We all prefer to live within our comfort zones in every part of our lives. Some of us are restricted within these parameters concerning our health, others stick to them around annual salaries, while others play them out in interpersonal relationships.
You will find we all have these comfort zones but don’t always notice them or know how powerful they are.
You will find that behind every comfort zone are a few strong limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are restrictions about your abilities that you are convinced are true. They support your comfort zones to keep you “safe.” If you can expand your comfort zones emotionally and energetically with EFT from the inside, you will automatically attract more success in every area of your life.
Let’s start with a few definitions and answers to some frequently asked questions about comfort zones. The 4 most common questions I am asked are:
(1) What is a Comfort Zone?
(2) How do I know if I have one?
(3) Do I need to know why I have it or where it came from?
(4) Once I have identified my comfort zones, how do I expand them?
In this article, I will offer simple EFT tapping suggestions to expand your comfort zones to make success in your life a probability, not just a possibility.
1. What Is a Comfort Zone?
A comfort zone is a ceiling on your performance (or health, or finances) above which you won’t emotionally “dare to go.” These “zones” are invisible to you, except when you look at the results of your efforts in your life. The results in your life are reflecting the comfort zones under which you currently operate. You might have unconscious comfort zones that are hidden from your awareness, or you may be clear and conscious about the limits you have set for yourself. Either way, you are compelled to stay within these boundaries for their ease and familiarity, and will seek ways to balance your life so you remain within these safe walls. A comfort zone is a place you know well, there is no risk there, and you don’t have to suffer “growing pains” or “stretching” pains while staying within it.
2. How Do I Know If I Have One?
Look at your life — your health, finances, relationships, and general sense of well-being. If your health is always compromised, or you make a certain salary every year and never go above that dollar amount, or if your relationships follow all the same predictable patterns, it is highly likely you have a comfort zone in which you are operating (hiding) to stay safe. Staying emotionally safe is the real reason we live within these comfort zones. Feeling out of place, or that you don’t belong in a new “zone” will immediately signal you to sabotage yourself so that you come back “home.”
A key to identifying whether you have comfort zones or not is whether your efforts to change emotionally, financially or physically have been temporary or permanent. When you have successfully worked on expanding your comfort zones, changes come automatically and remain permanent. When you have only applied a band-aid approach to your problems (a diet, a sharper resume, trying out a new “type” in dating) you are likely to return to your original set point, and you will be disappointed with your temporary results.
Examine your life now. Are you disappointed by some changes that were only temporary? Are you frustrated because you thought you had “worked on” an issue only to find it has resurfaced? Maybe you thought your new partner was “different” this time, but instead of drinking, he gambles … instead of being emotionally unavailable by leaving the home, he is emotionally unavailable by zoning out in front of the television. Perhaps you thought you had finally found the diet for you, only to find that you regained the weight you had lost with your new eating plan. Maybe you landed an incredible audition, and showed up late or “forgot” an important line.
The good news is that we can change those patterns on a permanent basis. Using EFT to get to the root cause of “relapse” in any part of your life is a sure way to expand these zones which will enable you to move forward.
3. Do I Need To Know Where My Limits Came From?
Not always. I was able to break through a salary comfort zone without knowing exactly where it came from. It was obvious that I was limited by one, since I earned the exact same income two years in a row despite numerous variables in my clinical practice. This feedback told me that yes, I must not be comfortable earning above this amount! I never knew why this amount was a block, but once I worked on it with EFT, (I treated it as an emotional and social safety issue) I blew past it very quickly.
Some people will want and need exact data and to know that their comfort zone came from something their father said, a comment their coach or sibling said, that made them decide to stick within a comfortable framework. In other cases, you don’t need to know the specifics if you can tap on the anxiety that surfaces when you consider stretching past your current limits.
4. Once I have Identified My Comfort Zones, How Do I Expand Them?
This is the fun part! Once you have identified that you have comfort zones (and everyone does) and decide that you are willing to break through them, EFT is the perfect tool to stretch your emotional capacity and give you the power to break through these “ceilings.”
