Ep. 60: Brad Yates – Saying Goodbye to Fear for Best Healing Outcome

Tapping should probably be in everyone’s recovery toolbox.

If there’s one thing that I’ve heard from injured women and men countless times it’s this: “I’m so frustrated with this!” Whether with lack of progress or not progressing quickly enough, people around them not understanding them, or just being plain angry and frustrated with themselves for getting into this situation. It’s normal to experience a rainbow of emotions on a daily basis, the problem begins when we’re bathing in the negative emotions day in and day out. It can start affecting not only just our mood but our health and healing as well.

Tapping can really help you out – and it’s probably one of those tools that is great to have in your recovery toolbox. It’s one of those techniques that can be learned quickly by anyone and used almost anywhere, to address almost any kind of issue.

And while it seems really simple, it’s actually based on the knowledge behind acupuncture, which has been around for thousands of years.

In this interview, Brad Yates, the internationally renown Emotional Freedom Techniques expert and best-selling author whose YouTube videos have been viewed millions of times, returns for another talk on the principles behind tapping and ways that you can use it to make healing easier.

You’ll discover:

  • How the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) works for clearing your limiting beliefs.
  • Why self-sabotage is a learned process and how you can turn this around with tapping.
  • What are habitual negative emotions and how you can deal with them.
  • Hands-on work: tapping session for releasing lingering fear​.

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Show notes & links

The show notes are written in chronological order.

00:00 – excerpt from the episode
00:57 – intro (listen to discover a little more about your host. Martin will tell you a new lesser-known fact about Dr. Maya)

Dr. Maya Novak:
If there’s one thing that I’ve heard from injured women and men countless of times it’s this: “I’m so frustrated with this!” Whether with lack of progress or not progressing quickly enough, people around them not understanding them, or just being plain angry and frustrated with themselves for getting into this situation. It’s normal to experience a rainbow of emotions on a daily basis, the problem begins when we’re bathing in the negative emotions day in and day out. It can start affecting not only just our mood but our health and healing as well. Tapping can really help you out – and it’s probably one of those tools that is great to have in your recovery toolbox. It’s one of those techniques that can be learned quickly by anyone and used almost anywhere, to address almost any kind of issue. And while it seems really simple, it’s actually based on the knowledge behind acupuncture, which has been around for thousands of years. You’re tuning into the third interview I did with Brad Yates, and this one is from 2020 when he was a guest on my summit. Please enjoy this episode and if you haven’t tuned into the previous ones, I invite you to check out episode 6 and 40 as well to get even more from Brad.

Dr. Maya Novak:
In this interview, I’m joined by Brad Yates who is an Emotional Freedom Technique expert and is known internationally for his creative and often humorous use of the Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping. Brad is the author of the best-selling children’s book The Wizard’s Wish, the co-author of the best-seller Freedom at Your Fingertips, and a featured expert in the film The Tapping Solution. He has also been a presenter at a number of events. He has done teleseminars with The Secret stars Bob Doyle and Dr. Joe Vitale and has been heard internationally on a number of podcasts. This is not it - Brad also has well over 800 videos on YouTube that have been viewed over 23 million times. Brad, thank you so much for being here!

Brad Yates:
Oh, my pleasure. It’s now over 900 and 26 million since the last time we spoke!

Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh goodness! So, even more – even more amazingness on the internet! Brad, I’m so excited about this interview because the previous one on the previous Summit was so well accepted and people got so much out of your knowledge. So, I know that this one is going to be the same or even better! For those who don’t know you yet, can you tell a bit about yourself and how did EFT find you or perhaps you found EFT?

Brad Yates:
Yeah, how does a grown man find himself tapping on his face for a living? Thank you, I was excited to be on the first one and I’m excited and honored that you’ve brought me back and very happy that folks have been so open and have received this work so well because it is such a profound tool for so many areas of life. I started out as an actor and was only – I was just looking for a day job to support my new family and went into- instead of getting a traditional steady paycheck, I became a hypnotherapist, and through hypnotherapy found out about this energy work and took a training with Gary Craig, the founder of EFT. I thought it was a profound and amazing tool and little by little, I incorporated it into my hypnotherapy work until little by little it became my main tool for working with folks.

Dr. Maya Novak:
So, do you still use hypnotherapy or are you just EFT?

Brad Yates:
I still do some hypnotherapy. Most of my private sessions, I end with a short guided imagery. I tend to do them in live workshops and teleclasses too because I still think it’s a wonderful nurturing process. It’s great for injuries to have that process of relaxing the mind and body and allowing ourselves to go in and work with our thoughts and beliefs in that process. So, I still love doing that.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Do you find that if you’re combining these two or multiple practices that people get better results? Or it’s individual, so it depends on the person?

