If a Hidden Fear is Blocking Your Fitness Efforts

By Suzanne Zacharia

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One of the biggest blocks to success is a hidden emotional fear. And this is certainly the case with exercise and fitness. If your unconscious mind does not feel that it is safe for you to exercise, then it will do everything it can to stop you.

Let me give you a few examples from my EFT practice for guidance. These were real barriers to fitness that I have come across in clients.


  • One man was bullied and beaten by the big boys at school, and whenever he went to the gym, which was becoming a rare event, he was triggered by all the fit men doing weights.
  • A woman had beautiful hair and came from a nice family. However, some of the girl thugs at school felt very jealous. When she went steady with her first boyfriend, the thugs beat her up and made it very clear they would cause even more damage unless she left the boyfriend. Her energy as a result became centred around being unfit and overweight and therefore less attractive.
  • A woman whose sister was an anorexic over-exerciser was unconsciously terrified that if she became fit, her sister would over-exercise more and therefore die.
  • Of course fitness means fitness. It does not mean necessarily weight-loss, unless that was part of the plan. One could aim to do remedial exercise, for example. A client who kept getting back pain was unconsciously afraid of doing Pilates, because then he would lose the excuse of back pain as a way to vent. People are far more ready to listen to a grown person moan about their back pain than they are prepared to listen to tales of an unhappy childhood, for example.

All of these fears are tappable issues. Once you start tapping on the fear of fitness, you will also get insights and new solutions to old challenges. For example, the lady with the competitive over-exercising sister can introduce her to EFT, and the person with back pain who was resisting Pilates can let go of the unhappy childhood feelings with the tapping.

If a fear is blocking your path to fitness, what can it be? Write down the first three things that come to you, even if they seem either trivial or insurmountable. Then tap on them every day until they are gone. The words to use are simple. For example, if you are intimidated by the body-builders in the gym, you can simple tap the following statements over and over again daily until the fear is gone.

¨Even though I find the body-builders at the gym intimidating, I accept myself anyway.¨
¨The body-builders at the gym.¨

I hope this helps. As well as the above barriers to fitness, a belief or set of beliefs can hamper your exercise motivation. For example, if a girl was discouraged from taking part in boyish sports when a little girl, she may have the illogical belief that sports are not for girls; and so she may find herself inexplicably missing out on swimming, jogging, karate, and all the things she really would love to do. Or if a woman believed that working out in the gym would give her big muscles, that can be a great disincentive to attending.

One thing that EFT newcomers often worry about is that if they tap on a belief that is necessary, they will then lose it and pay the consequences. For example, the woman that believes exercise will make her have big muscles may be wary of tapping. However, you can rest assured that in my experience, tapping on a belief that should be there does not remove it.

Tapping for a belief can be very simple. Just ask yourself to complete the following sentence:
I am a regular exerciser but …

Whatever comes after the but is a block in your path. Tap on it for 10 minutes daily  for a week and see what happens. For example, if what came after the but is the fear of developing big muscles, you can tap as follows.


Even though I fear developing big muscles if I work out, I accept myself anyway,

Fear of developing big muscles if I work out,

The biggest block to fitness in my client experience is self-consciousness. If you worry about going to the gym because you feel you will be compared to the fit members or feel too self-conscious in gym clothes or the changing room, then this will be such an unpleasant experience that you may soon put a stop to it.

Another possible block in your path is self-image. Self-image is closely connected to self-esteem, although it is sometimes connected to cultural beliefs as well. Logically, the only way you can become or stay fit and healthy is to do some regular form of exercise. And walking is great but not enough for most people.  What is more, you may live in a country where walking is impossible due to the weather or safety considerations. Swimming is a wonderful all-round exercise, but in my experience, getting into that swimsuit and being seen in it is one of the biggest blocks to exercise for my clients who would otherwise dearly love to swim. Even some clients who had a swimming pool in their garden have found it too embarrassing to get into a swimsuit in case the neighbors see or some other perceived shame.

In my experience, it is best to work with an EFT practitioner to resolve this issue. This is because it may have some painful root causes which may require gentle expert handling. However, if you feel that the roots are not so painful, then you can tap for the embarrassment issue yourself.

The simplest way to do this on your own is to stand fully clothed in front of the mirror each day and tap the following statements. Keep doing it for 10-15 minutes a day until you feel strong enough to repeat the procedure in your gym clothes or swimwear.  Then keep doing it for 10-15 minutes a day until you feel strong enough to repeat the procedure naked. It is a process, and it is part of your growth and learning.

I am willing to one day like what I see in the mirror, just as I am, and without judgement. In the meantime, I respect my feelings anyway.
I am willing to one day like what I see in the mirror, just as I am, and without judgement. In the meantime, I respect my feelings anyway.

Another block to exercise motivation is about how you see your role in this world. If fitness and exercise do not fit into what you see as your role, then exercise will not be an activity that you can say is part of what you do. If it is not part of what you do, then you will find it difficult to carry out.

For example, a man who sees his role as always having to work to support his family and please his boss will find himself working all hours in the office or taking clients to dinner and almost never exercising. A woman who sees her role as staying at home looking after elderly parents will not exercise unless exercise can fit into that role definition for her.

In other words, your role in life is like a job definition. Few of us would be prepared to do tasks that are way outside our job definition, say if working in an office. So it makes sense that we do the same in our personal lives too.

On the other hand, a fitness or glamour model may well see part of her job is to keep fit. A father may consider part of his role to go to Karate lessons or play football every Sunday with his son. A weight-loss practitioner may see it as part of their role to be fit and healthy.

So, what is your role in life? Write down the first thing that comes to you. Then write down a list of 10 activities that your role entails. Is fitness or exercise one of them? If not, then this is easy to remedy with EFT. Just tap the following statements a few times, then re-write the list. Keep tapping and re-writing until exercise becomes a firm part of your role in life.


Even though exercise is not part of my role in life, I accept myself anyway.


Exercise is not part of my role in life.

When exercise becomes mentally part of what your role in life is for you, you can take this tapping further. Cement the new role in your energy by tapping daily for 3-6 weeks as follows.


Exercise is part of my role in life, I accept myself and choose to enjoy my regular exercise.


Exercise is part of my role in life, I accept myself and choose to enjoy my regular exercise.

Enjoy the tapping, the healing journey, and the results!


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Author's Bio:

© Suzanne Zacharia 2010.  My name is Suzanne Zacharia and I am committed to spreading the word about health options. I believe that the more and better options one has, the more choice there is. And of course, you are advised to consult with your medical practitioner before embarking on any course of alternative, complementary, or beauty therapy. Want to use this article?  You can, as long as you credit me with it and invite your readers to get my FREE "EFT How-to for You" and regular free EFT Tapping script samples in my newsletter at http://www.EFT-Scripts.com - New to EFT? No worries, just get your own copy of "EFT How-to for You" and start EFTing with ease very soon!




Posted October 08, 2010 02:46 PM

Suzanne, I never fail to be inspired and aided by your articles and newsletters! Thank you so much for all your help!


Posted October 08, 2010 04:13 PM

Glad you like it, Felicia!


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