Identifying and expanding your comfort zones takes a little work, but it will be profoundly worth it to you if you truly want to change. Some people admit that they don’t want to change, even when they are offered simple tools to turn their lives around, and that’s ok too.
In this 3 part series I will show you ways to identify and expand your individual comfort zones in the areas of (1) Weight, (2) Health, (3) Sports, (4) Finances, and (5) Building Your business.)
Suppose you continue to say to friends and family that you want to lose 20 kg(or 30, 40 etc) but you never quite get there. Or worse, once you get there, you regain the weight you fought so hard to release. This yo-yo pattern is evidence that you have a comfort zone and have not broken through the core issue around your body weight.
Do the following quick exercise:
(1) Imagine losing 10 kg, How would you feel? Picture it, feel it, and imagine your body at this new weight.
(2) If there is no anxiety or any other discomfort, do the same exercise with the “next 10 kg.” Imagine yourself weighing 20 kg less. Now how do you feel? Any anxiety? Any discomfort? Fears?
(3) If there is still no anxiety (this is unlikely), imagine losing another 10 kg, so that you are now 30 poundskg less than when you started in your mind’s eye. Measure the anxiety or discomfort.
(4) Pretend you have now lost 40 kg (or reached your goal), and feel it in your body, see it in the “mirror” and notice how you feel.
By this point, if you are in touch with your feelings, you should have some considerable anxiety and “yes, buts” surfacing. While it is uncomfortable, you have just given yourself perfect targets for EFT.
If at any of these junctures you feel the anxiety rising, ask yourself a few simple questions to identify your limiting beliefs as targets for your tapping:
(1) Why does it feel awkward or uncomfortable to be at this new weight?
(2) What feels risky about losing ______ kg?
(3) What scares you about reaching this goal?
(4) What’s the downside of losing weight?
For instance, suppose it was easy and freeing for you to imagine yourself 10 kg lighter than you are now, but when you pretended you were 20 kg lighter, you suddenly became anxious and nervous. Start tapping about the feelings that surfaced to move you beyond this comfort zone.
Even though I feel anxious without enough coverage, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway…
Even though I feel exposed and unprotected at this new weight, I accept who I am and that I can protect myself anyway…
Even though I would rather hide behind the extra weight, I accept all of me and the reasons I thought I needed this protection.
Then proceed with the exercise until you are able to imagine and feel yourself at your goal weight with no “Yes, buts,” no anxiety, and no insecurity. Maybe during this exercise you realized that you are worried about your sister’s jealousy, or your mother’s envy, or your friend’s frustration with her own weight problem.
Even though I’m afraid of what they will say to me, I choose to mind my own business.
Even though I don’t want them to be mean to me, I choose to feel inspired towards my own goals.
Even though I’m worried that they will ridicule me if I stay on my diet, the way they did last time, I honour myself, my goals and accept who I am.
Continue with this exercise until you hit something “threatening” (you’ll know it by the way you feel in your mind and body) and you feel as if you have bumped into the core reason you won’t let yourself lose the excess weight you have been carrying around. Is it frightening to change? Scary to think that it might really work this time? Or threatening to make the effort because you fear you will gain it back again?
What are your limiting beliefs regarding your ability to lose the weight? Ask yourself how true these statements sound on a scale of 0-10:
No one in my family can lose weight and keep it off. (0-10)
My metabolism is the cause of my extra weight. (0-10)
I know I won’t keep it off so it’s not worth the effort. (0-10)
I’m not supposed to be successful. (0-10)
If any of these statements were “true” when you scaled them, then tap on the feelings as follows:
Even though the problem is my metabolism and I can’t change that…I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though this is a family/gene problem, so why bother trying, I accept who I am and how I feel.
Even though I don’t want to try again because of what happened last time, I have decided to change this pattern inside of me.
In Part 1 of this article, I discussed and defined comfort zones, how to identify them and how to choose key targets for EFT tapping so you will be able to neutralize these limitations and clear the path for more success in any part of your life.
