in their sport, will tell you that they can "do better still." I've never seen an exception to that. It applies to Olympic athletes as well as to the most highly skilled professional athletes around the world. Furthermore, they all agree that the main barrier to this better performance is due to the "mental part of the game." Their bodies are highly conditioned and their physical skills are second to none. Thus the difference between a superb day and a so-so one does not lie within their bodies. It resides between their ears. This is fertile territory for a skilled EFT'er.

Experienced golfers, for example, know how to hit every shot perfectly. Their bodies have done it many times. They've hit perfect drives .... perfect approach shots .... perfect 15 foot putts ... and so on (for an in-depth session on this see my work on golf with Clark on The EFT Course videos). Despite this, golfers don't shoot perfect rounds and thus repeatedly fall below their optimum scores. They play a round of golf and hit a blend of both "perfect shots" and "not-so-perfect" shots and almost invariably end up scoring within their COMFORT ZONE.

The COMFORT ZONE is a critical concept within all performance pursuits. This is the mental place where an athlete subconsciously believes s/he "belongs." It is what keeps performance at its current level and, without properly addressing it, any improvements you develop for an athlete (or musician ... or actor...etc.) are not likely to be lasting.

Like a thermostat that keeps a room within a comfortable temperature range, our performance fluctuates within certain COMFORT ZONES. The COMFORT ZONE for golfers, for example, is reflected in their scores. Ask golfers what they shoot and they will answer with something like, "the mid 80's" or "the high 70's". This is their COMFORT ZONE. It is where they "belong" .... even though they will tell you that they can do much better.

Interestingly, improving a specific part of a golfer's game (like putting) will not likely bring about an improved overall score. That's because other parts of the golfer's game will suffer in a manner that will allow the COMFORT ZONE (e.g. the mid-80's) to be maintained. Even if the golfer has a good day or a bad day and shoots out of their COMFORT ZONE, they will, on subsequent rounds shoot once again where they "belong."

To properly enhance one's performance, there are two levels that should be addressed....

1. You must move the COMFORT ZONE to better levels and,

2. You must address the specific impediments to performance that need improvement. These sometimes require the proficient EFT'er to address the causative SPECIFIC EVENTS in the client's life.

Let's take these two levels one at a time....


Here are some useful EFT Set Up phrases for various comfort zones. Please note that they all include a statement of the new level of performance. This is important to move them mentally into a new vision of themselves. Feel free to adjust them as needed.

Even though I'm uncomfortable shooting in the high 70's and may think I don't belong there...

Even though my free throw percentage has never been above 80%....

Even though I think I am capable of being an A student in math but have never been above a B yet....

Even though the violin doesn't dance in my hands like it does in my dreams.....

Even though I have yet to earn $200,000 per year....

Even though, as a speaker, I feel up tight and have yet to have fun with my audience.....

Even though I just don't feel attractive and don't have the same outgoing charisma as (pick a role model)....

Even though I go "gulp" instead of flowing freely when I try to sing that high note in (name a song).....

Even though writer's block seems to be always with me instead of ideas flowing out of me like a fountain....

These go on endlessly and, of course, you must customize these approaches to fit the individual. The idea is to move them to a new mental image of themselves wherein they see themselves as "belonging" at this new level. Remember, most performers already believe they have the ability and many of them have already performed at these higher levels, if only briefly. For the most part, they ARE quite capable of performing beyond their current self-imposed thresholds.

The truly skilled EFT artist will do a thorough job with the client's COMFORT ZONE. They will dig for the SPECIFIC EVENTS underlying the client's less-than-optimum performance level and will use EFT to obliterate these barriers.

Specific impediments to performance

Performers, like everyone else, are loaded with extraneous bits of self-talk that serve to limit their performance. They pick up thoughts, notions and attitudes on their journey through life that, once exposed, qualify as first-class comedies.

Let me give you a personal example.

In high school I was a so-so basketball player. My only talent was my ability to jump like a kangaroo and gather rebounds (a rebound is when I get the ball after someone else has missed a shot). As a result I played center for our basketball team .... a position normally given to the team's tallest player (someone 5 or 6 inches taller than me).

Upon getting a rebound I usually landed within 5 feet of the basket. Accordingly, you might think I was the team's leading scorer. After all, my shooting opportunities would have been from short range. But, alas, I only averaged 2 or 3 points per game because I rarely took a shot. Instead, I passed the ball out to one of the "shooters" on our team. If you think that is silly, you are right. Nonetheless, that's what I did .... repeatedly.

Why? Because I had developed the self-talk in my head that rebounders are rebounders and that's it. Rebounders are not shooters. This is even more ridiculous when you consider the fact that I had the necessary hand-eye coordination to hit a speeding, curving baseball out of the park ... and had done so on many occasions. But somehow I had the belief that, because I was a rebounder, I was unable to put a ball into an oversized hoop from a mere 5 feet away.

In retrospect, I can name many more "comedies" that insidiously eroded my ultimate performance, including my refusal to bat both left and right handed in baseball. I had the ability to do this and it would have clearly escalated my batting average. However, I never did it because I was afraid people would see me as a show-off.

Dumb....really dumb.

But I can assure you that every performer, regardless of their caliber, carries around dozens of these dandy little dumbos and they aren't even aware they have them. Why? Because they have become routine beliefs ... AND ... no one has ever helped bring them to the surface so they can be EFT'd out of existence. They have just been buried within and neither the performers, nor their coaches/trainers/spouses or anyone else, has any clue about their existence. Yet these specific impediments to performance serve as unnecessary lids and are monumentally expensive.

Do you see an opportunity here?

It would be nice if I could give you a nice clean list of all of these specific impediments to performance, together with a neat and precise recipe for handling each of them. But, alas, a list of these endless comedies would stretch from here to the middle of the Cosmos.

However, with a little creativity and detective work you can soon uncover these hidden thieves. Here are some guidelines...

1. Often there is a disguised "penalty" for not performing to one's maximum. Perhaps one thinks that outperforming one's father/mother/brother/sister will result in a loss of their love. Or maybe they think that if they achieve that new level, they will be expected to maintain it (which they erroneously think will require too much effort). There are many potential penalties. Dig for them. You will often uncover treasure chests filled with ripe issues that need resolution.

2. Sometimes there is a limiting emotional response to a competitor or to a certain auditorium, academic subject, golf course, etc. I recall many times when a certain pitcher ... or golf hole ... or football stadium was "bigger than me." There was something about the circumstances that "had my number." The resulting self doubts, of course, affected my play.

3. Many performers focus on what they do well and let slide other aspects of their performance that "aren't as important." However, mastering those other "little things" adds measurably to the overall performance.

Along with the above guidelines I also suggest the following sample questions...

What does that circumstance/competitor remind you of?

What does your coach/trainer wish you could do?

What prevents you from performing to the next level?

If there was a subconscious penalty for performing even better what might it be?

Who is better than you and why?

What aspects of your performance have you let slide and why?

What part of your dreams do you consider out of reach or impossible?

When do you have self-doubts? What are they?

What part of your performance do you dislike?

What aspect of your performance are you required to do that you don't like?

As you can tell, performance issues are mirrors for all those "issues within" that beg for resolution. Quality detective work will almost always find the SPECIFIC EVENTS in the past that are showing up as limits in the client's current performance and, once found, EFT is highly likely to collapse them. The result, of course, is a new level of Emotional Freedom that manifests as better scores, better grades, better acting, better writing ... and happier people.

Finally, one thing we can all perform well is a hug.

Here's mine... (( ))



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