Brad Yates:
Yes, it would depend. I’ve never tried to do any research to say, okay, I’m going to work with these people, these will get tapping and hypnosis and these will just get … I just do it on a –it’s a very instinctive process for me and so I wouldn’t be able to say whether one is more effective than the other. It’s just a feeling of what feels right in the moment for that client.

Dr. Maya Novak:
That makes sense. Your story, you actually graduated – you have a diploma in being a clown!

Brad Yates:
You can see the diploma right back there on my wall, Maya!

Dr. Maya Novak:
Is there? Yes.

Brad Yates:
Bachelor Fun Arts from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Exactly. So, since you have this diploma, have you noticed that this helps you in your work?

Brad Yates:
Well, I like to bring a certain amount of humor, when appropriate, into the tapping work because so often we’re dealing with very difficult subjects, and to me, it’s the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down, and laughter is great medicine. So, my background with the clown college and as an actor doing a lot of comedy, and a lot of British comedy, has certainly made it easier for me to bring a certain light touch to what can sometimes be very heavy work.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh, I could not agree more with you, and especially with injuries and serious injuries. There is a lot of fear and doubt and worries and negative thoughts and emotions and everything. So, having something that actually lifts you up is so extremely important. So, you often describe Emotional Freedom Technique as emotional acupuncture without needles. Can you explain a bit about this?

Brad Yates:
Right. So, tapping was originally discovered by a psychologist named Roger Callahan who was working with a woman with a lifelong water phobia. He had also been learning about acupuncture and acupressure. So, this system of Chinese medicine that’s been around for thousands of years in which they have said there is this flow of energy through the body along these pathways called meridians. When the energy is flowing naturally, we experience our natural state of health and wellbeing, physically and emotionally. When the energy gets stuck or disrupted, then we don’t feel so good. Then when we don’t feel so good, we don’t think very clearly, we don’t make the best choices, and life can be more challenging. In traditional Chinese medicine, the doctor would stick needles in these key points. For some people, they don’t like needles. So, Dr. Callahan found that by tapping at these same points he could balance out that energy, allow folks to relax, think more clearly, and heal more quickly.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Usually with tapping we tap on seven or nine different tapping points, right? Are there more, or are these just the most effective? Why I’m asking this is that when I researched EFT and tapping, I saw many different videos of many different practitioners and some including more tapping points or not. So, how does this work?

Brad Yates:
If you ever see an acupuncturist’s map of the human body, there are points all over the body. So, there are a lot of places and some of those points are more effective for different issues. When Roger Callahan first discovered it, he would work with the client to find which points felt most appropriate for that person, and maybe just use a few points in different sequences. When Gary Craig learned it, he was thinking, okay, well if we just use these eight major points. Now, how Roger Callahan settled on these eight points I’m not sure because there are a lot of different points. And I do know a lot of practitioners who use additional points. They use points inside the wrists, inside the knees. There’s a thing called temporal tap around the ear. There are a lot of different places that could be tapped and I don’t know that anyone has the resources to do actual research to find out, well, this set of points is more accurate than others. For me, it’s more of an instinctive thing of which points do you feel drawn to tapping and not worried about getting it right. So, there are just some folks who have felt compelled to add certain points or even to remove certain points for whatever reason. I’ve just never bothered to mess with the formula. It’s like if you get a cake mix and it has the ingredients on it, I’m the sort of person who follows the ingredients and doesn’t go, let’s see, what if we take out sugar and put in salt.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, that makes sense. I love what you said that there is no wrong way in regards to it because sometimes I think that people are sort of, oh, this is the plan, and I absolutely have to follow it because otherwise, it’s not going to work.

Brad Yates:
Yes. No, it’s a very forgiving process. It’s not like when we talk about – well, generally, you tap a point between five and 10 times. It’s not like, oh, I tapped 12 times, ah, I’ve got to start over now!

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, exactly. With EFT, with tapping, what kind of immediate results can people expect and also if they are immediate, can they actually be also lasting? Or is it like let’s do this over and over and over again?

Brad Yates:
It depends. It is difficult to set up expectations with tapping because there are what we call one-minute wonders where someone will have some emotional experience or a physical pain even, and they’ll just do tapping for just a few moments and it’s gone. That’s not the usual experience. Sometimes – in general, it takes longer. It’s generally quicker than a lot of other processes. The thing that we normally see first is just some sense of relaxation because we’re calming down the stress response in the body. So, generally, we quickly feel more relaxed. Again, under certain circumstances, it may not come as quickly. So, I want to moderate the expectations so that someone doesn’t go I don’t feel anything, it doesn’t work! It’s like doing three sit-ups and going, well, I don’t have a six-pack, so obviously sit-ups don’t work. It might take longer to get the effects. In terms of the benefits, like relaxation, if I tap for a few moments and I go, oh, I feel much more relaxed, now, I’m not going to say that’s going to be lasting because eventually in life – life is stressful and you’re going to feel stress. However, if I’m working with like a painful memory about, oh, this time that my best friend told other people this secret about me and I was humiliated. If I tap on that to the point where it’s like yeah, it was embarrassing, but it doesn’t upset me anymore, things like that tend to be lasting when we’ve created a shift in our mindset about past events.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Since our last conversation at last year’s Summit, I have been experimenting more with tapping and I had a really interesting experience. I’m going to ask this because I’m sure that someone else has this type of experience as well, that sometimes you get results but sometimes symptoms get even worse. So, instead of going down - I was tapping on pain, for example – instead of going down it got worse. So, what do you do in these types of situations? Is it the wrong type of tapping? Or do we have to check – what is actually happening with that?

