By Carol Look, EFT Master
There have been boatloads of complaints and questions about why the Law of Attraction “isn’t working” or “doesn’t work” or even “backfires” when applied.
The Law of Attraction does work, and does work all the time. The problem isn’t the Law of Attraction, the problem is that we have so much resistance and so many levels of negative feelings that our actual focus tends to be on our lack of worthiness, belief that we don’t deserve abundance, or anxiety about success in general.
These are our “tailenders,” and they are more powerful than visualization and focusing exercises until we address and neutralize them with EFT.
Strong feelings of guilt and shame get in the way of the Law of Attraction working in your favor, because the Law of Attraction hears your vibration, not your words.
When you feel guilty about something you did or said, or feel ashamed to your core, you don’t feel deserving of success or abundance in your life, no matter what people say or offer you. These feelings are often deep within, and are far more powerful that any “positive thinking” or vision boards.
These “tail-enders” (what we really believe) are the culprit and eventually win out. Law of Attraction is in fact working, you’re getting what you focus on. In these cases, you’re attracting the louder, more active vibration, and it is often a feeling of guilt, shame or lack of worthiness.
When you don’t feel deserving of abundance, you engage in subtle and not so subtle sabotage behavior to punish yourself. I will show you how to get “specific” and collapse these real reasons you sabotage your abundance in all areas of your life.
I don’t know anyone personally or professionally who couldn’t come up with a few situations for which they feel guilty!
There are 4 categories of guilt that I will discuss:
1. You did or said something nasty, hurtful, or untrue for which you feel guilty now, even decades later.
2. You didn’t do something or say something you could/should have to correct a situation, and you feel guilty and regretful about what you perceive as a blatant “omission” on your part.
3. You can clearly identify feelings of anger, resentment, or impatience towards a loved one, but more importantly, you feel guilty about having these feelings! And refrain from admitting or expressing them.
4. You feel guilty for rebelling against authority figures and going with your own gut feelings. Even though you made a choice that was best for you at the time, the authority figure/ spouse/ family member “disapproved” and you still feel guilty--translation being you are still punishing yourself.
Consider a short list of your own “guilts” before reading and tapping through this article. Measure their “charge” on the SUD Level of intensity scale from 0-10 with 10 being the strongest.
For example, measure and scale incidents similar to the ones listed below:
• The time I was sarcastic towards my friend
• The time I gossiped about my colleague
• The time I was caught saying something negative about my sibling
• The time I “took” something that wasn’t mine
• The time I protected myself rather than tell the truth
• The time I should have defended him/her
• The time I cheated and got away with it
• The time I had evil thoughts about _________________
• The time I said no to the boss/my mother/my spouse
• The time they accused me of abandoning them
• The time I branched out on my own and got his/her disapproval
• The time I betrayed her
When we feel guilty about something we did or said, we tend to punish ourselves in seemingly unrelated areas of our lives. Sabotage is by far one of the biggest complaints and areas identified for improvement from participants in my attracting abundance workshops.
We could feel guilty about something we did in high school, and sabotage our job promotion, or feel guilty about something we did at our first job, and sabotage our adult relationships.
Why would old feelings of guilt make you sabotage yourself? Why would you apparently get “nowhere” when you are diligently applying the Law of Attraction exercises you have learned?
Because when you feel guilty, you need to punish yourself in order to feel better.
You won’t feel right until you “get” the punishment your subconscious mind believes you deserve. That’s why even people who are given special advantages, handed money or given a new job, tend to sabotage – they don’t feel deserving. When you feel adequately punished, you can now relax and feel safe because you have less anxiety about “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” Your world feels balanced again.
People come in to my office and workshops and say, “I keep sabotaging my success. I don’t know what’s the matter with me. I want abundance, but I keep getting in my own way, even though I’m using the Law of Attraction.”
This feeling and life experience, “I keep sabotaging myself” becomes the “tabletop” in the analogy of how to collapse issues with EFT.
