How EFT Can Help Us With Compassionate Boundary-Setting

Earlier this week, I did an Intro to EFT tapping with a woman we’ll call Sandra. Sandra had been agonizing for weeks about having an honest conversation with a guy she has been dating. She did not feel like she could be honest, yet she felt guilty about not telling him what she was thinking. This is a pattern that I call emotional gridlock, where we are not congruent with our actions because of guilt. We have different parts that are not aligned, so we are “stuck,” we cannot move forward, we feel anxiety and fear.

I believed that I could help Sandra with EFT. She signed up for Emotional Freedom Technique sessions (which, btw, I’ve decided to extend for one more week, so sign up now :-).

At the beginning of our session, Sandra’s voice sounded weak and shaky. She was feeling stuck in her small town with very few other options for dating besides this one particular guy she had been seeing. She was feeling isolated and powerless. She could not imagine herself having an honest conversation with him.

We started tapping on her distress about the current situation, but I very quickly asked her to tell me what the current feeling reminded her of from the past. All that came up at first was the phrase “beige carpet” and a huge amount of sadness.

The sadness was so intense that we tapped for a while just on the sadness and “beige carpet.” I didn’t want to go too deep too fast. When I do EFT sessions with people, I attune to what they are feeling (this happens even when it’s long distance over the phone), and I could feel this sadness was BIG. I wanted us to take the edge off the sadness before continuing.

One of Sandra’s main reasons for feeling powerless is that she did not feel like she could set good boundaries in her relationship. She was afraid to be honest because “I don’t want to mess things up,” “I don’t want to hurt his feelings,” “I don’t want him to think I’m a bad person.”

As we tapped, her mind went back to memories of her mom. The thoughts that went with the sadness were things like “my mom taught me that the world is not a safe place,” “my dad cheated on my mom,” etc. The overwhelming energetic feeling I was tuning in to with Sandra was “powerless.”

Sandra’s voice was wavering on the “I love and accept myself completely phrase,” so I used some phrases like:

Even though I don’t really love and accept myself completely, and I choke up when I try to say it, I choose to be open to the possibility that I could love and accept myself completely … someday …

We went deeper, and as often happens with EFT, an early childhood memory suddenly popped into her head. We approached it gradually because the sadness was so intense. Not coincidentally, the memory involved Sandra as a child doing something that was meant as “play” that unintentionally crossed one of her mother’s boundaries. Her mother’s reaction was to retaliate, and it turns out that “beige carpet” was part of this memory.

Once the relationship between this old memory and her current situation became clear, I followed my intuition into phrasing like this:

Even though my mother didn’t know how to set boundaries in a compassionate way …

Even though when I crossed my mother’s boundary, she retaliated against me …

Even though my mom didn’t set good boundaries with my dad …

Even though I learned as a child that I could either be a doormat or set boundaries harshly …

It’s no wonder I don’t know how to set boundaries in my relationship now …

Even though I never learned to set boundaries in a compassionate way that both people would feel good about …

Once all the negative was tapped out, I decided to implant some positive beliefs:

What if there is a part of me that has always known how to set boundaries in a compassionate way?

What if I do know how to do this?

What if I could speak my truth without apologizing for it?

I choose to empower the part of myself that already knows how to set boundaries in a compassionate way …

And so forth.

By the end of the call, Sandra’s voice had changed completely. It was no longer wavering and frail. She could say “I love and accept myself completely” and mean it. She sounded decisive and powerful. She sounded happy and light.

After the call, she had a conversation with the guy she had been dating. The conversation she had been wanting to have — but was too scared to have — for many weeks. She said she just “felt different.”

And this is what she wrote to me today, as the “testimonial” from her session:

“I had been referred to Erika for EFT by someone who’s opinion I respect alot, but to be honest, before the session, I felt doubtful about what EFT could do for me. But in my first session with Erika, I felt surprised at how quickly she helped me touch on a deep childhood memory and help me clear the pain of it away. After my session with Erika, that same day, I was able to have a conversation that I had been agonizing over for months. I was able to speak from my heart, with virtually no anxiety.”

Thank you, Sandra, for sharing that with me. My heart sings to hear about each and every EFT miracle :-)

If you would like to experience this kind of dramatic life change in one hour, please sign up now for Emotional Freedom Technique sessions.

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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  1. Thank you, Daria.

    We actually also used a lot of the Movie Technique. I forgot to mention that in the article.

  2. Omgosh you guys!! That's awesome… i feel my eyes tearing up! /I fel moved!!

    and thank you Erika for sharing how you approached this and how u installed positive beliefs… very helpful!

    miss u!

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