Harassment is such a difficult subject to touch upon and harassment in the work place is no different.
I have been working with a client who was successful and talented, but who was not as confident as she needed to be, considering where she was at in her career. We had been working together for a couple of months, when she explained that a while back she suffered from a severe depression that was brought upon her by a terrible situation that happened in her work place. Based on what she let on, it was a clear case of work harassment. She explained that she still felt hopeless and helpless and a sense of guilt and shame, while also hating that she had experienced all those emotions.
When I asked if she had complained to her manager, she said sarcastically, “How do you go to your manager and explain that people are not playing nice with you?”
Georgianna, not her real name, did not give me the story just what she felt when she thought of going for that interview and the emotions that were present at that simple thought. She is a powerful and successful manager, on the fast track in her company. But a simple case of a persistent rumour had crumpled her in the past, and she clearly could not let that go, despite having changed company twice since the incident. She knew who started the rumour and being a bright mind, she could also see why such a rumour was started in the first place. She was up for a promotion, she was nice to people and she cared. It almost cost her her marriage and her life.
Yet, now with a bright future in front of her again, she was experiencing fear once again. She was loosing sleep playing mind games of ‘what if’. What if this situation happened again? What if she could not defend herself once again? What if she failed again?
Georgianna agreed to try tapping or EFT. “Nothing else had worked”, she said, “I don’t think THIS can help but I have nothing to loose.” That’s the way to go! I thought to myself.
I asked her to give the story of harassment a title, she came up with “This F*****g story”, I asked her to tell me what kind of emotions she experienced and then the intensity of the emotional response from 0 to 10. It was at a 9 and the emotion was anger and hating feeling like a victim.
We did 3 rounds of tapping and the emotion intensity went from a 9 to 4. At which point, Georgianna startled she was surprised because another episode of harassment occurred to her, one she had not related to previously. She did not want to go into details, but she said that as a student, she had been in a similar situation where she had been accused of something she had not done and she had taken the blame. She avoided telling me the full story. I asked her to give that story a tittle and she said the Bullying case. I asked her to give me the emotional intensity of this story. She said it was a 10. She could not identify the emotions she was experiencing.
We started tapping on this story for a couple of rounds, but the intensity was not receding. I asked again about what emotion she could identify she mentioned Anger, pain, guilt, again feeling like a victim, and shame for what she had been accused of. We did 3 rounds of tapping identifying each emotion and the emotional intensity went from a 10 to 4. But it was not moving further down.
Since our time was going quickly, I decided to focus individually on each emotion. So we did a couple of rounds with each emotion, without stopping or checking in with her. I could see she was not very comfortable with the process and the fact that it was dragging on.
At the end of the 8 or 10 rounds, Georgianna could not stop yarning. She even apologised. Yet, when I asked her to think about the story The bullying case, she was surprised to say it is at 0. We went through each emotion individually and again there was not emotion disturbance. I asked her to cast her mind to the earlier story, and she could not perceived any emotional disturbance there as well. I asked her to visualise the worst event that happened during both time period and see if anything came up. She was quick to say, no nothing comes up.
I asked her how she felt about going back to work and she smiled, “not a problem, I feel calm and relaxed”. Her confidence was evident, but it was the certainty that she would have no problem that was striking. We focused the rest of the session on making sure she would be ready for her interview. And she aced it!
We did not delve on the issue. I still don’t know what happened to her on both counts. She did not need to say and I did not need to ask. Yet, I know and Georgianna knows because she experienced it, that the emotions that she had stored up inside, trying to be strong and unemotional about the situation almost killed her. All the energy she used not to feel those emotions was wasted. Energy she could use to get better sooner.
I don’t know what happened to Georgianna and even if I had known, it would not have made a bit of difference. There is no magic here. Was she ready to let go? Yes, but in less than an hour? Probably didn’t even think it was possible. Yet it happened. And fast.
The past is the past. There is nothing one can do to change it. But we can learn from our past and we can let go. Let go of feelings of guilt and shame, of pain and anger about what happened to us. This makes us victim of our past. Learning from what happened to us, is the best way to become actors in our life.
Life can happen FOR you not TO you.
It might appear to be semantic, but it makes a huge difference.
EFT/tapping helped her recover, heal and let go of the emotional baggage. I know she still needs to rebuild her life after such an event, but she won’t feel the fear of her making that situation occurs again.
Your past does not define your future. EVER.
Article written by Joelle Amouroux-Huttner - London
I am Joelle Amouroux-Huttner, Burn-out expert and founder of JoĂ«lle's Practice.
I lead burned-out people back to confidence and strength. I assist people who are burned-out or who are going towards a burn-out regain their self-confidence, achieve their goals and learn to the tools to handle whatever life throws at them.
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