Gina* came to me for some help to try to uncover why she felt perpetually 'stuck' in her life. She was a very bright, very attractive, accomplished woman with loads of good ideas and a ton of talent, but everything she tried her hand at, flopped.
She'd been to a few psychologists and coaches, but no-one had any answers for her. Gina was on the cusp of starting yet another big venture, and she was already fearing the worst. What's more, she'd started to develop a whole bunch of physical symptoms that she knew was related to emotional stress: she had a permanently uncomfortable feeling in her stomach; her throat would feel like it was constricting and she'd periodically lose her voice; and her sleep was being regularly disrupted by disturbing dreams.
Even when she was sleeping through the night, she was still waking up exhausted, and she couldn't shake a vague but constant feeling of uneasiness and impending doom.
The key to working out what was going on with Gina was TAT - the Tapas Acupressure Technique.
TAT moves very fast, and can be a highly-effective technique for achieving a much deeper awareness of where a specific problem, or issue, is actually coming from.
Gina held the TAT pose, and concentrated on the fact that she felt she was constantly self-sabotaging her efforts to achieve and succeed in life.
The answers started coming thick and fast: first, she realized that some part of herself felt that success was dangerous, and would come at a high price. When we got to the part of the TAT process where you ask God to heal the origins of the problem, Gina suddenly found herself back in her school assembly, as a precocious seven year old who'd composed a new song. Her class were singing Gina's song, and it should have been a wonderful, life-affirming experience.
But it wasn't.
Straight after the performance, one of the teachers came over to Gina, and accused her of plagiarising parts of the tune from another well-known song (let's remember that Gina was all of seven years' old…) Little Gina was mortified, and a very strong message got imprinted on her subconscious that success = criticism, complaint and shame.
This message was subsequently reinforced at other points in her life, in various ways: the prize poem she wrote was rubbished by a close family member; the science competition she won was completely ignored; any success she had would set off a torrent of nasty comments or behaviours by others, and by the time she'd reached her late teens, the pattern had been set:
Gina would excel at something, and someone else, like clock-work, would go into attack mode and try to take her success away from her by criticising her, ignoring or belittling her achievement, mocking her, or shaming her.
After the TAT session, Gina had a number of big realizations. The first one was that her physical discomfort was anxious anticipation of the 'blow' that would inevitably come, if she succeeded in something. Her second insight was that a lot of people in her life had been very jealous of her unusual abilities and talents, and had been trying to keep her 'small'. Subconsciously, she'd been putting keeping these people happy ahead of her own success every single time - and she didn't want to do it anymore. But how could she stop it from happening again?
The answer to the problem was to get God involved. Gina made a commitment to talk to God about her people-pleasing, and also to do the TAT technique regularly, to help give her clarity on what was blocking her, and to clear them out the way.
It's early days, but Gina's physical discomfort has already drastically reduced, and she's now expecting some big, positive things to happen in her life soon, God-willing.
* Some details in Client Case Files have been changed, to protect the client's anonymity.