Picture the “tabletop” as the broader more global issue – I’m not successful, or I keep sabotaging myself.
What are the “legs” (beliefs, events, experiences, assumptions and comfort zones) supporting this tabletop? The table legs always come in the form of specific events that made you believe you aren’t worthy or aren’t deserving. Sometimes the table legs are limiting beliefs you picked up during your life.
Being in a constant state of guilt doesn’t help you and doesn’t help the person you feel you have offended! However, it is one of the most prominent feelings underlying sabotage behavior and one of the least suspected emotions that is responsible for blocking success and abundance.
Ask yourself thse 5 important questions:
1. How does it serve you to continue feeling guilty?
2. How does it help you to stay mad at yourself?
3. What are you afraid of if you let go of the guilt?
4. Who will argue with you if you forgive yourself?
5. What are the consequences of feeling good about yourself?
The basics of guilt.
First you need to accept what you did or said and feel the feelings of guilt before you try to neutralize them. Too often people try to neutralize the guilt when they haven’t dealt with the reality of the situation. This causes them to dissociate, or become so separated from their emotions, they can’t access them to clear them with EFT.
I always tell my clients you can’t neutralize something you don’t feel. This is why we need to be tuned in to our emotional issue for EFT to be effective.
Start tapping on the karate chop point:
Even though I feel guilty for what I did during freshman year, I blame myself, I choose to accept these feelings and what I did.
Even though I feel guilty for what I did back then, I don’t know what I was thinking, I choose to accept who I am and how I feel.
Even though the guilt is right, I should feel guilty for what I did, I accept what happened and accept my feelings.
The above examples are just guidelines. I encourage you to be as specific as possible in order to collapse the guilt, for example:
“Even though I feel guilty for telling her she wasn’t my friend, I deeply and completely accept myself." or
"Even though I feel guilty for hurting him by rejecting him, I deeply and completely accept myself." or
"Even though I feel guilty for telling her secret to others, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
EYEBROW: I feel so guilty.
SIDE OF EYE: I should feel guilty.
UNDER EYE: I feel so guilty for what I did.
NOSE: I blame myself because it was entirely my fault.
CHIN: It’s my fault.
COLLARBONE: I am to blame.
UNDER ARM: I should feel guilty.
EYEBROW: I was doing the best I could.
SIDE OF EYE: I’m embarrassed about it.
UNDER EYE: I wasn’t trying to be mean but it looked that way.
NOSE: I blame myself and always will.
CHIN: It’s my fault.
COLLARBONE: I was just being immature.
UNDER ARM: But I shouldn’t have done it.
Keep tapping on these above sequences until specific events and memories are “cleared” of the negative charge.
You might wish to write a list of your sabotage behaviors, notice when they happen, how easily they happen, and how baffled you are about their reoccurrence. It could be eye-opening. On the one hand, you claim, “I do want abundance” and yet your behavior shows that you clearly aren’t in alignment or ready to accept/ embrace abundance when it’s offered to you.
Maybe you practice one of the recommended exercises to hasten manifesting your desires through Law of Attraction, and yet, nothing changes in your life, no good comes of it. This is another form of sabotage, you then get to tell the world, “see, nothing works for me!”
When you feel guilty, you’ll punish yourself in many ways, and a key area for punishment is in attracting success and abundance with your professional and financial success.
Or maybe there is someone or something you still need to forgive.
There is a common fear that the act of forgiving someone (or yourself) equates to “letting them off the hook.” This topic always surfaces in workshops and internally. If I forgive myself, does that make it ok? If I forgive myself, will I do it again? If I forgive him, does that give him permission to hurt someone else? I always hear students say they are afraid to forgive themselves, as it doesn’t seem “right.”
This feeling continues the cycle of punishment.
Tapping on the Karate Chop Point:
Even though I feel guilty for the affair, and I don’t think I should forgive myself, I accept who I am and what happened.
Even though I really hurt him/her so I don’t deserve to be forgiven, I accept who I am and how I feel.