In the next 2 parts of this series, you will find more questions to help you uncover limiting beliefs followed by tapping guidelines regarding areas of (1) Health, (2) Sports (and artistic) performance), (3) Financial Abundance, and (4) Building Your businesses).
When you identify more limiting beliefs around a certain area of your life, set aside time every day to tap on these beliefs (which support comfort zones) if you want to change the outcome of your business, body, or relationship.
Suppose you have a limitation with your health that you have suffered with for a long time. Is it possible you are living within a comfort zone? Answer the following questions before tapping:
(1) What was happening in your life right before you were diagnosed or experienced these symptoms for the first time?
(2) How does it serve you to be limited in this way?
(3) What would be the downside to getting over this illness/ailment/symptom?
(4) What do you think your body is trying to tell you through this problem?
(5) What needs are you getting met by having this illness?
Even though there are all these emotions expressed through this illness, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.
Even though I’m using this ailment to get my needs met, I accept who I am and how I feel.
Even though the anger/fear/guilt/hurt/loss is lodged in my painful back, I accept my feelings and how my body reacted to them.
Even though she told me this illness runs in my family, I accept my feelings and that I am different.
Then imagine yourself without this health challenge — notice how you feel.
(1) What would change in your relationships?
(2) Who would ask you to take on more responsibility?
(3) Would you be disoriented in any way without this problem?
(4) Who would you “be” without it?
The answers to these questions will reveal some of the comfort zones you have been working within, consciously or unconsciously. When we are asked to or desire to change, our identity issues usually surface. We associate ourselves with our problems and our challenges, and when they are no longer there, we don’t feel like ourselves. Tapping is the best method I have found for changing this discomfort and helping us connect with a new identity congruent with success and health.
Now apply EFT as follows:
Even though a part of me does NOT want to let go of this illness (pain, insomnia, diagnosis…), I choose to accept and love myself anyway.
Even though I feel reluctant to let go of this ailment (skin problem, ache, disorder), I choose to accept all of my body and self.
Even though I am afraid to change, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.
Even though I don’t want them to ask me to increase my responsibilities, I accept myself deeply and completely.
While EFT is not meant to replace adequate medical attention, I highly recommend you apply EFT to any health problem you have (in addition to following your doctor’s advice) no matter how intractable it seems and no matter what your physician (or the internet) has told you about statistics.
You keep saying you want to improve your game, but you have these invisible blocks that are in your way. Until you tap your way free of them, you will stay in the same range of scoring or fitness whether your game is golf, tennis, or ping pong.
You can ask yourself the right questions and apply EFT to your skill in any sport. But let’s use golf as an easy example. Suppose you consistently shoot under 100, but are interested in improving this score. Use the same method in Part 1 of this article to test your comfort zones.
(1) Imagine yourself scoring 98 for the first time in your life. Imagine telling people, and hearing their responses, feeling the satisfaction of your new skill. Is there any anxiety that accompanies this new score? What are the Yes, buts, or the reasons why you wouldn’t want to accomplish this?
(2) Then proceed with shaving a few more points off your score in your mind, and measure the anxiety or discomfort when you imagine yourself playing at this new level. You might “hear” tailenders in your mind that tell you about your limiting beliefs and comfort zones.
Listen to the possible reasons that complete the following statement: I can’t shoot below a “94” because______________________________________.
a. I’ve never done that before
b. My golf partners would be jealous
c. I couldn’t maintain it once I got there
d. I don’t have enough skill, strength, height, etc
Use any variations of your limiting beliefs, no matter how true they seem, for EFT setup phrases.
Even though I don’t know how to lower my score, I accept who I am and that my body knows what to do.
Even though I’m afraid to improve, I accept who I am and how I feel.
Even though I don’t want the pressure of keeping up this new level of play, I accept who I am and how I feel right now.
Even though I don’t want to rock the boat, I accept my feelings and these conflicts.
Use this technique for any athletic or scoring accomplishment you want to achieve. Identify the limiting belief or comfort zone, and tap until you have neutralized it. The evidence will show up in your next round of golf or tennis match.