Brad Yates:
Well, hopefully, it’s not a matter of, oh, I’ve got a headache and when I tap my headache gets worse! There might be a reason for that. Sometimes both with physical and emotional things, when we’re tapping it seems like it’s gotten worse. Generally, what is happening is we’re just more aware of what was there. Because sometimes we’re distracted and we’re not paying attention to it. So, one of the analogies I use is if wanted to clean up our living room because company is coming over and we look and say, okay, on a scale of zero to 10 how clean is it? Oh, it’s about an eight but I want it to be a 10. I go and I start straightening up and I find there’s dirty laundry under the sofa and there’s some dirt that I’ve swept under the rug, and now it’s like on a scale of zero to 10, it’s like at a three in terms of how clean it is. I wouldn’t say, wow, cleaning my room made it much dirtier. I’ve just become more aware of what’s going on. Also, sometimes what happens is if there’s a part of us that wants to be stuck physically or emotionally, there is resistance. And so our system will try to scare us off and go no, you’re making it worse, you’re making it worse. So, in those cases, persistence tends to be very beneficial. At the same time, I would say this is a self-care process. If you find I’m getting worse, I would say back off. It may be that you need to work with someone, work with a practitioner to find out okay, what else might be going on here. Again, unless it’s a matter of like a headache and the tapping is actually causing more pain, the tapping shouldn’t cause more pain unless there is something else going on. And so, that’s something to explore with someone else. But yes, if you’re uncomfortable, I would back off and say okay, this is not the right technique or the right time at the moment.

Dr. Maya Novak:
I love what you said. If a part of you wants to be still there in the being stuck because this is so important. Mentally, maybe we think I want to get better, but actually what is happening subconsciously is a completely different story.

Brad Yates:
Yes, because consciously we all want to be rich and healthy! So, why aren’t we doing all the things that we could do? Most everyone could be wealthier and could be healthier. But we do things like not exercising and not getting a good night’s sleep and not eating well, and not making the phone calls we could make, not managing our money. It’s not because we’re bad or stupid, it’s because at some unconscious level we’re trying to resist. We’re trying to hold ourselves back in a place that feels comfortable, that feels safe based on our programming. Even when our lives are crap, it’s our crap. We know where it belongs. We’re used to it. We’re familiar with it. It’s very comforting to get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see the same person that you were yesterday, even if that person wasn’t as healthy, happy, and successful as you’d like them to be, it’s a familiar face.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, it’s a comfort zone.

Brad Yates:
And so we cling to the familiar even with pain. It’s like man, if I woke up tomorrow and I didn’t have this pain in my side, I would think there was something wrong!

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
It’s like what’s - oh, that’s unfamiliar. I feel good. Oh, that’s not right. So, there’s a part of us that goes, oh, okay that pain’s there. All right, everything’s the way it was yesterday, and it feels safer.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. So true, so true. You mentioned emotions quite a few times, and I mentioned them, so let’s talk more about emotions. Sometimes I hear like, well, yeah, I’m doing physical therapy, I’m doing my exercises. Yeah, I’m sorting of taking care of myself, but how can emotions actually affect my healing? What is your point of view in regards to emotions and healing?

Brad Yates:
Yes. They have a huge effect. There’s still a lot of people who are stuck in the whole Cartesian split of mind and body are two separate things, but they’re not. It’s the mind-body. Most, if not all, issues are either caused by or worsened by stress. So, when we look at an emotional response to stress, if we can calm that down we’re going to feel better both physically and emotionally. When we feel better our body, which has amazing healing capabilities, has greater freedom to deal with the physical issue if it’s not so busy dealing with all of the emotional issues. A lot of emotional issues come up with physical issues. There may be anger – oh, I’m so mad that this happened. Fear – is this ever going to get better or is it going to get worse? Guilt – oh, there’s things I’m supposed to be doing but I’m not doing them. So, there are all kinds of things. Not only do we have that injury, but now we’ve got all these emotional responses and all of these thoughts and beliefs that are uncomfortable about it happening. While I can’t make any medical claims and promise, oh yeah, if you tap your broken leg is going to heal, but we can certainly clear out a lot of the negative feelings that are not helpful. It’s not like well, the best way to heal my broken leg is to feel a lot of guilt and anger and sadness! No, as I allow myself to feel as good as possible, I have much greater resources to heal more quickly.