Even though I’m afraid to forgive myself, what if I do it again, I accept who I am and what happened.
EYEBROW: I feel so guilty, how could I forgive myself?
SIDE OF EYE: I have felt guilty long enough.
UNDER EYE: It’s over now and I want to move on.
NOSE: The guilt isn’t doing anyone any good!
CHIN: I choose to release my guilt.
COLLARBONE: I am older and wiser and appreciate why I did what I did.
UNDER ARM: It’s time to let this go now.
Do as many rounds of EFT on your guilts as necessary to reduce the intensity level and allow peace into your life after all these years.
Sometimes it's related to anger.
I often find that a client’s core issue is anger or resentment, but they don’t feel free to express it, so they haven’t “let” their therapy go there before. As a result, they continue to harbor anger and resentment on a profoundly deep level, but don’t feel right expressing it even to their counselor.
These feelings, while initially clear to them, eventually get buried because it feels so “wrong” to have them. This creates quite a troubling cycle, although it is often underground and doesn’t get noticed. The emotions then never get resolved, and in fact in some cases, it makes someone’s life worse and less free as a great deal of energy is bound up in their minds and bodies as they try hard to repress the emotions that are unacceptable.
Many an illness has its foundation in unexpressed feelings that have been “cut off” from the person’s awareness because the person believes they’re not “supposed” to have those feelings.
Considering the topic of how guilt and shame block the Law of Attraction, can you see why it doesn’t “work” for you if you are harboring deep-seated anger towards someone but won’t even let yourself feel it?
These feelings are literally “vibrating” in your body, and you are sending these signals to the Universe, even while you are trying to be “positive” or work with your vision board. Maybe you write or recite your daily gratitude list, while reviewing another list of wrongs in your head…this “other list” will win.
I have a client who is angry and frustrated about her 6-year-old who is mildly learning disabled. The child is acting out in school and is causing a lot of chaos at home. The mother feels so guilty about being angry at her little girl, (“it’s not her fault that she doesn’t learn as quickly as the others”) that she refuses to discipline her around the house, gives her many advantages over the other siblings, spoils her, and stuffs her own legitimate feelings of impatience.
In other words, this mother’s genuine feelings need to be expressed somewhere, but her overwhelming guilt about even having negative feelings in the first place stops her in her tracks.
Neighbors and other family members have pointed out how she seems to go out of her way to let this child get “extras” and get away with certain behaviors that the other kids don’t, but my client was unable to see it because she didn’t want to admit her real emotions of anger and frustration.
Another client was a primary caretaker for her mother with alzheimer’s disease. She would frequently get impatient and angry when her mother would shout, be disoriented or wander off. However, she felt so guilty for feeling these emotions, she would stuff them and instead, sabotaged her professional career and picked fights in her new relationship. She experienced herself as “a bad person” for feeling angry at her elderly mother who was sick.
Substitute your own family member or colleague in these tapping sequences, and don’t be surprised if the negative feelings get a little louder before they start to subside. Remember, you have been keeping them quiet for way too long!
• Is there someone you’re protecting from your anger?
• Do you feel guilty feeling angry towards someone older or younger?
• Do you feel guilty feeling impatient when “they” are trying hard?
• Where are your feelings going?
• Where are you hiding them?
Tapping on the Karate chop point:
"Even though I feel so angry because I feel manipulated, but I’m not supposed to feel this way towards my kids, I choose to love and accept myself anyway."
"Even though I’m angry but don’t know where to put it, I accept and appreciate who I am…Even though I feel guilty for being angry towards my child, I accept that these are my real feelings."
EYEBROW: I feel so angry.
SIDE OF EYE: I feel so guilty for being angry.
UNDER EYE: I’m not supposed to be angry with her.
NOSE: I’m not allowed to feel angry, I could get into trouble.
CHIN: I don’t want to be angry.
COLLARBONE: I can’t help it, it keeps coming out.
UNDER ARM: I should feel guilty for being angry.
