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Enhancing performance as a metaphor for life 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Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Hi Everyone,

One of the most fascinating (and financially lucrative) uses for EFT is in the performance enhancement field. Properly applied, EFT can neutralize emotional "limits" and thus propel athletes, musicians, stage performers, salespeople, etc. to levels that match or exceed their dreams.

As any Personal Performance Coach will tell you, it is the mental side of the game that keeps us "limited." It is our own self imposed, emotional lids that keep us where we are and prevent us from entering our Penthouse of Penultimate Performance where we belong. This is hardly a revelation, of course. We all know this. We have far more potential than we are using.

Interestingly, the "limits" that keep us from performing to our top levels also tend to be life issues. Thus, our fears, doubts, insecurities and other emotional baggage often show up in the performance area. Accordingly, addressing our performance aspirations can bring us nose to nose with those core issues that, once resolved, will allow us to walk more confidently in all areas of our lives.

Dr. Larry Stoler emphasizes these facts with an important example that uses performance as a metaphor for other issues in our lives. Study it well. There is great potential within it.

Hugs, Gary

by Larry Stoler

Here is another twist on using EFT for enhancing performance along with a marketing angle.

Imagine this. Teaching EFT to help people overcome the fears and insecurities they encounter as they prepare for and then experience climbing an indoor 100 foot rock climbing wall for the first time. Let me share my experience doing just this!

Some months ago, I met an organizational consultant, Susan, who specializes in helping corporate teams function better. In particular, her interest is in helping teams cope better with risk and change. She and I happened to meet because she was interviewing psychologists to learn more about ways to help people cope with anxiety and fear.

After she learned about my EFT and Energy Psychotherapy work (and experienced it herself), it became evident that we might work well together. As it turns out, she is an avid rock climber and developed team building programs utilizing the experiential exercise of indoor rock climbing. This is an excellent exercise because it is safe, presents a real (rather than imagined) challenge, and requires a significant amount of trust and personal risk.

For example, when you climb you are in a harness that is attached by rope to a belay clip that locks if you fall. Your on-the-ground-partner is your belayer. That person has to keep the tension in the rope at the appropriate level so that if you fall, you won't drop very far before the clip stops your fall. Furthermore, the belayer then must release the clip and slowly lower you to the ground. The first time you climb, you really face the feeling that the belayer holds your life in his/her hands.

Of course, besides this there are a host of other common fears to face, such as fear of heights, fears of embarrassment, and failure, as well as issues such as inadequacy, perfectionism and the like.

Susan and I designed a program in which I teach participants EFT and she teaches climbing techniques. We both address the psychology of risk and fear. A couple of weeks ago, we held a workshop for the public advertising this as an opportunity to (1) experience indoor rock climbing and (2) learn new body energy techniques for overcoming fears. Our workshop flyers also stated that the approaches taught would be useful for other personal issues--not just rock climbing. Needless to say, the people who came were willing to take a few risks!

In the workshop, participants readily acknowledged the fears they had about climbing. They also shared some other issues they hoped could be helped by these techniques. Some of these included common problems such as public speaking, fears of turbulence and coping with anger

Our experience so far is that EFT proves to be very helpful in this kind of format. First, almost everyone finds by the end of the workshop that they are more successful climbing than they expected. That is, they are better at the task itself.

Second, people also notice significant improvements in their level of distress or anxiety. Usually, each person climbs between 2 and 4 times in the workshop. After teaching EFT to the group before anyone climbs, I then do EFT with a group of climbers (usually 4 or 5) with each person working on his/her issues. We repeat this process for subsequent climbs.

I have noticed some interesting aspects of using EFT in this format. First, EFT is broadly successful (that is not a big surprise to us). Second, the fact that we are applying EFT in a real life situation brings many aspects of the presenting issue into play immediately. Often, when doing therapy in the office we work hard to imagine or visualize some actual situation the client may face. Here, the wall looms large immediately, and thus fears, worries and interfering thoughts are available right away.

I encourage the participants to treat any limiting thought or experience. Participants readily label their fears and quickly recognize that negative, self-deprecating thoughts are limitations. Few realize that their physical complaints may also function this way. For example, climbers quit when they get physically tired. Or, they think they won't be able to climb at all because of certain physical weaknesses. I encourage participants to treat all these issues--and usually they discover that they can do much more than they thought.

How often do we allow a physical sensation, such as fatigue, to become the justification for limiting ourselves? How often is this physical experience a somatic reflection of a fundamental belief, or deeper emotional block? The climber suddenly feels the fatigue in her forearms as she reaches the height that internally fits the existing (though limited) image of her capability. Of course, stamina, fitness, climbing technique are also important contributors to actual performance.

In this real life setting, we work on many of these issues right on the spot.

Unfortunately, time limits how deeply I can help any one person in the workshop. So, the benefits gained happen with only a few rounds of EFT treatment (usually omitting the 9 gamut procedure).

Because of the time constraints, I don't think that many participants experience a complete resolution of their problems. Still, they notice significant improvements. And I advise people about ways to continue using EFT on their own to treat these and other issues.

As I see it, this is just one of many possible innovative ways to introduce EFT to a broader community, including business groups and others who might not otherwise come to your office. The sky is the limit!

Larry Stoler


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