Dr. Maya Novak:
And there’s a positive ripple effect. If you feel good, then also your body, it’s going to heal better as well because you are creating a thriving environment.

Brad Yates:
Yes. It’s a healthy environment for new healthy cells to grow.

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
They even have experiments now with tapping creating a positive gene expression. We talk about our genetic makeup and I have these genes, but genes can express in different ways. It’s not like of, oh, if you have the gene for this disease you’re necessarily going to have it or whatever. We can have the genes express in more positive health ways, and there have been experiments done showing that tapping benefits that.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh, I’m not surprised. I’m absolutely not surprised. It’s such an important topic because in the past it was like you said, yes, I have this gene my mom or dad had that, so this is my destiny.

Brad Yates:

Dr. Maya Novak:
But now we are actually realizing that genes can be switched on and off. It’s not just yes, this is your destiny.

Brad Yates:
Yes, exactly.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Let’s talk about emotions. Usually, we think of them, yes, they come they go, sometimes we feel sad, sometimes we feel happy. But can we talk about habitual negative emotions?

Brad Yates:
These come from persistent thoughts, generally or often from very early on in life. I always like to say that self-sabotage is simply misguided self-love. We’re doing the best we can based on what we have programmed to believe is safe, and a lot of us have gotten a lot of programming about you’re a lot safer if you don’t get your hopes up, you’re a lot safer if you’re expecting the worst. So, there may be a belief that if I’m happier, if I’m thinking more positively, the other shoe’s going to drop, I am going to be in trouble. If I’m always looking for the worst, if I’m always thinking the worst, then I’m not surprised when the worst happens. It’s like, okay, that’s what I expected. If things go better, it’s a very pleasant surprise. From that level, it sounds brilliant. We can look at it go okay; I’m not just a loser that I’m always thinking negative thoughts. My mind believes that this is actually the safest way to get through life. Now, it’s not necessarily the happiest or healthiest way to get through life. So, I’m not faulting anyone for being there, but to be able to – as we’re doing the tapping we’re calming down the stress system, as I mentioned. And so it creates a level of safety. Because a lot of times when we try to look at what’s going on, we freeze up. It’s like I can’t even – I don’t even want to look at that. I can’t even handle that. This allows us to relax and say, all right, let me go into the attic and open a few boxes and find out what might be smelling so bad up here. And so it just gives us that freedom, that emotional freedom to be able to explore why am I hanging on these thoughts? Is there a painful memory that I want to clear out and I can get a new way of looking at it, changing my mind about what happened? Most of it is about the meaning that we place on it. Some event happened – this person, my best friend reveals my secret and so I now think well, obviously, I can’t trust anybody, and I’m the sort of person that people are going to take advantage of. And so at an unconscious level, we might make the decision I better hang onto this belief because that way I won’t tell my secret to people, and if people do betray me, at least I’ll be expecting it, so it won’t be so painful. If people can knock me down, it’s much safer to stay crawling on the ground. I have a much shorter distance to fall. So that’s, a lot of times, what we’re doing with those persistent negative thoughts is I’m just going to crawl on the ground so I don’t have so far to fall. As we tap, we go – we can allow ourselves to change our minds. It’s like, okay, I don’t know what this friend of mine was doing. I don’t know if he was having a bad day and whatever. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t trust people. It doesn’t mean that I’m not worthy of being treated with respect. And I choose to walk the talk as often as I can, and yes, life might knock me down at times and I’ll get back up again. So, it gives us that freedom to see where it could be safe for us to not be stuck in that negative loop.

Dr. Maya Novak:
I love your explanation of that, by being calm and exploring what is happening under the surface. So, it’s actually you are exploring what is happening with you emotionally and mentally, but you are doing this in a very safe environment, right?

Brad Yates:

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
Yes, if you need to go and find something, if you’re frantic it’s very hard to find it and it can be just very difficult to handle the situation. What happens is when the amygdala in our midbrain senses threat we go into fight or flight. The pre-frontal cortex, however, our rational brain, goes offline. We go into old habits and unclear thinking that’s like I’ve just got to do what I’ve done in the past. So, as we calm ourselves down, then the thinking can come back here. We can make better decisions and it’s just a more peaceful place and a place to make better choices from.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Absolutely. Is your experience also that with EFT that you can actually change beliefs on the deepest levels, on the subconscious level? Do you think that beliefs are also changing? Or are we talking here more just about calming the nervous system and dealing with emotions?

