Hana is a competent EFT practitioner working with nutrition issues. She is ready to begin marketing her work. But like most sensitive people, the thought of being so visible scares her, and keeps her from taking the steps that would bring her new clients.
She has made some presentations at her daughter’s school, and her pediatrician has asked if he can send her referrals. Hana is excited about this, but then she worries that maybe she should take more courses, or get certified in more advanced programs, before she really ventures out as an independent professional.
She said, “When I was in school I felt competent and I did a good job (except when I froze on exams!) and I was recognized as an exceptional student by the faculty. But now, trying to create my business, I have a hard time putting myself out there. I have trouble initiating and engaging in conversations about what I do. I find myself assuming that people aren’t interested in listening to me. I feel like they are just humoring me when I talk.
“I feel so inexperienced, and it brings up all my feelings of not being as good as other people. My mind disconnects from my mouth and I begin to feel like I am talking gibberish. And then I start thinking, how can I feel justified in even asking for money for what I do? It is one thing to work with family and friends for free, but I fall into doubting that my services are worth what I am charging. Maybe I should get an advanced certification?
“And what do I say when / if people actually CALL me?
“Help! How can I truly believe in the value of what I have to offer?”
There are several issues here that we can address. In part, Hana just needs some information, and some coaching on practical strategies. She knows, too, that she will need some EFT to shift the blocked energy patterns in her body caused by the stressful thoughts that she is thinking, so that she can have the confidence to actually take the steps toward creating her practice.
Three main competencies that Hana needs to develop strength in right now:
Learning about how her sensitivity can help and hinder beginning a practice.
What happens in her body when she gets nervous? How to settle herself?
“Should I take more training before I put myself out there?”
2. How to talk about herself
What people want to hear when they call her—it’s not what she thinks!
3. How to begin writing about herself
Fear about writing a bio of herself—
“I don’t want to brag. I have trained myself NOT to talk about myself!”
Where to start if creating a website seems overwhelming.
1. The Sensitive Temperament
If Hana took the Meyers-Briggs Personality Temperament survey, or looked for herself on the Kiersey Temperament sorter, she would find herself in a rather rare group of people. The “Idealist” group is said by many to be only about 1-2% of the population. They are highly sensitive, intuitive, and energized by being alone rather than with other people. (This can go the other way too. For yourself, note which is more likely to drain your energy, and which energizes you: being with people, or being alone.)
Hana is also someone who needs lots of options. She can feel limited by decisions. She is drawn toward connecting with people in peace and love. People in this temperament process the world around them intuitively, based on feelings rather than thinking.
Confronted with “putting herself out there,” Hana is feeling nervous and anxious and full of dread and self doubt—while at the same time loving her chosen healing profession, eager to share it with people. She is strongly wanting to support her business and ready to begin creating her vision of her future. But she is scared.
This is a good example of feeling one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake—not flight, not fight, but freeze. Many sensitive people find themselves in freeze mode when it comes to being more visible. This is a very tappable conflict.
“Should I just take more training? Or get another certification?” she asks. I asked Hana to consider whether she really needed more training. Being well trained is essential, of course, and a confidence builder. But I wanted her to consider whether she would be hiding behind “being in school” instead of taking the scary leap to make herself available to actual clients.
It was very tempting to take the path of continuing her education. It gave her a sense of purpose, and focus and moving forward, and she was good at school. But when I mentioned the idea, Hana agreed that the appeal of further certification might be serving to capture her attention and mask her fears, distracting her from doing what she really wanted to do.
Another issue for sensitive people that is related to getting more certifications is our tendency to look outside ourselves for approval. We suspect that if we just could get that extra degree or certification then “They” will finally approve of us. Only then will we be Good Enough to go ahead with our plans. Maybe you have noticed though, that “They,” whoever they are in your life, are just as devoted to withholding their approval as you are to seeking it. For your life to go forward, you need to learn to approve of yourself.
Hana and I will do lots of good tapping with all this. It will help her to value her sensitive temperament’s true, deep and powerful need for connection. She will find ways to disconnect from toxic people (the “They’s” in her life) and connect with her own inner self instead.
2. What do I say when someone calls me?
When Hana imagined picking up the phone to find an actual prospective client on the other end, it brought up a lot of fears for her!
Ohmigod here we go!
What should I say?
Will I sound OK?
You’re gonna screw this up!
I am too inexperienced to be any good.
How can I charge money for this?
How can I talk about myself without sounding like I am boasting?
I have trained myself NOT to talk about myself.
Each of these fears and beliefs is a tappable statement. We used each one in an EFT set-up statement, and tapped for what it brought up.
Next, we talked about some practical strategies that will give Hana some good ideas of what to say when the phone rings, and it is someone who is interested in her services.
Her first thought was that when a prospective client calls, she would need to be defending her qualifications right away. In my experience, however, people really want to talk about themselves, and sometimes it is even hard to get in a word edgewise! So inviting them to tell you about what is going on for them is a good first step.
One caveat, however—people so need and love having a listening ear, that any initial call can turn into a listening marathon if you don’t set a boundary for your own self. Decide how long you can and want to listen to the person talk about their problems, and then have a strategy in mind for moving the conversation forward.
I would suggest initial listening for no more than 10 minutes, maybe less. All you need at this point is enough information to understand The Four P’s: the problem, predicament, or the pain, from their perspective.
It is important to have a structure in mind for such a conversation. Use the following five specific steps. I think of this as the Problem-SOS Story. It stands for “Problem, Solution, Obstacle, Success Story.”
