Fear and the F-word: Failure

Fear of failure is a biggie. Big enough to put us off trying at all in the first place. Big enough to have us feeling flat and depressed-like if we believe we in fact have already failed. Big enough to put us off doing anything which challenges us. Big enough to paralyse us in our tracks.

It sounds like:

“But what if something goes wrong?”
“I’ll mess it up, I usually do”
“I’m not good enough at this”
“I’m not ready”
“I can’t do this”
“I’ll never live this down”
“I never get it right”
and things like “What’s the point?! I’ll just embarrass myself”

I’ve noticed I’ve felt it even when I was in the process of succeeding. And realised I was inadvertently searching for ways to prove that I was actually failing instead of enjoying the moment. Ironic hey?! Why do we do this to ourselves? If things stuffed up, would it be that big of a deal? Is it realistic to do everything flawlessly ALL THE TIME? Mistakes and failings are part of the process of learning, and how we recognise what not to do, or what we want to do differently next time. And there would be very few situations that we truly cannot try again. It’s clear that it’s a waste of time and energy to worry over getting something wrong without it having actually happened.

What if we had a tool that could help us with this? A tool that was virtually free, easy to use, and the process was quick and painless. A tool that could help us understand ourselves in the process. Oh that’s right, we do! The tool is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

It goes like this:

  1. Think of how badly you’re failing at something, or likely to fail at something in the future, or will fail if you try it (“so why bother”), or failed a gazillion years ago and are still kicking yourself for it.
  2. How does it make you feel? Get it in your mind and make it really clear, exaggerate the feeling if you need to so it’s crystal clear. Enact the failure in your mind if you like, including associated parties or disaster fallout evidence.
  3. If you had to rate the intensity of this feeling from -10 (intensely strong negative feeling) to +10 (intensely strong positive feeling), where 0 is neutral – what would it be? Get a number in mind or write it down.
  4. Take three deep breaths with your hands in the centre of your chest. (ps. it won’t work if you just sit back and read..) We’re now going to improve the flow of energy in relation to this failing.
  5. Tap the top of your head gently with your pointer finger. In the meantime take a deep breath and say “This failure”, “I’m a failure”, or anything else that captures how you feel (“I suck” is fine).
  6. Tap the middle of your forehead gently with your pointer finger, while taking a deep breath and repeating your phrase about failing.
  7. Tap the inner edge of one eyebrow gently with your pointer finger, while taking a deep breath and repeating your phrase about failing.
  8. Tap the outer side of one eye gently with your pointer finger, while taking a deep breath and repeating your phrase about failing.
  9. Tap underneath one eye gently with your pointer finger, while taking a deep breath and repeating your phrase about failing.
  10. Tap underneath your nose gently with your pointer finger, while taking a deep breath and repeating your phrase about failing.
  11. Tap underneath your mouth gently with your pointer finger, while taking a deep breath and repeating your phrase about failing.
  12. Tap your collarbone (the angle where the collarbone meets the breastbone) gently with your pointer finger, take a deep breath and repeat your phrase about failing.
  13. Tap the side of your thumbnail (where the nailbed ends) gently with your pointer finger, take a deep breath and repeat your phrase about failing.
  14. Tap the side of your pointer finger gently with your OTHER pointer finger, take a deep breath and repeat your phrase about failing.
  15. Tap the middle finger gently with your pointer finger, take a deep breath and repeat your phrase about failing.
  16. Tap the ring finger gently with your pointer finger, take a deep breath and repeat your phrase about failing.
  17. Tap the pinky finger gently with your pointer finger, take a deep breath and repeat your phrase about failing.
  18. Tap the karate chop point (the fleshy side of the hand which would strike something in a karate chop action) gently with your pointer finger, take a deep breath and repeat your phrase about failing.
  19. Return your hands back to the centre of your chest and take three deep breaths, and a sip of water.That’s it, that is our tool and all of the actions that we need to know. Easy, right? We’re not completely done though. We have taken step one to attempt to evolve our feeling.

Now think about the failure. What’s it feel like now? Did you notice anything change through the process of the tapping about your issue? If you consider the strength of the feeling, where would it be now, from -10 to +10? Has it evolved?

Also consider if anything came to mind, such as a specific event or memory. Here might be clues relating to what has lead to the fear, or even examples of why the fear is less significant than it seems.

If you rate the issue between -10 and 0:

  • Repeat the above sequence of 19 steps, tapping for that failure, using your own descriptive phrase. If the feeling has changed, by all means change the phrasing to suit, or continue tapping for “this failure” with it in mind.
  • Reassess once finished. Has the feeling evolved, does it feel different, has the rating changed? If you are feeling neutral about the issue, follow the instructions below. If still negative, repeat again.

