What you resist, persists!

What you resist, persists!
by Peter Graham

This article explores the saying that “What you resist, persists” and how true that is. It outlines several approaches using EFT for locating and resolving resistance(s) that are associated with a personal issue.

Resistance is the opposite of acceptance and it causes or predisposes and maintains personal problems. Accepting “what is” does the opposite.

Typically, a person with a persistent issue is subconsciously resisting things now that aren’t happening any more (such as an painful memory) and/or is resisting things now that haven’t happened yet (such as with anxiety).

Triggerable (compulsive) resistances come in many forms and are all driven subconsciously. Used skillfully, EFT does an excellent job in helping a client to reach the point where he/she ceases resisting something or someone.

In relation to a particular issue, feeling, thought, image, situation, happening or similar (real or imagined), a simple question such as “What are you resisting?” (or “What am I resisting?”) can help a client to identify a specific resistance that can then be tapped on successfully including, if needed, identifying and tapping on its underlying origin(s).

Some tips and suggestions

When a client is asked “What are you resisting?” in relation to something or someone, this may include both right now resistances and ongoing and current living life resistances. If it’s appropriate to limit it to this precise moment, then that should be made very clear to the client (with “right now” added if needed). On the other hand, some clients may focus only on this moment and may need to expand their scope if there’s an ongoing or repeating life issue.

There can be a single resistance and, sometimes, there can be several or dozens of them (especially when it’s a complex issue). There are times when we need to peel the outer layers of resistance to get to a core or primary resistance. There are several approaches that have been found to be appropriate because the way things happen can vary.

Firstly, there is often more than one resistance in relation to a problem. With some clients, the resistances emerge one after the other which get tapped on individually and, as one drops away, another appears spontaneously or when the question is asked again (each time freshly as if it’s never been asked before). A series of resistances may need to be tapped on before a core resistance is uncovered (and then tapped on thoroughly and more deeply).

With some clients or some problems, several or lots of resistances may come up together or one after the other in quick succession. It’s best to note them down if possible so they can be tested and tapped on later (if appropriate). If this occurs, select the most intense one or ones and work with it or them first.

A client may find that the same answer keeps coming up but s/he looks for something different and doesn’t mention it (because “it’s already been tapped on”). If an answer comes up again (and again), the subconscious mind is bringing it up because it requires more attention. It needs to be tapped on again.


Having identified a resistance to work on, there are several options available.

The simplest option is to do EFT (including the Setup) on that resistance (such as “I am resisting talking to a group” or “I’m resisting calling Joe” or “I’m resisting being noticed” or “I’m resisting looking him in the face”) and then re-check its intensity or attachment to it. It often goes down to zero just by tapping on it. Then, ask the same question again (as if it’s the first time it’s ever been asked) and do the same with whatever comes up next.

An effective and useful option is to tap on the resistance initially and, if it reduces but won’t go to zero, then shift over to “a part of me is resisting talking to a group.” If the client remains attached to the resistance, it can sometimes be helpful to alternate “I am resisting talking to a group” and “A part of me is resisting talking to a group” while tapping through the acupoints. Tapping on “a part of me” should not be introduced too early on, just let things role forward, be persistent for a while and there’s a point when the client is ready for it and then bring it in. This can make a big difference.

Another option is to locate the underlying origin or origins of the resistance and work it over as needed. It’s usually an incident that can be worked on using the standard EFT trauma clearing tools such as the Movie technique and/or Tell the Story technique.

Several of these options can be used with a single resistance that is heavily charged or tends to persist. In other words, the resistance gets tapped on first, the “part of me” option may then be introduced and, if needed, its underlying memory is located and worked over thoroughly. And, sometimes, I go a step further by also using the Personal Dialogue EFT Technique (http://eftmastersworldwide.com/eft-dialogues) to help the client dis-identify from and make peace with the “younger self” in the incident.

A deep-rooted multi-layered issue can respond well to this approach but it may not be fully resolved yet after the first few times this approach is used. A complex problem or issue can of course have a number of resistances that contribute to the layers of that issue. The next layer will reveal itself either in ongoing sessions or in life and the process can then be continued at a deeper level. The job is done when the job is done.

Peter Graham, EFT Founding Master

Web site: www.tap4peace.com.au

Updated: 29th of January 2014

NOTICE: This document may be passed on or freely copied or printed or shared providing that it is not altered at all or subtracted from or added to in any way and includes this notice plus the author’s name, date and the copyright notice.

Copyright  2014 by Peter D. Graham. All rights reserved.


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