“There’s a first time for everything.“
We’ve heard this our whole life from parents, grandparents, teachers and others who were or are trying to guide us through the difficulties of doing anything for the first time. It is so often used that we dismiss it as cliché.
Yet here we are, in the midst of COVID-19 and I can safely say that I personally do not know anyone else who has ever been through anything like this before. We are drifting in our own little boats, physically apart from each other, in a thick fog, unable to see what lies more than a few days or weeks into the future.
We are being swallowed up by our emotions. How do we get through this?
According to Brené Brown, world-renowned researcher, best-selling author and speaker, we have to get comfortable with uncertainty. I am a huge fan of Brené Brown. In the first episode of her new podcast, Unlocking Us, she tells us that life is full of uncertainty. We must get comfortable with doing things for the first time.
“Brené on FFTs“
Brené Brown aptly devised this acronym to mean a “F-ing First Time”, that first time we do or experience something. (I call it a “flipping first time” in the appropriate circumstances.) She echoes what we all know to be true: that FFTs are hard, awkward, challenging, fear-generating and pretty much the most uncomfortable parts of any experience in our lives, even the ones that we are excited or happy about. In her podcast she gives us three steps to approach any FFT, and specifically our getting through this pandemic called C0VID-19. You can listen to her podcast here.
What does all of this have to do with EFT?
In EFT, we tap on acupressure points located on the head, face and upper body while focusing on an emotion related to a specific problem. This can reduce stress and other negative emotions, leading to relaxation, focus and an improved sense of safety and wellbeing. I have written about EFT in previous blog posts. You can also read and learn about EFT here.
Brené Brown’s 3 Steps using EFT:
1. “Normalize” the FFT. Normalizing is naming what it is that you’re experiencing for the first time and acknowledging all of the emotions and feelings associated with that. EFT has everything to do with emotions. Using EFT, we can acknowledge that we don’t know how to social distance and stay sane. We admit that we don’t know what to tell our kids. We confess that we are not teachers. Our finances are collapsing before our eyes. We are anxious, uncertain and afraid. It’s important to name these feelings and not deny any of the negative emotions we are feeling, or “feel all the feels”, as Brené says.
2. Put things in perspective. Think about the temporariness of the situation and how all first-time experiences are just that: a first time; and that once we get through that first experience, things get easier. Those of us who have lived long enough know that most, if not all things are temporary, or to use another familiar expression, “this too shall pass.” Acknowledging the emotions (Step 1), then tapping on these emotions to release their negative emotional intensity allows us to relax, re-center ourselves and put things in perspective (Step 2).
3. “Reality check” your expectations. With first time experiences things take longer and are much harder than we thought. We must give ourselves permission to adjust expectations according to reality. Let’s face it, we may be here awhile. Consciously, we know we need to adjust our expectations, but accepting and implementing those changes is a whole different story. EFT can help us in Step 3 to accept our new expectations to do what we need to do to get through this “FFT.”
My own experience
I have been tapping on the fear of financial disaster, fear that there will be no market recovery in the amount of years I have left to work, and not ever being able to retire. (Those of us over 60 are feeling this one big time.) I should mention that as a sole practitioner for over 30 years, I have never felt secure financially. Before EFT I wouldn’t even look at numbers and never wanted to face my financial future. And I understand that those who are struggling financially now may be feeling a sense of panic and dread, to say the least. In my private practice, those emotions were very familiar to me when it came to things like paying bills and getting through the month before I found EFT. I now use EFT regularly when I am feeling those fears to be able to look calmly at financial circumstances, make decisions and take the appropriate action.
We are all in this together.
This is an “FFT” for all of us, for sure. Let’s normalize and face this challenge by naming it and identifying all of the emotions we feel. Let’s put it in perspective, acknowledging our deepest emotions over the disruption of our lives for the unforeseeable future. Finally, let’s do a reality check on our expectations for our work and the other parts of our life. Let’s be patient with each other, reaching out, asking for what we need and acknowledging that in this time of uncertainty, it’s more than ok to ask for help.
EFT tapping can help us through any “FFT”, not just the COVID-19 pandemic. With EFT, it IS possible to become comfortable with uncertainty.
What is one of YOUR FFTs during this pandemic?
Sharon Ames, Esq. is a practicing attorney for over 35 years and a certified EFT practitioner with EFT International. She is dedicated to creating inspired lawyers through reducing stress, anxiousness and feeling overwhelmed by the demands of practicing law. She works with clients individually or in groups (workshops and presentations), in-person or via Zoom.