Brad Yates:
We absolutely can change beliefs. And again, that’s why a lot of people will say, well, you’ve got to change your mind, change your mind. Well, most of us have a bit of resistance when someone says change your mind. It’s like, no; I will not change my mind. You change your mind! We see this in politics, on social media.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Every day.

Brad Yates:
Everybody’s right and the other person is an idiot and so it gets very emotional. The more emotional we get, the more the prefrontal cortex goes offline, and we can’t even see the reason. People can’t even see facts. I don’t want to be – don’t give me your facts, I know what I – I need to hang onto my beliefs. As we calm ourselves down we can look and say, okay, is this belief working for me? Like a child believing that there is a monster under the bed. Fortunately, that belief can be changed. A belief that you, as a child – we try to teach our kids to believe that they need to hold a grownup’s hand when they cross the street. At a certain point, we want them to change that belief; otherwise, you have a lot of grownups stuck on street corners… could you?! But with things like that, we create the place where it’s okay to change that belief. With a lot of our beliefs, we don’t know that it’s okay to change it and there’s a part of us that says no, I don’t – and we need that because we don’t want to be waking up each morning and going, okay, what am I going to believe today? If I have to make all these choices, life becomes impossible. So, we put up a wall around these beliefs. Like, okay, this is the information we’re going to work from and so we have a stress response when we try to change our minds about that, when we try to take a look at that, part of us goes, no - no admittance. As we calm that down, it’s like, okay, that may have been necessary in the past. That belief may have served us in the past, but let’s take a look at this now and see if there’s another way of looking at this. We can shift how we believe about things because a belief if just something we tell ourselves over and over again. But if it’s not based in fact, we can look at it and say, oh. And that’s certainly happened throughout the ages with scientific discoveries where people believed that the earth was the center of the universe, and it’s like, oh. If would have happened much more quickly if people had known how to tap back then! Because back then, they were so resistant that they’d burn someone at the stake for trying to, how dare you come with a new idea? But it’s scientific. I don’t care. So there’s that part of us that is so resistant to that new information, and so this is a way of calming down that resistance so that we see, okay, this makes more sense and we can absolutely take on new beliefs.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh, that’s amazing. So, since we talk so much about emotions, one of the most common emotions that comes up when a person is injured is fear. Fear of doing something wrong, fear of pain, fear of the future – you name it. Fill in the blank. So, I would love to tap on fear because it’s such a common thing, and I know that it’s going to be so beneficial. Can we do this?

Brad Yates:
We absolutely can. I would love to do this. This is a great plan and I’m excited to be a part of it!

Dr. Maya Novak:
Can you just briefly explain which points we’re going to be tapping for those who are not familiar with the points?

Brad Yates:
Absolutely. So, the very basic version of EFT – EFT, in a nutshell, is you take whatever the issue is. So, for instance, if we just felt and said, okay, I feel stressed. Rate a scale of zero to 10 as to how intense it is. We would start by tapping on the side of the hand. Even though I feel this stress, I choose to love and accept myself. And we’d say that three times. Then we would tap the eyebrow points. So, right here at the beginning of your eyebrow. And again, tapping generally between five and 10 times, but it’s okay if you tap longer because you’re saying a longer phrase.
Tap the side of the eye. All this stress.
Tap right under the middle of your eye. All this stress.
Tapping right under your nose.
Right under your lower lip, just above your chin.
Right here where your collarbones just about come together and you can either tap with all of your fingers or make a fist and tap right over that area.
About four inches below your armpit, it’s right about bra strap level, and I’m sure even the guys can figure out where that is.
And finally at the top of that head just using all of your fingertips and tapping around the crown of your head.
So, those are the points that we’ll be tapping, and then we’ll be saying different phrases. Again, the basic EFT you just repeat the phrase “this stress, this stress”, or whatever it is. Then you take a deep breath and check-in and say, okay, well, I was stressed at an eight and it may come down – sometimes it comes down to a zero, not always. Again, those one-minute wonders that are great to find, but more often it’ll come down more gradually. Sometimes it might go from an eight to a 7.95. It’s like, hey, any bit of relief, to me, is a good thing. What also often happens, it’s like peeling layers of the onion, and so as we’re tapping, we get more aware knowing what we’re stressed about. It’s great that we’re tapping on fear because to me, fear is always underneath all of that. The anger, the sadness, the guilt, the same, every uncomfortable emotion that we feel, there’s a level of fear underneath that.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. So, that’s just the perfect emotion that we chose.

Brad Yates:
Well done, Maya! You’re a genius! This isn’t your first rodeo.

Dr. Maya Novak:
It’s not!

