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Thought for the day..."You become what you think about most of the time." Ralph Waldo Emerson


Steve Wells' series on EFT and Self-Acceptance
Part 1 of 4

Hi Everyone,

Self-Acceptance is among our most pervasive issues.  It relates to Self-Image and "feeling good about oneself" and almost everyone has some concerns about it--at least in some areas of their lives.

It is also a very global issue and, as such, is made up of many individual contributors.  In a way, the degree to which we "Self-Accept" is a mirror for the quality of our lives.

We are privileged to have EFT Contributing Editor Steve Wells (one of Australia's premiere EFT'ers), take us through his personal journey along the road to enhanced Self-Acceptance.  This four part series starts with a personal and open description of his own dilemma with Self-Acceptance and then launches into a treasure chest of techniques that deserves the applause of every reader.

This series is a keeper.  Print it out and study it.

Hugs, Gary


Around 3 months ago I set out on a 30-day “Self-Acceptance Trial”.  For 30 days I decided to target my own issues of non-acceptance of self as the primary issue – and apply EFT to this.  The results have been astounding.  In fact, so beneficial has this been that I decided some weeks ago to continue the program indefinitely.

In this series of posts I’d like to summarise the process I went through and some of the gains I have made, and encourage you to start your own 30-day (or life-long) self-acceptance trial.  I’ll also discuss some of the distinctions I have made on the issue of self-acceptance and how this can be addressed in therapy. 


For many years I suffered through various problems without realising that underneath them all lurked a bigger problem – I didn’t accept myself.  Whenever I had a problem, I would be down on myself about the fact that I had it.  Or what I was or wasn’t doing to fix it.  Or I’d just be upset at ‘me’ in general, for not measuring up.  I never realised just how pervasive this underlying lack of self-acceptance was, nor how insidious its effects on my energy, performance, and enjoyment of life… until now that I’ve been freed of much of the weight and pressure of it. 

Earlier this year I noticed a lot of my clients were having trouble with self-acceptance.  Usually this came to light when I asked them to make the Set-up Statement (“Even though I have this problem I deeply and completely accept myself”).  Many clients would become upset and refuse to say the self-accepting part of the statement.  How could they say they accept themselves when they very clearly did not? 

I have faced this issue many times in the past and my usual approach is to have them emphasise the negative part of their self-belief and tie that in with a self-accepting statement anyway.  For example, “Even though I don’t accept myself (because of this problem), I fully and completely accept myself!” “Even though I’m a terrible person (and this problem proves it), I fully and completely accept myself!”  Many clients are able to move on at this point, and successfully address the problem in question.  There is something very powerful in acknowledging the negative parts of self and bringing them into the light, and Dr David Lake and I have explored this in depth in our workshops and therapy.  In fact, we’ve found great value in exaggerating the negative aspects even further – an approach we call Provocative Energy Therapy (More about this in future posts). 

For these clients I realised that the underlying issue of non-self-acceptance was THE problem for them while the presenting problem was just a medium through which this was being expressed.  In therapy, I asked these clients to list all the things they didn’t like about themselves and apply EFT to these, beginning with the most intense items.  I also had them review early parts of their life where they learned that they weren’t acceptable, and we applied EFT to these negative emotional experiences. 

At the same time I was going through a period where I wasn’t really accepting myself.  Basically I felt I had stalled.  I wanted to move forward in my work and my life but seemed to be making little progress.  Instead of doing the things I knew I needed – even wanted – to do, I was wasting many hours playing computer games.  This was causing neck and shoulder tension, leading to headaches, which affected my performance and my quality of life.  I had also stalled in my exercise program.  My business wasn’t moving forward in the ways I knew it could.  I felt like a terrible father to my children, not able to give them the attention they deserved.  And I felt terrible about me. 

Funnily enough, although my life was actually going pretty well, I felt miserable. 

One night I found myself sitting frustrated in front of the computer, having played too many games of chess when I knew I should have been doing something better and feeling really down on myself.  In my frustrated state I began typing and as I did I decided I needed to work on my own issues of self-acceptance starting right now.   

My first decision was to apply EFT to all of those things I didn’t accept about myself.  I began to list them and apply EFT to them, just as I had advised my clients to do. 

I then decided… 

“For the next 30 days, I am going to practice being happy with myself the way I am, despite my limitations, and see what happens… Each time I find myself doing something I know I “shouldn’t” be doing, I am going to say “I accept myself even though I am doing X” and conduct EFT on “Doing X” and associated thoughts such as “Doing X makes me inadequate, bad, awful, etc”. 

Examples of my Set-up statements back then include: 

  • “Even though I played chess on the computer tonight and that has stuffed up my neck, shoulders, jaw and back for another evening, I fully and completely accept myself.”

  • “Even though I am a bad boy for playing chess when I should have been working, I fully and completely accept myself.” 

  • “Even though I am never going to be successful if I keep taking myself backwards like this, I fully and completely accept myself.”

I followed the thread of my thoughts as other underlying, irrational and related negative self-defeating beliefs came up, and then proceeded to tap on these.

For example, 

  • “Even though I am probably not going to keep this (30-day trial) up, I fully and completely accept myself.” 

  • “Even though I will just have another mediocre year and not achieve real, lasting success, wealth and happiness and joy I fully and completely accept myself”

  • “Even though I will end up losing my family if I become too successful I fully and completely accept myself”

As I did the EFT on these irrational thoughts I noticed my thinking actually becoming more and more rational – It was not a case of denying problems but instead being empowered to address them head on. 

I continued on, addressing other negative and limiting beliefs that have blocked my success, including beliefs about confidence (“I’m not confident enough”), spirituality (“If I become really successful I might lose my soul”), money and self worth (“How much I charge is a reflection of my self-worth”; “I can’t charge more because I’m not worth it”)… 

I realised it wasn’t the truth of these beliefs but the intensity they provoked in me that was the problem.  Some beliefs still registered as true even after tapping, however, what had changed was that I no longer evaluated myself negatively for them.  Instead, I understood how I had come to be that way, and had an increased sense that this could and would change.  I wouldn’t say I became determined in the sense of will power, it was more a knowing that it is OK the way it has been, OK the way it is AND it will be OK for me to change things. 

I found the same for several other emotionally laden thoughts that had been bugging me for many months. 

Another interesting experience during this experiment was that in most cases when I tapped on the fact that I was putting things off or doing things other than what I “should” be doing, I became more willing and able to do the things I had been putting off.  Hmmm.  This could be the cure for procrastination – Self-acceptance! 

Despite my initial success however, I still had an underlying sense of inadequacy, I couldn’t seem to shake.  Then I made one change in approach that let me to a major breakthrough…This is detailed in my next post. 

Steve Wells
EFT Contributing Editor

Co-Author, “Pocket Guide to Emotional Freedom”


Note:  Steve Wells and Dr David Lake will visit USA in September and Europe in November to conduct some special EFT workshops on “EFT and Personal Transformation -Using EFT to Achieve Your Ultimate Goals” along with workshops on “Advanced EFT and Provocative Energy Therapy”.  These workshops will cover using EFT on Self-Acceptance issues; EFT and Relationships; Creating Core Belief Change; and Designing New Futures.  There are limited places available on a first come first served basis. 



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