Suppose you are a writer, and can’t seem to put pen to paper these days…a common problem. You would want to ask yourself some of the following questions:
(1) How is it serving you to be stuck right now?
(2) What is the downside of publishing your work?
(3) Who “wins” when you are blocked in your art?
(4) Do you feel deserving of success?
We all get stuck in different parts of our lives. Being stuck simply means we are running around in circles doing the same behavior over and over again without making any progress. It’s the emotional conflicts that create writer’s block or any artistic limit, not a force outside of ourselves.
Try the following EFT statements:
Even though I sabotaged the acting audition so I wouldn’t have to be seen by all those people, I choose to accept I am worthy.
Even though I’m afraid of being exposed if I become more successful in my writing, I accept who I am and the talent I have.
Even though feeling stuck is familiar to me, and I’m afraid to change this pattern, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though it’s hard to believe in myself because he said I was “a nobody” I accept who I am and choose to believe this pattern.
“Artistic” performance, whether you are a musician, artist, actor, or writer, takes incredible talent, vulnerability and skill. Emotional conflicts are never far behind. Thankfully, we are now able to apply EFT for performance anxiety, writer’s block, fear of success and any other limiting beliefs or blocks to moving forward in your field.
It is incredibly exciting to shine a light on your comfort zones and limiting beliefs … it gives you the power to change your life. Without knowing where these are, what they are, or that they are protecting you from changing, you would never change!
Remember, limiting beliefs are the convictions you have that support your comfort zones. For instance, your comfort zone might be to earn R50,000 a year. This might be supported by a limiting belief that says “No one in my family has ever earned more than R50,000 a year, so I am not allowed to either.” Or maybe you have a limiting belief that follows this line of reasoning: “I’m not worthy of earning a six figure income” or “I don’t deserve more money since there are so many poor people in the world.” If you are not where you want to be financially, assume you have some very simple convictions that are keeping a lid on your success.
You continue to express a desire to move to the “next level” financially. Maybe this is represented in an increase of R50,000 per year in annual income. Will you stay within your comfort zone if you make this leap?
Usually, if you want to know what your comfort zone is in your financial life, look at your bank account and assets from year to year.
(1) Is your salary or savings account increasing?
(2) Do you blame the economy for your salary or lack of earnings?
(3) Do you earn more or less than your peers in the field?
(4) What risks do you associate with earning more money?
(5) What are your “excuses” for staying in the salary range you are in?
Even though I can’t make more money because of this economy, I accept who I am and my earning potential.
Even though I have fear about earning more, I accept these limitations because I know I am changing them.
Even though a part of me is reluctant to move to the next level, I accept who I am and how I feel.
(1) Now imagine yourself earning 20% more than last year. How does it feel? Is there any discomfort you feel in your body or mind about this jump? (If there is anxiety, tap until you can picture and feel it as a “reality” and then move on to the next level.)
(2) Now imagine that you have earned 30% more than your current base salary. What does this feel like? Any uncomfortable feelings or “excuses” about why this can’t happen? (If there are any uncomfortable feelings or “yes, buts” that you notice, begin tapping on them until you can clearly imagine yourself making the 20% leap with emotional ease.)
(3) Now imagine that you have made a 50% leap in your annual income. Pretend to hear yourself telling someone about this leap. Hear what they say back to you…your reaction to them…and measure the responses inside of you. (If there is any discomfort at this level, identify the feelings and fears and tap until it feels easy to make this imaginary advance in your annual income.) Continue with this process of raising your income until you are satisfied with the new dollar amount.
Even though I won’t feel like “me” if I earn more money, I accept and honor who I am.
Even though I’m not sure I want to change how things are right now, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.
Even though I don’t want to upset my colleagues, I accept this conflict right now.
If you do not address this anxiety about raising your annual income, you will forever stay in your current range. I am always being told by clients that yes, they really DO want to make more money, but when I ask them to visualize and feel themselves in a higher income range, they instantly show me their blocks through their body language and facial expressions. They’ve attended countless seminars about improving their resume, searching for the best marketing skills or making a treasure map, but no one has asked them about their energy around the new salary figure!