The Problem—SOS is a useful template that you can apply to just about anything: talking about your service, giving a presentation, writing an article. It utilizes stories from your experience that are relevant to your listener.They feel heard, and that opens them to hear how you can help them.
First, always ask about the person who is calling: “What are you experiencing?”
Next, lead the conversation through these five steps:
1. Problem Story: Once you have heard a little about the person’s pain, problem or predicament, and their beliefs and perspective, play back to them a brief synopsis of what you have heard them say about their story, so that they know that you understand them.
2. Solution Story: Describe what it will be like when the problem has been solved. Tell a story about your experience with this—your own or a client’s.
3. The Obstacle Story: Suggest what the obstacle is. What is preventing them from reaching this desired solution?
4. Success Story: Talk about how your work can help with this specific problem. Tell a story that illustrates your work with this.
5. Now, let them know how you might approach resolving their problem, together.
You need to have thought this through beforehand. Write it out. Practice it. Remember to use this template for everything that you produce. It works!
3. How to write about yourself
Creating a website seemed too overwhelming at this point in Hana’s plans. To get her used to talking about herself and her ideas, I suggested that she might start by writing a blog. It turned out that she had already been thinking about that. Two good free sites for blogging are www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com. On both sites Hana could set her blog as private or open to anyone to stumble across. She thought she would prefer to get started privately, building her confidence as she wrote blog entries. Then down the road she could make it public so that people looking for information about nutrition and EFT could find it on search engines like Google.
Hana had no idea how to begin writing about herself, and the thought of writing a bio about herself was very alarming! I suggested that she first choose three ideas that she might want to get across to someone, and give them interesting titles.
The titles she chose:
My dangerous love affair with bread.
Better health through better nutrition.
(I thought this title sounded pretty boring. I said, “Even ‘You are what you eat’ would be better)
Let me into your pantry!
Those titles were the headlines of her personal story of how she had gotten into nutrition therapy and EFT. They were the introduction to information about how she worked with people, based on her own experience and her training, to help them as she had learned to help herself.
People like to know that you understand their problems from the inside out. That makes you a credible resource for them, even more than your “qualifications.”
When you can sympathize, and when you have helpful tools like EFT, it becomes clear that you are worth your client’s time and money.
Note that Hana’s three titles mirror the five steps of the Problem—SOS template above. The template makes a great outline for any writing you might do, I told her.
**Always begin with describing the problem. Often it is useful to talk about your own experience with it, or a case study of someone, keeping them anonymous, or creating a story about a fictional person based on your composite experience of people who have had that problem, pain or predicament. In this case it was Hana’s emotional and physical dependence on bread and carbohydrates, and the serious physical problems that resulted.
**Next, describe the solution and the obstacles (the person’s inner beliefs and emotions) that stand in the way of the solution. For herself, Hana has discovered that her health problems were being caused by how and what she was eating, and her eating was rooted in her emotional and energetic disharmony.
**Describe what you know about how to bring success to the problem, from your own experience. Hana had learned how to deal with her emotional and energetic disharmony with EFT. The answers to good health for her also were found in changing what was in her own pantry. These experiences led Hana to study how to help others and co-create success with anyone she worked with.
When Hana briefly tells this interesting and engaging story, it will let people know that she knows how to help them. It will be easy for her to write this way, because all she has to do is talk and write about what she truly knows and feels passionate about. Writing about what you know is so much less scary than thinking that you have to meet some invisible standard of knowledge and expertise that your prospective client is holding over your head. (We are making up that standard out of our own anxiety. The person just wants your help!)
Create an Elevator Speech
I suggested to Hana that it would also be useful for her to pare the story above down to its bare bones, and develop a “30 second elevator speech.” Imagine that someone in the elevator asks you what you do, and you have 30 seconds before the door opens to describe your passion about what you do in a way that will catch the person’s attention, let them know what benefit is there for them, and will get them to ask you a question.
What you are after, I explained, is for the person to say, “How do you do that?” Then you can begin talking about your work.
Once they ask you a question, then you are off and running in a conversation! The Elevator Speech will serve Hana well when someone calls, or anytime someone asks her “What do you do?”
This was a lot of information, and I knew that Hana would feel overwhelmed and go into Freeze mode if we didn’t do some tapping now on her fears of talking about herself.
We tapped specifically on what happened in her body when she gets anxious about talking about herself. Basically, she has been talking to herself about talking about herself! Those thoughts have created the energetic disharmony, which then shows up as physical discomfort.
Her body symptoms, interestingly, centered around her stomach:
I feel like there is a boulder in my stomach
I don’t eat
I feel nauseous
My whole body feels jittery
I get a crampy feeling under my right rib that I associate with gall bladder pain
I can’t think
I get short tempered
We tapped for these physical symptoms of energetic disharmony in her body created by her anxious self talk.
I also wanted to help Hana to reframe her thought that talking about herself is boasting or bragging.
When you are passionate about what you do, I suggested as we tapped, and when you are also connected to your own Source within, connected to your Heart, what you say about yourself emerges as sharing and education, not boasting or bragging.
Sharing in this way creates a relationship, a bond, a heart connection between you and your prospective client. They experience you naturally as a safe haven. You are generating a feeling of “we,” of “being in this together.“ You are letting them know that you can help. Not because they are broken and you are a fixer, but because their better feeling adds to the better feeling in the world, and that benefits you too.
This is so different in feel and tone from the “bad pride” we have been taught to avoid.
It is good to be proud of yourself in this way! This very approach itself is healing.
With my love and blessings to you –