Dr. Maya Novak:
We'll continue in just a moment. I wanted to quickly jump in for two things. First, thank you for tuning in. And second, I’m sure you have at least one friend, colleague, or family member who would very much appreciate this episode. So share it with them and help us spread the word. Now let’s continue…

Brad Yates:
So, what I’d like for us to do is go ahead and close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Just following your breath through your body, just allow yourself to be aware of what’s going on inside. Notice what you’re feeling physically and what you’re feeling emotionally, and just allow yourself to aware of any sense of fear. If you are experiencing an injury, and you’re trying to recover from an injury, allow yourself to be aware of your fear around that. But certainly, for anyone, anything that you might be feeling fear about. It could be a career issue, a financial issue, a health issue, a relationship issue. Just allow yourself to be aware of where you might be feeling that fear, and on a scale of zero to 10, how strong it might be. Notice what thoughts, beliefs, and memories might be there underneath that fear. Take a deep breath, and open your eyes. And so as before, Maya, if you’ll be my echo voice and repeat back what I say. And everyone else, just tap where we’re tapping and repeat back what I say along with Maya.
Even though I feel some fear…
I choose to love and accept myself anyway.
Even though I feel some fear…
I choose to love and honor myself anyway.
Even though I feel some fear…
… and it’s uncomfortable …
… and I have enough discomfort as it is…
… that I don’t need this fear as well.
But part of me thinks I do need it.
And even though I feel this fear…
… I choose to deeply and completely …
… love, honor, and accept myself…
… and maybe anyone else involved.
All this fear.
All this fear I’m feeling.
All of these places where I’m feeling fear.
This fear is hanging out in different parts of my body…
… and it’s not comfortable.
And I’d really rather feel better.
And part of me is saying…
… I need this fear.
All this fear of not having this fear …
… because part of me might say…
… if I didn’t have this fear…
… I would go and do something stupid…
… and injure myself even worse.
The only way to make sure I recover…
The only way I way can keep myself safe…
… is to limit myself with fear.
And I love and appreciate those parts of me…
… that believe that’s necessary…
… and that’s why I’m my causing myself so much fear.
And I choose to give myself permission…
… to feel a lot better now.
Letting go of this fear…
… is not going to make me stupid.
In fact, as I let go of the fear…
… I think from the better part of my brain…
... and I can make better choices.
So I’m letting myself let go of the fear.
All this fear.
I probably learned to feel this fear a long time ago...
… and I’m allowing myself to heal this fear…
… all of the way back through my past.
Back through all the times in my life…
… that I learned to be so afraid.
Where I somehow got the message…
… that this discomfort…
… that this fear…
… is what I needed to protect myself.
So I love and appreciate those parts of me…
… that hang onto the fear…
… thinking that it’s necessary.
And I can make good choices without it.
Maybe I’m afraid…
… of the consequences of this injury.
I’m afraid I’ll always be in pain.
I’m afraid this is really going to limit me.
It might hurt my career.
It might hurt other areas of my life.
And who knows what the consequences will be.
But it’s not like the universe is going to say…
… well, this injury was going to cost you all these bad things.
But since you’re so afraid that’s not going to happen.
The fear isn’t going to make things better.
I’m not bad or stupid for being afraid.
It just comes from a lot of misunderstandings.
And I choose to have more confidence in myself.
I’m going to handle whatever happens.
I’m going to handle the consequences.
And I’m clearing my doubts about that.
I choose to have a lot more confidence in myself…
… so that I can let the fear go away…
… allow myself to feel a lot better…
… and allow myself to recover much more quickly.
And I’m allowing myself to feel a lot more peace…
… in body, mind, and spirit.

And take a deep breath. Close your eyes and just go inside and check in wherever that fear was hanging out and rate it again on a scale of zero to 10, and just notice where it might have shifted. For some folks, it’ll come way down quickly. For others, you just have a greater awareness.
And as we were talking about before, sometimes the number seems to go up because you might be more aware now of things that you were trying to avoid, but that stuff was there. The tapping doesn’t make anything worse. It’s not even so much the tapping, as that we’re focusing on things that we’ve been neglecting. And so as we allow ourselves to see that, then we can tap more specifically on whatever else might be coming up.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. Well, you know how I feel, right now? I feel like I’m floating on a really fluffy cloud! This is how I feel after this tapping. It’s an amazing feeling.

Brad Yates:

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. In regard to fear and tapping on fear, is it necessary that we tap for each individual fear separately? So, we have fear of pain, fear of the future, fear of the re-injury, fear of whatever. Or is resolving this emotion more in a general way like we did sort of right now. Is this enough or should we tap on each fear separately?

Brad Yates:
It’s a general idea in EFT that the more specific we get, the quicker the results. And I think you can get results by being global, but it’s like if you wanted to clean your whole house. You spend a little bit of time in the kitchen, and a little bit of time in the bathroom, and little time in the bedroom, eventually your house is going to get clean, but it’s going to take a while to get the whole house clean. Whereas if you can focus on the kitchen, you can get it clean much more quickly and then feel, okay, the kitchen’s now clean and now I can move onto something else. So, when we’re looking at fear, if we can identify the specific fear and the specific things that are going on around that to zero in and tap specifically on that, we’re going to see the results much more quickly.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Great advice. So, it’s better to go specifically if we know what the fear is about. If we don’t know, we go more general and then perhaps we uncover what actually is happening under.