If you rate the issue between 0 and +10:

  • Repeat the above sequence of 19 steps
  • Tapping for that failure, using a positive phrase. How do you want to feel about that thing you originally felt you were failing with? Choose a phrase or word that makes you feel good. “Successful!”, “I’m awesome!”, “Effortlessly brilliant!”, “I can do this!” are some examples.
  • Reassess – How do you feel? How far up the scale can you go? You can do as many rounds as you like.

I hope that you followed through your feeling to the positive end of the scale, and are left feeling fantastically brilliant compared to how you began. Any evolution of your original feeling is a very GOOD thing, and the aim of EFT. If you are stuck at all, please contact me or any certified EFT practitioner in your area.

What might it feel like to not be afraid of failure? To embrace an experience for what it is, in the moment, not the outcome. To be open to seeing your successes without a cloud of fear in the way. Sounds pretty good to me.

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An Interview with Dr Silvia Hartmann

Dr Silvia Hartmann, you have achieved amazing things in the areas of emotional healing, energy healing, human and animal behaviour and development. You’ve developed and designed transformational, healing and educational tools including Project Sanctuary, The Genius Symbols, Emotional Transformation, and Energy EFT. You’ve also written and published powerful fiction and non-fiction books as well as created magical works of art and music..

Is there anything that you can’t do!?

Many things. But whatever I can’t do in the hard, I can do in Sanctuary. Thus, I can certainly have a go at most things, in my own way …

What brought you to energy work?

Like so many people, I have a measure of talent relating to extra sensory perception. But in the absence of some kind of logical explanation, I didn’t do that much with it. I was working as a researcher in modern animal behaviour. We tried to isolate physical factors that affected behaviour especially in companion mammals, such as dogs and horses. We found a lot but there was always an X-factor. One day, I had the revelation that the missing piece was the exchange of energies between social mammals. I wrote that up in the Harmony Program of 1993 and started to create training strategies based around these energy exchanges. I then switched to human behaviour and ran into the problem of the so called “unconscious mind.” This needed to be resolved, so I created Project Sanctuary. This was doing a good job and in 1998, I came across EFT, which was the first time I’d seen what I would call “real” energy work outside of my own research. I thought it would make a good bridge to get more people to understand the reality of energy work, so I put myself behind promoting it. In 2002, it was going great guns so I did some further refinement and research and created EmoTrance as the result of that. 

What do you feel has been your greatest success to date?

On a personal level, I would say the discovery of the 6th sense. That’s a pretty profound thing.

On the transpersonal level, I don’t know. At the moment, I’m betting on the SUE Scale.

You have been at the helm of many energy modalities, which is your favourite? Which do you personally use the most?

I use Project Sanctuary the most and that’s also what I turn to in moments of personal need. To me, it’s the most natural and satisfying way to interact with not just energy but really, the wider Universe. Wouldn’t be here without it …

What is your creative process like, how do you come up with new material?

Project Sanctuary, of course. I’m used to using it so we’re not talking about the ABC version of creating specific habitats. The thing is to have a question that needs answering. You need to want to know something. Without that, the whole process cannot start. “And what else is there?” is a good question when you run out.

Do you ever get creatively blocked or stuck?

Haha! That’s funny. 

What is your favourite song?

Starman by Bowie

You have worked with many people. What is the most impressive healing outcome that you have been a part of? Or your favourite?

I have never cured anyone of cancer. But it’s true, I haven’t tried. I have very little to do with the physical side of things; that’s a decision I made at some point. People get too hung up about physical healing. It’s understandable when you’re in pain, and yes, it’s the basis of existence. But we will die at some point, all of us, and for any of us, it could be much sooner than we think. So I’ve kind of specialist in the areas of the non-physical questions.

So then, what would I call a star healing event?

I was once with a builder who said quite viciously, “I’m so stupid,” because he’d left his hammer behind in his van. I turned around to him and said, “You’re not stupid.” He laughed and said, “Tell that to my teachers, they all agreed.”

I said, “They were wrong.”

He laughed a little nervously and looked up into my eyes. Hesitantly, he said, “What. all of them?”

And I looked right back at him and said, “Yes. All of them.”

His pupils dilated, this wave went through him and I knew for a fact his world would never be the same again. 

That’s the sort of healing I love.

What challenges have you faced when it comes to helping us humans through our struggles? What type of issues are the hardest for you to help others with?

Look, I don’t think helping people is hard. It’s not hard and it’s not long. It doesn’t entail strapping people to your back and carrying them around like some hideous burden.

The way I see it, I just look at the person and think to myself, “For sure, I am no angel, but what I have to give, I give to you.” 

That usually does … something.

And really, it is all I can do. I can’t do anymore than that. This being so, it is immaterial what the problem might be, or whether I can help or not in the sense of “fix that person so they can function according to societal standards at this time again.”

I know everyone wants healing to be physical healing. But I’m the soul guy. There aren’t enough of my kind about. Souls are really more important than their current physical bodies; and when they’re happy, or at least stop screaming for a bit, there’s more chance of physical changes as well.