EYEBROW: I feel guilty for feeling this anger at her.
SIDE OF EYE: I don’t think I should have these feelings.
UNDER EYE: I feel so angry though, what do I do with it?
NOSE: I want to get over it.
CHIN: I’m afraid to express it.
COLLARBONE: I am trying to ignore it but it won’t go away.
UNDER ARM: I should feel guilty for having these feelings.
Tapping on the Karate chop point:
"Even though I feel guilty for having these feelings, I choose to accept them anyway."
"Even though I’m afraid of what I might do with these feelings, I accept who I am and how I feel."
"Even though I’ve never been allowed to express these feelings, I choose to express them safely now."
EYEBROW: I feel so angry and it’s ok.
SIDE OF EYE: I feel so angry and it’s time to let it out.
UNDER EYE: I feel guilty feeling angry.
NOSE: I could get into trouble, but I still need to express my feelings.
CHIN: I don’t want to be angry any more.
COLLARBONE: I choose to accept myself even though I’m angry.
UNDER ARM: I still feel guilty for being angry.
EYEBROW: I finally feel free enough to express my anger.
SIDE OF EYE: I appreciate these feelings for the first time in my life.
UNDER EYE: I didn’t realize I could just express these feelings.
NOSE: I can release some of my guilt.
CHIN: I’m ready to release my guilt about these feelings of anger.
COLLARBONE: I am angry and that’s ok.
UNDER ARM: I release the guilt about these feelings.
Continue tapping for these unexpressed feelings. Just accept that you have them, and identify where you got the idea that you “shouldn’t” have them. These will provide more specific events (comments from an authority figure, experiences where you learned it was dangerous to express anger etc.) as tapping targets.
Being punished for saying “no” can stay lodged in your energy system, coming out years or even decades later in the form of sabotage.
Maybe you are following and using the powerful principles of the Law of Attraction, but they never seem to work for you. Consider the possibility that your success might scare you and bring you “trouble” or that standing up for yourself so many years ago still makes you feel guilty, and you are punishing yourself by blocking your abundance or health.
Often, saying no was truly in alignment with what was right for you, but if a teacher, coach, parent, or supervisor is somehow threatened by it, there might have been unfair or terrible consequences for you. A client of mine didn’t comply with outrageous requests from his boss who was engaged in unethical practices. He suffered for years on the job as a result.
Even though he maintained his integrity, he felt he got punished for “saying no.”
Then there is shame
No child is ever born feeling deeply ashamed even if it is in their parents’ cells.
We are taught energetically how to feel ashamed of ourselves by our caretakers and the events and circumstances in our life. Sometimes the lesson comes through abuse, sometimes through words, looks in the eye, circumstances that couldn’t be prevented, or other issues.
But we never start out feeling ashamed for who we are as tiny babies.
Shame is harder to identify than guilt because it is a more pervasive feeling. It’s a bit like the difference between generalized anxiety about life – you can’t quite put your finger on the cause -- rather than specific anxiety about an upcoming meeting or speech. If you feel guilty because you broke your mother’s favorite dish, you can identify the cause of the problem, and therefore address it. Shame means you are the problem not something you did.
How does this get in the way of using Law of Attraction to your advantage?
When you feel ashamed, you are convinced in every cell in your body that you don’t deserve success and abundance in any area of your life. So even though you use visualization, written exercises, vision boards etc, it seems to backfire and you end up right where you started. That’s because the “tail-enders” (The truth is I’m NOT good enough, I really DON’T deserve more, I should be punished) are so powerful, they cancel out your momentary positive feelings or your temporary clear focus on what you want.
While you are focusing on a beautiful house, the subtext is “Who am I kidding, I don’t deserve it and I’ll never get it!”
When you are ashamed, it means you think you are “no good” or feel “defective.”
The reason so many physically or emotionally abused people feel ashamed is because their translation of their life’s circumstances is:
• If my own mother spoke to me that way, I must be a lousy person.
• If my own father hit me when he was drunk, I must have deserved it.