Brad Yates:
Yes. Don’t wait until you know exactly what to tap on to start tapping! I recommend tapping on a daily basis, just like taking a shower and brushing your teeth, it’s energy hygiene. And as we start tapping, as I said, the layers of the onion start to get peeled and we’ll probably get more insights about, oh, I know what was bothering me or I can see exactly what I’m afraid of and why I’ve been hanging onto this fear. Then we can allow ourselves to make a new choice around that.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Since you mentioned this, that this is a good thing to have it as a daily routine, is it important that we do it first thing in the morning or do we wait until we are overwhelmed, for example, or when is the good time to tap during the day?

Brad Yates:
So, I’m going to say don’t wait until it’s bad. Like, don’t wait to brush your teeth until there’s stuff obviously growing between your teeth. I do some tapping first thing in the morning. I don’t wait until there’s something bothering me. I like to think that nothing’s so good that it can’t get better. So, I just start off in the morning, a lot of times just thinking – I mean I might say, tap while I’m saying certain prayers or affirmations. Or I might just start saying, just in case there’s any resistance, I choose to love and accept myself. I’m going to clear any resistance that I might have as I face what’s coming up today, to be as clear, open, and sensible as possible. If you don’t have a lot of time, that’s fine. People will say how long should you tap? Well, how much water should you drink if you’re thirsty? So, you wouldn’t say, well, I’m really thirsty but I don’t have time to drink a full gallon, so I’ll wait until later when I can drink a full gallon. It’s like no; take a few sips right now. Just tap for a moment right now. The benefits might not be obvious, but every bit of tapping we do is creating some benefit. It may take a while for it to be tangible, to be really obvious, but I believe that any tapping that we’re doing is already starting to calm our system down and allow ourselves to feel better and recover from whatever might have been bothering us.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, it’s actually also changing the way or how we think about these things because with, for example, physical things, it’s more obvious. Like you mentioned, if you’re thirsty then yes, you’re going to drink. When you wake up, normally you brush your teeth.

Brad Yates:

Dr. Maya Novak:
But with emotions, when we talk about emotions, it’s like oh, no, I don’t have time for this right now. I’m going to do it later on, whenever it’s going to be.

Brad Yates:
Right, yes.

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
Don’t do that!

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
Just like don’t get into a habit of I really don’t have time to brush my teeth! There will be consequences.

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
Every meeting I had today went really bad, people just didn’t want to talk to me!

Dr. Maya Novak:
True, true. When a person is injured, and especially when the recovery is really long with more serious injuries, it can happen that a person starts to lose hope. What would you say to someone who is losing hope about their healing?

Brad Yates:
Yes. It would be similar to what came up in part of that tapping round about the fear of not recovering, which is kind of what that loss of hope is, it’s this fear that I’m never going to get better. We have a lot of beliefs about what’s wrong there and what’s bad there and wanting to shift that. There are people who are living very successful fruitful and wonderful lives who have lost their legs. They could sit in perpetual hopelessness about never having legs again, but that’s not going to grow the legs back. So, it’s a matter of saying, okay, I’m going to do everything I can – and you can even be tapping – folks can be tapping while you’re thinking about this. You’re going to do everything you can, and at the same time allow yourself to know, and I will handle the consequences. If I never recover from this, if I’m never able to play pro football again, that was not the only thing I’m capable of doing. And even being open to the possibility of this might create an opening to something that I never even realized. I know a number of people – and I know there are many, many, more people that I’ve heard of – who had intended to have a professional sports career and then that was ended by an injury, and then they have this remarkable career doing something else. It’s like wow if I had only focused on this and hadn’t had that other opening, I would have missed out on so much satisfaction and so much service that I provided, and so many opportunities. Some of these people are making more money than they would have over a longer term because they’re able to do this longer than they could play pro sports. So, it’s allowing yourself to change that persistent thought of this is just a bad thing, and recognizing there might be an opening here that I didn’t even know that could make things so much better. I’m not trying to kid myself, or anyone else, it’s going to be really hard with some things. There are some situations where it’s going to be really hard to find the silver lining. But again, that feeling of hopelessness, those uncomfortable emotions come from stressful responses to thoughts that we have. As we calm down the stress we can look at that thought and say, is that true, and is there another way of looking at it.

Dr. Maya Novak:
So true. I love what you described, and also sometimes injuries can actually lead you to discovering your purpose in life, or your passion in life. I mean, if seven years ago, in 2012, I hadn’t had that accident, we wouldn’t be talking here today. We wouldn’t be talking about how to heal from an injury in the best possible way, but here we are. So it was sort of a very tough recovery journey, but here we are.