Fill in the blanks of the following statements to uncover some of your limiting beliefs about financial abundance:
If only I knew ___________________, I would be able to earn more.
If only I believed ___________________, I would make more money.
If only I could learn __________, I would be able to attract the right business opportunity this year.
If only I didn’t have to worry about ______________, I would change right now.
If only I didn’t have to tell anyone_______________, then I would be able to accept the changes.
Play with more “if only statements” to uncover the emotional blocks that you have hidden in your financial life.
Tap as follows:
Even though I don’t want to rock the boat, I accept who I am and allow myself to earn 20% more a year.
Even though I’m afraid of what they might say when I get promoted, I accept who I am and that I am capable of earning more.
Even though I don’t want them to be jealous of my wealth, I accept who I am and how I feel.
Even though it feels risky to earn more money because my relationships might change, I have decided to change my sabotage patterns anyway.
Building an EFT Practice
I supervise dozens of clients. They all agree EFT works wonders, but they have trouble applying it to themselves for some of their own issues such as attracting the right clients, attracting full paying clients, or building a full practice. No matter what your business is, you may use the questions and tapping suggestions below to identify limiting beliefs and eliminate your current comfort zones.
First, repeat the following statements out loud and rate how “true” they feel on a scale from 0-10: (10=totally true)
There is enough business for everyone. (0-10)
I have the ability to attract the perfect clients or customers right now. (0-10)
I have enough training and experience to build my business/practice. (0-10)
I am truly skilled in my field. (0-10)
If any of these statements were rated below a “7” you are clearly blocking yourself about building your practice. (If you in fact do need more training in this particular field, by all means, sign up for workshops and watch the DVDs! There are exceptional resources available and there is no excuse to being poorly trained.) Start tapping on the reasons you don’t feel these statements are more true.
For instance, you might start tapping as follows:
Even though there aren’t enough clients for every practitioner in my area, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I’m afraid my colleague will get all the business, I accept who I am and that I am attracting the right clients.
Even though I don’t believe I have what it takes to advance in my business, I accept my skills and who I am.
Now imagine yourself with your ideal schedule. How many hours a week do you work, how many workshops are you leading, what are your fees? Does it seem out of reach or something you will be able to attain? What is your comfort zone around attracting and maintaining your ideal business/practice?
Suppose you are a writer suffering from classic writer’s block. Ask yourself the key questions before proceeding:
(1) How does this serve me to be blocked?
(2) What am I afraid of if I move forward?
(3) What if I AM truly successful at this?
(4) Which friends/family members will be conflicted about my success?
Even though I’m afraid I (and they) won’t be able to handle more success, I accept who I am anyway.
Even though they said I can’t handle money, I accept my feelings and my worthiness.
Even though no one has ever believed in me,, I have decided to believe in me.
Many people have a hard time admitting that their limiting beliefs are indeed serving them in a positive way. Continue to ask yourself the “downside” of moving forward, and you will uncover the beliefs and fears that EFT will neutralize.
How Do I Know If This Is Working?
First of all, make sure you don’t go digging up the seeds you planted only yesterday. Tap on your limiting beliefs and comfort zones and give it some time. It is exhilarating when it works immediately, but sometimes we need to mix a little patience along with EFT. Just know for sure that when you change your energy around these issues, the results in your life MUST change.
You will know this is working when:
- you can imagine yourself at your goal weight without anxiety or insecurity
- you imagine yourself being promoted and enjoy handling the responses of your peers
- you can accept the attention you will get for your new pain-free body
- you are eager to show up for the appointment rather than sabotaging your new job
- you get the audition of a lifetime, and know that you got the part
- you stop saying “I can’t afford it.”
- you pay more attention to your feelings than the opinions of others
Again, look at your life and the results in all areas of health, relationships and finances. You won’t be “working” hard at it any more. You will find that successes come more naturally, that certain opportunities come “out of the blue” and that everything works more smoothly.
When you have become more comfortable with your new level of success, return to the above exercises and start all over again. There is no stopping you…