• If they looked at me that way, there must be something wrong with me.
• If I got punished that often, I must be a bad person.
Many people who feel ashamed will not let you talk them out of it. It is very important to meet the person where they are energetically and emotionally, and let them feel this conviction that they are no good, their “truth” before neutralizing it with EFT.
Tapping on the karate chop point:
Even though I’m convinced I’m not worthy, I accept this feeling and my truth.
Even though I know I’m not worthy, I have proof, I accept who I am anyway.
Even though I don’t accept myself because I’m defective, I accept my feelings and remain convinced of who I am.
Even though they taught me I wasn’t valuable, I accept these feelings and who I am.
EYEBROW: I’m no good and I know it.
SIDE OF EYE: Everyone knows this.
UNDER EYE: They can see it in me.
NOSE: I show it on my face and in my words.
CHIN: I’m not worth the attention.
COLLARBONE: I don’t deserve attention.
UNDER ARM: I feel ashamed because I am “less than.”
EYEBROW: What if they were wrong?
SIDE OF EYE: I think they were right.
UNDER EYE: My own parents treated me poorly.
NOSE: It must have been me.
CHIN: It’s because I’m not good enough.
COLLARBONE: I’ve always been inferior.
UNDER ARM: I’ve always been inadequate.
When you get some of the “evidence” for why you feel ashamed of yourself, incorporate it into your tapping sequences to see if you can shift the intensity. Warning: You are likely to get considerable resistance to loosening this feeling up, so take it from all angles.
Tapping on the karate chop point:
Even though their words are proof that I’m not valuable, I accept who I am anyway.
Even though he told me I was not acceptable, I accept my feelings.
Even though I’m convinced they were right --- I’m not acceptable --- I accept these uncomfortable feelings and who I am.
EYEBROW: I’m not acceptable.
SIDE OF EYE: I’ll never fit in.
UNDER EYE: I’m never enough.
NOSE: I don’t belong here.
CHIN: It’s true – I’m not lovable.
COLLARBONE: I’m not enough.
UNDER ARM: I don’t fit in.
EYEBROW: I feel accepting that I’m not acceptable.
SIDE OF EYE: I choose to feel acceptable.
UNDER EYE: I feel valuable.
NOSE: No I don’t.
CHIN: I am valuable.
COLLARBONE: I am worth being valued.
UNDER ARM: I am enough.
Tapping on the karate chop point:
"Even though he told me I was 'a nobody' and I believed him, I accept who I am anyway."
"Even though I thought he was right all-along, I accept the possibility that he was wrong."
"Even though he said I was 'rotten-to-the-core' I accept that there might be some good in me."
EYEBROW: I’m rotten to the core.
SIDE OF EYE: I’ll never be enough.
UNDER EYE: I’m never going to get over this.
NOSE: I know I’m no good.
CHIN: I assume he was right.
COLLARBONE: I have always been “a nobody” just like he said.
UNDER ARM: I don’t have any value.
EYEBROW: What if I could get over this feeling?
SIDE OF EYE: But it’s who I am.
UNDER EYE: What if he was wrong?
NOSE: Maybe I do have value.
CHIN: What if I’ve had value all along?
COLLARBONE: I am worth as much as you are.
UNDER ARM: I am enough.
I encourage you to continue finding specific events and “table legs” underneath your “tabletop” --- your sabotage behavior. There may be hundreds of times that someone looked at you in a particularly shaming way, dozens of negative comments about your lack of worth in your family.
Look for phrases and attitudes from parents, caregivers, teachers, coaches, siblings, babysitters and society.
Look at when you first felt this way, what subsequent events cemented the feeling for you. It is worth collapsing these events and circumstances one by one, and allowing abundance into your personal and professional life.
The Law of Attraction works beautifully and systematically. But when your negative feelings about your worth and what you’ve done in the past are so loud, the universe can’t hear (and therefore can’t deliver) your desires.
Try EFT with the Law of Attraction and see how it will change your life!