Brad Yates:
Yes. Napoleon Hill…

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
who wrote Think and Grow Rich, said in every adversity is the seed of an equal or greater benefit, and it’s reassuring to think that. I know it’s really hard to see and I’m sure that when you were going through the recovery process and right after the accident it probably wasn’t like, oh, I’m so excited! I know that this is going to lead to great things. And it is possible that you can get to that place. I don’t want to say that there’s no way you can think that because there are all kinds of examples of people who have an amazing optimistic outlook. We all have that capacity at some level. But allowing ourselves to at least hold on to that seed of hope. And think, okay, it may not be as bad as I think.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Exactly, yes. I love this. I do have two more questions for you. One is what is your number one advice that you would give someone who is recovering from an injury right now? Number one?

Brad Yates:
Don’t reinjure yourself! Make good choices. Don’t jump back on the field or whatever. I’m pretty simple, and my approach is I recommend to everyone to use tapping in some way. Even if you’re not saying any words, even if you just do it silently because there are processes going on. There are levels of stress going on that we’re not even aware of, and if we can just be tapping to reduce that, then we can stop it from getting worse. There’s no telling what we might be preventing. It’s like with brushing our teeth. We don’t know what will – we know what could happen – but we’re not thinking in that moment, okay, I dodged another bullet. I stopped myself from having a cavity again today. So, just having this habit, this daily habit of doing this and you don’t even have to be thinking about what is the emotional issue I’m addressing or what is the physical issue I’m addressing. Just going, okay, this is a self-care technique. I’m doing something to take care of myself. And if nothing else, just being able to say, hey, you know what, I did at least one nice thing for myself today. That can have all kinds of positive benefits to it.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Beautiful. The last question is a bit of a fun question. That is…

Brad Yates:
I love fun!

Dr. Maya Novak:
You love fun. I love fun as well. Right now, imagine being injured and you know that the recovery is going to take some time, perhaps even more than a year, and it’s not going to be super easy. Now, in this moment, you could choose one of these two gifts, so which one would choose and why? Gift number one is that you go through your recovery doing all the necessary work to heal in the best possible way, and when you are done, you will have the gift of preventing any future injuries. Gift number two is that you can go back in time and prevent the accident that actually caused this injury, but with that, you take your chances. You might get lucky and never be injured again or you might get injured the very next day. So, you don’t know. Which one would you choose, and why?

Brad Yates:
Part of the mind goes, well, I’d rather not have the injury. But this is just like – a lot of interviews people will say if you could give advice to your younger self, if you could go back in time and give some advice to your younger self. I always get stumped on that one because part of me says I am – I am so happy where I am. I’m so blessed to be doing what I do, and that has come from some tough lessons. So, I don’t know that I would go back and there’s very little, if anything, that I would go back and change in my life because I know that it all led me to here. So, while obviously part of me would rather avoid the injury, knowing that I would be better off afterwards – especially if I know that I’m going to recover, in this scenario. But yeah, I would rather grow as a human being, learn, and get to a better place than live in a box trying to avoid risks and thus avoiding a better life.

Dr. Maya Novak:
And this is what life is about – growing and exploring and changing and so on.

Brad Yates:

Dr. Maya Novak:
Brad, that was amazing. Can you please share where people can find more about you.

Brad Yates:
Yes, absolutely. Thank you. You can find my website at tapwithbrad.com and also if you go on YouTube and just type in Brad Yates or Tap with Brad. I also have a link on tapwithbrad.com on that first page where you can just type in what words you want to look at. Like injury, fear, anger, sadness, and it’ll take you to a list of YouTube videos around those subjects.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Fabulous. Or you can just scroll through all the 900 videos that you have and …

Brad Yates:
Yes! Yes, whatever’s bothering you, there’s probably a tap for that!

Dr. Maya Novak:
Exactly. Brad, thank you so much for being here. I so enjoyed this, and I’m very excited because I know that participants of the Summit are going to get so much out of this and already have with the tapping. So, thank you for being here.

Brad Yates:
Oh, my pleasure. Thank you for having me on, Maya. I really appreciate what you’re up to and I appreciate the opportunity to be part of it and share this work with folks.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Thank you for tuning into another episode with Brad Yates. If you haven’t done it yet, subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you’re using to tune in. Of course, also remember to share this episode with your loved ones and help them out. To access show notes, links, and transcript of today’s talk go to mayanovak.com/podcast. To learn more about The Mindful Injury Recovery Method visit my website mayanovak.com and find my book Heal Beyond Expectations on Amazon. Until next time – keep evolving, blooming, and healing.

Love and gratitude xx
Dr. Maya

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