What is a Root Cause in Connection with EFT Tapping? How do You Find the Root Cause of a Problem?

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This question is part of The Burning Questions Project. For answers to 100+ questions on EFT tapping, check out The Burning Questions Project and ask your own questions.

What is a root cause in connection with EFT tapping?

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping projectIn plain English, a root cause is a “cause” (harmful factor) that is “root” (deep, basic, fundamental, underlying or the like).

Accessing the root cause of a problem and tapping on the events related to that can bring profound results with EFT tapping. A root cause, when it comes to EFT tapping, is a negative belief acquired at some point in time, that is still running your life. If you can go back to the time when you acquired that belief, and change the belief, you could change the course of your life.

Here are two ways to look at a root cause.

1. A root cause can be a set of thoughts. Say, you have been trying to lose some weight, with unsatisfactory results. Or that you lose some weight, but gain it back within no time. As you sit down to lock in on the root cause of the weight issue, you may notice that you are actually afraid to lose weight. Because if you did, men would want to flirt with you all the time. Or that people’s expectations of you will rise in some way. The root cause in this case is the belief that your life will become difficult if you lose weight.

2. A root cause can be a past event. It is possible that at some point in the past, when you were at your ideal weight, something bad happened. Say your boyfriend parted ways with you. That may not have been related to your weight at all. But that is the way your mind sees it. So when you neutralize your emotions around that breakup (event), your belief “ideal weight = rejection” will wither away in the process. It is likely that you will reach your ideal weight then.

It is possible to tap on a problem without probing into a root cause. Though that can be like trying to collapse a tree by breaking off one leaf at a time. A root cause is literally the roots of a tree on which all problems originating from the root cause grow as leaves.

Say for example, a colleague at work passed a remark about your incompetence. And you really took it to heart. You could tap on this issue and diffuse all emotional charge around it and that would be all. But if you feel like the emotional charge keeps coming back up, there might be something deeper to it. That is when it would help to dig deeper and see if there could be something else contributing to this emotional injury.

How do I get a handle on the root cause of a problem?

An effective way to reach the root cause of a problem quickly is to ask targeted questions. Whatever the answer, neutralizing the emotions of that answer will change your outlook towards the problem at hand. Often, the problem will go away without any further tapping. See these sample questions:

  1. What does this problem remind you of? My pollen allergy reminds me of my father sneezing non-stop whenever we were outside in the garden. (hint: might you be identifying with your father so much that you have taken it for granted that you will develop his allergies as well?)
  2. When was the first time you felt this way? I felt exposed like this when my preschool teacher caught me stealing chalks from the class.
  3. If this problem goes away, what will change for the worse? If my driving fears go away, I will have to ferry my children to umpteen activities and that will take up most of my day.
  4. Why do you think you have this problem? It is in my genes! What else? My mother had acne, my grandmother had acne, and so do I.
  5. If there was a person who was contributing to this problem, who would it be? It would have to be my sister. She is always jealous of my success. She will not like it if I earn more than she does.
  6. What might be a good reason to hold on to this problem? This problem has come to define who I am. I feel comfortable knowing that while I have this problem, people will be sympathetic and kind.

Sometimes finding the root cause becomes a chain reaction where you need to keep asking questions in order to find the core issue. Collapsing this core issue with EFT tapping could neutralize many other problematic issues in your life apart from the one at hand.

Look at this hypothetical chain of questions for example:

I have acne –> why –> my skin is oily and prone to infection –> why –> I inherited problem skin –> why –> I’m just like my mother and she had acne –> why –> I want to be like her –> why –> she will love me more if I turn out to be just like her –> why –> she felt disappointed in me whenever I did something that was different from what she would do. –> why –> she wanted me to be like her –> why

So now you see we are kind of going in circles after some time. The main issue seems to be that you want to be like your mom. Start out tapping on that. “Even though I am afraid my mom will be disappointed if I am not like her, I deeply and completely love and accept myself for who I truly am. I am not my mom and it is okay. I am still worthy of love.”

How do I recall the first time I felt a certain way in order to address the root cause through EFT tapping?

With so much resting on the root cause and your being able to access the root cause, it is quite a pressure to recall the first instance of a bothersome feeling.

One way to reach the root cause of any issue is to ask when was the first time you felt a certain way. That is important because it was at that time that you drew conclusions about how the world works.

Say for example, as a teenager, you were invited to a party. You were nervous, and in your nervousness, you committed a faux pa. It was deemed unfashionable and you were immediately cut off from the “cool” crowd. You then inferred that you will never fit in with the cool crowd. That continued to reflect throughout your college years.

You still feel cut off from your colleagues, but you can’t for the life of you figure out why. The why is in the root cause. And the root cause was that teen party.

As you begin to tap on any given issue, watch out for any flashbacks rising up. These flashbacks may be from way past and may seem totally unrelated to the present issue. These flashbacks can be from the incident that made you feel this way for the first time.

This question is part of The Burning Questions Project. For answers to 100+ questions on EFT tapping, check out The Burning Questions Project and ask your own questions.




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2 Responses to What is a Root Cause in Connection with EFT Tapping? How do You Find the Root Cause of a Problem?

  1. Adam at 8:40 am #

    Thank you this is great! Any tips for finding the old memories via meditation? I really can’t remember and nothing comes up. Problems: I’m anxious around people who I deem better than me. I’m nervous around attractive women.

    • Sonal at 8:25 pm #

      Although I have not tried meditation for this purpose, I believe that it helps to be in the right brain wave (delta,theta etc.) in order to access the intended parts of the brain (memories). There are meditation programs that can help you do so.

      I understand your feelings of insecurity around people who you think might be better than you. I have posted a tapping script for it. It is a sample, but it should give you some idea about how to approach the matter: http://tap-easy.com/5728/eft-tapping-script-inferior-insecure-not-good-enough

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