As a mother yourself, do you have any suggestions for those who are having a hard time with parenthood? Or facing behavioural difficulties with their children?

Yes. De-stress and re-energize. The higher up towards +10 on the SUE scale you can go, the more “healing” you become to your environment, and the better your relationships become. And think of this not as a one time fix but like brushing your teeth. After every meal plus morning and night. With extra flossing. An ongoing process.

What’s your view on parents expressing their emotions in front of their children? (such as crying)

Whenever I hear the words “expressing emotions” I think of expressing oranges, or breast milk …

Seriously though, emotional honesty with children is … really, the 101 of having a meaningful relationship. Can you damage fragile children’s energy systems with emotional outbursts? Yeah, sure you can. Big time. But they won’t hate you for it and let you rot in an old people’s home or move to Australia when they grow up, not like the ones who have always been lied to will. That’s unforgivable, and thus it never is forgiven.

The best thing is to de-stress and re-energize, that makes then a good adult and a good role model. And if you’ve had a freak out, don’t beat yourself up for it. Do EFT or whatever, apologize to the kid if necessary, explain yourself and promise you’ll do better in future LOL.

So many people struggle with their self-view and how they feel about their bodies and themselves, do you have any advice or suggestions on how they might overcome this?

This is a very important issue, so much so that I gave a day’s lecture on the topic and made an energy therapy for body image called BeautyT

The thing to remember is that low self esteem, struggle, negative emotions are all stress susceptible. The more stressed a person is, the worse all of it becomes and it all lifts when stress recedes and the energy body becomes re-energized, starts to work again like the creator intented it to work.

Watch your stress levels first of all and if you think, “My god I’m hideous!” take it for an indicator that you’re clearly very stressed and need to take some energy action.

For body image problems that are related to traumas and sometimes also Guiding Stars, I advise to seek an experienced EFT or EmoTrance or MET practitioner and work on it.

Feeling bad about your body is a bad thing. It can ruin a person’s sex life.

Do you have a ritual by way of energy work, such as a morning prayer/meditation, energy self-defense, evening EmoTrance workout?

No. I go with the flow.

What makes you feel alive?

A tooth ache! Just kidding … Being alive is not something I tend to forget. I’ve had a number of near death experiences, I guess that sort of teaches you the difference.

What grounds you?

I feel like I’ve been permanently grounded ever since I arrived on Planet Earth! I take every opportunity to go higher that presents itself. Gravity takes care of the rest …

What is a typical day like for you?

Very exciting. Containing all sorts of different emotions. Lots of laughs. And a whole lot of very sensuous experiences in the widest possible metaphorical sense 🙂

What is the best tip you have for manifesting a success/goal/money/love? And what have you manifested personally?

Best tip is to aim high. Really, really high. If you start a band, don’t dream about playing down the local working man’s club. Dream about centre stage at Glastonbury instead. And keep that in mind as you go through the daily grind. Use it to uplift and inspire you.

I manifested a silver Mercedes Benz for practice at one time. That was interesting.

Energetically speaking, why do people experience depression?

No energy flow. Often not because they’re not being given energy, but because they’re not processing it. And they’re not outputting any energy. Which is why cats can help, they draw energy from people and eat it. Strange creatures that they are.

Do you believe it’s necessary to feel some low moments in life in order to enjoy the highs?

No. That’s a ridiculous idea. It’s like saying you have to eat shit in order to appreciate a good curry.

Do you feel that some people are born with natural talents or skills in things such as psychic ability?

My jury is still out on the nature/nurture debate.

Do you believe in: ghosts? aliens? fairies? politicians?

If I stop believing in them, will they go away and leave me alone?

What is your dream by way of energy awareness and the modern world? How would you like things to be?

I’d like for everyone to understand what emotions are and how they work. That would change everything. It does change everything, every time another person has that OMG moment when they understand they’re not really crazy after all.

What do you say to skeptics?

See ya later, alligator.

What frustrates you?

That I didn’t know what I know now when I was 14. (But an alternate timeline is under way in Sanctuary as we speak …)

What makes you laugh?

Monty Python and Father Ted.

What’s next for Silvia Hartmann?

Don’t know. We’ll have to wait and find out … 🙂

I’m in the unusual position, working in this day and age, that I publish my findings as they happen, live, as it were, rather than at the end of a 40 career in academy as it used to be the case. And I love being surprised by what I find. I think I’ve snuck that into my enquiry set ups at the baseline. I’m going to keep doing what I do and look forward to the next surprise. 

Anything else you’d like to share?

Yes. I am extremely grateful to be alive at this specific time in the history of the world, and in this place I’m in. Especially being a woman, there would be no way I could do the things I do in the Renaissance, in Ancient Rome or in Afghanistan, for that matter.

Praise be!